As Halloween approaches, I thought it would be fun to have a look at some scary movie houses, used for film locations in the most notorious frightening films. Most of them are instantly recognizable, such as the house in the Amityville Horror, now with a new facade and freshly decorated, and Mike Myers house in the ever familiar Halloween, probably the most rented film at this time of year. Others you may need a little prompting so here they are:
A Nightmare on Elm Street – Freddy’s House
Why oh why did they bother to make a remake of this iconic film? Shocking! The story goes that on Elm Street, Nancy Thompson and a group of her friends including Tina Gray, Rod Lane and Glen Lantz are being tormented by a metal clawed killer who appears in their dreams called Freddy Krueger. Nancy must think quickly, as Freddy tries to pick off his victims one by one. When you finally give in to sleep, who is there to save you? This now famous film was a complete unexpected success in 1984 and it featured the film debut of Johnny Depp. Apparently, an unexplained and deadly disease known as Brugada syndrome was an inspiration for this terrifying film. The Brugada syndrome is an hereditary disease that is associated with high risk of sudden cardiac death. It is characterized by typical ECG abnormalities. The house is now fully occupied, probably by Halloween enthusiasts.
Halloween – Mike Myer’s House
The year is 1963, the night; Halloween. Oh dear. Police are called to 43 Lampkin Lane where they discover that 17 year Judith Myers had been stabbed to death, by her 6 year-old brother. After being institutionalized for 15 years, Myers breaks out just days before Halloween. Myer’s physciatrist Dr. Loomis, knows Michael is coming back to Haddonfield, but by the time the town realizes it, it’s going to be to late for many people. Shot in Pasadena, CA, on Orange Grove Avenue, just off Sunset Blvd, you can still see the familiar hedge where Michael Myers lurked as it still remains there as of today at this location. The home is now the Algeria Chiropractic Center which, as you can see, has been painted blue. The house was empty & abandoned at the time the producers used it in the film.
Now I didn’t mind the remake of this film, but when you have seen the original and the soundbite “Here’s Johnny!”, even though his name is Jack Torrance, nothing really betters it. Story goes – A man, his son and wife become the winter caretakers of an isolated hotel where Danny, the son, sees disturbing visions of the hotel’s past using a telepathic gift known as “The Shining”. The father, Jack Torrance, is underway in a writing project when he slowly slips into insanity as a result of cabin fever and former guests of the hotel’s ghosts. Based on a Stephen King book, the Timberline Lodge was featured in the film and is located about 60 miles east of Portland, Oregon. Never actually shot inside the lodge, the film shot many scenes of the interesting outer architecture of the beautiful location. The lodge is, in fact, not really haunted, but has been made famous since the movie debut 20 years ago.
The Amityville Horror
Now this house was actually haunted when filming began. The movie was based on a true story, in which the entire family was murdered by the eldest son, Ronald Defeo, Jr., who shot his parents and four siblings while they were sleeping one night in November 1974. The film was based on the story by Jay Anson. The Amityville Horror is about a large house on the coast of Long Island where newly weds George and Kathy Lutz and their three children move into the house that they hope will be their dream house. The real estate agent tells them of the homes full history but undeterred, George and Kathy buy the house. The rest is history. It appears that the actual house has been haunted for a long time. In a 2000 interview with The History Channel, Kathy Lutz claimed that a tragedy befell every family that lived in the DeFeo home. Moreover, Jay Anson’s book suggests that the property is cursed because it had once belonged to John Ketcham, a suspected witch, who had fled Salem, Massachusetts before taking up residence in Amityville.
Cue one of the scariest movies of all time, The Exorcist remains one of the top sought out scary films every Halloween. And look, the lamp post is still there! Story is a visiting actress in Washington, D.C., notices dramatic and dangerous changes in the behavior and physical make-up of her 12-year-old daughter. Meanwhile, a young priest at nearby Georgetown University begins to doubt his faith while dealing with his mother’s terminal sickness. The Exorcist house at 3600 Prospect Street Georgetown does look a little different these days to the one originally shot in the 1973 film. A special addition was constructed back then for the shoot and subsequently removed, and today, a black wooden privacy fence surrounds the home. Despite that, the location still attracts ghoulish visitors.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
This film made its debut in 1974 and was remade (boo!) in 2003. Despite it having been banned in many countries it has still made hefty profits of nearly $31 million. There were several locations shot in this film from the Antlers Hotel to the cemetery and the gas station. The Sawyer family home, pictured, which had become over run with chickens, stood on Quick Hill Road, Round Rock, I-35, roughly about ten miles north of Austin, Texas. It fell into disrepair and dilapidation in 1998, after which it was dismantled and transported to the grounds of The Antlers Hotel, 1001 King Street, Kingsland, way to the northwest of Austin. The actual house has now been renovated as a restaurant, standing in the grounds of The Antlers.