Louis Creed, a doctor from Chicago, is appointed director of the University of Maine's campus health service. He moves to a large house near the small town of Ludlow with his wife Rachel, their two young children, Ellie and Gage, and Ellie's cat, Church. From the moment they arrive, the family runs into trouble: Ellie hurts her knee after falling off a swing, and Gage is stung by a bee. Their new neighbor, an elderly man named Jud Crandall, comes to help. He warns Louis and Rachel about the highway that runs past their house it is constantly used by speeding trucks. Louis himself has a traumatic experience during the first week of classes. Victor Pascow, a student who has been fatally injured in an automobile accident, addresses his dying words to Louis personally, even though the two men are strangers. On the night following Pascow's death, Louis experiences what he believes is a very vivid dream in which he meets Pascow, who leads him to the sematary and warns Louis to not go beyond, no matter how much you feel you need to. Louis wakes up in bed the next morning convinced it was, in fact, a dreamâ€”until he finds his feet and the bedsheets covered with dirt and pine needles. Nevertheless, Louis dismisses the dream as the product of the stress he experienced during Pascow's death, coupled with his wife's lingering anxieties about the subject of death. Louis is forced to confront the subject of death at Halloween, when Jud's wife, Norma, suffers a near-fatal heart attack. Thanks to Louis's prompt attention, Norma makes a quick recovery. Jud is grateful for Louis's help and decides to repay him after Church is run over outside his home at Thanksgiving. Rachel and the kids are visiting Rachel's parents in Chicago, but Louis frets over breaking the bad news to Ellie. Sympathizing with Louis, Jud takes him to the pet sematary, supposedly to bury Church. But instead of stopping there, Jud leads Louis farther on a frightening journey to the real cemetery: an ancient burial ground that was once used by the Micmac Indians. There Louis buries the cat on Jud's instruction, with Jud saying that animals buried there have come back to life. Not really believing, Louis thinks that the subject is finished â€“ until the next afternoon when the cat returns home. But it is obvious that Church is not the same as before. While he used to be vibrant and lively, he now acts ornery and a little dead, in Louis's words. A terrific novel that was nominated for a World Fantasy Award for Best Novel in 1984 and adapted into a 1989 film of the same name.