Behind the Screams: Exploring America’s Favorite Horror Film Locations

Featured Article, Movies, Seasonal
on October 30, 2015

Ever been so engrossed in that haunted mansion or dimly lit eerie street scene from a horror flick that you felt you were actually there? If you thought those iconic creepy locales were terrifying on the big screen, just dare to set foot on these skin-prickling properties in real life. While some are open to the public for tours, some of these haunting (and often not-so-haunted) places are privately owned, so be sure to do your research before embarking on a terror trek of your very own.


Scenes from The Exorcist

Favorite American Horror Film Locations

A stroll through lovely Georgetown, Washington, D.C., easily takes a turn for the twisted if one chooses to seek out the M Street steps from one of the most disturbing scenes ever to grace theaters. The steps, located at the corner of Prospect Street NW and 36th Street NW, are known for their cameo in Father Karras’ gruesome death scene, during which he plummets from a window and down the 97 steps.

Bonus: The steps are to be commemorated as a cinematic landmark in a ceremony led by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, Georgetown University President Jack DeGioia, The Exorcist director William Friedkin and screenplay writer William Peter Blatty.


The Psycho Set

Favorite American Horror Film Locations

Nestled on its original lot at Universal Studios in Los Angeles, CA, Norman Bates’ heinous haunts loom in plain view, menacingly greeting Hitchcock enthusiasts on the park’s guided tours. Behind it, Universal constructed the set for the 2000 film How The Grinch Stole Christmas, and the whimsical spires and colorful rooftops of Whoville peek unsettlingly from the line of trees separating them from the house.


The Amityville Horror House

Favorite American Horror Film Locations

Of our list of horrific locales, this one might just take the sinister cake—the real Amityville house at 112 Ocean Avenue, Long Island, was, in fact, the site of the brutal 1974 slayings which inspired the film’s events, though whether any eerie occurrences have actually taken place there since remains a mystery.


The Apartment Building from Rosemary’s Baby

Favorite American Horror Film Locations

The infamous “Bramford” apartment building from Rosemary’s Baby is, in reality, the Dakota in New York City. The ominous Gothic architecture lends itself to the film’s sinister plot, and the Upper East Side building is largely known for having housed famous tenants like John Lennon.


The Lodge Exterior from The Shining

Favorite American Horror Film Locations

Oregon’s Timberline Lodge appeared as the exterior of the Overlook Hotel in Stephen King’s The Shining, where Jack Torrance and his family were terrorized by ghosts. The frightening interiors, however, were shot elsewhere, so even the faint of heart can enjoy a stay in this beautiful mountain retreat without the risk of horrific flashbacks.

Bonus: For those seeking a real scare, stay at the Stanley Hotel in Colorado, which was The Shining’s inspiration—it’s supposedly haunted by more than just Hollywood-made ghosts.


Friday the 13th’s Camp Crystal Lake

Favorite American Horror Film Locations

When it’s not accommodating brutal slayings at the hands of Jason Vorhees, this Northern New Jersey camp, actually named Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco, serves as a popular Boy Scout retreat.


The Texas Chainsaw Massacre House

Favorite American Horror Film Locations

After Leatherface served up grisly terror within its walls, this house from Texas Chainsaw Massacre—moved from to Red Rock, where the film was shot, to Kingsland, TX—was transformed into a quaint cafe. Not to worry—humans are not a menu option.


Carrie’s High School

America's Favorite Horror Film Locations

As if high school isn’t traumatizing enough, imagine being enrolled at the school that portrayed Bates High School, where Stephen King’s queen of screams, Carrie, fought the fire of humiliation and peer torment with, well, fire. Put on your finest prom attire, and sashay on over to Palisades Charter High School to relive that fateful prom king and queen crowning.


The Nightmare on Elm Street Neighborhood

Favorite American Horror Film Locations

Despite the dark subject matter for which it is known, this neighborhood rather resembles something from a pleasant dream. Settled along North Genesee Avenue in Los Angeles, CA, the homes which served as Nancy’s and Glen’s houses are located across the quiet street from each other, without a Krueger crossing in sight.