The Shining


Here it is: the book that jump-started my curiosity and sent me on my life-long journey through the world of Stephen King. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, I had made the descision to save The Shining for the end of My Long Walk with the King, to serve as a perfect conclusion for what will be a years-long adventure. Much has changed since that decision was made. For all of us. We have quarantined. We have isolated ourselves from each other, many of us trading the warmth of a hug for an unfortunate return to old habits. When the pandemic started, I thought to myself, “Well, I may have lost my job, but at least now I have plenty of time to catch up on all of my unfinished projects!” Months later I wondered what happened to all that extra time? Falling into old patterns of laziness was far too easy, especially with the excuse of “well…it’s 2020” conveniently locked and loaded. Almost all of the forty pounds I lost have been packed back on. My anxiety and depression have both returned like faithful friends who stayed out for one drink too many, laughing and yelling about what I’ve missed, in a language only they understand. Previously enjoyable activities like playing board games, painting miniatures, and reading Stephen King, have all morphed into panic inducing tasks to be avoided.

Well…it’s 2020.

With all of this swirling in the air around me, the choice to move The Shining back into its proper place in the chronology was an obvious (and necessary) one. Perhaps there is some therapy and self care to be found within it’s 659 pages.

What a strange thing that would be.

The Kubrick Conundrum, or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love CBS

Until now, I had no idea it was possible to become retroactively upset about a book’s film adaptation. This was not my first read of The Shining, and I have logged multiple watches of the Stanley Kubrick film (I am on record in several episodes of Measuring Flicks stating my enjoyment of the film.) I was thrilled to pull up The Shining on Prime for my obligatory post-book screening.

What happened? Why was I not digging it this time around?

The book hadn’t changed since I first cracked its cover all those years ago. And as far as I know, Warner Brothers has not recently “tweaked” the film, nor have they made any changes to the edit (a popular trend and not outside the realm of possibility.) The movie varies greatly from its source material: it’s impossible to miss, and until now, I have been more than satisfied with how different they are. It’s abundantly clear that Kubrick was taking extreme liberties with the source material. And damn well he should! One of the most brilliant minds in the history of cinema should certainly feel free to paint his picture with every madness-stained brush he has at his disposal. But sadly, on this most recent spin, it felt less like enjoying a painting and more like choking on dirty brush water.

So, if the book hasn’t changed…and the movie hasn’t changed…then that just leaves…

Well, shit.

A lot of life has happened in the thirty years that have passed since I last read The Shining. Situations that I once saw as being simply scary, now resonate on a much deeper level. Reading the book when I was much younger, I saw the struggles of two parents through Danny’s eyes, taking in only what I was capable of understanding. Reading the book as an adult, I find myself sitting awkwardly on Jack and Wendy’s side of the table wondering how the hell I got there. Marital struggles, alcoholism, unemployment, and mental instability were all themes that were glossed over in my pre-teen brain. The problems and worries of adulthood are now standing center stage, hideously exposed in a grotesque full monty. And I can’t look away.

This is a testament to King’s writing style and the intense focus and care he takes with creating his characters. He allows his readers to find their way into the story through the eyes of whoever is most relatable to them at the time.

The same is true for the horrors and wonders that King manifests in his stories. When you’re young, it’s all about a ghost in the bathtub, a firehose that moves like a snake in the hallway, and a boy with special powers. For an adult, it’s a struggling marriage, a fear of unemployment, and a boy with special needs (also tub ghosts and fireshose snakes.)

I dare say this is Stephen King at his finest.

Many, including myself, have said the same for Stanley Kubrik and his film adaptation. Discovering that I’ve earned the necessary life experience to see Stephen King’s adult characters more clearly is the cause for my change in heart towards the Kubrik classic. I could write volumes upon volumes to describe the many ways the movie strays from the book, but I feel my thoughts can be summed up with a single word.


From frame one, I get the sense that good ole’ Jack is already one hot fart away from mentally shitting his pants. The movie becomes all about Jack Nicholson’s over-the-top performance and Stanley Kubrik’s hypnotic visual tapestry, while leaving the human side of the story somewhere back in Sidewinder. The Kubrik flick should be viewed on it’s own merit as a unique piece of art, and not as a direct film adaptation. I’m sure I’ll come back around to digging the movie again once the emotional impact of this most recent read has been given time to fade.

Thankfully for us, CBS was totally in love with Stephen King back in the 1990’s and adapted many of his books into mini-series, including The Stand, The Tommyknockers, IT, and The Shining. King wrote the teleplay for The Shining and (unsuprisingly) follows the book damn near beat for beat! We are also blessed with Rebecca Demornay as Wendy and Steven Webber (that’ right, the cute brother from Wings) as Jack. Both give performances that feel honest and occasionally nuanced. The first episode is a bit of a slog, and drips with that “made for TV in the mid-90’s feel”, complete with unnecessary mini-cliffhangers leading into each commercial break (which only adds to its charm.) But hold on tight, because much like the book that came before it, this mini-series is all about the threat of things that hide just beneath the surface. A wasp’s nest humming under rotting shingles. A fat, greedy furnace begging for more steam to choke on. A perfectly crafted cocktail of family drama and raw horror.

As wonderful as the mini-series is, it still pales in comparison to what Stephen King gave us way back in 1977 with release of his third novel, The Shining.

The Novel:

One could spend hours digging into The Shining and only ever find more bread crumbs to follow. It’s so dense it makes my head spin. There are, however, two thoughts that keep popping into my head. The first is the phrase, “The acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree.” The second – why are those Hedge Animals so terrifying?

Decades before the Doctor faced off with Weeping Angels, Stephen King introduced us to the vision-based movement of the Overlook’s Hedge Animals. At their core, both the Weeping Angels and Hedge Animals freak me out for the same reason. With most threats in horror, the victim has no control over the behaviour of the Thing that persues them. Michael Meyers will just keep coming, slow and steady, until he can slide his sharp piece of metal into your body. Freddy Krueger will play around in your dreams, teasing you with the taste of death before ripping you to shreds with his homemade murder glove. The Shark, the Ghoul, the One That Follows, are all coming for you and there is nothing you can do about it.

The Hedge Animal’s pursuit can be halted. All you have to do is never look away. Once in view, the Hedge Animals loose their ability to hunt and become frozen in place. Frozen but still hungry. They will remain silent and still, but will never stop dreaming of turning your body into chewed up piles of meat. Driven by a desire to taste what you are made of, they require no other source of energy to survive. You require food to survive, and exaustion is inevitable. Eventually your eyes must close. This illusion of agency is such a painful twist of the knife and why I find them (along with the Weeping Angels) to be one of the more terrifying creatures I have encountered in fiction.

This is all extremely horrific, but knowing what these bundles of sticks and greenery represent makes it so much worse. I see the Hedge Animals as the manifestation of those problems we turn our backs to while we wish them out of existence. We try to turn Not Seeing into Believing. But the grass menagerie is always there. Constantly gaining ground.

Hush now. Just close your eyes and count to ten.

Leaving the green grotesqueries behind us, let’s take a peek at the second thought that keeps bubbling up to the surface. The one concerning that old phrase, “The acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

This is a phrase my dad is quite fond of. He employs its use more frequently than necessary, and always through a clever smirk that gives the impression he believes this is the first time in human history the phrase has ever been uttered. I’ll give you two guesses who does the exact same thing through the exact same smirk…

Like father, like son. Where did Danny get his ability to Shine? Was it passed down from father to son? This notion is explored briefly through conversations between Danny and Dick Hallorann, but is never quite fully acknowledged. There are plenty of hints that Jack has the ability to Shine, with his coversations with Grady being chief among them. The Overlook taps into both Danny and Jack as soon as they walk through the front door. “Here’s one with a history of violence and alcohol abuse. He could be useful to us. Oh, but this young one has enough juice to keep the party going well past midnight!”

When The Shining was first released, and in the years to follow, many would read it and wonder how they would have handled a winter at the Overlook. Would the cabin fever set in? Would the glass stay empty, or would we have Grady shake us up a couple Martians? As of this writing, we are now in the second year of a global pandemic. Winter has come and gone, and many of us have dicovered answers to those questions that were once rhetorical.

I will be spending more time diving into my personal experiences to link (hopefully) cleverly back to The Shining, but some old ghosts have begun to stir, and for now, I prefer they stay sleeping. I am putting a pin in the story that started this journey to come back to with a fresh perspective once the empty skies of winter have been filled with a few more birds of spring.

There will still be challenges for all of us in the coming months as vaccines are in a race with virus varients for the wellness of friends and family. Unlike the Torrance family, we still have the ability to reach out and communicate with eachother and the rest of the outside world. The phone lines are all up and the radios are still humming. This is not the end of the road for The Shining and me. A brief pause as I head on down the road to discover what delights are in store in Night Shift, King’s first published collection of short stories.

The road I walk with the King is long and treacherous, and I am still only a few miles from home. The farther I travel, the more I fear getting lost in the ice covered mountains of intention, with nothing but the voices of Nay Say to keep me company. It would be so much easier to turn around now and hurry back home to the warmth and comfort of stories that calm and soothe my spirit. Stories that lack teeth. Stories that hold no influence over the ghosts that sleep in dark corners. Here the Nay Say voices soften to barely audible mutterings of, “I told you so.” Here I can relax, put my feet up, and leave the road to be walked far behind me.

Funny. I don’t remember our apartment having such elaborate landscaping.

If I didn’t know better I’d say that hedgerow looks a lot like…

Well, shit.

Salem’s Lot


I co-host a weekly film appreciation podcast with my buddy, Max, called Measuring Flicks, where I am able to watch and chat about all kinds of movies. From highbrow French art pieces like Le Samouraï, to schlocky horror flicks like Halloween 4, and all the fun in between. We cover it all! I have had a sincere fondness for movies my entire life, and the Vampire sub-genre has always been one of my favorites. (Go listen to our conversation on Vampire’s Kiss starring Nick Cage, available on ITunes and Spotify) From the beautifully haunted and perfect vampires of Interview with a Vampire, to Santa Carla’s boardwalk biking bloodsuckers of The Lost Boys, oh my how I love them all so! I have watched “The Two Coreys” duke it out with Kiefer Sutherland on at least a hundred occasions, with each viewing filling me with pure joy and delight. Naturally, my love for these movies eventually led me to the world of vampires in literature. I had already fallen in love with Bella Lugosi and his portrayal of Dracula, so Stoker’s original novel was ready and primed to seduce me. I was thrilled to find that Interview with a Vampire was only the first in a series of books to become deeply obsessed with. Somehow, even with all of this deep diving into the world of vampires, I never dipped my toe into Salem’s Lot. Not until now. How the hell is that even possible?

Not all vampires are created equal. I don’t care for those that sparkle, and I am terrified of the one who stands at my window, floating there, just barely visible in the moonlight, whispering to me through blood soaked fangs as my eyes fight to stay open, “No sleep yet, boy. Not until you let me in.” Fuck that Nosferatu looking piece of sun bleached dog shit! That one has been scaring me into pee soaked sheets since before I can remember. That one makes me wake up in the middle of the night to find my body locked in sleep paralysis with the floating images of my most recent nightmare projected onto my bedroom wall. It is that type of type of window lurking, paralyzing, nightmare inducing vampire that King has welcomed into his small town of Salem’s Lot. That is why I have avoided this book for so many years. But, when I made up my mind to walk through the world of King’s writings for a fun little side project, I would eventually find myself dancing with the devil. I feel like I need a friendly hand to hold for todays little adventure, but the only one currently being offered belongs to The Boogyman.

Salem’s Lot

Another small town on fire. This sleepy little town feels so much different than the one I last visited in Carrie. I was introduced to so many more unique residents here in Jerusalem’s Lot, and grew fond and familiar (with most of them) in only of few pages. King proves to be a master of both horror and world building. I don’t think I can actually refer to what he does as “world building”. With King it always feels closer to something like “small town familiarization”, or “nostalgia fabrication”. In either case, I got to know the residents of this now familiar town right down to the exact kind of sludge that grows under their toenails.

Salem’s Lot begins by introducing the only two survivors as they are on the run and in hiding, having escaped something horrific, but as of yet unknown to the reader. Tired, hungry, and terrified, they decide to return home after learning that what they left unfinished has caught up with them. This is a very curious opening to the story, giving me just enough information about what will happen to make the re-telling of events all the more stressful to my delicate constitution. Questions are constantly popping into my head as I read. Questions like, “Well this old lady seems nice, but she wasn’t with the two survivors I read about at the beginning…so what the fuck happens to her?” and “is this Bed and Breakfast going to become a Dead and Breakfast?” (Dad jokes are free of charge) Dropping the reader in with this kind of limited information is incredibly clever, and keeps the tension humming along even when we don’t realize it is there. If we ever do forget about the tension, King is right there to remind us of its presence. It’s like relaxing on a calm summers evening and suddenly realizing the crickets are no longer chirping. What made them stop? How long has it been silent? Is someone there? That’s when the pee comes out.

Once we are plopped back down at the proper beginning of the story, we learn that one of our future survivors is an author who has returned home to write his next novel. His new book heavily features the old Marsten residence, the haunted old house on the hill that tormented him when he was a child. He has words to write and demons to face. We have a sleepy little town, a haunted house on a hill, a prodigal son returning home with a troubled soul…what could possibly go wrong?

A creepy house on a hill. Small towns require it in their bylaws that there is to be at least one such hilltop residence within the city limits. My home town of Big Rapids certainly met this requirement, with one on a hill next to the old Middle School, and one right up the street from my parents house . I had the pleasure of taking my weekly piano lessons at the one on the hill. No shit! The haunted house on the hill in Big Rapids was home to my dearly departed piano teacher, Betty, and her husband, Norman. Every inch of their house felt like you were walking through a Maytag full of wool socks and no dryer sheet. Their house smelled like baked dust and old danishes, and always gave me the feeling that it was leaning ever so slightly towards the center of town. Norm was famous for having a Gomez Adams style train set in his attic and he loved to show it off to Betty’s students. He asked me dozens of times if I wanted to see it, but I could never manage the courage to make it up to the attic. I tried many times to climb those stairs, but as soon as my foot would hit that first step up to Norm’s land of miniature trees and park benches, my legs would forget how to work and that old stairwell would yawn it’s hungry mouth wide open for me, revealing itself to be dark and endless. Vacant save for the anticipation of something terrible inside. David Lynch’s lingering shots of closed doors and open ended hallways owe much to Norm’s stairwell. Norm’s trains were jaw dropping in their detail and a magnificent site to behold, according to those that braved the stairs to see them. I never would.

Creepy houses on the hill are not always evil. Sometimes they can be playful and offer a chance to learn as they thin the veil between worlds. Some are more like the Marsten house, full of the kind of evil that turns healthy blood into sugar-free Kool Aid. There is another house, much like the Marsten’s, that sits not even a block away from where I grew up, and where my parents still live. Aside from that poop of a stairwell, Norm and Betty’s house never really bothered me as it generally felt more harmless and playful. The house up the street from my parent’s served as our towns Asylum until it was converted to a private residence in the late 1950’s. On two occasions I got to personally experience what it is like to be worked over by unkind spirits in that house. The first incident occurred during an overnight birthday party, with me waking up in a “slightly different” location than the one I fell asleep in. The second happened just after steeling a first kiss from one of the girls that lived there. (I am saving the details of those little nuggets for when we romp through that whacky hotel in the mountains) Having grown up around a couple of haunted houses and experiencing their behavior allowed me to immediately understand what the Marsten house represents and what it feels like to have it stare into my soul. King is so delightfully grim in the way he breathes life into that creepy old house that I imagine even those readers who may not have grown up with their own personal “house on a hill”, will be able to understand what that would have been like and learn to fear its constant gaze.

We get introduced to the residents of Salem’s Lot as King walks us through an entire day of business, chores, and interactions beginning at 4:30 in the morning with the milkman’s daily deliveries, and concluding at 11:59 as the old day rolls over into new with King’s incredible sentence, “the day trembled on the edge of extinction.” A lot happens during this first day. We meet most of our main players and a host of tertiary characters. All of them are important. All of them are a functioning part of life in Salem’s Lot. All of them are super fucked and don’t know it! This way of introducing us to the town and her residents as the hours roll by, is absolutely brilliant. It feels like we are reading the journal of an entire city’s population at once, with standard introductions giving way to insight and familiarity. Instead of spending heaps of pages digging into each and every character here (which would be super easy to do given the amount of depth King has given to even the most minor of town folk) I will be taking a snapshot look at our good guys, The Scoobies, (thank you Buffy) and our bad guys, Straker and Barlow. The day long journal entry has been kind to us and has provided names for our Scoobies, with Ben, the writer, Matt, the teacher, Father Callahan, the priest, Mark, the student, and Susan, the lover. Our baddies are Barlow, the vampire and Straker, his human familiar. Straker we get a clear introduction for, while Barlow stays hidden in the shadows until his dark influence is required.

When I reflected on Carrie, I wrote about how she was one of my favorite characters in the King-averse, as she gave me hope when dealing with bullies. As you know, I came to Salem’s Lot late, with this being my first ever read of the book. Had young Karl been brave enough to face the vampires of Salem’s Lot, he would have had the distinct pleasure of meeting a young man named Mark Petrie. Mark shows us a much better (and healthier) example of how to handle a bully. It is crazy how much Mark and I have in common. We are both avid readers, we are thespians and writers, model builders and painters, and we both have a history of being harassed by bullies. But THIS kid does NOT take any shit! He uses his smarts and cunning to outwit and outmaneuver his schoolyard nemesis and succeeds at putting his dick in the dirt. Forty-two year old me let out a very loud cheer of, “Oh fuck yah, kid!” from my reading chair…at 5:30 in the morning…on a Sunday, upon reading of Mark’s successful fending off of his bully. I was overjoyed by the way Mark was able to analyze the situation and methodically take down his opponent. Decades before Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes, Mark Petrie is pre-visualizing, calculating all possible outcomes, and kicking ass in slow-motion. I fucking LOVE this kid!

As the sun sets on this first day of our visit to Salem’s Lot, two brothers, Ralphie and Danny Glick will walk through the woods to hang out with our new BFF, Mark. These brothers will never make it to Mark’s house and will become our first two human victims. (a dog gets gutted and hung from a gate earlier in the day) “No kids. No Dogs” Two taboos are crossed off the list in the first hundred pages!

It is damn near impossible for me to not draw some sort of correlation between vampires spreading through a town and the spread of an infectious disease. Danny Glick is our patient zero. He spreads his vampirism laced cold to his brother, Ralphie, who will in turn pass it on to the rest of his friends and family. Like a killer virus, the vampire flu starts very small, but quickly gains unstoppable momentum. The town of Salem’s Lot is a body, her population are the cells that flow through her veins. Vampirism is the cancer that spreads unbounded, taking the once vibrant life of its host and turning it into something sick and pleading. Even here in the early days of his career, I can see the bigger wheels turning in King’s mind. A house on the hill where evil stirs will become a hotel shaped monster in the mountains, and the spread of death through a small town will earn the rank of Captain before burying the world. For now, here in Salem’s Lot, he starts small. Here we will only have to deal with killing our neighbors, our lovers, our friends, and our families, while our enemies mock us from beyond the grave.

Not all is lost, though, our Scooby gang is here! Too bad they are 76 kinds of worthless and have less than a common clue between them. They get their asses handed to them time and again. They make horrible choices. They LOVE to split up when they should be sticking together and they are constantly having to squirm around local law enforcement while trying desperately to deal with their little vampire situation. It is a capital “S” Shit Show from day zero with these chuckle heads. Matt suffers a heart attack and gets hospitalized. Ben gets the snot kicked out of him and gets parked in the same hospital. That is TWO of our heroes nearly taken out before anything significant has even happened! (Well, there was the gutted dog and the two Glick kids, and a few other cases of vampire sickness…it just feels super early in the game for this kind of tomfuckery) Our “A” team is barely competent, acting and reacting to this crazy situation the only way they know how, but are constantly failing. This sounds like a complaint, but oddly enough, it isn’t! This freaking WORKS! It shows us a reflection of ourselves and how we may behave in the same situation. It feels real…and painfully so. The Scoobies take their instruction from an old teacher as he sifts through every book he can find available on the subject of vampires. They grab the nearest priest and hope that a lifetime of seeing the worst in mankind hasn’t shaken his faith into a million pieces. Father Callahan joins hands with the rest of the gang for a time, until that faith problem inevitably surfaces and we bid him farewell in one of the most pathetic “leaving town on a bus” scenes I have ever read. Don’t worry. I have a feeling we will be seeing him again on our long walk. (The Tower beckons, even now.)

While our Scoobies are figuring out their next move, let’s take a moment to chat a bit more about vampires. As I mentioned at the top of this piece, I am a huge fan of vampires in fiction, and dig on most of them. They get pretty silly in My Best Friend is a Vampire, and super rowdy in Fright Night, but I love them both equally! There are so many styles and flavors to choose from. Hip and sexy, dark and brooding, hideous and hungry, or pale and sparkling. They all have a place at the table in the private dining room of my heart. (yes, even the sparkly ones. They are just not my favorite. That’s why they are seated at the kids table) Our head vampire in Salem’s Lot is very much a Nosferatu clone. Tall, pale, thin, hideous, and straight out of the nightmares you thought were forgotten. There are no tea parties or weeping at operas for this gent. Nope! He has just arrived in a box full of earth from the old country and is here to steal the sun from your days and forever fuck up your nights! His army will continue to grow as he sends his crossbreeds to our windows for us to willingly open for them. No matter the type or style of vampire, this seems to be a constant rule. They must be invited in. This fact has always chilled my blood below nominal drinking temperature. Yes, they may have some power or influence over us when they ask for admittance, but we crack open the door. We pull up the window. We LET THEM in!

Vampires often need a human or two around to help with their dirty work, and Straker is here to provide that service. Straker freaks me out, for what he lacks in vampirish hideousness, he more than makes up for with his unyielding cruelty and undying willingness to do anything for his master. Barlow is powerful, strategic, cunning and wise, but needs Straker’s skill and his ability to walk in the daylight in order to succeed. Straker will enlist other humans to unknowingly assist in his master’s plans. If it weren’t for the greedy and nefarious nature of a handful of the Lot’s human residents, Barlow’s plans may have been halted, or at the very least slowed. Once again, King blurs the line between being a human and being a monster. Cut me again, Mick!

Now, back to the Scoobies, they should have things just about figured out by n…oh, Jesus Christ. Mark has been captured. Our new friend, The Doc, has been bitten, and Susan has been turned into a vampire. Good. Good job, gang. Thank heavens for Mark. He was at least able to be somewhat effective as he managed to not only escape his capture in the Marsten house, but put some serious hurt on Straker with a rusty bed leg until he died from it. I fucking LOVE this kid!

Susan is totally fucked and has to be staked. Father Callahan has wet himself after an encounter with Barlow and is buying the next bus ticket out of town. Matt, our resident Van Helsing, has suffered a second and fatal heart attack. The Doc has taken a bit of a bad step and has died in the very cellar where Barlow sleeps. Most of the town has developed an aversion to sunlight and has taken to sleeping in. Ok. Just…wow. It’s like watching a horse fall off a bicycle with these people.

We get down to our last couple of good guys, Mark and Ben, pretty quickly once Barlow is on the prowl. It seems so sudden and jarring to be left with only these two, like taking a crazy Ivan right into a lamp post. But, somehow Mark and Ben are able to pull themselves together long enough to find Barlow’s lair and drive a stake through his heart. This is my only real issue with the book. Once the crisis is in full swing and the shit is happily spinning in the fan, we get to the final showdown in Eva’s cellar without a lot of effort. True, we have lost most of our good-guy squad and only a handful of humans remain, but there is something about how they discover Barlow’s hiding place and their final battle with him that is a bit anticlimactic. Like thinking you have built up a room clearing tuba blast of a fart but only managing to push out a sad little squeaker. With the master vampires heart finally staked, our heroes high tale it out of the Lot, leaving the rest of the town to suffer.

Salem’s Lot does give us a satisfying and somewhat open ended epilogue as our two heroes return home to finish the task of clearing out the remaining vampires. That is where we leave them, with unspeakable acts to perform, and no end in sight. Even after turning the final page of Salem’s Lot and moving on to more lighter fare with the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett, and the latest Star Wars novel, I can still see them. Forever hunting. Forever kicking in doors. Forever introducing the hearts of their neighbors to the pointy end of a stick.

What a blast this book was to finally read! It felt incredibly satisfying to finally have the balls to face my vampire at the window. Once this long walk with the King project has come to an end, I see myself revisiting Salem’s Lot to visit old friends and high-five that kick ass kid, Mark, one more time. For anyone wanting a decent film adaptation, there is a made for television movie that Tobe Hooper, director of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Poltergeist, made that is widely available. Hooper manages to keep the vampires SUPER creepy looking and keeps most of the story elements and characters intact. There are only a few moments that really scream, “made for television”, but ultimately adds to its 70’s charm.

This brief stop in Salem’s Lot has come to an end and it is time for me to lace up my walking shoes and continue on down the road. A mile down the path and I have come to crossroads. Well this is interesting, there are street signs in the middle of a haunted forest and they look to be brand new. They even shine as if highly polished by caring hands. The path I currently walk down continues on towards that hotel in the mountains. “King Street” is stamped on it’s sign. This new road that crosses it and winds down towards an old High School is stamped “Bachman Boulevard”. According to this map I found in Eva’s Boarding House, these two roads will continue to intersect each other every few miles or so. Well shit then, that means I can take my first stroll down “Bachman Boulevard” and not worry about getting lost on my way to the Overlook Hotel! Looks like I’m headed back to High School. Dammit, the first bell is ringing. I’m going to be late for class!

Karl Hartley – 2/21/2020