Although it’s true that Hollywood’s signature movie magic means that most films are shot in studios and on film sets, still plenty of your favourite horror films have been shot in locations you can visit in real life.
These famous movie destinations exist in real-life towns and cities across the country.
From an iconic NYC luxury apartment building to a suburban Pennsylvania shopping center, here are 21 filming locations of your favourite scary movies that you can visit.
The Sawyer house and gas station from “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” is in Kingsland and Bastrop, Texas.
Tobe Hooper’s grisly 1974 film spawned seven sequels and reboots and inspired a generation of slasher films, but it’s the original that remains a classic. And if you want to visit the Sawyer family farmhouse, you can head to the Grand Central Café in Kingsland, Texas, where you’ll find a great meal and a welcoming vibe … albeit you won’t find any human parts on the menu.
The original home from the film was relocated from Round Rock, Texas in 1998 and looks very much the same as it did in 1974, now serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily.
If you’re looking to visit one more spot from the movie, the gas station where the group of friends attempts to fill up their tank is now a barbecue restaurant about an hour and 40 minutes from Kingsland in Bastrop, near Austin. Aptly called The Gas Station, this smokehouse sells film memorabilia and beloved BBQ classics, and fans can rent out four cabins to get a true “Chainsaw” experience.
The Evans City Cemetery from “Night of the Living Dead” is in Evans City, Pennsylvania.
The 1968 cult classic has become one of the most iconic zombie flicks of all time, and the film’s opening scenes were shot in a real-life rural cemetery outside of Pittsburgh, so you can bring unsuspecting friends and tell them, “They’re coming to get you, Barbara!” if you’re feeling extra vengeful.
Monroeville Mall from “Dawn of the Dead” is a normal-looking mall in Monroeville, Pennsylvania.
While you’re pretending to walk like the living dead, you’ll want to take your tour about 40 miles southeast to Monroeville, where you can visit the Monroeville Mall, made famous by George A. Romero’s 1978 follow-up to “Night of the Living Dead.”
Nowadays, it looks like every other suburban mall, except that here you can play zombie laser tag, making it a solid destination for all those who dare to walk amongst the dead guys.
Timberline Lodge from “The Shining” is in Mount Hood, Oregon.
In the film, the resort is called the Overlook Hotel and set in Colorado, which is fitting because it overlooks a lot more than just mountains. According to Uproxx, the film’s exterior scenes were shot on location at this Oregon ski lodge, while interior scenes were shot on sound stages in London’s Pinewood studios.
Stephen King is said to have been inspired by the real-life Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado when writing his novel, and both locations are still hugely popular with tourists, offering “Shining”-inspired activities all year round.
But if you’re looking to stay at the Timberline Lodge‘s terrifying room 237, unfortunately, it doesn’t exist. Room 217, however, which inspired King does, and the resort’s website says, “somewhat ironically, room 217 is requested more often than any other room at Timberline.”
Come to the Timberline Lodge to ski or visit for the year-round festivities inspired by the film – it’s part of the only ski resort in North America to offer skiing 365 days a year.
Bates Motel from “Psycho” is in Universal Studios Hollywood.
Unfortunately, horror buffs won’t ever get to check in to the actual Bates Motel for a night but you can see the set where Norman and Norma unleashed their terror … and it’s all at a beloved theme park.
Fans can visit the iconic “Psycho” house as part of Universal Studios’ Backlot Tour attraction, a studio tour which takes guests through several famous film and TV sets. You can’t walk up or go in, but you will get a solid glimpse of the unmistakably creepy house, which has been used several times in other movies and TV shows, including “Murder She Wrote” and “Big Fat Liar.”
Seneca Creek State Park from “The Blair Witch Project” is in Burkittsville, Maryland.
Whether you loved it or hated it, few can deny the impact that “The Blair Witch Project” had on modern horror films, spawning the “found footage” genre as we know it today. If you’re brave enough to walk the 6,300 acres where three college students attempted to track down the legendary “Blair Witch,” never to be seen again, you can hike along its many trails, go kayaking, or fish in nearby lakes in rural Burkittsville at Seneca Creek State Park, where much of the film was shot.
Black Rock Mill is where the students began their quest.
The M Street Stairs from “The Exorcist” are in Washington, DC.
In the famous climax of the frightening 1973 supernatural horror classic, Father Karras (played by Jason Miller) sacrifices himself to the demon Pazuzu to save a little girl named Regan whose body the demon had inhabited.
By flinging himself out of Regan’s window, he kills the demonic entity and also himself, thus, cementing the creepy looking staircase as one of the most iconic horror movie landmarks of all time.
The real-life “Exorcist” stairs connect M Street NW with Prospect Street NW in Georgetown, near Georgetown University’s tony campus, inspiring workout junkies and horror buffs alike to tackle the dizzyingly high climb.
Visitors continue to flock to the steps, which have been given a plaque regarding their role in Washington DC film history, with recent reports detailing plans to make them a historical landmark as well, according to dcist.com. Just don’t try anything unsafe when visiting – the scene was created with a skilled stuntman and rubber padding and is not meant to be recreated in any way.
“Rosemary’s Baby” was filmed at The Dakota in New York City, New York.
The New York City real estate market is notoriously exclusive and expensive, so few of us will likely be able to ever dream of living in The Dakota, a stunning high rise located at 72nd Street and Central Park West that has been home to some of Manhattan’s most famous residents, including Lauren Bacall, Connie Chung, and Paul Simon.
But it’s also one of the most famous horror movie locations in the Big Apple, serving as the exterior of The Bramford, an apartment building where Rosemary Woodhouse and her husband give birth to their beautiful baby boy, who turns out to be the son of Satan himself.
Beatles fans will recall the building as the former home of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, becoming infamous after Lennon was murdered while standing outside in 1980.
The Krueger/Thompson House from “A Nightmare on Elm Street” is in Los Angeles, California.
If there’s nothing you’ve ever dreamed of more than uttering “One, two, Freddy’s coming for you” outside 1428 Elm Street, the good news is that you can … but you won’t find it in the quiet suburban streets of Springwood, Ohio.
The home actually exists in Los Angeles since the movies were largely filmed there. And if you want to stop by and visit, you can, but the home was last sold in 2013 for more than $US2 million, according to the Los Angeles Times. It still looks very much like it did back when the Kruegers resided there, though it’s been renovated as recently as 2007 because even historic Hollywood homes need a good reboot from time to time.
You’ll find the Witch’s house from “The Undead” in Beverly Hills, California.
If you’re in Los Angeles and prefer the old horror classics, you’ll want to take a stroll past the Witch’s house(also known as the Spadena house) from the 1957 Roger Corman flick “The Undead.”
According to Los Angeles Magazine, the “Hansel and Gretel”-inspired home was built back in 1920 in Culver City, before being moved to its current spot in Beverly Hills. Current owner Michael J. Libow purchased the home in 1998 and while he has modernised it, he has still kept many of the same features that make it so unmistakably creepy and cool.
And while it’s best known for its starring role as the witch’s house, “Clueless” fans will recognise it from a scene at the end of the movie in which the film’s star, Alicia Silverstone, walks past the house during a stroll towards Rodeo Drive.
The desert from “The Hills Have Eyes” is in Victorville, California.
Wes Craven had already cemented himself as part of Hollywood horror history by the time he created his post-apocalyptic nuclear war zone classic “The Hills Have Eyes” in 1977.
Wanting the film to be as realistic as possible, he set it in the drylands of Victorville, a town that offers little by way of civilisation, according to Mental Floss.
Crystal Lake Diner and Camp Crystal Lake from “Friday the 13th” are both located in New Jersey.
“Friday the 13th” managed to terrify most of us from ever wanting to spend the summer at sleepaway camp, but for the brave souls who wish to take a pit stop to Jason’s old stomping grounds, look no further than northwestern New Jersey, where you’ll find the Crystal Lake Diner, called the Blairstown Diner.
Less than 10 miles away is Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco which will be instantly recognisable as the hallowed grounds of Camp Crystal Lake, where Jason unleashed his fury on unsuspecting camp counselors that fateful summer.
It’s now a private Boy Scouts camp and therefore not open to the public, but you might be able to catch a glimpse of Crystal Lake, better known by its real name, Sand Pond.
The set that acted as the Kahiki Palms Motel from “House of 1,000 Corpses” and “The Devil’s Rejects” is in Lancaster, California.
This motel also features a diner and a gas station, making it ideal for a quick spot for a little rest and relaxation when you’re passing through the desert. Of course, Rob Zombie fans will recognise the desert locale from both “House of 1,000 Corpses” and its sequel, “The Devil’s Rejects,” because trouble seems to always be lurking for passersby.
But if you’re looking for an actual bite to eat or to fuel up your tank, the property is merely a film set that has never been taken down, as the movies are actually set in Texas, not in California.
The cave in “Cabin Fever” and “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” is in Los Angeles, California.
Bronson Cave, which is located in Los Angeles’ famed Griffith Park, made its most notable appearance as the Bat Cave in the 1960s TV version of “Batman,” but horror fans will likely recognise it from a couple of different movies.
The cave first appeared in 1957’s sci-fi horror flick “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” as well as Eli Roth’s 2002 zombie movie “Cabin Fever,” because we all know that creepy things happen between dark, meandering cave walls.
As one of Los Angeles’ most popular hiking destinations, visitors probably won’t find much trouble in these trails, but you can certainly feel the spooky aura depending on the time of day and how many fellow hikers are around.
Laurie Strode and Michael Myers’ homes from “Halloween” is in Pasadena, California.
Though the “Halloween” franchise is famously set in the fictional Haddonfield, Illinois, the actual street where Michael Myers has terrorised his victims for four decades exists in an unassuming suburb in South Pasadena, California.
Michael’s childhood home has been moved down the street from its original location and is now a chiropractic office. The “Halloween” house has been updated but still has that signature shade of baby blue paint and is now a California landmark.
You can also walk down the street to the Strode house, where new owners are often reported to keep fake pumpkins designed to pose with, just like Jamie Lee Curtis famously did in the film.
Louis de Pointe du Lac’s house from “Interview with a Vampire” is in Vacherie, Louisiana.
Nestled near the Mississippi River, Oak Alley Plantation is where the fictional plantation owner-turned-vampire Louis de Pointe du Lac, portrayed by Brad Pitt in the 1994 film adaptation of Anne Rice’s “Interview with a Vampire,” enjoyed his feasts.
The house from “House on Haunted Hill” is located in Los Angeles, California.
This Frank Lloyd Wright creation named the Ennis House is an architectural marvel, and it’s appeared in many movies, TV shows, and music videos, but its big screen debut came in 1959’s B movie classic “House on Haunted Hill,” in which character Frederick Loren offers a $US10,000 reward to five strangers if they can survive a night in the home.
In 2018, the home was listed on sale for a cool $US23 million, perched high above the Hollywood hills and offering breathtaking views of the city below.
The Sedgewick Hotel from “Ghostbusters” is actually a hotel in Los Angeles, California.
Though the film was famously set on the mean city streets of New York, fans will recognise the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles as the fictional Sedgewick Hotel, where the Ghostbusters snag their first catch, Slimer, in the hotel’s lobby.
The town of Bodega Bay in California served as the backdrop for “The Birds.”
The lovely seaside town of Bodega Bay provides a picturesque backdrop in Sonoma County for anyone looking for a weekend of rest and relaxation. You might want to be wary of any flying animals, though, because birds have been known to terrorize unsuspecting weekend tourists, as they did in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic “The Birds.”
Bodega Bay and the town of Bodega serve as frighteningly good locales for Hitchcock’s 1963 film, and fans can visit local haunts like the marina, the Potter School, St. Theresa’s church, and the Bodega Highway, where the film was shot on location.
The Santa Carla Beach Boardwalk from “The Lost Boys” is in Santa Cruz, California.
If you’ve ever wanted to relive your younger years and hang out on the boardwalk, buying comics, cotton candy, and VHS tapes, when all of a sudden you’re thirsty for blood, you might have found yourself on the Santa Carla Beach Boardwalk, which played a major role in the 1987 vampire horror comedy “The Lost Boys.”
Fans can walk the lost boys’ bridge and visit the boys’ favourite hangouts, because the boardwalk actually exists in Santa Cruz, California, and it’s still an active amusement park and boardwalk along the gorgeous Pacific coast.
Buffalo Bill’s house from “The Silence of the Lambs” is located in Perryopolis, Pennsylvania.
If you’ve ever wanted to step foot in the iconic “Silence of the Lambs” home where Buffalo Bill the creepy cannibal feasted on his human victims, the 1910 Victorian-style home was actually recently for sale back in 2016, appropriately going to a die-hard fan of the 1991 film.
Located around an hour from Pittsburgh, the house has plenty of lovely features, but if you’re looking for a torture chamber, you’re sadly out of luck. It does have a four-car garage, though.
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