The late 1970s through the early 1990s was the golden age of the slasher flick, and many horror houses from that period remain unchanged today, still possessing the power to give those in the know a good spook.
So, grab your popcorn and read on for a list of some of the most iconic scary movie houses, some fun facts, a couple Home Value Estimates, and tips on how to survive these homes should you accidentally stumble across one of them in your nightmares--- errr, I mean your travels.
Address: 707 Meridian Avenue, South Pasadena, CA | moved to: 1000 Mission Street,
South Pasadena, CA
Location in Film: 45 Lampkin Lane, Haddonfield, IL [fictitious town]
Year Built: 1888
Unlike many of today's horror flicks, John Carpenter's Halloween was filmed in an actual house rather than on a movie set. This simple fact adds another layer of authenticity (and creepiness) to the movie, knowing that somewhere out there, Michael Myers' house really exists. That somewhere is in South Pasadena, California where the town identified the historical significance of "The Century House," as it was once called, built in 1888, as being the city's oldest surviving frame residence.
Historians consider the house to be the city's first duplex, marking the arrival of settlers from Indiana and their Midwestern influence on local architecture. The house itself blends several architectural styles, showing Midwestern Greek revival and salt box characteristics, as well as Victorian elements like the gable ornaments and gingerbread trim. Without intervention, the house would have been destroyed as it was set to be bulldozed in 1987 to make way for a hospital, but fortunately, it was salvaged and moved from its original location.
It was David Margrave who saved the house from imminent destruction on a whim as six houses that sat side by side on Meridian Avenue during the course of a three-week period were destroyed, one by one. The Century House was the last standing in that area and, upon passing the house one day, Margrave impulsively asked the bulldozer driver to stop just as he was giving the walls of the rickety old house their first push. Margrave then went to the owner, Dr. Joseph Kohn, and offered him a silver dollar for the home. Kohn accepted the offer along with Dave's promise to move the house within a week.
Unfortunately, Margrave had no property on which to put the house, so in a brash move one night he paid movers to transport the old structure onto a nearby railroad property. Even though Margrave didn't have permission to relocate the house to this area, the house remains there to this day because the city of South Pasadena recognized the building's historical significance and allowed it to stay.
As a result of the relocation, the small addition in the back of the house for the filming of Halloween was removed, and the house itself received a small facelift, a fresh paint job, and interior modifications converted it from a private residence into office space.
Fans wanting to visit the house will have no problem seeing it from the outside. You simply get off the train at Mission Station and you're a short walk away, however, exploring the interior of Michael's old haunts proves a bit more difficult, as the businesses inside the house are not crazy about Halloween fans randomly dropping by to pay homage.
Fun Fact: A fan of all things Halloween, Kenny Caperton of Hillsborough, NC reconstructed an exact replica of the home from the film. In addition to getting most of the details of the home exactly to spec, Caperton also hosts several Halloween-themed events, and his house is a popular spot for trick-or-treaters. The house has been featured in dozens of newspaper, magazine, and online articles and was even mentioned on ABC's Good Morning America. Halloween fans from all over the world have traveled to see the spookhouse and Caperton welcomes them with open arms.
How to Survive: You can't kill the boogieman, so there's nothing you can do! Sleep tight! (;
Hocus Pocus, 1993
Address: 4 Ocean Avenue, Salem, MA 01970
Location in Film: Salem, MA
Year Built: 1870
Current Home Value Estimate: $555,400.00
Max and Dani's house from the 1993 cult classic Hocus Pocus located in Salem, Massachusetts, is a private residence that gets a lot of tourist attention!
The 1,305 square-foot, three-bedroom, one bath is located at the end of the street with no neighbors on three sides and is a mere block from the water's edge. The current owners have kept the unique exterior, including the iconic lookout tower and red-trimmed porch, intact since filming wrapped in 1993.
According to research, people visit the home in droves, especially in the month of October, and the current homeowners don't mind people taking photos and selfies as long as they're respectful.
Fun Fact: Hocus Pocus shares another house with 1999's American Beauty and 1989's Christmas Vacation. The house is seen after the children escape the witches by locking them in the high school's kiln. To add more to the irony, not only was a certain house shared between the movies, so was actress Thora Birch who played Dani, then returned to the neighborhood to play Jane Burnham in American Beauty.
How to Survive: Do NOT light the black flame candle if you know what's good for you!
Rosemary's Baby, 1968
Address: The Dakota | West 72nd Street, New York, NY
Location in Film: The Bramford | Central Park West, New York, NY
Year Built: Between 1880-1884
Known as "The Bramford" in the film, the ornate and somewhat gothic Dakota Apartments on New York's Upper West Side – the northwest corner of 72nd Street and Central Park West to be exact – was used for the exterior shots of Guy and Rosemary's apartment in 1968's Rosemary's Baby.
The Dakota was constructed from October 25, 1880 to October 27, 1884, and at the time of its grand unveiling, it was one of the only buildings on the block and boasted 65 luxury apartments, with no two alike. The architectural firm of Henry Janeway Hardenbergh was commissioned to create the design for Edward Clark, head of the Singer Sewing Machine Company. The firm also designed the Plaza Hotel on Central Park South.
The building's deep roofs and high gables, massive dormers, terracotta accents, ornate balconies, and balustrades give it a North German Renaissance character, but its layout and floor plan portray nods to French architectural of the 1870s. In 1972, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places and in 1976, it was declared a National Historic Landmark.
Fun Fact 1: The Dakota was host and home to celebrities Lauren Bacall, Rosemary Clooney, Boris Karloff, and Judy Garland, to name a few. Sad Fact: John Lennon was tragically shot and killed at the front entrance in 1980.
Fun Fact 2: Upon learning that people mistakenly referred to the fictitious apartment building as the Branford and not the Bramford, Rosemary's Baby novel writer Ira Levin stated that he chose the name in memory of writer Bram Stoker, and shudders to think that one might have offended his baby, "…who is still alive—you know he is—and whose name is Dracula," he once stated.
How to Survive: Stay away from Minnie's chocolate mousse and sleep with one eye open!
The Shining, 1980
Address: Filmed at Timberline Lodge, 27500 East Timberline Road, Timberline Lodge, OR 97028
Location in Film: The Overlook Hotel in the Rocky Mountains, which was inspired by The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, CO 80517
Year Timberline was Built: 1937
Little more than an hour's drive outside of Portland, Oregon sits the Timberline Lodge, one of the most storied hotels in the United States. Perched at 6,000 feet up Mount Hood, the hotel was built by artisans at the height of the Great Depression and snow-sport enthusiasts to this day enjoy its slopes and climb the tall, active volcanoes year-round. But these aspects of the Lodge aren't responsible for its darker, more popular appeal.
The inspiration for Stephen King's fictional Overlook Hotel was actually the Stanley Hotel in Estes, Colorado, but the film was shot mostly on a studio set in England, with exterior shots filmed at Timberline Lodge, a government-owned National Historic Landmark in Mount Hood, Oregon.
While the inside of the Timberline doesn't have brightly colored patterned carpet, nor is there a cool hedge maze in the parking lot (both were filmed on sound stages in London), the Lodge's distinct architecture still creeps-out thousands of visitors who make the trek to the famous hotel every year, especially when the snowcat is parked out front! There's even an axe marked "Here's Johnny" displayed inside the hotel.
The Stanley Kubrick film adaptation, released in 1980, has gone down in history as one of the creepiest films of all time. From where did the idea come, you ask?
The Stanley Hotel and Stephen King's Novel, The Shining
As the story goes, in 1974 King and his wife needed a weekend away and showed up at the Stanley Hotel on the day it was set to close for the winter season. The staff agreed to let them stay for the weekend if they paid cash, so they were the only two guests in the entire hotel. They checked into room 217, the Presidential Suite. That night, King had a nightmare that his son was being chased through the hotel by an evil spirit and after abruptly awaking, shaken, he went outside to smoke a cigarette. It was then and there that he thought up the grim idea for his first best-selling novel, The Shining.
Other Stanley Hotel Oddities
After Stanley Hotel inventor F.O. Stanley passed away in 1940, guests reported seeing his ghost at the front desk during check-in as well as hearing his deceased wife, Flora Stanley, singing in an empty room. No horrific crimes took place at the Stanley, but nonetheless, the flickering lights, moving objects, shadows, and unidentified laughter have made the hotel a hot spot for paranormal investigators.
Today, guests may choose the "ghost adventurer" package to stay on the infamous 4th floor of the Stanley a.k.a. Overlook and they receive a mug that says "Redrum," an electromagnetic field reader, and other tools one would need to hunt ghosts. The most requested room by far is 217, the room that inspired King on that spooky night.
But at the end of the day, there was one major thing guests were missing during their visit to The Stanley Hotel: the infamous hedge maze that spelled Jack Torrance's (Jack Nicholson) creepy demise at the end of the movie.
So, in the summer of 2015 that omission was remedied when the Stanley installed a 10,100-square-foot juniper labyrinth in front of the hotel. The design, decided through a contest that attracted 329 entries from 34 countries, came from Mairim Dallaryan Standing, a New York City architect who cleverly incorporated an "S" (Stanley) and an "H" (Hotel) into her layout. The maze underwent a soft opening in October of that year during their annual Shining Ball, when approximately 300 guests descended on the Stanley for music, drinks, and a costume contest. The Stanley doesn't intend to let the junipers get too tall (they're currently about three feet tall), so the "maze" aspect might be limited to visitors younger than four or so.
Timberline Lodge & Ski Area in Mount Hood – Film Location
When it came time to find the perfect location to represent the fictional Overlook Hotel in the film, Timberline Lodge & Ski Area in Mount Hood National Forest seemed to be the ideal setting for director Stanley Kubrick.
Built back in the 1930s during the Great Depression, it's believed that the ski resort was haunted by skiers who never made it off Mt. Hood. These days, the U.S. Forest Service has worked hard to ensure that skiers and climbers are safe on the mountain.
In 1977, the hotel was named a National Historic Landmark and draws millions of visitors each year for skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, ghost-hunting, and more. During the summer, the property boasts a bike park for mountain biking and an outdoor pool. Other amenities include a hot tub, sauna, fitness center, and on-site restaurants including the Ram's Head Bar, Cascade Dining Room, and the Blue Ox Bar. You can even host your wedding there!
Fun Fact 1: Management at the Timberline Lodge asked director Stanley Kubrick to change the number of the sinister room 217 to room 237 (a non-existent room number) so guests wouldn't avoid booking the room.
Fun Fact 2: Rumor has it that when Jim Carrey was onsite at The Stanley Hotel for the filming of his 1994 comedy Dumb and Dumber, he stayed in Room 217. Something spooked him so bad that he ran from the room in the middle of the night and never returned.
Fun Fact 3: Declared a National Historic Landmark in 1977, Timberline Lodge is one of Oregon's most popular tourist attractions, drawing nearly two million visitors every year.
Fun Fact 4: During Halloween one year, a large Portland-based corporation purchased the Timberline Lodge in its entirety and hosted a private, Shining-themed event where they hired twins in blue dresses to roam the hallways and a boy named "Danny" to ride his Big Wheel throughout the dining room. Lodge employees dressed in costume and were told to work movie quotes into natural dialogue throughout the evening (i.e., BARTENDER: "Your money's no good here, Mr. Torrence.").
How to survive it: REⱭЯUM. All work and no play, make Johnny a dull boy. So, catch the next snowcat and leave immediately!