Derry (Stephen King)

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Derry is a fictional town and a part of Stephen King's fictional Maine topography. Derry has served as the setting for a number of his novels, novellas, and short stories. Derry first appeared in King's 1981 short story "The Bird and the Album" and has reappeared as late as his 2011 novel 11/22/63 (see list below). Derry is said to be near Bangor, but King has acknowledged that Derry is actually his portrayal of Bangor.[1] A map on King's official website, though, places Derry in the vicinity of the town of Etna.[2]

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

Locations Within Derry[edit]

The House on 29 Neibolt Street[edit]

On several occasions in It, the Losers find themselves at 29 Neibolt Street, a run-down, abandoned house near the trainyard. It's here where Eddie Kaspbrak first encounters It, which shows itself as a mix between a homeless leper and its familiar Pennywise form. Later, after Eddie tells them his story, Bill and Richie go to investigate the house and are chased off by It, the creature having taken the form of a werewolf.

Soon after these incidents, the Losers Club goes back to the house in hopes of confronting It. However, as soon after they confront It, the creature disappears into the sewers through a toilet pipe. They therefore decide to enter the sewers for their first showdown with It.

During It's 1985 killing spree, the body of one of the creature's victims is found directly across the street from the house.

In the 2017 adaptation, 29 Neibolt Street is stated to be built on the well house that leads to It's lair and is a central hub for the town's sewer system. It's also the place where the children It gets meet the dead lights and ' Float too'

The Barrens[edit]

The Barrens are a small tract of land still heavily covered in trees and plant life. Derry's landfill is located here, as is a gravel pit and several sewer pump-stations. The Barrens play the most prominent role in It, as the Losers adopt them as their home away from home, even building an underground clubhouse there. Most of the Losers have their first meeting here while trying to build a small dam in the Kenduskeag Stream, which runs through the Barrens, and next to Derry.

The Canal[edit]

A section of the Kenduskeag that runs through downtown Derry. The canal goes through a tunnel under the streets for a short way and comes out in Bassey Park. In January 1958, a young Ben Hanscom first encounters It walking on top of the frozen surface. A few months later, Eddie Corcoran is attacked here by It in the form of the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Derry Civic Center[edit]

The Derry Civic Center is a recent structure built after the old civic center was destroyed in the 1985 flood. It was designed by famed architect (and one-time Derry resident) Ben Hanscom. It plays an important role in the events of the novel Insomnia. The Crimson King, the supervillain of King's Dark Tower series, planned to use Ed Deepneau to fly into the Civic Center on a kamikaze mission, using a small plane armed with C4 explosives. The aim of this mission was not to kill the people inside the Center, but to kill a child named Patrick Danville, who plays a key role in the Dark Tower story. Following an encounter with the Crimson King himself, Ralph Roberts and Lois Chasse force Deepneau to crash the plane in the Center's parking lot. Several people are killed, but Danville is ultimately saved.

Kitchener Ironworks[edit]

The Kitchener Ironworks was an ironworks outside of Derry. In 1906, despite every machine in the works having been shut completely down, the Ironworks inexplicably exploded, killing a group of 88 children and 102 total people who were participating in an Easter egg hunt. The tragedy was caused by It sabotaging the equipment, presumed to be responsible for eight missing bodies. This marked the beginning of the creature's twenty-seven-year hibernation period. It is at the ruins of the Kitchener Ironworks where a young Mike Hanlon first encounters It in the form of a giant bird in 1958.

In the 2017 adaptation, Ben Hanscom first encounters It in form of a headless child that was among the victims of the Kitchener Ironworks incident.

The Standpipe[edit]

The Standpipe was a large watertower in Derry, very similar to the Thomas Hill Standpipe. In its earlier days, it remained unlocked so that patrons of an adjoining park could climb a spiral staircase around the tank to look out over Derry from the top. The Standpipe was closed to the public after several children drowned in the tank, most likely the fault of It. The Standpipe is where Stan Uris first encounters It, which takes the form of drowned children.

After the grown-up Losers Club kills It in the second Ritual Of Chüd in 1985, a huge storm ensues, destroying many buildings and landmarks in Derry, including the Standpipe. In Dreamcatcher, Mr. Gray drives to Derry to find the Standpipe, only to discover a memorial featuring a cast-bronze statue of two children and a plaque underneath, dedicated to the victims of the 1985 flood and of It. The plaque has been vandalized with graffiti reading, "PENNYWISE LIVES." In 11/22/63, Jake Epping buys a pillow with a picture of the standpipe on it. He hides a gun in it, the gun he uses to kill Frank Dunning.

Tracker Brothers Shipping[edit]

According to It, the Tracker Brothers were two men who owned a trucking depot on Kansas Street during It's 1958 killing spree. The brothers maintained a baseball field behind the depot for children to play on. In Dreamcatcher, Jonesy, The Beav, Henry, and Pete first meet Duddits in the depot's parking lot in 1978 (at which time the depot has closed), saving him from a gang of bullies. In 1985, while visiting the abandoned depot, Eddie Kaspbrak encounters Pennywise for the first time since his childhood. The depot was destroyed in the same 1985 storm that destroyed the Standpipe.

Voigt Field[edit]

In The Running Man, a Richard Bachman novella set in a dystopian future, Derry is home to a large airport consisting of acres of parking lots, a huge "Northern States Terminal", several runways with the capacity to support large widebody aircraft, and a large fuel tank farm. Ben Richards, the novella's protagonist, arrives here by car and is allowed to board a "Lockheed GA/Superbird" by bluffing that he has enough plastic explosive with him to blow up the entire complex.

Works set in Derry[edit]

Works referring to Derry[edit]

Use by third parties[edit]

In the 1993 novel One on One, author Tabitha King, who is King's wife, refers to Derry. In an afterword, she thanks "another novelist who was kind enough to allow me" to use the town's name.

In the 2010 television series Haven, loosely adapted from King's novel The Colorado Kid, the town of Derry is mentioned.

In the 2010 novel Horns, author Joe Hill, who is King's oldest son, writes of the real city of Derry, New Hampshire. In his 2013 novel NOS4A2, Hill includes the fictional Derry, Maine on a map and a list of supernatural places.

In the crime drama Criminal Minds in S10 episode 21 Derry is mentioned as a town of a murder induced by hallucination.

In 2016 NCIS S14 E4 the murder victim and her cousin are from Derry. The agent asking the victims cousin "Is that by the shipyard up there?" to which he replies " No, not really."

The 2019 film adaptation of Pet Sematary shows a road sign referring to Derry as 20 miles away in a scene in the film.

Other Maine creations in King's work[edit]

Besides the oft-used trinity of Derry, Castle Rock, and Jerusalem's Lot, King has created other fictional Maine towns, including Chamberlain in Carrie, Haven in The Tommyknockers, Little Tall Island in Dolores Claiborne and Storm of the Century, and Chester's Mill in Under the Dome.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ As stated in The Dark Tower
  2. ^ Stephen King's Map of Maine. Retrieved 26 November 2016.