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Derry is a fictional town located in Maine, and it serves as the main setting of the classic coming-of-age horror novel It by legendary horror writer Stephen King. Derry was noted for its many supernatural happenings as well as it was noted to be a conduit or a nexus of paranormal activities and metaphysical events, and it is referenced in many other Stephen King novels.

The town is situated along Interstate 95, to the south of Dexter, the southwest of Old Town, and the west of Bangor and Haven in the southwestern corner of Penobscot County.

History

It

Before Derry became a town, It, in the form of a ball of fire, came from the Macroverse and went into a slumber, somehow knowing that humanity would arrive. Soon afterward, people arrived and settled on the land, and It awoke and devoured the children.

It was also held responsible for the mass disappearances of the people on the plantations. It was believed that It allowed Derry to exist just as long as the town provided him with children every 27 years. As a result, every 27 years, It awoke to feed on the town's children.

It also had a great influence over the inhabitants so that they could never interfere with its feeding, and in some cases, It would cause most of the residents to indirectly help it. Because of this, murders went unsolved and police would often arrest wrongly-accused people.

This cycle was ultimately stopped when the so-called "Loser Club", the Lucky Seven, seemingly killed It and It destroyed almost all of downtown Derry twice via the mystifying Ritual of Chüd. The town then seemed to turn out normal, but it is implied that It might still be alive.

Several years after Its apparent demise, the town was the staging ground for a plot by the Crimson King and his minion Atropos to kill the young Patrick Danville, an act which would ensure the Crimson King's eventual destruction of the Dark Tower. To kill the boy, Atropos and the Crimson King escalated tensions over a pro-choice rally in Derry to the point where a devastating terrorist attack took place at the rally. Derry resident Ralph Roberts was able to mitigate the damage from the attack, saving Patrick Danville, but dozens of people still died in the attack.

Locales

  • The Well House/Neibolt House on 29 Neibolt Street: On several occasions in It, "the Losers Club" find themselves at 29 Neibolt Street, a run-down, abandoned house near the trainyard. It is 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 Denborough and Richie Tozier go to investigate the house and are chased off by It in the form of a werewolf. Soon after these incidents occurred, the Losers Club later went back to the house in hopes of confronting It. However, soon after they face It, the evil disappears into the sewers through a toilet pipe. They, therefore, decide to enter the sewers for their first showdown with It. During Its 1985 killing spree, the body of one of the preternatural beast's victims is found directly across the street from the house. In the 2017 movie adaptation and its sequel, 29 Neibolt Street acts as the primary entrance to Its secret lair and the scene of the Losers Club's first real confrontation with It. The house is built on the location of Derry's old well house where 91 settlers originally vanished when the township soon named Derry was first settled, as well as a central hub for the town's sewer system. At the end of the second live-action It movie, the house collapses along with Its lair when the Losers Club kills It.
  • The Barrens: 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. In It: Chapter Two, after being thrown into a well, Henry Bowers is washed out of the sewer system into the Barrens by a flash flood. In the book 11/22/63, Jake Epping has a conversation with young Richie Tozier and a young Beverly Marsh from the novel It near the Barrens in September of 1958, shortly after The Losers defeated It for the first time. The Canal: 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 of 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 Gill-man.
  • Derry Civic Center: 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 evil force from the Dark Tower book 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 but it came with a cost; Danville is ultimately saved, several people are killed there.
  • Kitchener Ironworks: An ironworks factory outside of Derry. In the year 1906 A.D., 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 27-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 back in the year 1958. In the 2017 film adaption adaptation, Ben Hanscom first encounters It in the form of a headless child that was among the victims of the Kitchener Ironworks disaster. In the novel 11/22/63, at the Kitchener Works in October of 1958 A.D., Jake Epping encounters the monstrous evil It from It. Jake finds a pile of gnawed bones and a tiny chewed collar with a bell on it inside a fallen chimney. From deep inside a large pipe, something moved and shuffled. It, that moved and shuffled there, whispered in Jake's head, attempting to lure him inside.
  • The Standpipe: A large water tower 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 members kills It in the second Ritual Of Chüd 27 years later 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 the novel 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: The Tracker Brothers were two men who owned a trucking depot on Kansas Street during Its 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 back in the year 1978 A.D. (at which time the depot has closed), saving him from a gang of bullies. In the year 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: In the futuristic Richard Bachman novella The Running Man, and 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 came 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.

In Other Media

In the 1990s TV miniseries Stephen King's It, Derry serves as the main setting.

In the 2017 live-action film adaption of the famous Stephen King novel (referred to as It: Chapter One) and its 2019 live-action movie sequel (referred to as It: Chapter Two), Derry serves as the main setting.

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

In the 2010 novel Horns, author Joe Hill, who is King's oldest son, writes of the real city of Derry in New Hampshire where the supernaturally cursed main protagonist Ignatius "Ig" Perrish's hometown Gideon is located.

In his 2013 novel NOS4A2, Joe Hill includes the fictional Derry, Maine on a map and a list of supernatural places alongside the vampiric madman Charlie Manx's nightmarish Christmasland and the strange Pennywise Circus (named after IT/Pennywise).

The 10th season episode "Mr. Scratch" of the crime drama series Criminal Minds cites Derry as the location of a murder induced by hallucination and a homicide victim named "Tabitha", after author Stephen King's wife.

The 2019 remake film adaptation of Pet Sematary shows a road sign referring to Derry as 20 miles away in one scene during Rachel Creed's frantic return trip to Ludlow upon the knowledge of her infant son Gage's dire message sent from the benign dead ghost Victor Pascow about his broken husband Dr. Louis Creed's decision to bury their deceased young daughter in a forbidden place where the dead walk.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Derry is said to be near Bangor, but author Stephen King explicitly told his biographer Tony Magistrale that Derry is actually his portrayal of the real-life Bangor. A map on King's official website, though, places Derry in the vicinity of the town Etna within Maine's Penobscot County.
  • The town of Derry was first mentioned in Stephen King's 1981 short story The Bird and the Album. While the town would be mentioned in various other stories, it was never until King's 1986 book It that the town was used as a fully rendered setting.
  • In the 1993 novel One on One, Stephen King's beloved wife Tabitha King, who is later an author, refers to Derry. In an afterword, she thanks "another novelist who was kind enough to allow me" to use the town's name.
  • Besides the oft-used trinity of Derry, Castle Rock, and Jerusalem's Lot, Stephen King has created other fictional Maine boroughs in his (novel and movie/TV adaptations), including Carrie White's hometown of Chamberlain in Carrie, the town Haven in The Tommyknockers, the islet township Little Tall Island in both Dolores Claiborne and Storm of the Century, and the town Chester's Mill in Under the Dome.
  • The synagogue within Derry in It: Chapter Two was actually the Congregation Knesseth Israel in the Canadian city of Toronto, while the Derry High school exteriors were filmed at the Mount Mary Retreat Centre in Ancaster, Ontario within Canada as well. Other It: Chapter Two filming locations included the Scottish Rite Club in Hamilton, Ontario, Audley Park in Ajax, Ontario, and Rouge Park in Scarborough, Toronto (as The Barrens). The so-called "horror house" exteriors were built for the movies; both were located on the same property in Oshawa, Ontario as well.
  • There are several (mentioned) local places and businesses situated within Derry:
    • Derry Circus/Derry Circus & Funfair ("Derry Canal Days Festival" in the It live-action film series).
    • Bassey Park.
    • Up-Mile Hill.
    • Back Pages book store.
    • Center Street Drug Store.
    • Dunning Butcher Shop.
    • Derry Town House.
    • Derry Public Library.
    • Rite Aid Pharmacy.
    • WomanCare clinic.
    • Secondhand Rose, Secondhand Clothes clothing store.
    • The Red Apple candy store.
    • The Falcon pub.
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