Matt Burke is a character in Salem's Lot. He is a High School English teacher who is content with his life. Matt goes to Dell's where he meets Ben Mears and proceeds to talk with him about the Marsten House and its evil past. The next night Matt returns to Dell's and meets local towns-keeper Mike Ryerson. Mike looks sick and, after being invited, goes to stay at Matt's place for the night. In the middle of the night Matt is stricken with fear upon hearing a child's laughter and sucking noises. The child is later reveled to be Danny Glick, who had been feeding upon Mike for a week. Matt sneaks downstairs and calls Ben Mears who arrives and believes Matt's story because of an event from his childhood. They call the proper authorities to take the body.
The next night Susan Norton visit's Matt because Ben asked her to. Matt tells his story but in the middle of it stops because he heard someone upstairs. He tells Susan to keep talking and he slowly makes his way up the stairs, fear gripping him. He walks into the guest bedroom and Mike is there wanting to be invited in. Matt banishes him with the cross and then has a heart attack. Susan calls the proper authorities and Matt ends up in the hospital. As Ben, Jimmy, Susan, and Mark are fighting the vampires Matt uses his time in the hospital to research vampires and counterattacks. He tells them the information and is a helpful ally. He suffers a heart attack towards the end of the novel and dies in his hospital bed.