Where are the greatest, most recognized places on earth, made famous by box office favorites like The Shining and Halloween? These locations may not be truly haunted or even lived in anymore. But, they encapsulate the griping fear in all of us, particularly during this Halloween season. Before you sit down with popcorn and watch them, find out where the frightening movies were made.
Image: Gary Wayne
The movie Halloween was supposed to be set in the Midwest somewhere. However, it was actually shot in Pasadena, CA, on Orange Grove Avenue, just off Sunset Blvd. The familiar hedge where Michael Myers lurked still remains today at this location. However, the home is now the Algeria Chiropractic Center and has been painted blue.
Image: Roger Sturtevant
13. A Nightmare on Elm Street
This famous movie was a smash success in 1984. It was Johnny Depp’s film debut and a horror film that went on to have many copycats, like Friday the 13th. The unexplained and deadly disease a Brugada Syndrome was an inspiration for this terrifying film. A family named the Thompsons now reside in this famous home.
Image: Kelvin Kay
Mission San Juan Bautista
Mission San Juan Bautista was the location for the Alfred Hitchcock thriller Vertigo. The movie depicts a detective, suffering from vertigo, spying on his friend’s wife, who displays some decidedly odd behavior. The woman finally jumps to her death from the bell tower at the end of the movie. The bell tower, the critical building in the film, burned down eons ago in a tragic fire.
11. The Shining
It’s very difficult to imagine that one of the scariest movies in the world, written by one of the most prestigious writers ever known, made use of the sweet and serene location pictured below. Located about 60 miles east of Portland, Oregon, the Timberline Lodge was featured in the film, which is based on a Stephen King novel. It was written by Stanley Kubrick and was playing in cinemas everywhere in 1980. Never shot inside the lodge, The Shining took advantage of the interesting outer architecture of the beautiful location. The lodge is, in fact, not really haunted, but has been made famous since the movie debut 20 years ago.
Here is the original location intended for The Shining. It is the Stanley Hotel where he spent just one night on October 30, 1974. A wonderful masterpiece was penned from that one infamous stay – inspiring writers and artists across the globe to stay in strange places hoping for the same epiphany.
10. The Blair Witch Project
This author wasn’t a huge fan of this movie, but millions thought otherwise of the 1999 box office favorite. Despite only having a population of 171 people the Maryland town became a spot on the map thanks to the filmmaker Eduardo Sanchez. This movie developed a cult following because of its great success.
Image: John Phelan
9. The Amityville Horror
This is the only truly haunted place on this list where filming occurred. The movie was based on a true story, in which the entire family was murdered by the eldest son, Ronald Defeo, Jr., who shot his parents and four siblings while they were sleeping one night in November 1974.
Book and movies about the Amityville Horror followed suit, and this is considered to be the most haunted location in America. James and Barbara Cromarty, who’ve lived in the house since 1976, contradict the sightings of hauntings, stating that they have never had problems with ghosts or the like.
8. The Exorcist
One of the scariest movies of all time, The Exorcist remains one of the top sought out thrillers every Halloween. The movie opens with a scene taken from Hatra, about 180 miles north of Baghdad, Iraq (who would have guessed that 20 years after the movie debuted in 1973 the U.S. would be at war in the very same area?).
7. Friday the 13th
Hoping to capitalize on the success of A Nightmare on Elm Street, this movie came out in 1980 and bore 12 successful slasher sequel films. Though not popular with critics, the story of a boy named Jason, who drowns in the lake due to camp counselors’ neglect, became a huge marketing success. Even today, after 20 years has passed, Jason’s hockey mask is one of the most recognized images in modern pop culture. The lake, Camp Crystal Lake, near Newton, New Jersey, is not interested in making a killing off the movie’s fame, however. In fact, they turn away visitors still looking for the film location. Fun trivia: Jason wasn’t the first name considered for use in the film – it was Josh. However, Josh sounded too nice and sweet, so the film director decided to go with Jason.
6. Night of the Living Dead
Evans City, Pennsylvania.
The 1968 black-and-white thriller takes place in rural Pennsylvania, just outside of Evans City – 30 miles north of Pittsburgh. The poor town of 2,000 people has gone back to normal existence in the past 42 years since the debut of the movie. However, most people, even those who were born after the movie hit the silver screens, still love the creepy ghouls that attacked the farmhouse out in the middle of nowhere.
Cemetery in Evans City, PA where the opening scene was shot.
Because the Vietnam War was going on during the time, critics harshly criticized the making of the Night of the Living Dead whose content they saw as eerily similar to the war’s events. However, $30 million later, no one can deny the haunting chills the movie still creates.
Palisades Charter High School
This infamous Stephen King movie was filmed in many locations – the Bates High School and Pier Avenue Junior High in Los Angeles, and Palisades Charter High School in Pacific Palisades, California (pictured here). The supernatural horror-thriller retells the story of a social outcast teen with special powers. She turns into a freak of nature when humiliated by her peers, teachers and abusive mother.
4. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
This film made its debut in 1974 and was remade in 2003. It’s been banned in many countries but has still made profits of nearly $31 million. The movie contains furniture made of bones, a murderer with a leather mask, and freezers full of dead teens. Despite it being a low budget movie, the filmmaker was laughing all the way to the bank with the earnings it produced.