The reboot of the creepy Stephen King classic “Pet Sematary” hit theaters on Friday. It was nearly 41 years ago when the horror master was inspired to tell the tale of the dead come back to life at a house on a busy road in Orrington.
Stephen King and his family spent a year living in a white house on River Road, also known as Route 15, in 1978, when he was a writer-in-residence at the University of Maine in Orono.
It was during that time that Smucky, his daughter Naomi’s cat, was hit by a truck and died and was buried in an informal pet cemetery on a hill behind the rental property, according to StephenKing.com.
“I can remember crossing the road and thinking that the cat had been killed in the road — and [thought] what if a kid died in that road,” King said on the website. “We had had this experience with [our 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,” King said. “I knew immediately that it was a novel.”
King said in a 2017 interview with the BDN that he wrote the novel, published in 1983, in the storeroom of a shop across the street from that house. In 1989, the novel was adapted as a movie starring Dale Midkiff, Denise Crosby and Fred Gwynne. The reboot, which hit theaters Friday, stars Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz, Jete Laurence and John Lithgow.
The house where King was inspired to write “Pet Sematary” went up for sale in the summer of 2017, and now you can take a peek inside the house where the King of Horror once found inspiration: