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If Halloween sets the mood for watching scary movies, suspense thrillers, or gruesome flicks, then picture making a trip to the sites where they were filmed. Some may be public venues or private homes, but overall these real-life locations set the stage for some frightening scenes.

Be respectful when paying a visit, as the following places might require keeping a safe distance or only a drive-by viewing.

RELATED: 13 ridiculously haunted hotels

Photo courtesy of Visit Savannah

Savannah, Georgia: “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”

This charming city was the setting for both the book and movie versions. The Mercer Williams House became famous—or rather, infamous—due to real-life events involving its one-time owner, Jim Williams who was convicted of murdering his lover. Also, be sure to explore Savannah‘s Bonaventure Cemetery, which plays a role in the story, too; It once held the Bird Girl Statue, which is now in Telfair Museums’ Jepson Center.

Photo courtesy of Louisiana Office of Tourism

Vacherie, Louisiana: “Interview with the Vampire”

Fans of “Interview with the Vampire” may delight in exploring Brad Pitt’s “home” at Oak Alley Plantation, a former sugarcane plantation turned museum in Vacherie. The property also has appeared on the TV show “Ghost Hunters” and in the Betty Davis film, “Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte.”

 

Photo courtesy of Sonoma County Tourism

Bodega Bay, California: “The Birds”

About 60 miles north of San Francisco, the bayside community of Bodega Bay was where outdoor scenes for this Alfred Hitchcock classic fluttered. Potter Schoolhouse, now a private residence, served as the spot where screaming children fled for their lives. St. Teresa Church next door also made an appearance and is still in use today.

Photo courtesy of Illinois Office of Tourism

Chicago, Illinois: “Child’s Play”

Remember when little Andy was given the Chucky doll? Old Chuck, of course, turned out to be super evil, and a unit inside the Brewster Apartments (2800 N Pine Grove Ave) in Chicago is where he terrorized Andy and his mother. However, the building’s current occupants might not want to be reminded of that particular tenant.

Photo courtesy of Sam Kittner for Georgetown Business Improvement District

Washington, DC: “The Exorcist”

The so-called “Exorcist Steps,” which you’ll find in the D.C. neighborhood of Georgetown, were the sight of a climactic showdown between a priest and the demon. They’re located on Prospect Street NW, just below 36th Street near The Tombs (the bar that inspired the film, “St. Elmo’s Fire”).

Photo courtesy of Maine Office of Tourism

Bangor, Maine: “Stephen King’s Pet Sematary”

Those who enjoyed this film can creep themselves out in Mount Hope Cemetery in Bangor, the site of the on-screen final resting place. King is said to have frequented this cemetery during his college years and it served as a source of his horror writing inspiration (King makes a cameo as a priest.).

Photo courtesy of Shea Niemann

Gaithersburg, Maryland: “The Blair Witch Project”

The Maryland town of Burkittsville got a lot of public attention when this movie came out in 1997. However, the fictional “Black Hills Forest” was actually “played” by Seneca Creek State Park, about an hour east of Baltimore. Each October, there’s a ranger-guided hike in the park relating to the movie. Plus, several filming locations can also be spotted near Black Rock Mill in Germantown.

Photo courtesy of Timberline Lodge

Mt. Hood, Oregon: “The Shining”

While The Stanley Hotel in Colorado inspired Stephen King’s Overlook Hotel for his novel, the movie adaptation actually features another property. Exterior shots of Timberline Lodge, in neighboring Oregon, are seen instead.

Photo courtesy of Edison Koo

New York City: “Rosemary’s Baby”

The “City That Never Sleeps” has been seen in several scary movies and horror films. However, the Dakota—a co-op apartment building on the Upper West Side—is perhaps its best recognized film location. It starred as the Bramford building where Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes lived. It’s also the location of a real-life horror story: John Lennon was murdered in the archway of the Dakota in 1980.

Photo courtesy of Chester County Conference & Visitors Bureau

Phoenixville, Pennsylvania: “The Blob”

The Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville goes all in when it comes to celebrating its role in “The Blob.” The theater features a wall plaque honoring the spot in which the Blob seeps out of. Each year, the theater commemorates the film with “Blobfest,” an event featuring a re-enactment of moviegoers fleeing the theater.

Photo courtesy of The Biltmore Company

Asheville, North Carolina: “Hannibal”

The 2001 sequel to “Silence of the Lambs” brings Dr. Hannibal Lecter back to the screen. Fellow cast member Gary Oldman, who plays a sinister character and one of Lecter’s victims, is depicted as residing in a lavish home. It’s actually the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, a 19th-century estate that was built for George Vanderbilt, of the prominent Vanderbilt family, as a summer residence.

Photo courtesy of Explore Minnesota/Lisa Crayford

Silver Bay, Minnesota: “The Good Son”

Macaulay Culkin showed a darker side of himself in this thriller, with a climactic fight scene with Elijah Wood filmed at Palisade Head in Minnesota’s Tettegouche State Park. This large rock formation is 180 feet above the North Shore, enough for a chilling ending and (spoiler alert) an end to Culkin.

Photo courtesy of Visit Tallahassee

Wakulla Springs, Florida: “Creature From the Black Lagoon”

Floridian fans of the horror film classic might squeal in learning that Gill-Man swam underwater in this freshwater sanctuary located south of Tallahassee. Bonus trivia: Ricou Browning, who performed the underwater stunts, worked here during his teens as a lifeguard.

Photo courtesy of Tourism Toronto

Toronto, Canada: “Resident Evil: Apocalypse”

In “Resident Evil: Apocalypse,” the city of Toronto serves as the location for the film’s “Raccoon City,” with many of Toronto’s buildings having some screen time; Toronto City Hall, in particular, gets quite the spotlight.

Photo courtesy of Grand Central Cafe Facebook page

Kingsland, Texas: “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”

Known as the Grand Central Cafe since 2012, this particular Victorian house in Kingsland was actually the movie set for the 1970s slasher flick. Nowadays, the  restaurant dishes out breakfast, lunch and dinner in Texas’ Llano County.

Tagged: Chicago, Chicago, Colorado, Florida, Midwest, Minnesota, New England, North Carolina, Texas

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Michele Herrmann

Michele Herrmann

Michele writes about women's travel, destinations, culinary, and cultural topics for various outlets and has ventured as far as Fiji, to date. She also muses her tales on She Is Going Places.

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