There's nothing like a good scare to put you in the mood for Halloween, and few things do the job better than watching a classic horror film. Murderous plots and villains can be the stuff of nightmares, but visiting eerie horror movie locations in person will steal the show. From crumbling graveyards to miles and miles of deserted landscapes, visiting the filming locations of your favorite horror films can be an educational and recreational endeavor. Pack up the car and your camera, and head for an iconic horror movie location near you.
Stephen King is one of the most well-known horror writers of all time. The small town of Bangor, Maine, is hugely inspirational in his writing, but you'll have to visit to see why. Fans of the 1995 thriller "The Langoliers" will recognize the Bangor Airport terminal and runway from the film's climax. If that doesn't give you goosebumps, a visit to The Mount Hope Cemetery on State Street will. The graveyard is a significant location in "Pet Sematary," where King makes a quick cameo presiding over a funeral. Stroll the grounds before driving by King's house for some selfies.
Fans of the 1978 slasher flick "Halloween" know the film opens with a grisly murder at the Myers house, which stands at 1000 Mission Street in South Pasadena, California. It's currently home to a private business, but fans are welcome to photograph the iconic home from the parking lot. At the corner of Fairview Avenue and Oxley Street, you'll find the spot where the main character Laurie sits on a pedestal with a pumpkin. If you notice a stash of the gourds nearby, feel free to recreate the memorable screenshot.
"The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" was controversial for its graphic violence in 1973, but it ushered in a new era of horror films. It remains one of the most influential movies in the genre, particularly due to a terrifying sequence at the Gulf gas station at 1073 Texas State Route 304. Today, the roadside attraction is a horror movie-themed barbecue restaurant and gift shop called The Gas Station. Take a few photos while you wait for lunch or book a stay at the adjacent cabins.
Hitchcockian thriller "The Birds" is a tense tale that takes place in a remote coastal village. Filmed at Bodega Bay just 52 miles from San Francisco, this foggy destination is just as idyllic as it was in the 1963 film. Drive by the Bodega Bay School at 17110 Bodega Lane, and then have lunch at the Tides Restaurant at 835 Bay Highway. Don't worry — the birds are harmless.
"The Blair Witch Project" terrified moviegoers with its found footage recovered from the Black Hills Forest in Maryland. Supposedly documenting the demise of three amateur filmmakers, the film features several locations in the dense woods of Seneca Creek State Park. Great Seneca Creek is just off of Black Rock Road. Look for the bridge for a photo opportunity, then head for the Black Rock Mill. Across the street is a trail that leads into the forest to Coffin Rock, where a key scene takes place in the film.
Santa Cruz, California, became the fictional beach town of Santa Carla for the 1987 film, "The Lost Boys." Its bustling boardwalk is where the titular teenaged vampires stalked their victims. Unsuspecting victims rode the Looff Carousel and the Giant Dipper roller coaster, oblivious to the danger that lurked nearby. The boardwalk still thrives at 400 Beach Street, where the previously mentioned vintage attractions continue to be operational to this day. Spend some time indulging your inner child at the boardwalk, then wander into town for some shopping and spectacular views.
Named for its hauntingly beautiful canopy of oak trees, Oak Alley Plantation is a historic property featured in several films — and a Beyoncé music video. You may also remember it as the family home of Louis de Pointe du Lac, the titular undead character from the 1994 film, "Interview with the Vampire." The structure burned down in the film, but you can visit the historic landmark at 3645 Highway 18 in Vacherie, Louisiana. Book a guided tour to learn more about its past, keeping an eye out for ghosts.
Wes Craven's "Scream" series is one of the most beloved horror franchises of all time. Located in the fictional town of Woodsboro, the original "Scream" features locations in several Central Californian cities. You may recognize the Community Center at 276 E. Napa Street in Sonoma as Woodsboro High School. Walk the hallways and grounds to recreate your favorite shots, then head 50 miles north to the grocery at 126 Matheson Street in Healdsburg. It still resembles the fictional Woodsboro Police Department. Just up the street is Healdsburg Plaza, also known as Woodsboro town square, where excited high school students gathered to discuss the town's grisly murders.
The charming rural town of Blairstown, New Jersey, is virtually unchanged since the cult classic "Friday the 13th" filmed there. Main Street is still home to the Blairstown theater, an old mill, and Blair Falls Bridge from the film's opening scene. Take a trip down memory lane and then head for the Blairstown Diner, also known to fans as the Crystal Lake Diner. The restaurant is a favorite haunt of horror fans, especially on Friday the 13th. Enjoy a meal before attending a special screening of the film with fellow fans.
A woman goes to a secluded lighthouse to broadcast her radio show in the 1980 film, "The Fog." From there, she becomes the first person to notice a strange mist closing in on the city. The Point Reyes Lighthouse at the end of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard in Marin County is supposedly the second foggiest destination in North America. It's perfect for a spooky photo session. Make the 20-mile long drive or board the shuttle from Drake's Beach.