some questions about the book ... unexplainable?

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Rockym

Well-Known Member
Feb 11, 2012
70
212
#23
Your first question I have no answer for. It was an oversight , I think. Barlow should not have been able to enter the house.
I think the coffin was locked because that was policy in the funeral home.
Mark was baptised Catholic. They anoint with holy oil as well as water...all Christian churches do not.
Actually, I believe it was stated in the book that it was Danny Glick that bit little Randy McDougal not Barlow. And I'm not sure if coffins are normally locked or not when buried, but it seems like they might be locked to prevent grave robbing.
 
Jun 2, 2017
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#24
I just finished the book for the first time, and I also wondered about the invitation. The McDougal baby being bitten didn't cross my mind, but Barlow entering the Petrie household did.

I just took it as Type One vampires not needing an invitation in order to enter, but the McDougal situation now raises questions for me. I'm sure it was just an oversight. Still a great story, imo.
 

Aloysius Nell

Well-Known Member
Apr 1, 2014
308
1,001
46
#25
Question 3 --- And with the caveat that I haven't read it in years and don't remember the baptism part.....

Mark was young, and if he wasn't Catholic, he likely was not baptized yet. In most Protestant churches, baptism is more like New Testament baptism than in the Catholic faith - i.e., it is a choice made by someone who has heard the message, believed it, repented of his/her sin, confessed that Jesus is God's son, and THEN been baptized. So it's more than just having a ceremony for a baby who can't do any of that. Why the ceremony means more to a vampire, I couldn't BEGIN to guess!

Not trying to ruffle anyone's feathers, just trying to head off having to reply umpteen times to explain what I'm saying.
 

Aloysius Nell

Well-Known Member
Apr 1, 2014
308
1,001
46
#26
Hi, I'm new here, and I'm glad to find out there are some people so into "Salem's lot" as I am : ) I have some questions which have bothered me since I first read the book.
1. If the vampire has to be invited to the house ( and he has to, as Susan came to her mother, because she had been invited ) , how did a vampire get into the McDougal's house?
I sometimes remind myself that just because we do not "see" every event in the story, they still happen. Sometimes an author is juggling three or four scenes that are occurring simultaneously; well, there are hundreds of other scenes also occurring that we never know about. So just because we don't know when/how a vampire was invited in, does not mean it didn't happen.
 

Aloysius Nell

Well-Known Member
Apr 1, 2014
308
1,001
46
#28
The old 'Vampires can't enter a house without an invite' thing always annoyed me.

I don't need an invite to enter your crib....as a matter of fact, i'll walk right in and eat your sammich too.
You appear to be an atypical vampire....

You're posting during the day, and you take a pretty darn good picture!
 

Kurben

The Fool on the Hill
Apr 12, 2014
8,786
57,834
53
sweden
#29
The old 'Vampires can't enter a house without an invite' thing always annoyed me.

I don't need an invite to enter your crib....as a matter of fact, i'll walk right in and eat your sammich too.
Thats our VampireLily.... Going straight for the jugular but please keep your teeth away from my bacon sandwich!!
 

Doc Creed

Well-Known Member
Nov 18, 2015
15,559
70,876
41
United States
#34
This is entirely speculation on my part, but perhaps Barlowe was able to enter the MacDougal's home because it was so dysfunctional that the "threshold" was very weak- this is how things work in the Dresden Files, where a threshold's strength is dependent on the positive energy associated with being a "home" and a particularly strong supernatural entity might be able to "break" the rules and come through if this energy is lacking. I'm not sure if that's what was intended here, but it's how I would explain it.
Hmmm, never thought of that, Coyo-T. I guess this would help explain what constitutes a home from any other dwelling such as a barn, pub, school, or any other place a vampire can waltz into uninvited. Food for thought. (I'm not saying King subscribes to this logic in his universe, per se).
 

skimom2

Just moseyin' through...
Oct 9, 2013
15,671
91,980
USA
#36
'Salem's Lot is maybe my favorite King book of all, so I love questions like these! Here goes:
1) It was Danny Glick who entered the McDougall home. His invitation could have been as simple as the baby seeing a face at the window and smiling/waving, indicating welcome. Barlow was able to overcome that stricture when he entered the Petrie home because of his great strength and age.

2) Mike may have been surprised that it was locked, but that doesn't mean that it didn't happen occasionally. In this case, the family chose the lock when other families may not have. No big deal. If it had said he was shocked, that would have been a different thing altogether.

3) Many supernatural stories, both written and on film, juxtapose evil against the Catholic church more than any other. When something potentially supernatural happens in most movies/books, do they waltz down and get the closest Baptist minister or Momon bishop? Heck no! It's always a priest. Even Barlow taunts Father Callahan with the fact that he was 'old when your people (Catholics) were hiding in sewers and painting fish on themselves" (or something along those lines--I'm too lazy to go get the book for the exact quote--lol). The book tells us that Mark's parents were casual Christians (Methodist, maybe? Can't remember for sure, but Mr. King tends to fall back on what he knows when it comes to religion), so it's possible that he was already baptized. However, the Catholic Church recognizes baptism from most Christian denominations (he wouldn't have to be rebaptized), so I suspect he was not baptized prior to his time in Mexico. Staro is right--there is more to joining the Catholic Church when you're older than a baby than just holy water--there is catechism (knowing the basics of the faith and proving you know them) and anointing with oil as well. Maybe it is the fact of the religion being so old and the rites being nearly as old that makes that particular faith seem stronger against evil than other Christian religions, all of which grew from this religious root? Something to think about, anyway :)

Welcome!
 

Steve in WI

Active Member
Sep 17, 2017
38
167
34
#38
3. Why was Mark Petrie baptized after he and Ben left Salem? Wasn't he a Christian before ?
I'm not sure it's ever explicitly said in the book that the Petrie family is particularly religious. In fact, given how much attention is paid to his father's rigid sense of rationality and inability to conceive of supernatural evil, it seems reasonable to guess that the family isn't especially religious. (They probably identified as Christian, though, and Mark could have been baptized as an infant even if his family wasn't super-active in the church, but I think it's at least plausible that he wasn't).
 
Apr 3, 2018
4
16
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#39
I’ve just finished re-reading Salem’s Lot, which is one my favourites from King. However one thing about the novel has always bothered me, something that I hoped (in vain) my recent re-read would clear up. It concerns the small detail that eventually leads to Barlow’s undoing- that of the blue chalk on his hands which leads the vampire-hunters to Eva’s boarding house. I have always wondered, did Barlow get the chalk on his hands while moving the pool table and other things around in Eva’s basement to set it up as his new hiding spot? If so, how did this happen, ie. why would he be touching the tips of the pool cues or the chalk cubes so directly as to leave lasting smears on his fingers? And wouldn’t the crafty vampire have noticed this clue on his own fingers? The only other possibility (the one that really bothers me) is the possible suggestion that Barlow, after waking in his new hiding spot, and with a full nights work of vampire-hunter hunting ahead of him... ahem.. decided to first play a bit of pool. Surely this is not the explanation for the chalk? Hope someone can rid me of the image of Barlow the pool shark.
 

FlakeNoir

Original Kiwi© SKMB®
Moderator
Apr 11, 2006
41,598
162,310
New Zealand
#40
I’ve just finished re-reading Salem’s Lot, which is one my favourites from King. However one thing about the novel has always bothered me, something that I hoped (in vain) my recent re-read would clear up. It concerns the small detail that eventually leads to Barlow’s undoing- that of the blue chalk on his hands which leads the vampire-hunters to Eva’s boarding house. I have always wondered, did Barlow get the chalk on his hands while moving the pool table and other things around in Eva’s basement to set it up as his new hiding spot? If so, how did this happen, ie. why would he be touching the tips of the pool cues or the chalk cubes so directly as to leave lasting smears on his fingers? And wouldn’t the crafty vampire have noticed this clue on his own fingers? The only other possibility (the one that really bothers me) is the possible suggestion that Barlow, after waking in his new hiding spot, and with a full nights work of vampire-hunter hunting ahead of him... ahem.. decided to first play a bit of pool. Surely this is not the explanation for the chalk? Hope someone can rid me of the image of Barlow the pool shark.
Welcome to the message board lurkeratthethreshold, it's been so long since I read this, hopefully somebody else will have an answer for you.
 
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