Crazed serial killers, vengeful sharks, haunted hotels and witch-driven woods are commonly considered the stuff of horror movies. But did you know that you can actually visit their locations in real life?
Are you good at screaming Janet Leigh style? You’d better be! It became one of the most classic horror movies of all time and so it’s no surprise that the house and the creepy Norman Bates hotel from Psycho are both popular attractions at Universal Studios.
Ready for your next seaside summer holiday? If so, heading to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, just south of Cape Cod, will ensure you get up close and personal with the waters where Jaws once lived (or was operated). Spielberg chose this island to film the whole of his blockbuster horror and many locations from the film, like the beach where the tourists are terrified, Brody’s house and Quint’s workshop, are still there today.
If the idea of werewolves completely freaks you out, a trip to the North York Moors in the UK under the light of the full moon will be a real treat! While the majority of this film’s scenes were shot in London, the Moors are perhaps the closest real-life depiction you’ll find based on the settings in the film.
Jack Nicholson (a.k.a. Jack Torrance) reportedly lost his mind when visiting the haunted Overlook Hotel in The Shining. The actual location of this hotel is Timberline Lodge in Mount Hood, Oregon and the exterior scenes featuring the hotel were actually shot here (the rest of the movie was filmed in the UK). The interior of the lodge is quite beautiful, but if you hear a kid chanting ‘redrum, redrum’, you may want to run away – fast.
One of the most successful Aussie thriller movies of the 1970s, Picnic at Hanging Rock depicts the story of a group of schoolgirls and their teacher, who mysteriously disappear on an excursion. If you’re keen to know what really happened, you can actually head to Hanging Rock in central Victoria and see for yourself. Tip: Try a night walking tour if you really want to freak yourself out!
Horrific torture scenes had audiences squirming in Eli Roth’s ultra-gory flick, Hostel. Although it was set in Slovakia, the majority of the movie was actually shot in the Czech Republic, in the quiet South Bohemian town of Cesky Krumlov. Influenced by Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance styles, the town is otherwise known for its amazing architecture and for being a cultural and arts hub.
Francis Ford Coppola’s rendition of Dracula starring Gary Oldman, Anthony Hopkins and Keanu Reeves was a strange success when it first came out. While Coppola chose to recreate Dracula’s Castle via old-school production methods, the real life castles associated with Vlad the Impaler can still be visited today. The most notable include Poenari Castle, Bran Castle and Corvin Castle, all located in Romania.
Ghost hunting is not a task for the faint hearted, but if you’re up for it, just head to Seneca Creek in Maryland on your next US trip. The Blair Witch Project went on to become one of the most successful indie horror flicks of the year and somewhat of a cult classic. Today, Seneca Creek is a wonderful place to indulge in a few adventure sports, though we advise you to stay out of the woods after dark!
Photo credits: hmoong