Stephen King, IT, and The Neighbors From Hell
Stephen King is in the spotlight again. The writer, who turns 70 today (Sept. 21), has a remake of his classic horror novel ‘IT’ in theaters (and it’s getting great reviews!).
For someone who writes such creative and nightmare-inducing tales, King’s day-to-day life is surprisingly quiet and mundane – he splits his time between Bangor, Maine and Sarasota, Florida. King does like some noise when he’s writing; he cranks up the volume on local rock station WKIT (which he owns). But when his writing is done for the day, he likes to kick back and relax.
The King house in Bangor is a rambling Victorian mansion that is famous locally for the wrought-iron fence that surrounds the property, parts of which have been used to form the shapes of bats, dragons, and other scary creatures. The house is situated on the west side of town, in a residential neighborhood that is peaceful and quiet – usually.
But a few years ago, the Kings acquired the neighbors from hell. The new additions made noise at all hours, failed to keep up the property, and began doing sheet-metal work in the back yard.
The noise and odor came to be more than the Kings could bear. King called a local realtor. “Go see those people next door,” he said. “Tell them that someone in town is interested in acquiring the property, even though there’s no “For Sale” sign out. But for God’s sake, don’t tell them it’s me, or their asking price will go through the roof.”
The realtor complied with King’s request and paid a visit to the neighbors from hell, saying that an individual who preferred to remain nameless was interested in the property. The man looked at the realtor and grinned. “You tell King that if he wants this place, he can have it – for one million bucks.”
The realtor called King with the bad news. “He knows it’s you, Steve, and won’t sell for less than a million dollars. Sorry the plan didn’t work.”
But the realtor had underestimated just how much Stephen King disliked his noisy neighbors. After a few seconds’ silence, he said, “Tell the bastard he’s got a deal.”
So, King became the proud owner of the house next door. He had it renovated extensively, inside and out. The Kings use it now as a guest house – as long as their visitors promise not to do any sheet metal work during their stay.