Pet Sematary Resources


For any teacher, professor or instructor who wants to teach Stephen King’s novel, Pet Sematary.  If you know of any handouts, worksheets, criticism, related readings or other resources, please email me so I can add them. acbenett {at-symbol] umich (dot/period] edu


Teacher Info

Pet Sematary Wikipedia entry

Pet Sematary Facts – from "Stephen King Books"

Pet Sematary - 

Pet Sematary Characters List 2

Errors in Pet Sematary Cliff Notes-Style site 2

Fabrizi, Mark A.  "Reading the Cool Stuff: Students Respond to Pet Sematary." Reading Stephen King: Issues of Censorship, Student Choice, and Popular Literature Ed. Brenda Miller Power, Jeffrey D. Wilhelm, and Kelly Chandler. NCTE. Urbana, IL. 1997. pp. 139-147.

Teaching Death and Dying Education in the Public School - some good worksheets and handouts to use with the novel

General Stephen King Resources

Stephen King Webquest



2L, Estelle. "Simetierre" Svoong: Summaries and Short Reviews. English translation - "Pet Sematary"


Lehmann-Haupt, Christopher. 'Pet Sematary' (review). New York Times. October 21, 1983.


Smith, Michael Marshall. “Michael Marshall Smith on Pet Sematary by Stephen King [1983].” Horror: Another 100 Best Books. Ed. by Stephen Jones & Kim Newman. Running Press. 2005. pp. 301-305.


Winter, Douglas E. "Pet Sematary By Stephen King" Washington Post. Book World; Pg. 1. November 13, 1983.


Literary Criticism

Castricano, Jodey. "'Darling,' it said: Making a Contract with the Dead." Cryptomimesis: The Gothic and Jacques Derrida's Ghost Writing. McGill-Queen's Press. 2003.
* An examination of the intersection between the writing of Jacques Derrida and the Gothic. Doesn't really illuminate much about Pet Sematary. 

"The most successful articulation of this theme in Cryptomimesis is found in an astonishing interpretation of Steven King’s Pet Sematary. Castricano provides not so much a Derridean reading of King as a Kingian reading of Derrida. “In King’s novel,” Castricano argues, “the dead return not only because they were not properly buried but also because they represent, in Derridean terms, a certain remainder.”"


Corstorphine, Kevin. "'Sour Ground': Stephen King’s Pet Sematary and The Politics of Territory." The Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Studies. Issue 1, October 2006.


Csetenyi, Korinna. “Bringing Back the Dead: Stephen King’s Pet Sematary.” Hungarian Society for the Study of English 9 (HUSSE 9) Conference – Jan. 2009.


Flint, Christina. "Stephen King: More than gore?" The Daily Collegian. University Park, PA. Feb. 9, 1993.


Heller, Terry. "Love and Death in Stephen King's Pet Sematary." Department of English--Coe College. Cedar Rapids, Iowa. 2001.

* An analysis of Louis's motives for using the Micmac burial ground, and Jud's motives for telling Louis about it


Magistrale, Tony. “Stephen King’s Pet Sematary: Hawthorne’s Woods Revisited” in Landscape of Fear: Stephen King's American Gothic (Bowling Green: Bowling Green State University Press, 1988) pp.126-134

* Also in The Gothic World of Stephen King: Landscape of Nightmares


Magistrale, Tony. "Hawthorne's Woods Revisited: Stephen King's Pet Semetary." NHR. 14.1 Spring 1988 9-13


Magistrale, Tony. "The Shape Evil Takes: Hawthorne's Woods Revisited" Stephen King. Ed. Harold Bloom. Chelsea House. Philadelphia, PA. 1998. pp.


Mustazza, Leonard. "Fear and Pity: Tragic Horror in King's Pet Sematary." The Dark Descent: Essays Defining Stephen King's Horrorscape. Ed. Tony S. Magistrale. Greenwood Press. Portsmouth, NH. 1992. pp. 73-82.


Nash, Jesse W. "Postmodern Gothic: Stephen King's Pet Sematary." Journal of Popular Culture. Vol. 30, No. 4, Spring, 1997. pp. 151–60

* Essay that examines whether Pet Sematary can be described as a Gothic novel


Pharr, Mary Ferguson. ”A Dream of New Life: Stephen King’s Pet Sematary as a Variant of  Frankenstein.” The Gothic World of Stephen King: Landscape of Nightmares. Ed. Gary Hoppenstand and Ray B. Browne. Bowling Green State University Popular Press. Youngstown, OH. 1987. pp. 115-125.


Quigley, Kev. "...sometimes, dead is better..." Charnel House: The Stephen King Site for the Discerning Reader. April 25th, 1998.


Reino, Joseph. "Impossible Cars and Improbable Cats: In a Misspelled Cemetery." Stephen King: The First Decade, Carrie to Pet Sematary. Twayne Publishers. Boston, MA. 1988. pp. 92-99.


Schroeder, Natalie. "'Oz the Gweat and Tewwible' and 'The Other Side': The Theme of Death in Pet Sematary and Jitterbug Perfume." The Gothic World of Stephen King: Landscape of Nightmares. Ed. Gary Hoppenstand and Ray B. Browne. Bowling Green State University Popular Press. Youngstown, OH. 1987. pp. 135-41.


Strengell, Heidi. "Frankenstein's Monster:  Hubris and Death in Stephen King's Oeuvre." Department of English, University of Helsinki.


Weinstock, Jeffrey Andrew. “Maybe It Shouldn’t Be a Party: Kids, Keds, and Death in Stephen King’s Stand By Me and Pet Sematary”.  The Films of Stephen King: from Carrie to Secret Window. Ed. by Tony Magistrale. Palgrave Macmillan. 2008.


Winter, Douglas E. “Pet Sematary and the Paradox of Death” Literary Companion to Contemporary Authors - Stephen King. Ed. Karin Coddon. Greenhaven Press. Nov 2003.


Audiovisual Resources

Pet Sematary (Special Collector's Edition) (1989) DVD

* Includes commentary by director Mary Lambert, and three excellent extras on the making of the movie and the story behind the story.

Pet Sematary screenplay (2 3) (in MicrosoftWord)

Fullcast abridged production of Pet Sematary by the BBC Audio CD  Audio Cassette 

Pet Sematary at the Internet Movie Database

Trivia for "Pet Sematary" (1989)

Pet Sematary Quizzes

Biography - Stephen King: Fear, Fame and Fortune from A&E Biography

Stephen King Resources


Related Readings

The Death and Resurrection of Lazarus (John 11:1-44) 2

"The Monkey's Paw" – W.W. Jacobs (Lesson Plans and other resources)

"The Indian Burying Ground" - Philip Freneau 2

"The Wendigo" by Algernon Blackwood 2

"Lazarus" - Leonid N. Andreyev 2 3

The Discovery of Oz, the Terrible” - L. Frank Baum (from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz) 2 3 4 5 6

"Blitzkrieg Bop" lyrics  (a.k.a. "Hey! Ho! Let's go!") – The Ramones 2 3

The Cat Came Back (nursery rhyme) - Harry S. Miller

Kübler-Ross model (a.k.a. The Five Stages of Grief )

The Kübler-Ross grief cycle

The 7 Stages of Grief


American Indian Burial Mounds

Mound Builders - Wikipedia entry

Michigan's mysterious Indian mounds

The Mound Builders from The History of Lenawee County

The Mound Builders by George Bryce

Mi'kmaq Burial Ground - Nova Scotia

Bregland, Renée L. The National Uncanny: Indian Ghosts and American Subjects. Dartmouth College. University Press of New England. Hanover. 2000.



Wendigo - The North Woods of Minnesota (a good overview of the legend)

Wendigo - Wikipedia entry

Looking for the Windigo? - A Great Resource for Wendigo studies.
Unlocking the Myth  -  “The Windigo” (Issue 6), by Becky Flesher
The Windigo – Pretty good account of legend.  With links.
Roosevelt's Wendigo Story written by Theodore Roosevelt.
Legion Magazine – “Beware The Windigo” by Steve Pitt
Wendigo FAQ

Two good Wendigo books:

* Windigo; An Anthology of Fact and Fantastic Fiction - edited by John Robert Colombo. 1982

* Windigo Psychosis; A Study of a Relationship between Belief and Behavior among the Indians of Northeastern Canada - Morton I. Teicher. 1960.




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