Saturday, July 13, 2024

Destination terror: Best horror movie and TV show locations to visit

From Night of the Living Dead to The Walking Dead to Nightmare on Elm Street, I’ve seen my share of filming locations for horror flicks and TV shows.

So, for a spine-tingling travel experience for Halloween, or frankly, any time of the year, consider a spooky getaway to these three marvelously macabre destinations. Not only do I give you the exact addresses where many scary scenes were shot, but I also scare up budget-friendly accommodations for you to stay. Just remember to keep your ears and at least one eye open for the creepy things that go bump in the night.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

While this city is probably most famous for being home to the NFL team, Steelers, horror buffs revere Pittsburgh as the stomping grounds of legendary filmmaker George A. Romero. Known as “Godfather of the Dead,” Romero is most famous for his Night of the Living Dead series of films, most of which were at least partially filmed in and around Pittsburgh.

John A. Hernandez stands by the Blair Monument located at the Evans City Cemetery as seen in 'Night of the Living Dead.'
John A. Hernandez at the Blair Monument in the Evans City Cemetery featured in ‘Night of the Living Dead.’ (Photo Credit: Richard Jones)

Arguably the most famous location used in Night of the Living Dead was the Evans City Cemetery. This small graveyard was immortalized in the opening sequence of the film where a zombie attacks two siblings visiting their parents’ grave. Located at 8600 Franklin Road, this ghoulish site is a 30-minute drive outside of Pittsburgh. 

Fans of the sequel Dawn of the Dead can find the famous Monroeville Mall – used in the film – a mere 15 minutes outside the city at 200 Mall Circle Drive. 

If that’s still not enough Romero for you, be sure to check out the University of Pittsburgh’s Hillman Library at 3960 Forbes Avenue which houses an archive detailing his life and work. After checking out the exhibit you can mosey on across campus to the Cathedral of Learning. Just adjacent to that building at 4141 Fifth Avenue is the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall. This building was a stand-in for the Memphis courthouse for the Oscar-winning film Silence of the Lambs and it’s also where Hannibal made his great escape.

Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Photo Credit: Malachi Jacobs/ Shutterstock)

A short walk down the road will get you to Carnegie Melon University at 5000 Forbes Avenue. Once on campus, you will find Margaret Morrison Carnegie Hall, which was used as ‘Amberson Hall’ in cult classic Creepshow.

While in town I suggest staying at the haunted Omni William Penn Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh. It’s a stone’s throw from Shadyside, the trendy east-end neighborhood that is home to the best shopping, dining, and nightlife that the city has to offer. I also recommend checking out the Blue Moon Bar in the Lawrenceville section of town. This is a fun gay dive bar where Alaska Thunderfu*k of RuPaul’s Drag Race fame got her start before hitting it big.

Atlanta, Georgia

Known as ‘The Hollywood of the South,’ it’s only natural that The ATL is on our list of destinations. Some of the best-loved horror movies and TV shows of all time were filmed in Atlanta and its surrounding suburbs.

The Walking Dead is probably the most famous show to set up shop in the area and a lot of the filming locations are very accessible to the public. The promo image for the series of Rick Grimes riding horseback towards a deserted Atlanta was taken from the Jackson Street Bridge which runs over Freedom Parkway. It offers an amazing view of the city’s skyline and is definitely worth a visit.

The Walking Dead Promo Poster Season 1
‘The Walking Dead’ Promo Poster Season 1 (Photo Credit: AMC)

Two miles away from the bridge at 817 Cherokee Avenue SE is the site of Rick’s house, and across town at 2353 Bolton Road NW, you will find the Atlanta Missions Administrative Office which served as the hospital location heavily featured in the first episode. 

Fans of the movie Zombieland can head on over to Edgewood Avenue NE at Park Place NE to see where Columbus doles out his rules for survival. After that, I recommend a trip to 490 W Paces Ferry Road in Buckhead to check out the location of Bill Murray’s mansion in the film.

Atlanta skyline from Jackson Street Bridge
Atlanta skyline from Jackson Street Bridge (Photo Credit: Susanne Pommer/ Shutterstock)

From Atlanta, the Agnes Scott College at 141 E College Avenue in Decatur Georgia is about a 15-minute drive away. It’s otherwise known as ‘Windsor College’ to horror fans. That’s right, this location served as the backdrop for all the scenes on the quad and Sidney’s dorm room in Scream 2. This is a must-see!

If you want to up the spook factor during your trip to ‘The Big Peach’ then the only place to stay is the Ellis Hotel. Plagued with a tragic history, it is one of the most haunted sites in all of Atlanta. For fun instead of fright, head to midtown which is the heart of the Atlanta gay scene. Swinging Richards and Heretic are some of my favorite haunts – see what I did there?

Los Angeles, California

We move from the Hollywood of the South to Hollywood in California. So many horror movies have been made here, and not just on the studio backlots. Before it became cost-prohibitive, lots of movies were filmed on the streets of LA. It just so happens that my personal all-time favorite film was shot here – John Carpenter’s Halloween.

The Myers’ House from the classic horror flick, Halloween in South Pasadena, California
The Myers’ House from the classic horror flick ‘Halloween’ in South Pasadena, California (Photo Credit: John A. Hernandez)

Michael Myers’ House is located in South Pasadena at 1000 Mission Street. Hardcore horror fans will be quick to tell you that although this is the original house used in the movie, the original location was in fact at 707 Meridian Avenue, which is literally around the corner.

Laurie Strode’s house can be found at 1115 Oxley Street which is within walking distance from the Myers house. The owners are great sports and allow fans to take photos on their property and even leave props out for use in their pictures. 

The Strode House from "Halloween" in South Pasadena, California
The Strode House from ‘Halloween’ in South Pasadena, California (Photo Credit: John A. Hernandez)

The Doyle House where Laurie babysits is in Hollywood at 1530 Orange Grove Avenue and the Wallace House where the murders happen is across the street at 1537.

Another famous horror movie filmed in the area is A Nightmare on Elm Street. The house where Freddy stalks Nancy in her dreams is located at 1428 North Genesse Avenue in West Hollywood. This is also rumored to be the house used for the Strode home interior in the extended television cut of Halloween!

For the Scream 2 completists among us, the exterior used for the movie theatre at the start of the film is at 1023 S. Fair Oaks Avenue in South Pasadena and the Delta Lambda Zeta Sorority House can be found at 350 South Grand Avenue in Pasadena proper.

The Thompson House from A Nightmare on Elm Street in West Hollywood, California
The Thompson House from ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ in West Hollywood, California (Photo Credit: John A. Hernandez)

Between all your slasher set visits why not rest your tired head at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel? It is rumored to be haunted by A-list celebrities like Marilyn Monroe.  Head out to Micky’s in West Hollywood and Precinct in downtown LA if you’re looking for some nightclub action.

And there you have it boils and ghouls! Plan a spooktacular getaway to Pittsburg, Atlanta, and or Hollywood, where the cost is free to see these filming locations, and where you can stay in a hotel that could possibly be inhabited with ghoulish guests.  Remember to travel safe, support horror, and stay spooky!

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John Hernandez

John A. Hernandez is a staff writer for Queer Forty with a focus on entertainment. He is also a writer for Vacationer Magazine and a contributor to Bear World Magazine and Gayming Magazine. He has a special love for all things horror and Halloween. He currently resides with his husband in New York City.

John Hernandez has 135 posts and counting. See all posts by John Hernandez

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