Vacation in Maine, Own the Home That Helped Inspire ‘Pet Sematary’

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Stephen King lived in this four-bedroom, three-bath house built in Orrington, Maine, in 1906, when he was inspired to write “Pet Sematary.”

Stephen King slept here. In fact, he lived here, in this four-bedroom, three-bath house built in Orrington, Maine, in 1906, when he was inspired to write “Pet Sematary.”

And it can be your second home for a mere $255,000.

According to King’s website, he was living in the home in 1979, serving as writer-in-residence at the University of Maine at Orono. The home bordered a major truck route and because of that, frequently dogs and cats would end up hit by passing trucks.

“In the woods behind his house, local children had created an informal pet cemetery,” the site explained. “One day, his daughter’s cat was killed by a passing truck. Stephen was faced with the task of burying the cat in the pet cemetery and then explaining to his daughter what had happened.”

Three days later, the idea for “Pet Sematary” came to him.

As scary as the book is, the home is not. It may be 113 years old, it has great bones and lots of room.

There are wood floors throughout, and a kitchen with butler’s pantry that (despite needing some updates) is a great size, a “potting room” porch, another sun porch, and formal dining and living rooms.

The latter rooms are lined with windows, making for a bright, airy place for entertaining guests.

There are two fireplaces for the cold Maine nights and a wood stove in the kitchen. The master bedroom has a 3/4 ensuite bath, and a bonus room on the second floor above the garage – with a separate entry – is open to interpretation. Put your stamp on it – is it an in-law suite conversion? Is it a rental apartment? Is it a studio?

There is a multi-car garage that can handle cars, storage, and workshop space, and it sits on three acres that could be a great playground, garden or even, the owner says, a backyard ice rink.

But what is there to do in Orrington? While the town is small (perfect for quiet getaways), beaches abound – and the most you’ll have to drive is about 30 minutes. There are plenty of King-related touristy things to look out for in the area (Bangor, Maine, is about a 15-minute drive). 

And of course, you could work on this list of things to do in Maine, too.

The home is for sale by owners, and they said they’re motivated.

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  1. dormand says

    While I do not read his novels, there are few writers who have a more compelling message on the importance of persevering until one is able to break through the massive barriers to entry in entertainment and in book publishing.

    It is my understanding that Stephen King was living in a trailer house, working for peanuts as an English teacher at a private school, as he received rejection letter after rejection letter from publishing houses for the many novels he laboriously produced in his attempt to break away from what he felt to be a dead end job in teaching.

    I have read that King was just about to throw in the towel on writing novels and accept that his life’s destiny was to be a lowly paid teacher in a poorly managed private school.

    Finally, he got in the mail a message from a publishing house. Expecting yet another rejection letter, he painfully opened the envelope to read the joyful message that his transcript had been accepted and a publishing contract would be offered.

    Jeff Bezos has implemented a paradigm shift in book distribution, but in the earlier days, buyers at the oligopoly book sellers made buying decisions almost solely on how a writer’s previous books had sold. This is much the same in music.

    Talent was given little weight in the buying decision. Established writers could easily fall into the ghost writing trap that causes followers to abandon them. It is reported that one established writer, who shall go nameless in this comment, but who earns some $40 million in book royalties annually from his myriad of titles, does little more now than to lay out skeletons of plots, which are then filled in by anonymous minions who toil for peanuts to produce a tome that millions are willing to pay substantial amounts to put on their bookshelves.

    One author had the inverse of Stephen King’s litany of rejection. I once asked Daniel Silva as to whether he had gone through the usual gauntlet of rejection letters when he started writing novels. Daniel advised that actually his very first novel, written while he was a staffer at UPI, was accepted for publication with minimal writer’s grief for the author.

    Of course, Silva is incredibly gifted as a writer and his genre is highly relevant to the day’s continuing unbelievable and unthinkable sins that are committed against the Jewish community.

    There are many of us who eagerly await the publication of the next Daniel Silva book, every word of which is painfully created by the author himself, to read from cover to cover without setting the book down.

    That said, it would have to be very cool to have a house once occupied by a major author who is a household name for a mere quarter million in what has to be the ultimate of get away places: Maine.

    And for those who invest for the long term, when global warming really kicks in, you would really have great positioning with this Maine abode, far from the sweltering Southwest, in the searing sun with day after day with no rain.