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"Sometimes They Come Back"
Author Stephen King
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Horror
Published in Night Shift
Media type Anthology
Publication date 1974

"Sometimes They Come Back" is a short story by Stephen King, first published in 1978 in the compilation Night Shift.



"Sometimes They Come Back" is set in Stratford High School in Stratford, Connecticut. The movie was actually filmed close to Rosedale Park in Kansas City, Kansas on 7th Street and Mission Road where the main house is located. Scenes may also have been filmed in and around Rocheport, Missouri, and Liberty, Missouri.

Plot summary

Two brothers are walking to the library when they are attacked by a gang of local greasers. One brother is killed while the other gets away. Many years later, Jim, the survivor of the attack, takes a job as an English teacher at a high school. Students from his class are murdered and are replaced by students that resemble the greasers that attacked him years before.

As it turns out, the greasers were killed in a car accident after they attacked the boys. They have been brought back to life to finish their business with Jim. After they kill his wife, Jim uses a ritual to summon a demon (taking the form of his slain brother) to kill the greasers. Because he deals with the powers of darkness, things turn out less well than he had hoped. The ending implies that the forces he summoned to dispatch the greasers may also be just as sinister, and difficult to get rid of as the greasers themselves were (the demon posing as his brother states "I'll be back, Jim").

The movie was filmed in Liberty, Missouri at Liberty Junior High School

Film, TV or theatrical adaptations

A TV movie adaptation aired in 1991, starring Tim Matheson and was followed by two sequels in 1996 and 1999. The adaptation was originally going to be part of the 1985 film , Cat's Eye (which included two other stories adapted from Night Shift, "The Ledge" and "Quitters, Inc"). However, producers thought the segment would do better on its own.

In the film adaptation, Jimmy's brother Wayne comes back to help after Mueller, one of the original greasers who had fled and survived, sacrifices himself, having heard his former friends state that somebody could come back when somebody else died. Jim's wife also does not die, and Wayne's return does not appear to be nearly as sinister, and in fact allows him a chance to gain closure and move on as a spirit.

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