April 05, 2020

King bus tour frighteningly well-attended

BANGOR – Stephen King fans eager to join in a pre-Halloween bus tour of Bangor locations that were featured in his best-selling novels and movie adaptations are out of luck.

This year’s final “Tommy-knockers & More” tour, set for Sunday afternoon, has been sold out, according to the Greater Bangor Convention and Visitors Bureau.

That’s no surprise considering that this year’s three other public tours, in July, August and September, also were sellouts, said Jessica Taylor, the bureau’s marketing coordinator.

Although the $10 tours – named for King’s 1987 novel “Tommyknockers” – are popular enough to support additional dates in the schedule, there are no plans to expand.

“We really try to limit it because we have an agreement with Stephen King that we don’t drive by his house too often,” Taylor said.

The buses don’t stop at King’s dark red Italianate mansion on West Broadway, but the tour guide points out the property that sits within black wrought-iron gates adorned with spider webs and bats.

The tours, which the bureau has run for about three years, take about an hour and a half and include three stops where the 40 to 45 riders step off the bus to check out specific sites.

“These are places you see every day, but you don’t realize they were the inspiration for Stephen King’s novels,” Taylor said.

She declined to identify any of the locations, although her bureau’s Web site indicated that they include Mount Hope Cemetery, where King presided over the funeral of Missy Dandridge in the film version of “Pet Sematary.”

In addition to the four tours per season, there are two or three tours each year in which private groups charter the bus. There are no plans to expand the tours.

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