If Halloween gets you in the mood to rewatch your favorite horror classics, perhaps you'd also like to make a personal visit to their filming sites. While many movies are shot on secluded sound stages, these 21 spots are real movie locations that brave souls can seek out on their own. Some are public businesses -- hotels, diners, and even a very tongue-in-cheek barbecue restaurant -- while others are historic locations open for tours. Just be sure to be respectful when visiting residences and parks, and watch out for monsters!
21 Horror Movie Locations You Need to Visit
Mount Hood, OR
The Timberline Lodge was built on the side of Oregon's Mount Hood in the 1930s as part of the Works Progress Administration, which put Americans to work during the Great Depression. It is now a National Historic Landmark and attracts visitors all year long, including in the snowy winters when guests come to use the nearby ski area. Speaking of snowy nights, the Timberline also served as the exterior of the Overlook Hotel in Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining." Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, "The Shining" tells the story of a family who signs on to care for the hotel during its winter off-season. After the staff departs, the family is left alone with the hotel, falling prey to the malevolent spirits that lurk within. King was inspired to write the novel after staying at another hotel with his wife, Tabby: The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado.
Universal City, CA
Guests to Universal Studios Hollywood can still visit the house where "Psycho" serial killer Norman Bates and his mother -- or Norman pretending to be his mother -- lived while operating the adjacent Bates Motel. The motel set is typically incorporated into the theme park's annual Halloween Horror Nights event with an optional photo op in front of the house, but it's also visible at other times of the year via backlot tram tours.
Seneca Creek State Park, Gaithersburg, MD
Seneca Creek State Park is perfect for a scenic outing. Its some 6,300 acres contain numerous trails, a creek for kayaking, and a lake where guests can fish and boat. It's also where much of the "The Blair Witch Project" was filmed. The 1999 film follows three film students as they attempt to locate the Blair Witch, a creature that supposedly haunts the woods of Maryland, for a documentary. It was certainly not the first "found footage" horror film, but it did spawn numerous copycats in the years to come.
In 1918, lumber mogul Charles Cobb built himself an estate in Altadena. The house was bought the Marx Brothers and later demolished, though the gates still remain. These gates are visible in the 1979 film "Phantasm" as the gates to a cemetery. The film follows two orphaned brothers, Jody and Mike Pearson, who are terrorized by the The Tall Man. He's not only the town mortician, but the brothers suspect he's been picking off people in their small town. Present-day hikers like to claim that the area around the gates is haunted.
Based on Stephen King's "The Body," "Stand by Me" trails a group of children as they set out to find the body of a missing boy in the woods. In one scene, the boys try to cross a train bridge that sits over a stream, which goes well until a train come barreling along. Though the 1986 film is set in a small town in Oregon, this scene really uses the Lake Britton Bridge in Burney, California.
The gas station where an ill-fated group of friends stop for gas only to find the owner has none is now a barbecue restaurant. If you think it's weird that a meat-centric restaurant has sprung up at a location featured in a movie about a killer cannibal who wears flesh masks, it's definitely intentional. Guests can buy horror merchandise, order up some delicious brisket, or even stay in one of the property's four cabins. You'll know you've found the right place when you see the "We Slaughter Barbecue" sign.
New York, NY
The Dakota is a beautiful apartment building in Manhattan, known to attract the rich and famous. John Lennon and Yoko Ono lived here, and it's outside of this building where Lennon was fatally shot in 1980. The building also played a role in the 1968 horror film, "Rosemary's Baby." The Dakota serves as the exteriors of The Bramford, an apartment building with a dark past where bad things seem to happen often. Despite the rumors, Rosemary Woodhouse agreed to move there with her husband, only to accidentally conceive the son of Satan.
The Monroeville Mall is a functioning shopping center, where guests may shop and visit the food court just as they would with any other mall in America. However, it's this mall where George Romero shot his 1978 horror classic "Dawn of the Dead." Here, a group of human survivors attempt to barricade themselves away from the zombies that have ravaged the planet. You can play zombie laser tag there now.
Los Angeles, CA
In the 2012 remake of 1980's "Maniac," Elijah Wood plays Frank Zito, a serial killer who attacks and scalps young women. Notably, the entire film is shot from the killer's perspective, meaning viewers rarely see Wood, except for shots that involve a reflective surface. In a particularly harrowing scene, Zito chases a dancer through an empty train station full of neon artwork. That station is Pershing Square, a Metro stop on Los Angeles' Red Line, located in downtown L.A.
In the very first of very "Friday the 13th" movies, a group of camp counselors is terrorized by a mysterious killer at Camp Crystal Lake. One such counselor, Annie Phillips, stops by the Crystal Lake Diner to ask for directions to the camp. She's cautioned against going there, but like every horror movie victim, chooses not to heed the warning. In real life, this diner is the Blairstown Diner. The camp itself is a Boy Scout camp, also in New Jersey, called Camp No-Bo-Be-Sco.
In the film "The Exorcist," the demon Pazuzu possesses the body of a little girl named Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair). Despite the best efforts of two priests, Father Karras (Jason Miller) and the elder Father Merrin (Max von Sydow), the demon refuses to let go of her until Father Karras screams at the demon to enter him instead. Karras then sacrifices himself, thus killing the demon, by flinging himself through a window and down a flight of stairs. The steps where Karras meets his fate can be found in Washington, D.C. and, since 2015, have been officially marked with a plaque.
In "It Follows" (2014), protagonist Jay (Maika Monroe) is a teenage girl who has sex with her new boyfriend for the first time only to wake up taped to a wheelchair in an empty parking garage. He explains that he's being stalked by an entity that follows him at all times, and that by sleeping with him, she's become the monster's new target. The interior of this chilling scene was filmed in the former Packard Plant in Detroit. At the time of the shoot, it was an sprawling, abandoned auto factory popular with urban explorers. It is currently under renovation, and one day, visitors should be able to get coffee or a meal there. As the tale is set in Detroit and the surrounding suburbs, locals may recognize many shots of the city.
This plantation's real-life history with slavery is more disturbing than any of the horror films that were shot here. It functions today as a hotel, event space, and restaurant with the occasional tour. In the 1994 film "Interview with the Vampire," it was the home of vampire Louis de Pointe du Lac who, before becoming a vampire, had been a plantation owner in the late 1700s.
Beverly Hills, CA
Though it's technically called The Spadena House, this strange Los Angeles residence is more commonly known as the Witch's House due to its dark fairytale design. It was originally built in Culver City in 1920 for a silent film studio, but was later moved to its current location in Beverly Hills. Alicia Silverstone walks by the house in "Clueless," but it also appeared in the 1957 horror flick "The Undead." The film stars Pamela Duncan as Diana, a woman who undergoes hypnosis and relives her former life as a woman accused of witchcraft in the Middle Ages.
This dilapidated film set is located in the California desert, and was initially built for the 1990 film "Eye of the Storm." It consists of a diner, a motel, and a gas station, and has since appeared in numerous other films, including Rob Zombie's "The Devil's Rejects." The antagonists from a previous Zombie film, "House of 1000 Corpses," flee to the motel after the brother of a police officer they killed storms their home seeking revenge.
Los Angeles, CA
Located in Los Angeles' Griffith Park, the Bronson Cave been used in numerous films and TV shows, perhaps most notably as the Batcave in the 1960s TV comedy, Batman. Yet it also appears in sci-fi horror movie "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (1956) as a hiding place from pod people, and where a protagonist makes the gruesome discovery in Eli Roth's zombie horror film "Cabin Fever" (2002).
South Pasadena, CA
Known for his expressionless white mask and big knife, Michael Myers terrorizes the teens of Haddonfield, Illinois, in the "Halloween" horror franchise. However, both Myers' childhood home and the residence where teen Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) live are actually in South Pasadena, California. You can walk Laurie's route home from school, or creep around the hedge where Laurie first spots Myers stalking her. Visitors often report that the owner of Laurie's house keep a plastic pumpkin on the porch for photo ops.
Los Angeles, CA
Sam Raimi's 2009 horror film "Drag Me to Hell" opens with a panicked mother and father who bring their ailing son to a beautiful mansion for help, only to learn that he's seriously cursed. This house is the Doheny Mansion, a popular filming location in Los Angeles built in 1899. Tours are available for curious visitors.
Los Angeles, CA
This Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house in Los Angeles has appeared in several film and TV shows. In "House on Haunted Hill" (1959), it's where Frederick Loren (Vincent Price) invites five strangers to stay the night, promising a reward of $10,000 to anyone who can survive until dawn. You might also recognize it as the abandoned home where vampires Angelus, Spike and Drusilla hole up while terrorizing the town of Sunnydale in the TV series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."
Los Angeles, CA
This downtown Los Angeles hotel opened in the 1920s, and has frequently appeared on screen. Though "Ghostbusters" (1984) is set in New York, the Biltmore played the Sedgewick Hotel. This is where the Ghostbusters capture the adorable ectoplasm blob known as Slimer.
Bodega Bay, CA
In Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" (1963), Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) is terrorized by a massive flock of aggressive birds that descend on the seaside town of Bodega Bay. Bodega Bay is a real town, and between Bodega Bay and nearby Bodega, visitors will find the restaurant, schoolhouse, and other locations featured in the film.
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