By Stephen King
Ben Mears, a writer has returned home after twenty-five years to Jerusalem's Lot, Maine He quickly becomes friends with high school teacher Matt Burke and strikes up a passionate romantic relationship with Susan Norton. Ben starts writing a book about the Marsten House, an abandoned house where he had a bad experience as a child. Mears learns that the Marsten Househas been purchased by Kurt Barlow an Austrian immigrant who has arrived in the Lot ostensibly to open a store. Barlow is on an extended buying trip; only his business partner, Richard Straker, is seen in public.The duo's arrival coincides with the disappearance of a young boy, and the death of his brother, who becomes the town's first vampire. he infects locals and his own mother, he fails, however, to infect Mark Petrie, who resists him successfully by holding a plastic cross in his face. Within several weeks many of the townspeople are turned into vampires. Ben Mears and Susan are joined by Matt Burke and his doctor, Jimmy Cody, along with young Mark Petrie and the local priest, Father Callahan in an effort to fight the spread of new vampires. Susan becomes a vampire, and is eventually staked through the heart by Mears, the man who loved her. Ben Mears and Mark Petrie succeed in destroying the master vampire Barlow, but are lucky to escape with their lives and are forced to leave the town. The returning to the town a year later, intending to renew the battle. Ben, knowing that there are too many hiding places for the vampires, deliberately starts a brush fire in the woods near the town with the intent of destroying it and the Marsten House once and for all.
About The Author
Stephen Edwin King was born in Portland, Maine in 1947, He graduated from the University of Maine at Orono in 1970, with a B.A. in English and qualified to teach on the high school level. He and Tabitha Spruce married in January of 1971. In 1971, Stephen began teaching high English while writing in the evenings and on the weekends, he continued to produce short stories and to work on novels. In the spring of 1973, Doubleday & Co. accepted the novel Carrie for publication. At the end of the summer of 1973, the Kings moved their growing family to southern Maine, Renting a summer home on Sebago Lake in North Windham for the winter, Stephen wrote his next-published novel 'Salem's Lot, in a small room in the garage Stephen and Tabitha now spend winters in Florida and the remainder of the year at their Bangor and Center Lovell homes.
- Kurt Barlow – Master vampire
- Father Callahan – The local Roman Catholic priest
- Ben Mears – The writer who returns to his home town.
- Susan Norton – Waitress and former art student with whom Ben Mears develops a romantic relationship
- Matt Burke – High school English teacher
- Richard K. Straker – Barlow’s human assistant
An interiew with Stephen King
When did you start writing?
I started writing seriously when I was about 12.
Do you have to be in a special mood to start writing?
I am always in the mood.
Do you have a certain method that you use when you write?
It usually is a set schedule. I write in the mornings, in the bright daylight. But I get most of my good ideas after the sun has gone down and the dark is on the
Do you consider what you write "horror stories?"
There are times when I like to think of it as mainstream fiction or literature. But in the back of my mind, in the closet where I keep the truth, I think of them as horror stories. A lot of them I think of as creep shows. (A few years after this interview, Stephen wrote a script for a movie by George Romero. That movie was titled "Creep Show.")
I once read that Salem's Lot is your favorite book. Why?
In a way it is my favorite story, mostly because of what it says about small towns. They are kind of a dying organism right now. The story seems sort of down home to me. I have a special cold spot in my heart for it!
Is the town of Jerusalem's Lot (Salem's Lot) a real town?
Yes and no. It is based on a town in upstate Vermont, that I heard about as an undergraduate in college, called Jeremiah's Lot.
What is your personal feeling about reincarnation?
I don't believe in it. I don't like the idea that I am going to come back as an ant or a sparrow if I don't get along in the great karma of life. As far as where I go when I die, the concept that I am simple going to flick out, like a light bulb, to me is not only spiritually impossible to believe, but logically it is laughable
In your own experience have you ever come across any ghosts, ghoulies or anything that goes bump in the night?
Do you get letters from people that say they have actually experienced things like what you write about?
Yes, I got letters from people that have had peculiar psychic experiences, experiences with the dead
One theme in Salems Lot is the idea that belief can save you. In the novel the ones that believe in Vampires and take caution are more likely the ones that live. I The vampires are a symbol of corruption and Evil and when they are believed in, they are also feared.