Thomas Hill Standpipe - Atlas Obscura

Thomas Hill Standpipe

This 1.5 million-gallon water tower inspired Stephen King while he was writing "It." 


This water storage facility, which also controls Bangor’s water pressure, has been in use since 1897. It also inspired a piece of Stephen King’s 1986 novel It: the standpipe in Derry, where Stan first encounters Pennywise.

Bangor’s most famous resident Stephen King once lived a few blocks away from the standpipe. According to him, he also wrote a significant portion of his book It in the shadow of the standpipe. In the early 1980s, he would walk down the street, sit on a park bench in the small park beneath the standpipe, and write the book. It is said that the tragic stairwell death of the boy in 1940 influenced the creation of the book’s character Pennywise the Clown.

There are no recorded drowning accidents in the standpipe, but for anyone who has read the book or seen either the film or the miniseries, this is an incredibly eerie place to be—even though you’re just staring at an old water tower. Which tells you everything you need to know about the power of King’s writing.

In the 2017 remake of the movie It, one of the characters bikes by a standpipe in the fictional town of Derry, which is King’s thinly disguised version of Bangor. The standpipe was CGI-generated and the movie was filmed in Toronto. There are also references to the standpipe in his other books Dreamcatcher and 11/22/63.

Know Before You Go

Parking is available at this location. Keep an eye out for a lone park bench perhaps used by King himself.

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September 11, 2023

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