[[quoteright:308:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/salemsLot_9853.gif]]

->''"My old friend, what are you looking for?\\
After years abroad you’ve come back\\
with images you’ve nourished\\
under foreign skies\\
far from you own country"''
-->-- '''George Seferis'''

->''"Tell you now that the whole town is empty''"
-->-- '''Music/BobDylan'''

''Salem's Lot'' is a 1975 horror novel written by Creator/StephenKing. It was King's second published novel, following ''{{Carrie}}''.

The plot focuses on the Maine town of Jerusalem's Lot, which is slowly taken over by vampires, and a small band of survivors, including protagonist Ben Mears, decide to fight back.

The eponymous town is revisited in the short stories ''Jerusalem's Lot'' and ''One for the Road''. (The former acts as a prequel to the novel, the latter is set three years after the events of the novel). These stories are included in ''Literature/NightShift'', and also in the illustrated edition of '''Salem's Lot''. Said illustrated edition was released in 2005, and also contains several deleted and alternate scenes.

The novel has also been adapted into two miniseries (released in 1979 and 2004 respectively), a film sequel to the 1979 miniseries (''A Return to Salem's Lot''), and a 1995 radio drama.

----
[[folder:The novel and 1979 miniseries contain examples of:]]

* AbusiveParents: The [=McDougall=] baby Randy is subjected to assorted beatings from his mother Sandy (although she regrets it every time, and completely [[GoMadFromTheRevelation freaks out]] when the baby dies).
* AdaptationDistillation: The 1979 miniseries takes out several minor characters and condenses the story considerably.
* TheAlcoholic: Ed [[EmbarrassingNickname 'Weasel']] Craig.
** If Father Callahan isn't one to begin with, he's well on his way to becoming one by the time he leaves town.
*** [[spoiler: This is proven out by the events of the Dark Tower series. Father Callahan once again makes an appearance, and talks about past events including drowning out the memories of Salem's Lot with drink. He gets [[RedemptionEqualsDeath better at the end]].]]
* [[spoiler: TheBadGuyWins: Sure, Barlow is destroyed, but he succeeds in making Jerusalem's Lot a hotbed for the undead.]]
* AssholeVictim: [[spoiler: Straker, Barlow, The [=McDougalls=] and Reggie Sawyer]].
* BaldOfEvil: Much emphasis is placed on Straker's baldness.
* BigBad: Kurt Barlow.
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler:Barlow is destroyed, but it's far too late for Jerusalem's Lot as the whole town has become overun with vampires, and it's uncertain that Ben and Mark will be successful in eradicating them. Indeed, the ''[[Literature/NightShift One for the Road]]'' story pretty much reveals that they're not and in fact the numbers keep increasing as the now-undead townspeople feed on any travelers who pass through the area.]]
* BreakingAndBloodsucking: This is the standard operating procedure for the vampires. While they require a VampireInvitation before they can enter, they quickly overrun the small town by making nightly visits. In particular:
** Matt invites an ill Mike Ryerson to spend a few nights recovering in his guest room. That night, he listens in horror as Mike invites Danny Glick in. When Matt works up the courage to investigate, Mike is dead. Later, Mike returns to the same room waiting for Matt, but is driven away by a crucifix and revoking the invitation.
** A delirious Mrs. Glick explains to her husband about her dreams of the last few nights: Danny returning home so she can breastfeed him again.
** After [[spoiler: Susan becomes a vampire, she visits Mark's bedroom that same night, offering to 'kiss' him]].
* BringMyBrownPants: Corey Bryant literally craps his pants when Reggie Sawyer performs a mock execution.
* TheBully: Richie Boddin, although he quickly loses that status after he makes the mistake of picking on Mark Petrie (who promptly engages a CurbStompBattle).
* BuriedAlive: Avoided with [[spoiler:Danny Glick (who is not dead but in fact a vampire), since Mike Ryerson stops filling his grave with soil, jumps down onto his coffin and opens it, to find a life-like Danny (who presumably bites him and turns him into a vampire also -- this is shown explicitly in the 1979 miniseries but implied in the novel).]]
* CardCarryingVillain: Kurt Barlow.
--> "I am not the serpent, but the father of serpents."
* ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve: It's faith that makes religious symbols an effective weapon against vampires. [[spoiler:When Callahan starts doubting his faith, his cross no longer has an effect on Barlow. Barlow tells him: "Without faith, the cross is only wood, the bread baked wheat, the wine sour grapes."]]
* CrazyJealousGuy: Susan's ex, Floyd Tibbits.
* CreepyChild: Danny Glick.
** An entire school bus full of them get revenge on the strict bus driver.
* CreepyCrossdresser: [[spoiler:George Middler, who has a suitcase full of panties and bras and stockings and who dresses in them behind closed doors whilst [[ADateWithRosiePalms masturbating]].]]
* CruelAndUnusualDeath: [[spoiler:Jimmy, when he plummets down the [[DeathTrap booby-trapped staircase and straight onto a pit of upturned knives]]]]. Enough said. His death in the original manuscript also qualifies for this trope ([[spoiler:he is devoured alive by rats]]), although it is a ''lot'' gorier than the version which made it into the book.
* DevelopingDoomedCharacters
* TheDragon: Richard Straker is both this and TheRenfield.
* DwindlingParty: Although some do (permanently/fully) die, most in fact get converted to vampires.
* ExecutiveMeddling: The original novel had Jimmy Cody get eaten alive by rats controlled by Barlow, but Doubleday refused to publish it and King had to rewrite it so that he was instead impaled by knives.
* ExtremelyDustyHome: The Marsden House, even when Hubie Marsden was living in it.
* FateWorseThanDeath: Poor [[spoiler:Father Callahan. Not only does he have his entire faith mocked and ripped apart by the BigBad, but he also is forced to drink the main vampire's blood and forever be marked as an Untouchable to the rest of humanity.]]
** [[spoiler:Then he ends in ''Franchise/TheDarkTower'''s world.]]
* FauxAffablyEvil: Straker
* GenreSavvy: Mark Petrie and Matt Burke.
* GhostTown: Salem's Lot is reduced to being a ghost town after the vampires take over. The novel's prologue has a newspaper article about a reporter trying to find out why it became one. Another ghost town, Momson, is mentioned in the same article.
* GossipyHens: Led by Mabel Werts.
* GroinAttack: [[spoiler:Straker]] does this to Mark and later, another GroinAttack (of a much [[{{Squick}} squickier]] nature) upon Mark is threatened, but not executed.
* HateAtFirstSight: By the end of his first meeting with Susan's parents, her father thinks Ben is a great guy. Her mother, on the other hand, begins hating him at just about the same moment as his dad decides he's okay, which causes a big fight between her and her daughter.
* HopeSpot: [[spoiler:Sandy [=McDougall=] thinks that her dead baby Randy (having been killed/turned into a vampire the night before by Danny Glick) is simply 'playing dead' with her to punish her for beating him. She proceeds to spoon-feed the lifeless baby some chocolate custard but her hope is dashed (and she starts [[GoMadFromTheRevelation screaming in realization]]) when she tries to make him smile and the custard she had fed him plops out onto the table below him.]]
* HowWeGotHere: The novel's prologue takes place after the main events of the novel (but before the epilogue). The prologue's unnamed characters eventually turn out to be [[spoiler:Ben and Mark]].
* HumanResources: Implied. Mark picks up a book written in Latin with a picture of a disemboweled child but quickly puts it back down because the binding feels 'uncomfortably familiar'.
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: [[spoiler:Jimmy Cody]], thanks to a booby trap rigged on the stairs to Eva's cellar.
** Earlier in the novel, Win Purinton's dog Doc is found impaled on the cemetery gate by Mike Ryerson.
* InfantImmortality: Both averted and played straight -- several children die, only to return as vampires; but [[spoiler:Mark Petrie]] survives the novel.
** The whole situation starts with the death of the Glick brothers -- Ralphie is made as a sacrifice to allow free reign for Barlow to take over and his brother Danny becomes the first turned resident and begins the undead infestation.
** Heck, at one point the heroes head into a house to stake a family of vampire [[spoiler: only to find a ''vampire baby'' (presumably Randy [=McDougall=]) among them.]]
* ItsPersonal: It gets ''really'' personal for Ben when [[spoiler:Barlow turns Susan into a vampire]], and for Mark, when [[spoiler:Barlow kills his parents]].
* {{Jerkass}}: Sandy [=McDougall=], who often hits her ten month old baby son Randy. Even Fr Callahan would like to strangle her every time he hears about it in confession.
** Roy [=McDougall=], her husband, who spends all his time drinking at the bar.
** Reggie Sawyer is a psychopath who finds out his wife is cheating on him and starts beating her and raping her. Then her lover Corey gets turned into a vampire and [[LaserGuidedKarma decides to come back to avenge his humiliation]]...
* KickTheDog: Barlow is a particular fan of this trope.
* [[spoiler:KillEmAll]]: Out of a ''huge'' cast of characters, [[spoiler:Ben, Mark and Father Callahan are the only major characters to survive, and only a handful of the more minor characters survive]].
** [[spoiler: Callahan later dies in ''Franchise/TheDarkTower'']].
** [[spoiler: Callahan also mentions in ''Franchise/TheDarkTower'' that Ben died as well, as he visited his funeral in Mexico.]]
* KillItWithFire: [[spoiler:In the book's ending, Ben and Mark return to the town with the purpose of burning it down and most of the vampires with it]].
* LimitedSpecialCollectorsUltimateEdition: A huge (and hugely expensive) version of the book with deleted scenes was released by Centipede Press. Fortunately a trade version with the deleted scenes was later published.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters
* LooksLikeOrlok: Barlow in the 1979 miniseries. In the book he's more of a ClassicalMovieVampire, accent and all.
** This version's portrayal is [[spoiler:actually what Type One Vampires look like in ''Franchise/TheDarkTower''. It's a fan theory that Barlow is the Progenitor which may explain why he has a human disguise]].
* MummiesAttheDinnerTable: At first, Sandy McDougall convinces herself that Randy's only trying to punish her for hitting him, and tries to give him breakfast.
* MyBelovedSmother: Ann to Susan. Susan is not happy.
* NakedApron: How Bonnie Sawyer surprises her secret lover Corey [[spoiler: right before her husband surprises them.]]
* OurVampiresAreDifferent: They're actually quite similar to Bram Stoker's version of vampires, as [[WordOfGod Stephen King acknowledges]] in one version of the book. They also differ in a few ways, and ''Franchise/TheDarkTower'' goes on to explain the vampires in greater detail. For one thing, sunlight doesn't kill them, but it's certainly uncomfortable. They have their own religion. And according to Barlow's dialogue, they're Hungarian, not Romanian (Stephen King mistakenly refers to Magyar and Hungarian as two different things).
* ParentalSubstitute: [[spoiler:Ben to Mark, after his parents are killed.]]
* PedophilePriest: A rare non-Catholic example, Reverend John Groggins. In the chapter where King tells us about the town's secrets, it's revealed that he often has 'horrible dreams' in which [[spoiler:he is preaching to the Little Misses' Bible Class 'naked and slick'.]]
* PleaseWakeUp: [[spoiler: Randy [=McDougall=]'s mother when she finds him dead in his bedroom, and Danny Glick's father at his burial service.]]
* PoliceAreUseless: Even after figuring out what's going on in his town, Constable Gillespie refuses to aid Ben and Mark in fighting Barlow, opting to hit the road instead. And his CluelessDeputy ends up [[spoiler:as one of the vampires.]]
* PresentDay: Literally; the novel was published in October 1975, and the main part of the narrative spans September and October of that year.
* ReallySevenHundredYearsOld: Barlow claims to be older than Christianity, which means he's at least 2000 years old.
* ScrapbookStory: Not the whole thing, but it does begin and end with newspaper accounts of the strange goings-on in the Lot.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: Parkins Gillespie decides to get the hell out of town once he reasons out something is amiss.
* SlidingScaleOfVampireFriendliness: Death from feeding causes conversion, morality shifts in converts, and a voracious appetite makes these vampires definitely hostile.
* SmugSnake: Barlow.
* StakingTheLovedOne: [[spoiler:Ben is forced to stake Susan after she becomes a vampire]].
* StupidEvil: A curious version. King makes it a point to allude that the worst kind of evil isn't the DarkLord and his ArmyOfEvil, but the near-endless rabble of not-too-bright humanity going about their daily lives, fornicating and lighting firecrackers inside cats.
* ThingsThatGoBumpInTheNight: When Barlow confronts Father Callahan, he takes the appearence of Callahan's childhood bogeyman, "Mr. Flip".
** When Mike Ryerson (who [[spoiler:was bitten by Danny Glick but doesn't know it yet]]) is talking with Matt in the bar, he makes reference to being "just like a little kid afraid of the Allamagoosalum". [[note]]a bogeyman or evil spirit referenced in several King works.[[/note]]
* ThoseTwoGuys: The cops earlier in the story.
* TooDumbToLive: [[spoiler:Why, oh why did [[IdiotBall Susan]] enter the vampire's lair without backup?]]
** It's even [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]], as she thinks that when in the horror movies she saw, the heroine went up to the cellar, she thought "What a silly bitch ... I'd never do that!" And yet, she's doing exactly that.
* TownWithADarkSecret: Or, rather, a whole bunch of them, as one chapter informs us. Namely --
** [[spoiler:Albie Crane murdered his wife after she [[YourCheatingHeart cheated on him]] with a salesman. He then [[DisposingOfABody threw her body down an abandoned well]]. Nobody knows about this and they just assume she left with the salesman.]]
** [[spoiler:Hubie Marsten was in correspondence with Kurt Barlow years before he came to 'Salem's Lot.]]
** [[spoiler:Coretta Simons has stashed $30,000 behind the wallpaper of her house but she has terminal cancer and has forgotten about it.]]
** [[spoiler:The 1951 fire in the Lot was [[PyroManiac set]] by a (roughly) 16 year old boy who graduated well and won a fortune on the stock exchange. The compulsion to set the fire ate away at him for the next twenty years and he died of a brain embolism in his 40s.]]
** [[spoiler:Reverend John Groggins has paedophilic dreams about the Little Misses Bible Reading Class.]]
** [[spoiler: Hal Griffen [[ADateWithRosiePalms masturbates]] over six pornographic magazines at every opportunity.]]
** [[spoiler:George Middleton crossdresses and (again) masturbates behind closed doors.]]
** [[spoiler:Mike Ryerson [[BackFromTheDead came to life]] on the autopsy table and killed/converted Carl Foreman.]]
** [[spoiler:Danny Glick bit Randy [=McDougall=] and converted the baby into a vampire.]]
* UndeadChild: Several.
* VampireInvitation: Matt is almost killed by a vampire because he let the man in his home after he was bitten, but before he died. Matt manages to get the vampire to leave by saying he's revoked his invitation.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: King had been playing with the idea of a sequel to '''Salem's Lot'' for years, at one point mentioning a possible opening with Callahan working at a soup shelter and a vagrant coming in telling him that it's not over at "the Lot". In the end, there was no sequel and King ended up continuing Callahan's story in ''The Dark Tower''.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: [[spoiler:Father Callahan]]'s story ends right after he's [[spoiler:been pwned by Barlow, and we don't hear from him again.]] His story was later told in [[spoiler:Literature/WolvesOfTheCalla.]]
** There's also the almost literal use of the trope in the slowly gathering rats suddenly just...dropping out of the story. In the original plan [[spoiler: they were going to devour the guy who fell down the trick staircase. Instead King just had him be impaled.]]
* [[WiseBeyondTheirYears Wise Beyond His Years]]: Mark
* YourCheatingHeart: Bonnie Sawyer and Corey Bryant.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:The 2004 miniseries contains examples of:]]
* AdaptationalVillainy: Father Callahan. In the book he leaves the down disgraced, whereas here he becomes the new [[TheRenfield Renfield]] for Barlow. Ironically the miniseries coincided with the final three novels of ''The Dark Tower'' in which [[spoiler:Callahan returned and redeemed himself.]]
* AscendedExtra: Ruthie Crockett, a very minor character in the novel is made into a major supporting character in the miniseries.
** AbusiveParents: [[spoiler:It's subtly implied that her father is sexually abusing her]].
** RichBitch: She has quite a bad attitude and is callous and cruel towards Dud.
* BittersweetEnding: A bit better then the novel at least. [[spoiler: Ben dies but he and Mark manage to hunt down near all the vampires in the town with Callahan being their final target.]]
* DeathByAdaptation: [[spoiler: Both Ben Mears and Father Callahan are dead at the end of the miniseries.]]
* HowWeGotHere: The movie begins with Ben [[spoiler: chasing down and putting Callahan into a coma before being taken to the hospital for treatment.]] He then tells an orderly about the events which lead up to the present.
* KillItWithFire: The solution to the vampire infestation. Of course, considering the conversation Dud and Barlow have on how rats when frightened of fire find [[SequelHook new holes to hid in...]]
* NoOntologicalInertia: Averted, killing Barlow doesn't cure or destroy his progeny.
** However it's implied that [[spoiler:When he corrupted Father Callahan he [[DemonicPossession took control over him]] and possibly made him a fail safe so that if Barlow were to be killed, his fledglings would still survive]].
* NotHimself: Mike and Charlie just before completely going vampire.
* OurVampiresAreDifferent: They're pretty much classic vampires. Though the way they die is kinda weird, essentially turning to dust and flying into the air.
* PragmaticAdaptation: And ''how''.
* TheRenfield: Straker.
* UndeadChild: An entire ''school bus'' worth of 'em.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: The Roys' baby, what happened to it after the Doctor "traded" him for his beemer?
* WhatHaveIBecome: Matt gets Mike to freak out by pointing out he's got ''autopsy scars'' all along his chest, which along with revoking his invitation got him to leave him alive.
[[/folder]]

----