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Are you ready for Halloween? These are 12 real-life horror movie locations that you can visit yourself to get you into the spooky spirit!
Get into the Halloween spirit!
It's October, which means it's finally time to dust off your spooky costumes and crack out your favourite horror movies. But what if you could actually visit the actual set for some of these cult classics? From luxury apartment buildings and hotels to nondescript suburban homes, here are 12 horror movie locations that have more lurking behind their surface than what first meets the eye.
Timberline Lodge, The Shining
Just three years after the release of Stephen King's bestselling novel The Shining, Stanley Kubrick shot and directed its movie adaptation both at Elstree Studios in England and at the Timberline Lodge in Oregon. It was here at the lodge high up in the mountains of Oregon where the majority of the exterior shots for the infamous Outlook Hotel were filmed. Yet if you're wanting to stay in Room 237 then I'm afraid you're out of luck as this room, unfortunately, does not exist. Kubrick was specifically asked not film any scenes in Room 217 - the original room number from the book - because the lodge feared that future guests would be afraid to sleep the night there. An entirely made up room and room number was therefore created for the purpose of filming yet ironically, and perhaps unsurprisingly, it is Room 217 that is now the most requested room in the entire hotel. The Timberline Lodge is also open all 365 days of the year offering great skiing in the surrounding snow capped mountains.
Whether you can visit Timberline Lodge in real-life or not, prepare for Overlook Hotel to come back to your screens anyway (and perhaps haunt your dreams too) as Doctor Sleep - the sequel to The Shining - is set to be released in cinemas this November. Directed by Mike Flanagan, the 2019 sequel painstakingly set out to recreate the first film's iconic set designs from old blueprints and freeze frames.
The Stanley Hotel, The Shining
Although Timberline Lodge was the primary location for the film, the inspiration behind Overlook Hotel in Stephen King's original novel was in fact The Stanley Hotel tucked away in the Rocky Mountains in Estes Park in Colorado. He visited the hotel with his wife sometime in 1974 when the hotel was emptying out after the winter season and found inspiration in its grand facade and foreboding sense of desolation that clung to its walls. Guests ever since have reported strange and spooky happenings in the hotel among which have been moved and unpacked luggage, lights turning on and off by themselves, and sudden drops in temperature. Room 217 from the novel is even said to be haunted by a Mrs. Wilson, the hotel's former head housekeeper. The Colonial Revival-style hotel does tend to lean in heavily into this view the world now has of it as a haunted hotel and offers many paranormal tours year-round for guests to partake in. A hedge maze, like that of the one that exists at Overlook Hotel in the novel and film, was even opened in 2015 on the front driveway to further evoke the hotel's connection to The Shining.
The Gas Station, Texas Chainsaw Massacre
The rather grisly and gory 1974 horror film Texas Chainsaw Massacre, despite being banned in several countries from the get-go, turned over a very decent profit and inspired a whole generation of slasher films. One of its more infamous locations that you can visit today is the gas station in Central Texas where an ill-fated group of friends stopped for gas. Previously abandoned, the success of the horror movie turned this rundown gas station into a horror-themed barbecue restaurant decked out in Texas Chainsaw Massacre decor and memorabilia. Aptly named The Gas Station, horror-movie fans can come and shop till they drop or chow down on one of their signature brisket sandwiches. For even more frights, you can also spend a night or two in one of their rustic cabins at the back of the smokehouse. You know you'll have found the right place when you see the sign proclaiming "We Slaughter Barbecue" hanging outside although hopefully you won't encounter any killer cannibals wearing flesh masks wandering around the joint!
Seneca Creek State Park, The Blair Witch Project
The pioneer of the "found footage" subgenre, much of the 1999 horror film The Blair Witch Project was filmed in Seneca Creek State Park in rural Burkittsville in Maryland. It was here in these woods, known as Black Hills Forest in the film, where three college students attempted to track down the legendary Blair Witch, never to be seen again. The park boasts a staggering 6,300 acres of land stretching alongside 14 miles of Seneca Creek for you to explore and, hopefully, not get lost in! From leisurely walks and more challenging hikes to kayaking and fishing in nearby lakes, the park offers a wide range of activities that the whole family can enjoy. There is even a trail that will lead you to the infamous Coffin Rock from the film. In the film, the filmmakers travelled to this massive rock formation after hearing stories of fur trappers who were supposedly mutilated and killed there.