A Journey Into the Mind of Stephen King - Atlas Obscura Lists

A Journey Into the Mind of Stephen King

Nine places connected to the stories of one of America's greatest horror writers.

Perhaps no other author has induced more childhood nightmares and spine-tingling reads than the legend of American horror literature, Stephen King.

King has published well over 60 novels over the course of his career, mostly centered around the macabre, paranormal, and downright terrifying. Many of those stories have been transformed into movies and television shows, from lesser-known tales such as The Dead Zone and Thinner to his iconic stories like Pet Sematary, The Shining, and It. The real-life places that inspired the writer have become pilgrimage sites for his fans, along with the locations where film adaptations of his novels were filmed.

In Bangor, Maine, in the shadow of an inconspicuous water tower known as the Thomas Hill standpipe, King penned parts of his 1986 novel ItThe standpipe in Derry, where one of the characters first encounters the killer clown in the book, was inspired by this location. A stay in room 217 at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, is said to have inspired King to write The Shining. From a cemetery where a young King brainstormed ideas to the author’s former mansion, here are nine places to dive into the life and work of Stephen King.