×

Residents express excitement over ‘Castle Rock’ release 

  • People watch the premiere of the Hulu series “Castle Rock” at Witty’s Funeral Home in Orange on Wednesday. “Castle Rock” was partially filmed in Orange. FOR THE RECORDER/MIKE PHILLIPS

  • People at Witty’s Funeral Home for the premiere of the Hulu series “Castle Rock” on Wednesday. “Castle Rock” was partially filmed in Orange. FOR THE RECORDER/Mike Phillips

  • Athol Daily News reporter Carson McGrath interviews Orange resident Dan Gullage, who visited Witty’s Funeral Home for the premiere of the Hulu series “Castle Rock” on Wednesday. “Castle Rock” was partially filmed in Orange. For the Athol Daily News/Mike Phillips

  • Orange resident Dan Gullage sports a “Castle Rock” T-shirt at a screening of the premiere of the Hulu series “Castle Rock.” The series was partially filmed in Orange. FOR THE RECORDER/Mike Phillips

  • People watch the premiere of the Hulu series “Castle Rock” at Witty’s Funeral Home in Orange on Wednesday. “Castle Rock” was partially filmed in Orange. FOR THE ATHOL DAILY NEWS/MIKE PHILLIPS



Staff Writer
Thursday, July 26, 2018

ORANGE — “Are you going to leave the lights up?” questioned Orange resident Pat Conrad as locals sat in Witty’s Funeral Home on Wednesday, ready to watch the first episode of the Stephen King-inspired Hulu series “Castle Rock.”

Though Conrad said she isn’t a fan of horror shows, after seeing the cast and crew around Orange filming last August throughout January, she was eager to see her small town on the big screen. Sitting in a cushioned chair inside the funeral home, she decided to sit near the door just in case a scary scene popped up.

“I would like to see the whole thing — I just don’t know if I have the guts,” she said.

Orange resident BettyLou Mallet said the horror doesn’t bother her one bit. Excited for the show’s premiere, she considers herself a Stephen King fan, saying her husband has all the author’s book.

She said the atmosphere of a funeral home was the perfect place to watch her first glimpse of the series.

“I just posted (on Facebook), I said, ‘On a dark and dreary day, I am at a funeral home watching “Castle Rock,’’” she said, laughing in her seat.

Mallet had multiple friends who made it into the series as extras and she said she was looking forward to spotting them throughout the 10 episodes as well as seeing the aerial shots of downtown.

Witty’s Funeral Home on South Main Street held two free viewing parties, one at 3 p.m. and the other at 7, so residents could see the long-anticipated first episode.

Paul Anderson, co-owner of Trail Head Outfitters and General Store, has been selling “Castle Rock” merchandise — from salsa to T-shirts and hats — in his store since the show’s buzz began in Orange. He said he was planning to attend the viewing at the Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School in Fitchburg, but was hoping to avoid spoilers before the 5:30 p.m. start.

Orange resident Dan Gullage sported one of Anderson’s “Castle Rock” T-shirt from Trail Head at the viewing in Witty’s and was ready to see the local shots of the town come to life.

“I am sure I am going to get hooked on it — I will see the whole series,” he said.

In the first opening scenes of the series, aerial shots of downtown Orange, including the Millers River, can be seen. Residents have been eager to finally get a glimpse of their small town’s transformation into King’s envisioned fictional town Castle Rock, Maine.

“Castle Rock” is based on numerous written works by King. The town Castle Rock is featured in the author’s novels “Cujo,” “The Dead Zone,” “The Dark Half” and other novels, novellas and short stories. Maine is King’s home state.

Starring Sissy Spacek, Melanie Lynskey and André Holland, the show features characters and places familiar to King fans. The first three episodes of the series are now streaming on Hulu, a subscription video-on-demand service.