Thousands of miles away from the small township of 'Salem's Lot, two terrified people, a man and a boy, still share the secrets of those clapboard houses and tree-lined streets. They must return to 'Salem's Lot for a final confrontation with the unspeakable evil that lives on in the town.
Ben Mears, a successful writer who grew up in the town of Jerusalem's Lot, Cumberland County, Maine (or “The Lot”, as the locals call it), has returned home after 25 years. Once in town he meets local high school teacher Matt Burke and strikes up a romantic relationship with Susan Norton, a... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
Ben Mears, a successful writer who grew up in the town of Jerusalem's Lot, Cumberland County, Maine (or “The Lot”, as the locals call it), has returned home after 25 years. Once in town he meets local high school teacher Matt Burke and strikes up a romantic relationship with Susan Norton, a young college graduate.
Ben plans to write a book about the “Marsten House”, an abandoned mansion that gave him nightmares after a bad experience inside it as a child. The Marsten House was the home of 1930s gangster Hubert "Hubie" Marsten, a Boston-based hitman who specialized in rather unsavory hits. Marsten's profession intersected with his personal life; he killed his wife, Birdie, and then hanged himself in 1939. In 1975, 36 years later, the Marsten House is about to be inhabited by the vampire Kurt Barlow. It is later revealed that Marsten had communicated with the erstwhile Barlow, a native of Austria, for a number of years. Mears discovers that the Marsten House has been bought by Barlow and his familiar, Richard Straker, reputedly businessmen who are opening an antique store in town, although only Straker is seen in public. The arrival coincides with the disappearance of a young boy, Ralphie Glick, and the death of his brother Danny, who becomes the town's first vampire, infecting such locals as Mike Ryerson, Randy McDougall, Jack Griffen, and Danny's own mother, Marjorie Glick. Danny fails, however, to infect Mark Petrie, who resists him successfully. Over the course of several weeks almost all of the townspeople are infected.
Ben Mears and Susan are joined by Matt Burke and his doctor, Jimmy Cody, along with young Mark Petrie and the local priest, Father Callahan, in an effort to fight the spread of the vampires, whose numbers increase as the new vampires infect their own families and others. When Mark and Susan break and enter into the Marsten House, they are found and taken prisoner by Straker. Mark is able to wound Straker (who is eventually killed, drained of his blood and hung upside down by Barlow for failing his duties), but Susan is captured by Barlow before Mark has a chance to rescue her. Susan becomes a vampire, but is eventually staked through the heart by Mears, the man who loved her.
Father Callahan is caught by Barlow at the Petrie house after Barlow kills Mark's parents, but does not infect them, so they are later given a clean burial. Barlow holds Mark hostage, but Father Callahan has the upper hand, securing Mark's release, agreeing to Barlow's demand that he toss aside his cross and face him on equal terms. However he delays throwing the cross aside and the once powerful religious symbol loses its strength until Barlow can not only approach Callahan but break the cross, now nothing more than two small pieces of wood, into bits. Barlow says "Sad to see a man's faith fail him", then forces the helpless Callahan to drink blood from Barlow's neck. Callahan resists but cannot hold out forever and is forced to drink, leaving him trapped in a netherworld, where he is still human but will never be assailed by any vampire, as Barlow has left his mark. When Callahan tries to re-enter his church he receives an electric shock, preventing him from going inside. Callahan takes a bus to New York City and disappears forever from "the Lot".
Jimmy Cody is killed when he falls from a rigged staircase and is impaled by knives hammered into the ground below face up by the one-time denizens of Eva Miller's boarding house, Mears' one-time residence, who have now all become vampires. Matt Burke dies from a heart attack in the town hospital. Ben Mears and Mark Petrie succeed in destroying the master vampire Barlow, but are lucky to escape with their lives and are forced to leave the town to the now leaderless vampires.
The novel's prologue, which is set shortly after the end of the story proper, describes the men's flight across the country to a seaside town in Mexico, where they stop to recover from their ordeal. Mark Petrie is received into the Catholic Church by a friendly local priest.
The epilogue has the two returning to the town a year later, intending to renew the battle. Ben, knowing that there are too many hiding places for the town's vampires, sets the town on fire with the intent of destroying it and the Marsten House once and for all.
We’re hiding the organizations, table of contents, glossary entries, themes, errata, links to supplemental material, books with additional background information, books that influenced this book, books influenced by this book and books cited by this book sections. If you would like to add content to them, you must first make them visible.