Let's talk about Cullfield for a second.
Did you believe Cullfield was a real town buried in the trees, a car ride away from the coastline in the center of Maine? I mean, I hope you did, at least for a little while. However, the fact of the matter is, Cullfield is not a real town.
The fictional nature of the place let me invent certain important details about it, like exactly how deeply entwined Dean's family was in the history of the town. There are a lot of things about Cullfield that are based on actual towns in Maine, though.
For the sake of geography and figuring out how long to get to places like Warren, which actually is a town that houses Maine State Prison, Cullfield would take the place of Dexter, Maine. Like Cullfield, Dexter wasn't always called Dexter and later named itself after a local politician.
And if you plugged in the address for Kate's motel into your GPS for Dexter you would end up at...
Moosehead Trail Motor Inn! Quaint!
Now, the Moosehead Trail Motor Inn doesn't account for a lot of the creepy, eerie stuff about Cullfield. That, in part, comes from the history of Topsham and Brunswick, which are admittedly further south than Dexter. Tunnels existed in these towns connecting houses together for transfers. A lot of Topsham's tunnel system evidently still exists. A lot of older buildings contain false walls used to shelter slaves. Natalie's house didn't have a tunnel, but it did have a variation on this method of hiding slaves.
I do a pretty abysmal job of quickly summarizing the history of the tunnels in these towns, but it's really fascinating to read about in documents much more thorough that I'm being here.
One of the most fascinating things about Maine as a setting... I'm Canadian! I've never been to Maine or really to the east coast. Maine simply seemed like the perfect place for a mystery. The fog banks, the history, the whole creepy vibe.
And Cullfield was born.
There's also something to be said about weather. April had the dreary, fogbank-y kind of weather that lent itself to giving Jane the creeps while lingering on her rooftop at night.
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