Stephen King’s Scary House

image from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/madeleine_h/7876954402/ (by: Madeleine_H – Madeleine Holland)

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.

image from: http://downeastdilettante.wordpress.com/2010/10/ (via Bangor Daily News)

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.

image from: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Stephenkingshouse.jpg (by: Blaine Puckett)

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.

image from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/merealtor/4808464541/ (by: By MERealtah – Denise Reed)

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.

- from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ashorriblyitryii/

image from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/blake/39107127/in/photostream/ (by: By The Facey Family – Blake Facey)

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.

image from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nostri-imago/2864418800/in/photostream/ (by: By cliff1066™ Cliff)

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).

image from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wonderal/4732130189/ (by: wonder_al Al)

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.

image from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zargari/344525912/ (by: The GC Four)

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:

image from: http://virtualglobetrotting.com/map/stephen-kings-maine-residence/view/

In 2011 the county tax assessor valued the King home in Bangor Maine at $1,188,900. I found two nearby homes currently for sale on the same street for $425,000 (see here) and $299,000 (see here).

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!

Screen shot of Google maps street view of Stephen King’s house

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.

image from: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Stephenking_house.JPG (Julia Ess – Creative Commons)

~~~

Sources:

Stephen King’s official website

Wikipedia Stephen King page

Flickr Stephen King photos

Stephen King’s  house on Trulia.com

Stephen King’s house on Zillow.com

4 Responses to Stephen King’s Scary House

  • Laura says:

    That’s fascinating, and once again I will be passing this on to my husband, the horror fan. He loved your post on the Amityville Horror House, which he has seen in person a few years ago (and very discretely took a couple pictures of from the street just to say he’d been there). Have you ever seen Anne Rice’s house? It’s delightfully creepy as well, although sadly lacking in a bat gate. We walked past it once during a guided tour of the Garden District in New Orleans.

  • B. says:

    So glad I found this! I am currently on a road trip with my sister, and a few days ago we got a bit lost around Bangor looking for an old house our great grandmother used to live in. We pulled over on the street to look at our map (we stupidly thought the trip would be more fun without using GPS), when my sister glanced up and said “Hey, that gate has bats on it.” We’re not from Maine, so we had no idea Stephen King lived there!

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