Master of horror Stephen King has often allowed the world around him to inspire his tales of terror, with Pet Sematary being no different. If you're in the market for a new house and also happen to live in Orrington, Maine, now is the chance to own a piece of horror history and live in the house that inspired the author to write his story about the dead returning to the world of the living.
Stephen King's website describes what it was about the house that inspired him to write the novel:
"Stephen was serving as a writer-in-residence at the University of Maine at Orono and living in a rented house in nearby Orrington that bordered a major truck route which frequently claimed the lives of dogs and cats. In the woods behind his house, local children had created an informal pet cemetery. 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." The site adds, "It was on the third day after the burial that the idea for a novel came to him."
In the story, a family moves into a new house in rural Maine when the family's toddler Gage accidentally stumbles into traffic. When Gage's father realizes that a cat he buried in a local pet cemetery returns to the family days later, he gets the idea that he should bury their young son in the cemetery.
The family learns the hard way that some things should stay dead, no matter how tragic their passing might have been, as once the living has seen the other side, they will be forever changed.
King describes his thoughts further, explaining, "We had had this experience with [my son] Owen running toward the road, where I had just grabbed him and pulled him back. And the two things just came together--on one side of this two-lane highway was the idea of what if the cat came back, and on the other side of the highway was what if the kid came back--so that when I reached the other side, I had been galvanized by the idea, but not in any melodramatic way. I knew immediately that it was a novel."
According to his site, he had a dream that night about reanimated corpses, and the rest is history.
Pet Sematary is only one instance of King drawing from his real-life experiences for a horrifying novel, with The Shining being based on his stay in an almost empty Colorado hotel, It being inspired by the sewer system of his hometown, and Cujo being based on a particularly scary run-in with a St. Bernard.
You can head over to Zillow to check out the house for yourself.