Join us on a horror movie lover tour of America to explore some of the still-standing, iconic horror film sets you can visit.
When you love movies as much as we do, you may find there are some beloved films you can’t get enough of. You travel to cons to meet the actors and filmmakers, you buy the Blu-rays and collectible merchandise, and you likely own one or more shirts emblazoned with the film’s imagery. If you’re really lucky, you may find that you can even visit the real-life location of some of your favorite iconic horror film settings. While many sets you see in films are just that, sets — and many others have long been lost or are not open to the public — there are a few truly memorable settings that exist in the real world and can be visited.
Join us on this virtual road trip (if you don’t have the money to go to these places in person) or prepare your credit card, find your best backpack with lots of pockets, and visit at least one of these places. We will stop at ten memorable horror movie locations that we are sure you know very well.
Amityville Horror (New York)
We begin our journey at the entrance of a forest, in Long Island (New York), precisely in the town of Amityville. This town is located about 45 minutes drive from the city of skyscrapers and is well-known because, in 1974, Ronald DeFeo Jr. brutally murdered his entire family inside his house, claiming to be possessed by a demonic spirit.
These murders and subsequent appearances served as inspiration for the movies. Although no film was actually shot in the original house, the supposedly haunted abode still stands in the town of Amityville at 108 Ocean Avenue. Despite being the same as it was in 1974, the current owners decided to change the iconic windows to try to go unnoticed by the horde of fans who flocked there daily in search of paranormal phenomena or to take pictures in front of the facade.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Texas)
Another infamous house of horror is the one that belonged to Leatherface and his twisted family.
The original house was actually a restaurant called The House of Junction Restaurant. It was later changed to Grand Central Café. It’s located at 1010 King of Tennis in Kingsland, Texas. It’s ironic that the Sawyer house, home of horror’s most famous butcher, Bubba, is really a restaurant. Do you think they serve all kinds of meat?
(Note that the series used different houses in later installments, and those are sitting in different parts of Texas.)
A couple of hours away from the original Sawyer home is the TCM gas station. It’s now a popular BBQ joint and a horror lover’s dream getaway, complete with four rustic cabins, a campsite, and awesome memorabilia. Owner Roy Rose purchased the station, added food and lodging (plus a cool replica of the film’s green vintage fan), and welcomed tourists to be a part of horror movie history.
The Gas Station is located at 1073 SH 304 in Bastrop, Texas. You can make reservations by calling 512-321-SAWS or visiting http://texasgasstation.com/.
Friday the 13th (New Jersey)
Few places are more famous than the fictitious Camp Crystal Lake, the place where young Jason Voorhees first lost his life in a tragic drowning accident, sending his dear sweet mom into a murderous rage before a surprisingly alive Jason returned to carry on the legacy of carnage at his old summer camp.
Did you know the original camp used for the movies was an actual campground that is still in operation? Its real name is Camp No-Ser-Bo-Sco, and it is privately owned by the Boy Scouts of America.
It is located at 11 Sand Pond Road in Blairstown, New Jersey, and is very close to town. The campground itself, via its website, sells relics from the film’s location, including pieces of the cabins seen in the movie and even jars of water from the lake where Jason drowned.
Now, you can’t just show up to this location because it’s private property. But fortunately, there are scheduled tours of the location through Camp Crystal Lake Tours. You can still get a few tickets for the 2023 Summer or October Halloween Season tours, including the incredible CRYSTAL LAKE REUNION featuring an exclusive on-location meet & greet event.
Nightmare on Elm Street (Ohio)
You can currently visit the house at 1428 Elm Street, although it is not really in Springwood, Ohio. The house is really located at 1428 North Avenue Genesse in Los Angeles, California.
The iconic house was put up for sale a few years ago and sold for over three million dollars. The exterior of it went virtually unchanged from how it looked in the first film for many years. However, it was recently refurbished to go somewhat more unnoticed by the flood of fans going there on pilgrimage.
Because this is someone’s home, the best you can do here is to drive by and maybe sneak a pic if you aren’t too obtrusive.
The original Halloween, directed by the great John Carpenter, was primarily filmed in a house in California. For cinematic purposes, the Myers house resided on a quiet suburban street in the fictitious town of Haddonfield, Illinois.
The real house was at 707 Meridian Avenue in South Pasadena, California. After the success of the film, the house was saved from destruction and moved to 1000 Mission Street. It has since been converted into a business office.
While you’re in the area, you can actually take a bit of a Halloween super tour. From the original house, other locations, including the hardware store, main city strip, and cemetery, are all within walking distance. And right around the corner, you can visit the Strode house and pose for pictures with fake pumpkins, just like Jamie Lee Curtis did in the movie.
And if you can’t get enough Halloween (who can?), a mega fan of the franchise named Kenny Caperton built a full-scale replica of the Myers House in North Carolina. He lives there and it’s private property, so please don’t just show up. But you can schedule a tour of the exterior, complete with a photo op on the front porch.
The Shining (Colorado)
It was a stay at the Stanley Hotel in Colorado that inspired Stephen King to write The Shining, changing the name of the hotel to Hotel Overlook for his fictional depiction. However, none of the film’s interior scenes were shot at the original hotel, as Kubrick instead used the interior of the Oregon Timberline Lodge for shooting.
The historic Stanley Hotel is often used by the writer for his retreat, serving as inspiration for his novels on certain occasions. The same hotel hosts an annual horror film festival. You can find it at 333 East Avenue Wonderview in East Park, Colorado. If you dare to go, book room 217, as it became room 237 for the movie.
The Devil’s Seed (New York)
In this movie, the lead couple resides in an apartment building called The Bramford. The building was real but is actually called the Dakota Building. It is located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, New York, exactly on 1st Street and West 72nd Street.
John Lennon moved into the building shortly after the filming of The Devil’s Seed, and the building was given the cursed name when Lennon was assassinated outside the building’s front door in 1980. In addition, several residents of the building have commented that they have been able to contemplate mysterious shadows and strange noises in the wee hours of the morning.
It’s unclear if the building is really cursed or just a victim of rumors, speculation, and maybe even clever marketing.
The Exorcist (Washington, DC)
One of the most memorable locations in horror history is the stairs down which Father Karras throws himself at the end of the film in an attempt to eliminate the devil that possessed Reagan up to that point. Such a place can be found in Washington, DC, in a Georgetown neighborhood located near 3600 Prospect Street.
Not far from there, you can also find the MacNeill House and many outdoor locations that were in the movie, near Georgetown University.
Night of the Living Dead (Pennsylvania)
At the beginning of the film, we can see a zombie attack on Barbara and later her brother, who tries to prevent the attack on his sister. This scene was filmed in the cemetery of the city of Evans, Pennsylvania, which is located in Butler County. The cemetery is called Franklin Road. If you go there, be wary of anyone crawling around on the grass, just in case.
Dawn of the Dead (Pennsylvania)
Almost the entire movie takes place in a large shopping mall called Monroeville Mall that still stands in Monroeville, Pennsylvania. Curiously, both the original 1970 film and the remake were shot at the same mall, although the passage of the years and the remodeling of it is noticeable. It is located at 2000 Circle Drive in Monroe, Pennsylvania.
The mall often hosts zombie-themed events and previously housed a zombie museum inside, which featured memorabilia and collectibles from Romero’s films. This museum recently moved to the town of Evans, near the original Night of the Living Dead cemetery.
If you want to see what the inside of the mall looks like today and can’t get to PA, get your hands on the movie Zack and Miri Make a Porno by Kevin Smith, as there is a scene set inside the mall.