Better learning through horror

I was reading Stephen King's 1975 vampire novel, 'Salem's Lot, a few weeks ago. At one point, a boy who is tied up is imagining his escape, even seeing a projection of himself on the wall:

He looked at the wall.

The figure there had begun to move cautiously, although he himself lay perfectly still. He watched all the movements of the simulacrum raptly.

I'd seen simulacrum before, and always had a vague idea of its meaning from context. But this was my "A-ha!" moment for the word. (I should have played "Take on Me.")

Anyway, here's the OED definitions and etymology.

  • 1. A material image, made as a representation of some deity, person, or thing.
  • 2a. Something having merely the form or appearance of a certain thing, without possessing its substance or proper qualities.
  • 2b. A mere image, a specious imitation or likeness, of something.
  • Etymology: Latin, from simulare, to make like, to simulate.