Why wouldn’t the king of horror have the creepiest house in New England?
There’s a gazillion pictures of the exterior of writer Stephen King’s house on the Internet (driving by his house is somewhat of a pilgrimage for horror novel fans). But there are few, if any, of the interior. Stephen King and his wife Tabitha (who is also a writer) would like to keep it that way as they value their privacy behind the batty gates.
Nonetheless, being the curious house-peeper that I am, I decided to do a little digging to see what I could find out about the house’s history.
The King manor was built in the mid-nineteenth century. Official records state the year 1870 but I found one account that claims the house was built as early as 1858.
The home is located in Bangor, Maine and the address is widely available on the Internet for curious fans and dedicated stalkers. The poor King family has in fact been dogged by stalkers and I read that they have to employ bodyguards to keep people at bay.
The King’s (Stephen, Tabitha and their three children) purchased this home in 1980, after living for a year in Boulder, Colorado – where King famously wrote The Shining. The house in Bangor was intended as a second home but soon became the King’s primary residence.
The King’s now own two other homes including one in Lovell, Maine and one in Sarasota, Florida where they spend the winter. But it is the historic house in Bangor that attracts the most attention.
This might have something to do with the creepy appearance of the house – in line with the home owner’s notorious obsession with all things dark and ominous.
Mr. King added spiders to the fence (inside the spiderwebs at the center of the gates) and bats to the top of the gateposts. He later regretted adding this detail, as it makes tourists even more likely to stop and take photographs.
I’ve read in the past that the King family used to go all out for Halloween at the house in Bangor. It would not be hard to dress this morbidly Victorian home for a night of Halloween fun. Unfortunately, things got out of hand and too many people began showing up at the King house on Halloween (one year as many as 1400!) so the tradition was halted.
In recent years, the King’s have resorted to taking out ads in the local newspaper announcing that they would not be at their house on Halloween, so please stay away.
Anyway, back to the house’s early history…
One account I read stated that the house was built at a cost of $7000 – mind you, this was a decent sum of money back in the mid-nineteenth century.
The structure is set on just over one acre of land and was built to resemble an Italian Villa. The original part of the house was built from wood and had only one tower (the tower on the right).
The multi-sided tower on the left hand side of the house was added in 1895. The large front porch was later added in 1912.
The house today is much bigger than it appears from the street. It clocks in at 4,952 square feet according to zillow.com, and it has 5 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms. The home is technically zoned “multi-family” though I could not find any record of when the home was last used as a multi-family dwelling.
The modern reincarnation of the house features an attached barn which has an indoor swimming pool. There is also a 3 car garage and Stephen King’s writing studio is located at the rear of the house.
Here’s an aerial shot of the estate from Virtualglobetrotting.com:
Unfortunately for the Kings, this beautiful (slightly creepy) home has been a magnet for adoring fans, crazies, and house lovers alike. It is probably one of the most photographed private homes in America.
In fact, when I looked at the Google street view, there were people ogling in front of the house in the image captured by one of Google’s famous roving photo cars!
The King’s clearly cherish this house and I hope they never change the spooky spider web/bat gate – it just makes the house grin with glee - in my opinion anyway.