If you are a fan of Stephen King novels and films, you are probably aware that his favorite locale for his stories is in his home state of Maine.

With Michigan being one of our states with the most rumored hauntings, stories, myths and urban legends, doesn’t it seem only likely that King would base one of his tales in Michigan? Well, no – not really. That’s his choice…his prerogative.

So when the question arose “Did Stephen King ever base one of his tales in Michigan?” the resounding answer was NO. But upon further inspection, it seems he DID make a slight reference to Michigan in one of his novels…..finally…..in 2008, in his novel “Duma Key”.

99.1 WFMK logo
Get our free mobile app

The story follows the life of Edgar Freemantle as he recovers from an accident where he lost his right arm and eventually broke up his marriage. He meets some weird characters, including a creepy sea goddess by the name of Perse.

Then, out of the blue, comes this Michigan term, that seems quirkily out of place.

On page 456 comes this conversation:
“The sketch he was showing off in the plane…it was one of mine, right?”
“Yes…he was so proud…Edgar, what are you...“
“Did it have a name? Did the sketch have a name? Do you know?”
“It was called Hello. He kept saying, ‘Don’t look much like Minnesota dere’…doing that dumb Yooper thing of his….”

Using the word “dere” for “there” and then adding ‘dumb Yooper thing’ on top of that isn’t exactly flattering to one from the Upper Peninsula…or any Michigander, for that matter. You just don’t see that term used much anywhere except for in Michigan-based writings. So if ol’ Steve at least knows that much about our Upper Peninsula, how about expanding a little and making our northern wilderness a home base for your next extravaganza?

Need help adapting? Watch Jeff Daniels’ film Escanaba in Da Moonlight.

Stephen King & Yoopers



Abandoned Ice Cream Shop, Upper Peninsula

The Upper Peninsula's Only Operating Drive-In Theater

More From 99.1 WFMK