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Everything You Need to Know About Stephen King’s (Former) House 

The house of a horror master.

Stephen King's red and white victorian with spiderweb wrought iron gate
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  • Photo Credit: Atlas Obscura

As you turn onto West Broadway in historic Bangor, Maine, you will pass by beautiful, antique mansions that were once occupied by lumber barons. None are more striking than the one at 47 West Broadway, however. 

A two-story, asymmetrical structure combining Queen Anne and Italianate architectural styles, the house at 47 West Broadway has several unique physical traits, including two towers and a wrought iron fence decorated with bats, spiders, and a three-headed dragon.

However, what makes the house one of the most photographed private residences in the United States is not anything about the building itself. Rather, it is the fame of its former inhabitants: Stephen King and his family. 

One of the most successful writers of all time, King has had more than 30 books hit #1 bestseller status and is one of the few authors who can boast of being a household name. Though he has written across a wide variety of genres, King is most closely associated with his many popular horror novels and short stories, many of which have been adapted into hit films over the years. 

A native of Maine, King set many of his stories in his home state, which is yet another reason why Stephen King’s house in Bangor, Maine is such a tourist destination.

Despite his fame, however, King and his family have always been private people, so there are several things that you might want to know before you take a trip to see Stephen King’s house in Maine. 

Where is Stephen King’s house? 

The first thing you’ll want to bear in mind if you decide to take a trip to 47 West Broadway in Bangor, Maine is that you won’t see Stephen King there.

Though he and his family moved into the 19th century mansion in 1980, they no longer live there. For their privacy, they spend most of their time in one of their other homes, located on the barrier island of Casey Key in Florida.  

In 2019, King asked the city of Bangor for permission to turn his home at 47 West Broadway into a museum to hold his archives, which were previously kept at the University of Maine, as well as a writers’ retreat where chosen authors will live in a nearby guest house, also owned by the Kings.

The retreat could house up to five writers at a time, while “Scholars and others could request to see the materials [in the archives], which would be available by appointment,” according to CBS

Talking with the Bangor Daily News, the Kings’ lawyer said that the neighborhood approved of the idea, and some residents even said that “it will be nice to see some lights on in the building at night.”

Perhaps that will help make Stephen King’s house a little less spooky. 

Can you go inside Stephen King’s house? 

Though people frequently gather outside the distinctive wrought iron gates for photographs, the house itself has never been open to the public.

Until recently, it was a private residence where the Kings lived and raised their three children. Sitting on two acres of land, the house backs up to Bangor’s Hayford Park, which was once the site of Bangor’s legendary “creative playground.” 

As the house is converted into King’s archives, it will theoretically become more accessible to the public, though the plans will still require anyone who wishes to view the archives to get permission to do so.

The house will not be an open museum that charges admission or lets in regular tourists, but something more like a university archive that is accessible by appointment only, designed for serious scholars and those doing research about King’s work and legacy. 

In fact, while Stephen King was still living at his house in Bangor, he generally discouraged visitors. A question on the FAQ on his website reads, “Do you really have a haunted house at your home on Halloween?” 

“Absolutely not,” says the answer. “Don’t come to my house on Halloween. We’ve done trick-or-treat a few times and we had 600 or 800—one time we had 1,400 people show up for candy and treats and it’s fun, it’s great to see everyone, but it wears everybody out and plays hell with the law so we’re not doing that anymore.” 

What about Stephen King’s house photos? 

According to Roadside America, Stephen King’s house in Bangor, Maine is “one of the most photographed-from-the-street celebrity homes in America, trailing perhaps only Graceland.”

This is partly due to the fact that the street is as close as most people are allowed to get. But it probably has even more to do with the fact that the house is so immediately distinctive looking. 

From that unmistakable wrought iron gate to the house’s red-and-white color scheme, there’s no question that you’re looking at a photo of Stephen King’s house.

And photos from the street are fine, though local authorities and the King family encourage visitors to respect both the family’s privacy (while they were still there) and the fact that the house is located in a residential neighborhood.

Which is to say: don’t block traffic, don’t litter, be respectful of the neighbors, that sort of thing. 

There are other things to be seen in the neighborhood, too, including an elaborate tree sculpture on the King property, as well as other historic homes galore.

And if you want to take a trip to Stephen King’s house in Maine and are disappointed at the prospect of not getting to go inside, there are other King-related attractions in the area, including tours that will take you around the town of Bangor and show you places that correspond to locations in King’s fictional town of Derry including the Paul Bunyan statue and the famous standpipe, which both feature prominently in IT, one of King’s most iconic novels

Of course, these tours will also take you by what was, until recently, Stephen King’s house and tell you all the most up-to-date information on it. 

Featured image: Atlas Obscura