For every movie shot on Hollywood studio lot, there are more that were shot on location (and many more that used a combination of the two). Often times, what was once a dilapidated residence or little-known restaurant becomes a favorite roadside attraction for moviegoers. From California Caves to Maryland State Parks, here are 11 classic horror film locations you can visit.
1. Bronson’s Canyon Invasion of the Body Thieves (1956) // Los Angeles, California
If you head to Griffith Park in Los Angeles to walk to the Hollywood sign, you can also add nearby Bronson Canyon (or Bronson Caves, as it is often called) to your itinerary. The mouth of the cave was used as a cave for bats in the west of Adam Batman television series and different parts of the career have been Featured in dozens of other shows dating back to John Wayne’s heyday of the 1930s. His most notable claim to fame in the horror genre comes from the 1956s Invasion of the Body Thieves: Miles and Becky (Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter) use like a hiding place (and Miles suffers a nasty surprise).
2. The school of potters of The birds (1963) // Bodega, California
The school from which the students tried (and lack) to outrun the eponymous creatures in Alfred Hitchcock The birds (1963) still exists today. It’s in Bodega, California, a small fishing village that served as the filming site for much of the movie. Since its construction in 1873, the school — originally called Potter Schoolhouse — has lived many lives; it has also been a community center, restaurant and hostel. Now this is a private house, so you will have to stand speechless at a respectful distance.
3. The Dakota of Rosemary baby (1968) // New York, New York
When Ira Levin was scribble notes for his 1967 novel Rosemary baby, he noted that Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse “would move into a run down building like the Dakota or the one on 57th Street” (the latter being a reference to Manhattan’s Alwyn Court). Then when it came time to adapt the story to the screen, the filmmakers actually used the Dakota – a gothic monster from a building on the corner of West 72nd Street and Central Park West – for exterior shots of the Woodhouses building, the fictitious Bramford. The luxurious Dakota isn’t just famous for its appearance in the movie: it has been home to a long list of famous residents, from Judy Garland and Lauren Bacall to John Lennon and Yoko Ono. (Lennon’s murder in 1980 took place just beyond the front doors.)
4. Cemetery of the town of Evans Night of the Living Dead (1968) // Evans City, Pennsylvania
As Barbara watches Johnny fight a zombie in the opening scene by George Romero Night of the Living Dead, it hangs on the tombstone of a certain Nicholas Kramer, who lived from 1842 to 1917. Kramer was a real person, and his grave still stands in the Evans City cemetery, where the scene was filmed. Now it’s a popular roadside attraction for zombie heads crossing Butler County, Pennsylvania.
5. The “stages of the exorcist” of The Exorcist (1973) // Washington, DC
The Fatal Fall of Father Damien Karras (Jason Miller) from the Window of Possessed Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair) in The Exorcist has spawned a spooky new landmark on M Street in Washington, DC: the “Exorcist Steps”. They became part of the culture at nearby Georgetown University even before the scene was filmed. The students reportedly charged $ 5 each to watch the shoot from their rooftops. Nowadays, upper-class students are quick to point out the infamous staircase to new or prospective students, and sports teams are also known to lead the way. 75 stone steps as a training exercise.
6. The gas station of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) // Bastrop, Texas
the gas station which spells hope – then horror – for young Sally Hardesty (Marilyn Burns) in Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) is located in Bastrop, Texas, and is called simply “Gas station. Always odd from the outside, the inside is now full of horror-movie merchandise and has a pretty mouth-watering barbecue menu (to order by phone, number is 512-321-SAWS). delivered an overnight stay in one of the rustic cabins nearby, complete with air conditioning, free Wi-Fi and TV, all the luxuries that Leatherface has managed to do without.
7. Oakley Court’s The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) // Windsor, United Kingdom
Long before Oakley Court– which is a few miles from Windsor Castle – became a luxury hotel, it was a dilapidated Victorian mansion considered perfect to serve as Dr Frank-N-Furter’s ‘Frankenstein Square’ in the 1975s The Rocky Horror Picture Show. This isn’t the only time the building has appeared on the big screen, in part because it was right next to Bray Studios, where Hammer Film Productions has operated for years. You can spot Oakley’s Gothic facade in many older horror movies, including The man in black (1949), Frankenstein’s Curse (1957), Dracula (1958), and Plague of zombies (1966).
8. The Myers House of Halloween (1978) // South Pasadena, California
The childhood home of Michael Myers in that of John Carpenter Halloween doesn’t need to be introduced, he’s practically his own character in the movie. It’s also a California landmark, but not exactly because it helped usher in a new era of slasher films: the house was built in the late 1880s, making it the oldest known residential building in South Pasadena. Originally located on Meridian Avenue, the house was moved at its current address, 1000 Mission Street, to avoid demolition in 1987. If you can’t get to California, there’s also a replica in Hillsborough, North Carolina.
9. Blairstown Diner Friday 13 (1980) // Blairstown, New Jersey
Friday 13‘s Crystal Lake Diner is actually the Blairstown Diner in Blairstown, New Jersey. Built in 1949, the small town spot is still going strong today, offering a vast menu of a typical dinner. You can have a normal meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner) on a normal day, or you can schedule your trip to coincide with any Friday the 13th. Those days dinner used to be. famous its cinematic fame with tours of the original actors and a tour of local filming sites.
10. Oak Alley Plantation Interview with the vampire (1994) // Vacherie, Louisiana
In the 1994 film adaptation of Anne Rice’s 1976 novel Interview with the vampire, the oak-flanked mansion that Brad Pitt’s Louis de Pointe du Lac calls home is truly Oak Alley Plantation in Vacherie, Louisiana. It can also be seen in Beyoncé’s 2006 video for “Deja Vu”, a 1984 episode Days of our lives, and the dramatic comedy of 1998 Primary colors, among other programs.
The plantation, built in the late 1830s, housed an average of over 110 slaves, many of whom worked in the nearby sugar cane fields. In recent years, the estate has tried to highlight this part of its history by to construct exact replicas of the huts of enslaved people in the field, discussing the experiences of these people during the visits and establishing a database with records of the enslaved population of Oak Alley.
11. Seneca Creek State Park The Blair Witch Project (1999) // Gaithersburg, Maryland
The Blair Witch Project– a found images film so creepy even Stephen King struggled to finish it – takes place in the Black Hills Forest, an invented location supposedly in Burkittsville, MD. The real forest shoot site was Seneca Creek State Park in nearby Gaithersburg. The park sometimes hosts guided hiking that highlight key points from the movie, but you’re always welcome to explore the woods on your own. (Just make sure you trust the person holding the card.)