What, oh, what to do this Halloween? There’s surely going to be the usual drunken bar parties with their sloppy costume contests. Those with kids will be saddled with trick-or-treating. Some of us will sit at home and marathon scary movies or TV. Others will go to haunted houses.
Why not do something a little more spectacular this All Hallow’s Eve? Something like hitting up a location from one of your favorite horror movies. A place to go and be creeped out — soaking in the vibes of a place that brought so much fear into the world.
To help you in this endeavor, we’ve compiled a list of some of the locations around America from our favorite classic horror movies. These terror-inducing spots are spread out all over the country, so you might want to book a flight soon. Or just check out a spot near you. Either way, hitting up a location from a great horror film is a great way to spend Halloween.
Evan’s City Cemetery from Night of the Living Dead — Evan’s City, Pennsylvania
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It was so cool to see the cemetery where they filmed Night of the Living Dead 50 years later. Still wish I could've met George Romero. Next is the Monroeville Mall. #nightofthelivingdead #cemetery #theyrecomingtogetyoubarbara #zombies #vegansofig #veganzombie #theveganzombie #zombtober #31daysofhalloween 🎃👻☠️
It was in the Evan’s City Cemetery where “they’re coming to get you, Barbara,” was uttered in the opening scene of George Romero’s seminal Night of the Living Dead. A moment later, a reanimated corpse shuffled from behind a gravestone — hungry for human flesh — and the modern zombie genre was born. That iconic opening scene has turned Evan’s City Cemetery into a mecca for every horror aficionado on the planet.
Deep in the wooden prairies north of Pittsburgh, you’ll find the tiny hamlet of Evan’s City. A few dozen blocks of two-story houses built in another era spread our like a spider’s web from the main street and that’s about it. Just outside of town, down Franklin Road, you’ll find the Evan’s City Cemetery perched on a hill surrounded by trees. It’s a spooky place on its own. Add in the living dead dimension and you’ve got yourself a great place to spend Halloween, pay respect to Romero, and live out your walking dead fantasies.
Sawyer House from Texas Chainsaw Massacre — Kingsland, Texas
‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ was the cannibalistic parable that came out of nowhere in the 1970s. The Sawyer family was grotesque and terrifying in ways that have yet to really be topped. Where the excellent (and underrated) Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 saw the Sawyers wrecking havoc all over the place, the original was laser-focused on the family farm, slaughterhouse, and dining room table. And, now, you too can eat at the Sawyer’s house (not people though).
About an hour and change outside of Austin, TX, you’ll find a town where the Colorado and Llano Rivers meet. Kingsland is quintessential small-town America by way of arid Texan grasslands. It’s the sort of place where they still call the local DQ ‘The Dairy Queen Store.’ Down on Kings Court near the Colorado River, you’ll find the Grand Central Cafe housed in the Sawyer house. The rooms have been refitted to an old Victorian style and there’s even a cocktail lounge.
If you’re in town around breakfast time, grab the Chicken Fried Steak and Gravy with a biscuit on the side. You won’t be disappointed. It’s likely hippy-free meat.
The Desert from The Hills Have Eyes — Victorville, California
Wes Craven’s third feature was a crashing of the modern world with a post-apocalyptic fall out zone. ‘The Hills Have Eyes’ asked the question, “what if normal folk got trapped in a Mad Max world?”
“Very bad and bloody horrific things,” is the answer.
Out in the deserts of California, you’ll stumble upon the drylands of Victorville. The town skirts the edge of the Mojave Desert and has served as a backdrop for a long list of films that trap seemingly ordinary people in an unforgiving place. Heading out east from the town you’ll be greeted with endless expanses of dry and inhospitable desert, rattlesnakes, and nuclear fallout victims.
Okay, that last one might be a lie. We don’t know. Why don’t you go check it out for us? We’ll wait here.
Freeling House from Poltergeist — Simi Valley, California
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#31daysofhalloween Day 22: Poltergeist (1982, Hooper) "There is no death. There is only a transition to a different sphere of consciousness." . . #horrormovies #horror #horrorchallenge #halloween #shocktober #horrornights #ghosts #poltergeist #horrorfilms #horror #clowns #possession
Poltergeist is a shockingly scary film. It ruined clowns and toe-headed children with high-pitched voices who confer with the afterlife for everyone. Good old fashioned 80s greed is on full display here — as a land developer builds a suburban wasteland over a cemetery without removing the bones. Which, come on, the Freeling’s totally had it coming for that grisly, cost-cutting move.
Simi Valley is one of those bedroom towns that rests in the deserts just outside Los Angeles like a mirage. It promises water, life, and luxuriousness. But once you’re there, it’s all dry pastels and a dizzying maze of dry-wall houses and cul-de-sacs. Amongst that maze is the Freeling’s House.
This is still someone’s home, so be respectful if you’re hitting it up for trick or treating or a selfie. Don’t go throwing demented clown dolls at it like some “fans” throw around pizzas in Alberquerque.
Monroeville Mall from Dawn of the Dead — Monroeville, Pennsylvania
Romero’s follow up to Night of the Living Dead was arguably one of the greatest masterstrokes of horror cinema. The makeup was revolutionary. The commentary on our society was on point and still rings true today — well, maybe except for the motorcycle gang pie fight. It was a frightening take on the living dead that helped solidify the genre into what it is to this day.
Heading east out of Pittsburgh down the William Penn Highway, you’ll eventually come along Monroeville. It’s a sleepy rural suburb of PGH with strip malls and village centers amongst the forests and misty mornings of rural Pennsylvania. The Monroeville Mall is still 100 percent functional and, largely, still looks like it did in in the 1970s (on the outside). You can go inside, fill up on Panda Express, and then run up and down the escalators to your heart’s content.
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"When there's no more room in Hell, the dead will walk the earth" Monroeville Mall, filming location for the '78 Dawn of the Dead ・・・ #dawnofthedead #horror #georgeromero #1978 #braindead #braindeadmetal #metal #punk #punkrock #roadragetour2017 #tourist #travel #monroevillemall #pa #pennsylvania
Myers’ House from Halloween — Pasadena, California
Jamie Lee Curtis running for her life from Michael Myers set the tone for an avalanche of slasher horror flicks that followed in the 80s, 90, aughts, and even today. Filmmakers have copied, parodied, spoofed, paid homage, and redone this story so many times, it’d take too long to count all the films.
Out in South Pasadena, CA, you’ll find a non-descript chiropractic office. Originally at 707 Meridian Avenue, the house was moved just down the street to 1000 Mission Street, right next to a set of railroad tracks. The neighborhood has barely changed since Michael Myers was stalking Laurie on the streets. The rows of trees that line the sidewalks are basically the same along with the one and two-story houses set back behind green lawns. If you’re going, don’t forget your William Shatner mask.
This is a private business. So don’t be a dick when you show up for a selfie.
The Dakota from Rosemary’s Baby — New York, New York
Rosemary’s Baby is a treatise on losing control of your life to an unseen yet imminently present danger. It’s also about the anti-christ being born to yuppie New Yorkers who live in the prestigious and haunting Dakota, in Manhattan, amongst the elite (who just happen to be apostates of Lucifer). In the end, it’s all in the eyes of the beholder.
The Dakota is one of Manhattan’s most iconic buildings. You’ll probably never, ever live there. But you can totally roll up on it and take a selfie. The Dakota was built in 1884 and started the trend of uber-elite castle-like buildings around Central Park to house to crème de la crème. The building has a long history of hauntings by small children and weeping women from bygone eras.
The Dakota is also where John Lennon lived for the last seven years of his life before being gunned down in the entryway by Mark David Chapman. Some say his ghost has joined the others and that he, too, haunts the Dakota’s halls.
Camp Crystal Lake (Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco) from Friday the 13th — Hardwick, New Jersey
The original Friday the 13th is the mother of cabin-in-the-woods horror films. It’s a revenge fantasy that has the audacity to kill a young and fabulously coiffed Kevin Bacon with an arrow. “Friday” helped solidify many of the tropes that became the modern slasher flick. And it all started at a sleepaway camp deep in the New Jersey woods.
Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco nestles into the forests that line the east side of the Delaware River — which forms the border between Pennsylvania and New Jersey. ‘Crystal Lake’ in the movie is actually Sand Pond and it’s part of a still functioning Boy Scout summer camp. Yes, you read that right, parents still send their children to spend summers at the spot where horror fans lurk around looking for Jason Vorhees and (spoiler alert) his batshit crazy mother.
The Timberline Lodge from The Shining — Government Camp, Oregon
The Shining is an exercise in tension. The synth-heavy score floats over a snowbound resort as a family slowly loses its mind and falls apart. Jack Nicholson is crazy turned up to thirteen and Shelly Duvall gives the tortured performance of her career. The Overlook Hotel remembers everything and it’ll punish you hard.
The Timberline Lodge on Oregon’s Mount Hood stands in for the Overlook in ‘The Shining’ — at least the exteriors. The interiors were all sound stages in London’s Pinewood studios. Don’t let that dissuade you from taking the sidewinder up the mountain. The Timberline’s interiors are a throwback to a time of conquest with massive timbered rafters meeting huge river rock chimneys with roaring fires to warm up next to. Just don’t ask for Room 237. Or do. You do you.
The M Street Stairs from The Exorcist — Washington, DC
Pea soup. That’s what always comes to mind first when we think of ‘The Exorcist.’ So, so much pea soup. Then there’s the exorcism itself and the end of the film, which (spoiler alert) has made a single set of stairs in Washington, DC famous.
The M Street Stairs — or the Exorcist Steps — are a narrow set of steps that connect M Street NW with Prospect Stree NW in Washington, DC’s very haunted Georgetown. They’re largely innocuous if not for the climax of ‘The Exorcist.’ And, be warned, the placard that adorns the stairs citing their fame 100 percent spoils the end of the film.
And, yes, that plaque is totally the next photo!
Oak Alley Plantation from Interview with a Vampire — Vacherie, Louisiana
Anne Rice’s novel came to pale and pouty life in the 90s classic Interview with a Vampire. The film’s eerie mood was firmly planted in Antebellum Louisiana plantation life. The swaying Spanish oak, voodoo rituals, and vampires created a baroque macabre atmosphere that rings through the ages.
Oak Alley Plantation served as the home of the haunted and vampiric Louis as he and Lestat as they ate their way through 18th century New Orleans. The Plantation sits within a stone’s throw of the mighty Mississippi River and feels frozen in a sort of gothic amber. It’s a place where you feel like you’re traveling back in time to a truly horrific past.
The Woods from The Blair Witch Project — Burkittsville, Maryland
“Blair Witch” changed the horror game. Your like or dislike of the found footage classic has no bearing on how important this film is to the genre. The madness that sets in as three college friends trying to make a documentary keep getting themselves more and more lost is a testament to filmmaking ingenuity. Plus, it’s a scary movie that works and helped usher in the modern internet age of subversive marketing.
Burkittsville is a very small town in very rural Maryland. The town is two main roads with a smattering of houses from a century or two ago dotted in the surrounding fields. The woods surrounding the area are full of broken down monuments to the Civil War, lost farms, and unsettling forests. The forests around Burkittsville are just aberrant in their own right. Some say it’s a weird energy in the area. Others say it’s all in our heads because of the movie. You can go and judge for yourself.
Santa Carla Beach Boardwalk from Lost Boys — Santa Cruz, California
Get your saxophones ready for that oiled up solo. The Santa Carla Beach Boardwalk was where it was at in The Lost Boys. Everybody headed down to the boardwalk to hang, buy comics, rent VHS tapes, eat cotton candy, and party at Tim Cappello concerts, evidently. The place was so cool, even the hipper-than-thou vampire gang led by 80s heavy Kiefer Sutherland hung out there.
Santa Carla is really Santa Cruz, California. The boardwalk is still there and you can go right now. The old-school carnival games are still in full swing and you can probably get plenty of cotton candy in the Wharf. Whether or not you’ll bump into a greased up Tim Cappello and his sax is another matter. But, hey, you might get lucky.