Are you an aspiring horror writer? If so, you may have the opportunity to learn from the master, as the City Council of Bangor, Maine has approved a motion filed by Stephen King and his wife, Tabitha, to convert their sprawling mansion there into a non-profit. The mansion itself will serve as an archive for King’s work and will be open for restricted visits by appointment. The guest house will serve as a writer’s retreat, which can host up to five authors at a time.
As King explained in a Facebook post:
“We are in the very beginning of planning the writers’ retreat at the house next door, providing housing for up to five writers in residence at a time. The zoning change getting press coverage was the first step. We are one to two years away from an operating retreat. The archives formerly held at the University of Maine will be accessible for restricted visits by appointment only. There will not be a museum and nothing will be open to the public, but the archives will be available to researchers and scholars.”
The reason for the restrictive access is a deliberate effort to prevent this from turning into a tourist trap, as it is still located in a residential area with neighbors who live there full-time. Only the Kings’ abode was reclassified as a non-profit establishment, not the whole neighborhood. As it stands, fans already drive up and take pictures from outside the mansion’s brick and metal gates.
Bangor planning officer David Gould told the New England Cable News:
“[The Kings] did not want the house to become a Dollywood or some kind of tourist attraction. That would bring all sorts of people to the neighborhood, and they have other neighbors that live there.”
Rest assured, it looks as though the community is in favor of this transition. Longtime Bangor resident Stu Tinker said:
“I think it’s great. Steve and Tabby are so generous, not only to Bangor but to the whole state, and they do it from the heart and they’re not doing it for publicity.”
Bangor served as the inspiration for Derry, the haunted town from ‘It’, so it attracts a certain number of fans for that reason alone. But in recent years, Stephen and Tabitha have spent little time at their home there, which led to the decision to convert it into something that could benefit aspiring writers. The Kings have a more secluded home in Florida, where they spend most of their time, and one Oxford County, Maine. They also spend a lot of time traveling.
Would you like to spend a weekend in the Kings’ guest house? Or are you afraid you might discover some of the horrors that inspired Stephen’s books?
Source: Rolling Stone