Horror movies. They are crafted carefully by writers, producers, directors, and a whole chum-filled ocean of positions I can’t even begin to name. At the end of the day, none of that really matters, does it? I mean, seriously… you want the crap scared out of you! That’s why you’re going in the first place. That is why you are spending your money, well-earned or not, on a movie ticket and some overpriced, stale concession food. There are things that make amovie pop and sizzle, but nothing comes close to three things: location, location, location!
Without a great locale a horror movie just goes away and dies. What is Friday the 13th without Camp Crystal Lake? I’ll tell you — f’n Manhattan! Who wants that crap hanging over their head? What is A Nightmare on Elm Street without a blood-streaked high school corridor? Or… what’s Amityville without the Amityville house? These locations become iconic and ingrained in our minds. When you’re in high school alone and you hear a noise, does it not make your skin crawl with unease? I’ve never been swimming in a lake at camp… thanks, guys!
These horror movie sites don’t exist just in fiction. They’re not just something built on a backlot somewhere only to be torn down later. No. People actually go out of their cubicle farms to hunt down these real horror movie sites. They beg, borrow, and steal to get permission to shoot inside or around a specific piece of property. These places are… drum roll… REAL! Guess what that means for you? YOU CAN GO VISIT THEM! You can make your nightmares come to life.
Here are, in my opinion, the top 25 iconic real horror movie sites you can visit. (Psst, they’re not in any particular order, so please don’t get your panties in a bunch, OK?)
No.25 Ghostbusters’ Firehouse
I know. Many of you don’t consider Ghostbusters to be a “horror” movie. Get your head out of your asses. It has ghosts, , demons, possession, and ghostly BJs; it just also happened to be funny and fun. It’s also iconic. The firehouse is awesome and still retains some of the props from the 1984 movie. Unlike many other real horror movie sites, it actually enjoys and welcomes visitors. If you’re nice, they may let you don a jumpsuit and slide down the pole!
Horror Movie Site: The Hook and Ladder 8 in Manhattan is a real firehouse, so be respectful! It’s located at 14th North Moore St. to be exact. The zip is 10013 if you’re Googling it right now!
No.24 The Exorcist’s Stairs & House
We all know this scene. The young priest slips or something and takes a header down a flight of stairs. They shot the scene from an angle looking up. The lighting gave it that eerie darkness that made the whole thing effective and evil.
Horror Movie Site: If you’re around the DC area, you can take a gander (just watch your step) of this real horror movie site by heading over to 3600 Prospect St. NW. Just a little ways from the steps you’ll encounter another landmark exterior from this gleeful romp — the house.
No.23 Dawn of the Dead’s Mall
George A. Romero is the God of movies. I daresay he’s the father of the modern zombie. In addition to making zombies cool, he’s also famous for using his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for his settings. Dawn of the Dead (1978) is set in a mall (as is the remake, which was also decently made). That mall is the Monroeville Mall. This real horror movie site is still standing and you can shop the many stores as you imagine yourself re-killing the undead. There used to even be a zombie museum, but I am not sure if it remains. I have made the pilgrimage and bought the shirt!
Horror Movie Site: You can visit the mall in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, and it’s easy to find.
No.22 Jaws’ Beach
“I think we’re gonna need a bigger boat,” he said with a sneer. Jaws is an iconic piece of movie history. It made many a person terrified of swimming in the ocean and, I like to think, spawned Shark Week.
Horror Movie Site: The beach is easy enough to find… it’s Martha’s Vineyard. It is also important to note that even 12 miles out to sea the water is still only 30-feet deep. As for sharks? Only if you bring one.
No.21 & 20 House of 1,000 Corpses & Devil’s Rejects
Rob Zombie is not my favorite and, to be honest, I don’t care about his movies. Other people, however, love his stuff, so here you go. My contempt for these is what makes me list them as one entry, in case you’re wondering.
Horror Movie Site: If you visit L.A., then head on up to Antelope Valley. Here you will find the Four Aces Diner & Motel, which was featured in House of 1,000 Corpses and Club Ed in Devil’s Rejects is also here.
No.19 The Hills Have Eyes’ Canyon
Horror Movie Site: All you need to do is travel over to Lucerne Valley in California.
Our list of Real Horror Movie Sites You Can Visit continues after the jump…