We visited Bangor in May 2015 and spent a week and a half exploring Bangor and other parts of Maine that inspired Stephen King. We stayed appropriately in a trailer park in Hermon – just north west of Bangor.
I say appropriately, because this is where young struggling writer King lived in a trailer.
Our first exploration stop was a train yard not far from Hermon that could easily have been the inspiration for the Derry Train Yards, however our research leads us to believe that the true inspiration for the Derry Train Yards were the old Bangor Maine Central Yards – Read more about the Derry Train Yards & 29 Neibolt Street HERE.
In downtown Bangor, we shot this view of the Penobscot Theater – the inspiration for the Aladdin Theater in ‘IT’.
Although the Theater was closed, we explained what we were doing and were treated to a short tour inside where we saw the balcony that the Losers sat in.
This photo was shot from the former Greyhound Bus Terminal parking lot – right next door to the Main Tavern which is the real life inspiration for the Falcon Bar in Derry.
This is where the Greyhound passengers would get on and off the buses. The ramp leads to the Bus Terminal and the Falcon Bar.
The front of the old Greyhound Terminal and Falcon (Main Tavern) Bar:
…and a view from 2011 showing the Greyhound Bus Terminal before it closed. (Image from Google Maps)
We spent some time at the Falcon Bar, and I had enough Sam Adams that they gave me a free promo Sam Adams hat!
When we saw the Canal for the first time it wasn’t hard to imagine Pennywise and his balloons floating down there. We all float down here…
This is the inspiration for the killing of Adrian Mellon in ‘IT’. The real life inspiration was the killing of Charlie Howard here in 1984.
Of course a visit to Derry wouldn’t be complete without visiting Up-Mile Hill aka Hammond Street:
We visited the Derry Town House where the Losers Club stayed when they came back to Derry as adults:
One of the creepiest and unbelievable real-life inspirations in Derry is the 1937 shooting of Al Brady and Clarence Lee Shaffer Jr. in the middle of Central Street by FBI. This inspired with only minor changes the Bradley Gang shooting in Derry! The red circle indicates a block placed to mark where Brady fell dead that day.
The fact that these blocks remain in place speaks a bit to the ghoulish nature of ‘Derry’.
Heading north east out of Derry on Route 2 toward Orono, where King went to the University of Maine, we found a junkyard and quarry right beside each other that fit the descriptions in IT and Stand by Me (The Body) to a T. We know that traveling along Route 2 on a regular basis inspired several things for King, including Randall Flagg and The Running Man. It is also interesting that right next door to King’s childhood home in West Durham was a large quarry, so both locations may have made a strong impression on him.