Salem’s Lot by Stephen King

 Happy Halloween Spooky Readers,

It wasn’t till 2020 that I rediscovered my love of Stephen King maybe we can blame the IT reboot. I do think when I started reading Stephen King, I think I skipped Salem’s Lot and didn’t read it till this year. I know this series has had a couple of screen adaptions and I haven’t seen them I think I am going to wait till the new tv series adaption is out next year.

Salem’s Lot is slow building but rewarding book, Stephen uses his time to build great characters and create fascinating back stories. Despite the extensive world building the story never dawdles, the suspense and sense of foreboding is rife. Once the foundation was laid Stephen King ups the ante and unveils the full horror of the vampires and it unravels quickly in a way that made me feel the helplessness of a bad dream. Other than Pet Cemetery this is one of the Stephen King books that I found genuinely scary at times. I lost track of the number of times this book raised the hairs the back of my neck and genuine sense of foreboding added to the helplessness I felt while reading this book.

This town of Salem’s lot itself is more a character than just a setting as odd as that sounds. The town has a long, dark history, but at the centre of its wickedness seems to be the Marsten house that is obviously located on the top of a creepy hill. The Marsten house has been scared by its menacing history and the house is just as ominous to the adults as the local mischievous kids.

While reading Salem’s Lot I realised the evil man can do is far more destructive to society than a thousand-year-old vampire. A scary thought right?  This is a book that shows the harsh reality of humanity and how everything isn’t just black a white or good vs bad but that there are shades of grey with everyone you meet.  The townspeople beat their children, cheat on their husbands, drink, and bully.

I am really not here for the sparkly vampires in the words of the great Anne Boleyn Sorry not sorry. The way Stephen describes his vampires is more in the vein of the traditional vampire myth that I know from Stoker's Dracula and of the classic movie Nosferatu. Through the years, vampires have morphed into something less confined, with the power to enjoy light and withstand the sight of a crucifix. There is no glamour or sparkles or love triangles here, just dark, blood and evil.

While bringing up the vampire lore in Salem's Lot it is one of the few Vampire books where we have children who have been turned into vampires. Vampire kids staring through windows at night doesn’t freak me out as much as it should. However, thank you Mr King for reminding me that the black-eyed children are a thing and what I really mean from the bottom of my heart go sit on a cactus. 

Remember dear reader if you plan to go to the lovely little town of Salem’s lot don’t forget your Crucifix’s, stakes through the heart work here, and all the customary vampire traditions apply here and be very careful who you invite into your home.

Stay Spooky L x