Why Salems Lot is the scariest book of Stephen King

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John13

Active Member
Sep 25, 2016
39
149
32
#1
Warning:NOT the best but the scariest. In fact i think that the main characters are rather underdeveloped. But contrary to other books, in this the focus is on the supernatural and not on creating convincing characters. With that said, i think the idea of a family member becoming a vampire is one of the scariest things i can imagine. Surely Barlow is very scary himself but the most heart breaking scenes are those when dead family members come back to life and go and bite their relatives
 

kingricefan

All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.
Jul 11, 2006
28,344
115,497
Spokane, WA
#2
'Salem's Lot was the very first King book I read (way back in the day when it was first released in paperback) and it's still my favorite. It's not the best written King book, but it sure packs a lot of scare in it. I grew up in a small town in western Pennsylvania and I knew people in real life that were exactly like the characters that Steve put in that book.
 

Rrty

Well-Known Member
Jun 4, 2007
1,286
3,981
#6
Very interesting thread.

It is really funny, because I think Lot is exceptionally well-written. Extremely poetic in certain sections (darkly poetic, I should say).

As far as scary, yes, it can be (I remember the Marsten house scene scaring me when I first read it), but for me, King has written things that are more disturbing (e.g., when he describes realistic torture on characters).
 

staropeace

Richard Bachman's love child
Nov 28, 2006
15,106
48,030
Alberta,Canada
#7
'Salem's Lot was the very first King book I read (way back in the day when it was first released in paperback) and it's still my favorite. It's not the best written King book, but it sure packs a lot of scare in it. I grew up in a small town in western Pennsylvania and I knew people in real life that were exactly like the characters that Steve put in that book.
It was my first book by Stephen as well...........and still the scariest.
 

Coyo-T

Well-Known Member
Oct 3, 2016
67
314
#8
I guess reading this one only recently has given me a different perspective than I might have had reading it a few decades ago- I think the "rise" of zombie movies has to some extent desensitized people to the idea of one day having to fight off undead kith and kin (I mean, a lot of these movies are even comedies...) I honestly just feel kind of sad- other than Callahan (whom I first met in The Dark Tower series, so I already knew what became of him after he exited _Salem's Lot's narrative) I really just want to know what happened to everyone, even the vampires. It's possible that I just need time to sort out my exact feelings toward this one- they're strong, but though I know I liked it I'm not exactly sure what they are yet.
 

GNTLGNT

The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
81,027
307,967
56
Cambridge, Ohio
#9
I guess reading this one only recently has given me a different perspective than I might have had reading it a few decades ago- I think the "rise" of zombie movies has to some extent desensitized people to the idea of one day having to fight off undead kith and kin (I mean, a lot of these movies are even comedies...) I honestly just feel kind of sad- other than Callahan (whom I first met in The Dark Tower series, so I already knew what became of him after he exited _Salem's Lot's narrative) I really just want to know what happened to everyone, even the vampires. It's possible that I just need time to sort out my exact feelings toward this one- they're strong, but though I know I liked it I'm not exactly sure what they are yet.
...Hiya!
....
 
Oct 16, 2016
18
81
15
Ontario, Canada.
#10
I read Salem's Lot in 30 hours or so and was my first King book. I liked it, but it seemed atmospherically scary compared to jump out. And since it was the middle of the summer, it didn't hit me THAT hard. Until I stayed up until midnight reading, and then the moment I turned the light out, a moth flew on my face. But definitely a chilling book I agree.
 

Mr. Cranky

Well-Known Member
Feb 18, 2013
3,733
15,127
#12
View attachment 18973
Don't forget to lock your windows tonight, everyone.
When I first read it in 1979, I remember that scene. At the window, scary. I think the original mini-series still holds up well. Funny, back in 1983, I justed remembered, I was doing my HSC for the second time at the Technical College in Ultimo. A bunch of us were in the Sussex Street part of the building having lunch. I think it was an Macedonian Australian guy and we were talking and I said something about Salem's Lot, and he said something like, 'Man, have you read Pet Sematary?' And I read it about about a few days later.
 

Zone D Dad

Well-Known Member
Apr 17, 2017
358
1,786
Chicago Suburbs
#18
It was my first book by Stephen as well...........and still the scariest.
Same here. I was a kid and home sick from school. Read it in 2 days - literally couldn't put the thing down. I re-read it about 3 years ago and it still holds up. It's definitely at the top of my favorites list. The Kindle version I bought also includes Jerusalem's Lot and One for the Road at the end, which is a nice touch.

I still love the old Tobe Hooper adaptation too. Once in awhile it will pop up on Encore in its entirety. That's a drop-the-remote treat.
 

grin willard

Grin. Boasting a profile u could cut cheese with.
Feb 21, 2017
1,064
5,567
45
#19
I was about to say, "It was for me," and then I noticed Doc Creed's post mentioning Pet Cemetery, and for a sec I relived the terror of reading that book more than a decade ago. :) whew! Looking back it may well be the scariest thing I've ever read. But still, for you lurkers looking for a good fright, Salem's Lot is pretty scary. King makes you care about the characters and then you're halfway in the bag.
 
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