The leaves are changing, the weather’s cooling and folks everywhere are stocking up on Halloween candy to give out to this year’s trick-or-treaters. But instead of celebrating the spooky season by overindulging on sweets, why not scare yourself silly by visiting some of the creepiest places on earth? Or at least, a few of the creepiest places you’ve seen on film.
Below are some of the coolest horror movie/television set locations to visit during the chilling month of October, starting with the cult classic “Hocus Pocus.” Although most of the 1993 drama was filmed in Los Angeles, the Salem-based movie still made an effort to have authentic footage from the historic Massachusetts town. Those who enjoyed watching the Sanderson sisters wreak havoc in Salem can visit some of their witchy stomping grounds.
1. Allison’s (Vinessa Shaw) House (in “Hocus Pocus”) - Ropes Mansion, which is the actual name of the movie home (seen above), can be found on Essex Street in the Chestnut Street District in Salem. The 18th century home is currently operated by the Peabody Essex Museum.
2. Town Hall Halloween Party (in “Hocus Pocus”) -- Remember when Winnie (Bette Midler) and her sisters bewitched the town of Salem by singing their haunting rendition of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I Put a Spell on You”? Well, you can dance the night away just like Max's (Omri Katz) parents at the building located on 32 Derby Square in Salem.
3. Max and Dani’s (Thora Birch) House (in “Hocus Pocus”) - Need a little salt while you’re in Salem? Stop by the Dennison home located on 4 Ocean Ave in Salem.
4. “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” – Hungry for blood? Or just plain hungry? Then the creepy farmhouse where Leatherface killed most of his victims is the place for you. The Victorian-style home, which can be spotted in the 1974 slasher film, has since been turned into a restaurant called Grand Central Café. The eatery is located on 1010 King Court in Kingsland, Texas, and rumor has it they have a very tasty Smokehouse Burger.
5. “A Nightmare on Elm Street” – If you’re cruising for a Freddie Krueger bruising, the house located on 1428 N. Genesee Ave. in Los Angeles is your next West Coast destination. You can see the exterior of the home that the iconic 1984 movie villain lived in, but considering the house is privately owned you’ll just have to dream about what the interior looks like. Let’s just hope Freddie doesn’t give you a fantasy tour.
6. “American Horror Story: Murder House” – Fans of the hit FX mini-series may refer to the mansion as the "L.A. Murder House," but in real life the estate of the fictional Harmon family is known as the Rosenheim Mansion. The home, created by architect Alfred Rosenheim, is located at 1120 Westchester Place in Los Angeles, and is said to actually be haunted with residential ghosts. Creepy!
7. “Friday the 13th” – Pay Camp Crystal Lake a visit and keep your fingers crossed you don’t bump into the vengeance-seeking killer Jason. The private property, located on 11 Sand Pond Road in Blairstown, New Jersey, has been turned into a Boy Scout camp, No-Be-Bo-Sco, since the machete-donning killer went rogue in the 1980 film.
8. “The Amityville Horror” – The iconic home located at 112 Ocean Ave. in Amityville, New York, may be the creepiest location of them all considering the privately owned house is subject to one of the most notorious hauntings and murder stories in history.
According to reports, in December 1975, the Lutz family moved in the Dutch Colonial house off the South Shore of Long Island just 13 months after Ronald DeFeo Jr. had shot and killed six members of his family. But the Lutzes didn’t stay for long. After 28 days, they left the house, claiming they were terrorized by paranormal activity occurring in the home.
9. “The Walking Dead” – Follow in the zombies' footsteps by taking a tour of Grantville, the Georgia town that was featured in the episode “Clear” of Season 3. For $10 (children 5-10 are $5 and private tours are available for a $30 minimum) you and your pals can visit the area where Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Morgan (Lennie James) reunited for the first time in the AMC series.
10. “American Horror Story: Coven” – Visit Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo shop at 739 Bourbon St. in New Orleans, and find out why the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans (portrayed by Angela Bassett in Season 3 of “AHS”) was such an iconic figure in history. The store offers a wide variety of items to “help in both learning and practicing spiritual and religious ceremony,” according to the website, but neglects to mention anything regarding fertility rituals or bringing the dead back to life.
11. “Twin Peaks” – Before the 1990 cult classic returns to Showtime in 2016 with a nine-episode limited series, pay the fictional -- and creepy -- town of Twin Peaks a visit. The serial drama, which followed the FBI investigation of homecoming queen Laura Palmer’s (Sheryl Lee) murder, was primarily filmed in the Washington towns of Snoqualmie and North Bend. One set location from the series that fans should tour is the Reinig Bridge, the trestle better known to “Twin Peaks” fans as Ronette’s Bridge, at 40419 SE Reinig Road, Snoqualmie.
What spooky movie sets will you visit during the Halloween season? Sound off in the comments section below with your go-to scare-stinations!