Submitted for your approval are 10 movie locations of unspeakable terror.
It’s that time of year again. The Halloween season, when we all wrap safely in the comfort of our comforter and our Netflix. Whip up some quinoa and kale and try to scare ourselves silly with classic horror films. We consider ourselves troopers if we are brave enough to keep our eyes open and the lights off while ghoulish delights pass safely by on our screens.
But are you really brave? Brave enough to take it a step further? How about visiting the actual sites where the thrills and chills were filmed!
You won’t find Frankenstein or Dracula’s castles. They’re on studio back lots, but as movies moved out of the sound stages and out into the real world, horror films naturally went with them.
Submitted for your approval are 10 movie locations. Locations of unspeakable terror. Categorized by state, whether you’re a local or travelling, do you have what it takes to pay these cursed sites a visit?
WASHINGTON D.C., THE EXORCIST: Let’s start with the granddaddy of modern horror, THE EXORCIST. A story of demonic possession and the fight for the soul of a little girl. It scared audiences in a way they had never been scared before. To be found in Washington D.C. are the steps that figure climactically in the battle between good and evil. The steps are located at: 3600 Prospect St. NW, Washington, D.C.
COLORADO, THE SHINING: Stanley Kubrick’s terrifying tale of a haunted hotel and the unfortunate family that fiind themselves caretaking it for the winter, gave Jack Nicholson one of his most iconic roles. The words, “Here’s Johnny!” have never sounded the same since. Interiors were shot in the studio, but the hotel used for the exterior is the Timberline Lodge in Colorado. Those who feel they can survive the winter can find the hotel at: Timberline Lodge, 27500 E Timberline Road, Timberline Lodge, Oregon
MASSACHUSETTS, JAWS: Going to the beach changed forever in 1975 when Steven Spielberg’s JAWS swam into theaters. Suddenly, you couldn’t go in the water with out John Williams legendary theme creeping into your head. JAWS took a bite out of the box office and became the highest grossing film of all time. The film’s Amity Island was really Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. Many famous scenes were shot at Joseph Sylvia State Beach. Go for a midnight swim, I dare you. You can jump in at: Joseph Sylvia State Beach, 180 Beach Road, Edgartown, Massachusetts
MARYLAND, THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT: For those afraid of the woods and the dark, like me, THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, rattled us to our core. Made on a shoestring budget of $25,000 and ultimately grossing $250 million, this story of three kids lost in the woods relied more on sound and suggestion than blood and guts. Proving that what you can’t see is often scarier than what you can. If you’d like to go for a hike and find the abandoned cabin seen in the end of the film, you can try to find it at: Patapsco Valley State Park,8020 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City, Maryland
NEW YORK, ROSEMARYS BABY: Roman Polanski’s darkly satiric tale of a young woman’s nightmare of giving birth to the spawn of the devil was set in a building with it’s own haunted legends to share. The Dakota Apartments in a gothic building set right in the middle of Manhattan. It’s had many famous residents, none more so than John Lennon who tragically lost his life in front of it’s doors. It’s the building where Rosemary Woodhouse is terrorized and you can find it at: 1 West 72nd St., New York, New York
NEW YORK, THE AMITYVILLE HORROR: Meanwhile in Upstate New York, a haunted house of a different kind can be found. Based on a real case of murder and mayhem involving the Lutz Family in 1975. Spinning crucifixes, whispering walls, this house had it all. They lasted a year and a half before finally being chased away by evil spirits. The actual house still stands, it’s on private property, but, you can get a picture at: 112 Ocean Ave., Amityville, New York
NEW JERSEY, FRIDAY THE 13th: In the late ‘70s, traditional horror was replaced by the Teenager In Trouble/Mad Slasher genre. One of the first of these films to capture the public’s imagination and blaze the way for dozens of copycat films, FRIDAY THE 13th spawned 11 sequels and made kids a little more careful about going into the woods at camp to make out. Shot at an actual summer camp, however in the dead of winter, FRIDAY THE 13th brought a new level of ooze to popular horror. If you want to spend the summer at camp you can find Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco at: 11 Sand Pond Rd. Blairstown, New Jersey (Please note that the camp is private property of the NNJC Boy Scouts of America and is NOT open to the public for visiting or tours.)
CALIFORNIA, CARRIE: In 1976, Brian DePalma pulled the covers off the brutally cruel world of American high school and the limits it pushes one special, different girl to. Carrie White is a shy, withdrawn senior who is mercilessly taunted by the other kids. What they don’t know is that this awkward girl, who lives with her religious fanatic mother, is capable of much more than they think. Two key locations are the house Carrie and her mother share and the high school where all hell breaks loose. Both can be visited here: Carrie’s house: 124 N 7th St. Santa Paula, California Carrie’s high school: Pier Avenue Junior High School, 1645 Valley Drive, Hermosa Beach, California
CALIFORNIA, POLTERGEIST: While in California, if you haven’t had your fill of haunted houses, you might want to venture into the ‘burbs and seek out the house that conjured up angry spirits from the American Indian burial ground upon which it was built. The house captured little Carol Ann and the rest of the family spends their time fighting demons to get her back. The cast has been plagued by bad luck and early deaths leading many to believe that perhaps the movie itself was haunted. If you dare to knock on the door and find out if “They’re here!”, you can find it at: 4267 Roxbury Drive, Simi Valley, California
PENNSYLVANIA, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD: My vote for the scariest film of all time. The film that led the modern day zombie film movement, this raw, black and white classic is relentless in it’s desire to scare you. The cheap effects and amateurish nature of some of the direction and acting only add to the texture of the terror. Six people trapped in a farmhouse while zombie’s try to get to them ends up being a night you’ll never forget. The farmhouse is long gone, but the cemetery that opens the film is still there and if you’re clever, you’ll be able to find the right grave and have an awesome picture taken. You can dig it up at: Evans City Cemetery, Evans City, Pennsylvania
Vernon Scott is an actor, writer and radio host from Los Angeles. He can be seen and heard in countless films and television shows, and is currently living in Sun Valley, Idaho, doing a political radio show, and raising two sons.
Top photo: courtesy Timberline Lodge, Mt. Hood, OR