Though it’s of course impossible for any of us to go back in time and hang out on the sets of our favorite horror movies, that doesn’t mean that we can’t pay a visit to some of the iconic locations where they were shot. All it takes is a tank full of gas and an address, and though we can’t fill up your tank for you here on iHorror, we can provide the latter.
So come along with us on this virtual road trip, as we stop off at 10 memorable horror movie locations that all of us horror fans should make it a point to visit, before we get stuffed in a casket and buried under six feet of dirt!
THE AMITYVILLE HORROR
We begin our journey right here in my own neck of the woods, in the Long Island, New York town of Amityville. Amityville is about a 45 minute drive from my house, and the town of course rose to infamy in 1974, when Ronald DeFeo Jr. brutally shot and murdered his entire family inside of the house, claiming to be possessed by a demonic spirit.
The murders, and subsequent hauntings, served as the inspiration for a lengthy horror movie franchise, and though none of the movies were shot at the actual house, the DeFeo home still stands in the town of Amityville, at the address 108 Ocean Avenue. The house looks very much the same as it did back in the 70s, though the iconic eye-shaped windows have since been replaced.
THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE
Another iconic horror movie house is the one that Leatherface and his family did their dirty deeds in, in the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Though the house was moved from its original location in 1998, it still resides in Texas, and not all that much has visually changed about it, since Leatherface used the home as his own personal butcher shop. Only difference is, it’s no longer a home, as it was converted into a restaurant after the move.
Originally named the Junction House Restaurant, it has since been renamed Grand Central Café, and it’s located at 1010 King Court, in Kingsland, Texas. Head cheese is not on the menu, but I hear they have a real tasty burger!
FRIDAY THE 13TH
Surely Camp Crystal Lake is a fictional location, made up for the Friday the 13th franchise, right? Well, yes and no. While no real camp exists with the name Camp Crystal Lake, the original Friday the 13th was in fact shot at a real campground, which is still in operation to this very day. It’s called Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco, though it’s unfortunately private property of the Boy Scouts of America.
Located at 11 Sand Pond Road in Blairstown, New Jersey, the camp is not far from the town seen in the early moments of the film, and the campground occasionally opens up for fan tours, typically when the 13th of any given month falls on a Friday. Otherwise, the whole place is entirely off limits to folks like ourselves.
That said, you can head over to the Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco website to purchase relics from the filming location, including pieces of the cabins seen in the movie and even jars of Crystal Lake’s very own water, from the faux Angry Mother Bottling Company!
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET
If you’re more of a Freddy fan, you’ll be happy to know that you can visit the iconic 1428 Elm Street house, though it’s not located in the town of Springwood, Ohio – which was made up for the movie. A Nightmare on Elm Street was actually filmed in California, and the Thompson house is located at 1428 North Genesse Avenue, in Los Angeles.
The house was recently fixed up and put up for sale last year, selling in March for over $2 million. As you can see in the image above, the exterior of the house looks very similar to the way it did in the movie, and you can check out photos of the newly renovated interior over on the house’s Zillow listing.
Much like Elm Street, Halloween was also filmed in California, though set in the fictional town of Haddonfield, Illinois – Haddonfield is technically a real town, though it’s in Jersey, not Illinois. The house seen at the start of the film, where Michael Myers kills his sister, was abandoned when John Carpenter made the movie, and has since been renovated and moved across the street, currently residing at the address 1000 Mission Street, in South Pasadena.
What has become of the Myers house, in the years since Michael lived there? Well, it has oddly enough been converted into a chiropractor’s office, titled the Alegria Chiropractic Center.
It’s interesting to note that a super-fan of the series by the name of Kenny Caperton recently constructed a full-scale replica of the Myers house in North Carolina, which he lives inside of. You can learn more, and see pictures, over on The Myers House.
It was a stay at Colorado’s Stanley Hotel that inspired Stephen King to write The Shining, with the allegedly haunted building being transformed into the fictional Overlook Hotel, for his novel – and, of course, the subsequent film. Though the Stanley is essentially the real-life counterpart of the Overlook, no scenes from the movie were actually shot there, as Kubrick instead used a sound stage and Oregon’s Timberline Lodge to bring the Overlook to life. The hotel was, however, used for portions of 1997’s mini-series adaptation of the tale.
The Stanley often plays host to writer’s retreats, ghost hunts and even an annual horror film festival, and The Shining airs on a continuous loop on channel 42 in all of the guest rooms. You’ll find the hotel at 333 East Wonderview Avenue in Estes Park, Colorado. Be sure to book your stay in Room 217, which was the room King stayed in, and which became Room 237 for the film!
In Rosemary’s Baby, Rosemary Woodhouse lives in an apartment building called The Bramford, where she is impregnated by the Devil and gives birth to his spawn. Though the building was real, it was actually called The Dakota at the time, which it still goes by to this day. Located in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, New York, the apartment building stands at 1 West 72nd Street.
John Lennon moved into The Dakota shortly after filming on Rosemary’s Baby wrapped, and the building became a true piece of horrific history when he was murdered outside of it, in 1980. Lennon was shot dead at the south entrance of the building, which Rosemary and her husband are seen entering at the start of the film.
One of the most memorable filming locations from The Exorcist is the set of steps that Father Karras tumbled down at the end of the film, after sacrificing himself by allowing the demon to transfer itself from Regan’s body into his own. Those steps can be found in the Washington, DC neighborhood of Georgetown, located near 3600 Prospect Street. Not far from the steps you’ll find the MacNeill house, and many other locations from the film can also be spotted when prowling the area, including Georgetown University.
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD
It was an ill-fated trip to the cemetery that kick-started Night of the Living Dead, and the entire zombie sub-genre as we know it today, and if you’re a fan of zombie cinema, retracing the steps of siblings Barbra and Johnny is an absolute must, on your bucket list. Those opening moments took place inside of Pennsylvania’s Evans City Cemetery, located in the borough of Butler County. You’ll find the cemetery on Franklin Road, and we warn you to be wary of anyone who’s shambling around the premises!
A fan-driven fund was recently started to save the decaying Evans City Cemetery chapel, and you can learn all about that over on the Fix The Chapel website.
DAWN OF THE DEAD
We round out this virtual tour with a trip to Pennsylvania’s Monroeville Mall, which is where George Romero filmed the original Dawn of the Dead. Though the mall looks quite a bit different than it did in the 70s, as most malls do, the shopping center is nevertheless one of the absolute most must-visit locations for horror fans like ourselves, and certainly the most well-known and iconic mall in the history of cinema.
Located at 2000 Mall Circle Drive in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, the Monroeville Mall often plays host to fun zombie-themed events, and formerly had a zombie museum inside of it, which featured props and memorabilia from Romero’s films. The museum was recently moved to Evans City, not far from the Night of the Living Dead cemetery.
If you want to see what the inside of the mall looks like today, watch Kevin Smith’s film Zack and Miri Make a Porno, which was filmed in Monroeville, and features a scene set inside the mall!
Have you ever paid a visit to any of these locations, or any other iconic horror movie locales? Comment below and let us know!