Castle Rock (Stephen King)

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Castle Rock is part of Stephen King's fictional Maine topography and provides the setting for a number of his novels, novellas, and short stories. Castle Rock appeared first in King's 1979 novel The Dead Zone and later in the novels IT (1986), Doctor Sleep (2015), and Revival (2014) as well as the novella Elevation (2018). (See list of works below.) The town name is taken from the fictional mountain fort in William Golding's 1954 novel Lord of the Flies.[1]

King, a native of Bangor, Maine, created a trinity of fictional Maine towns— Castle Rock, Derry and Jerusalem's Lot — as central settings in more than one work.

Population and Geographical location[edit]

The population of Castle Rock was 1,280 by 1959 and around 1,500 in Needful Things. According to the book cover, Needful Things was "The Last Castle Rock Story". However, the town later served as the setting for the short story "It Grows on You", published in King's 1993 collection Nightmares & Dreamscapes. This story, according to King, serves as an epilogue to Needful Things.

In Needful Things, Castle Rock is placed eighteen miles southwest of South Paris. In the anthology film Creepshow (1982), written by King, there is a sign at the end of "The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill" that puts Portland at 37 miles, and Boston at 188 miles. "Weeds," the 1976 short story on which "The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill" was based, was set in New Hampshire.

Geographically, this puts Castle Rock within 37 miles of Portland, Maine. This region could include real places such as Durham, Lisbon, Danville, Auburn, Lewiston, Bridgton, and maybe even Sabattus. A map on King's official website places Castle Rock in Oxford County, in the vicinity of Woodstock. The works in which Castle Rock appears place the town in the fictional "Castle County," which also includes such fictional towns as Castle Lake and Castle View. The location of Castle Rock may also be related to Marblehead, where there is a park by the same name, but most likely not.

Works set in Castle Rock[edit]

Works referring to Castle Rock[edit]

Use by third parties[edit]

Stand by Me (1986), the film adaptation of King's novella The Body (1982), makes reference to a town of Castle Rock in Oregon. Rob Reiner, the film's director, later named his production company Castle Rock Entertainment, which subsequently produced several adaptations of King's works.

Castle Rock is mentioned in One on One (1993), a novel by King's wife, Tabitha King. In an afterword, she thanks "another novelist who was kind enough to allow me" to borrow the name.

In the 2007 film adaptation of King's novella The Mist (1980), David Drayton reads a newspaper called The Castle Rock Times.

Other Maine creations in King's work[edit]

Besides the oft-used Derry, Castle Rock, and Jerusalem's Lot, King has created other fictional Maine towns, including Chamberlain in Carrie; Chester's Mill in Under the Dome; Haven in The Tommyknockers; Little Tall Island in Dolores Claiborne and Storm of the Century; Harlow in Revival; Tarkers Mills in Cycle of the Werewolf and Ludlow (unrelated to the real Maine town of Ludlow) in Pet Sematary and The Dark Half.

TV series[edit]

On February 17, 2017, Hulu announced they were once again partnering with J.J. Abrams and Stephen King to create another limited series based on King's works. The series, entitled Castle Rock, is named after the fictional town in King's native Maine which has served as the setting for a number of his novels, novellas, and short stories.[2] A teaser of the series was released some time after the announcement by Abrams' production company, Bad Robot. The series is set to explore the themes and worlds uniting King's entire canon, while brushing up against some of his most iconic and beloved stories. On February 21, 2017, Hulu issued a 10-episode order for the series, with production set to begin at a later date.[3] Filming began in August 2017.[4] The first season of the series premiered on July 25, 2018 on Hulu, and a second season is in production.[5] The small Western Massachusetts town of Orange served as a stand in for filming scenes set in Castle Rock.[6] The series, starring André Holland, Melanie Lynskey, Bill Skarsgård, Jane Levy, and Sissy Spacek, premiered on Hulu on July 25, 2018. On August 14, 2018 Hulu announced that they have renewed the series for a second season.


  1. ^ Beahm, George (1992). The Stephen King story (Revised ed.). Kansas City: Andrews and McMeel. p. 120. ISBN 0836280040. Castle Rock, which King in turn had got from Golding's Lord of the Flies.
  2. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 17, 2017). "J.J. Abrams & Stephen King Team For 'Castle Rock' Horror Series On Hulu". Deadline. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
  3. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 21, 2017). "J.J. Abrams & Stephen King's 'Castle Rock' Gets 10-Episode Series Order From Hulu". Deadline. Retrieved February 22, 2017.
  4. ^ Guglielmi, Luca (2017-02-23). "Castle Rock Shoot Date Revealed". All The Stuff You Care About. Archived from the original on 2017-02-25. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  5. ^ "Castle Rock (TV series)", Wikipedia, 2019-08-29, retrieved 2019-08-29
  6. ^ "Orange Locals excited to become extras in Castle Rock".

External links[edit]