Efter en årrække vender forfatteren Ben Mears tilbage til sin tantes by. Her boede han nogle år som dreng, og havde en traumatisk oplevelse i det gamle Marsten House. Samtidig med Bens ankomst til Jerusalems Lot (i daglig tale ’Salem’s Lot) ankommer også antikvitetshandleren Barlow og hans medhjælper Straker.
En række mystiske dødsfald finder sted, og pludselig er Ben sammen med nogle få af byens indbyggere midt i en vampyrjagt.
Bogen er blevet filmatiseret to gange. Første gang i 1979 af Tobe Hooper med James Mason som Straker. Anden gang i 2004 af Mikael Salomon med bl.a. Rob Lowe og Donald Sutherland på rollelisten.
Om romanen skriver Darryl Jones i Horror: A Thematic History in Fiction and Film:
“When I conceived of the vampire novel which became ‘Salem’s Lot’, King has written, ‘I decided I wanted to try to use the book partially as a form of literary homage…So my novel bears an intentional similarity to Brams Stoker’s ‘Dracula’. Combined with this attempt at a revision of the traditional vampire canon was a distrust of traditional structures of power and authority. The book was written, says King, in the shadow of the Watergate affair:
In my novel ‘Salem’s Lot’, the thing that really scared me was not vampires, but the town in the daytime, the town that was empty, knowing that there were things in closets, that there were people tucked under the beds, under the concrete pilings of all thoses trailers. And all the time I was writing htat, the Watergate hearings were pouring out of the TV … During that time I was thinking about secrets, things that have been hidden and were being dragged out into the light.”
Originaltitel: Salem’s Lot