Our 21 Favorite Halloween & Horror Movie Houses
As any lover of horror films or Gothic literature knows, a house is more than just a backdrop; it's a living, breathing character. Take a closer look at the homes that played arguably the most important roles in our favorite spooky and not-so-spooky Halloween flicks, then step inside if you dare.
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Interview With the Vampire
Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles is the story of vampire Lestat who transforms a man named Louis into a vampire. When Lestat first encounters Louis in Louisiana, he is living on a beautiful estate. Louis's home is actually Oak Alley Plantation on the Mississippi River in Vacherie, Louisiana. Originally a sugar cane plantation, the estate is now open to the public and run by a non-profit. It is protected as a National Historic Landmark.
Built in 1870, Max and Dani's house in Salem is still used as a private residence. Albeit, a private residence that gets a lot of tourist attention. Located on the end of a street with no neighbors on three sides, the home is pretty easy to spot. Plus, the owners have kept the unique exterior, including the iconic lookout tower and red-trimmed porch, intact since filming wrapped in 1993. Take a Walking Tour of the Real Salem Locations Seen in the Film
The Amityville Horror
In 1974, Ronald DeFeo, Jr. shot and killed his parents and four siblings in their five-bedroom Dutch Colonial house on Long Island. Thirteen months later, the Lutz family bought the three-story waterfront home along with its swimming pool and boathouse for a bargain $80,000. What transpired afterwards became the controversial and often contested subject of a 1977 best-selling book and multiple film adaptations. The first film was shot in 1979 in this Cape Cod-style home in Toms River, NJ, which was temporarily remodeled to include the original home's iconic gambrel roof and chilling 'eye windows.'
Known as 'The Bramford' in the film, the iconic Dakota on New York's Upper West Side was used for the exterior shots of Guy and Rosemary's new apartment. When it was completed in 1884, the Dakota was one of the only buildings on the block and boasted 65 luxury apartments, with no two alike. Through the years, the building has played host and home to many celebrities including Leonard Bernstein, Lauren Bacall and John Lennon, who was shot and killed at the front entrance. See All of the Film Locations from Rosemary's Baby
Look familiar? The grand, 11th-century Alnwick Castle played the role of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the first two Harry Potter films. Scenes were shot outside and inside the castle, perhaps the most memorable being when Harry and his first year pals receive their first broom flying lesson in the courtyard (pictured next). Visitors to the castle today can take flying lessons in the same courtyard!
Beyond Harry Potter, the castle has gained international fame as one of the only English estates to feature a poison garden — a unique garden where visitors can see and learn about the world's most lethal plants including opium, nightshade and much more. Learn More: Step Inside the Alnwick Poison Garden
In the 1957 horror movie The Undead, two psychics send a woman back in time to learn about her past. She awakens as a woman accused of being a witch in medieval times. The Spadena House, also known as the Witch's House, is located in Beverly Hills and is where — you guessed it — the witch lived. Its odd-shaped roof and color make it look like something out of Hansel and Gretel, providing the perfect setting for this movie. The house is privately owned and was also seen in the movie Clueless.
House of the Seven Gables
While the Universal Studios set used in the film was torn down in the early 2000's, the real House of the Seven Gables — built in Salem, MA in 1668 — still stands today and is open for tours. Also known as the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion, the Jacobean/post-Medieval structure was the inspiration for Nathaniel Hawthorne's 1851 novel and subsequent films of the same name, the most notable being the spooky 1940 Vincent Price thriller. The home is one of the oldest surviving wooden houses in North America and is rumored to be haunted by the ghosts of a playful young boy and Nathaniel Hawthorne's cousin, Susan Ingersoll. Learn More About the House of the Seven Gables
John Carpenter’s 1980 cult classic features Adrienne Barbeau as a radio DJ whose sultry voice rolls across northern California from her studio in a lighthouse on (fictional) Antonio Bay. Her perch in the sky gives her a front-row seat for the eerie miasma that seeps from the Pacific Ocean to consume her town — and becomes a trap when supernatural mariners begin emerging from it. There are (probably) no ghost sailors in Marin County’s Point Reyes Lighthouse, but it couldn’t hurt to watch your step when the 143-year-old facility reopens to visitors in January 2020.
Drag Me to Hell
The Doheny Mansion, a lavish Romantic Revival estate built for an oil tycoon in 1899, is catnip for directors: the Los Angeles location has had cameos in The Princess Diaries, Mad Men, The Three Amigos and Catch Me if You Can (to name just a handful of its credits). In Sam Raimi’s Drag Me to Hell, it’s the site of an extremely expensive séance that will hopefully trap a vengeful spirit in the body of a goat and save a young loan officer from her untimely demise. Spoiler alert: $10,000 isn’t nearly enough to buy your way out of a date with the underworld. While supernatural gatherings at the house are few and far between, it frequently hosts concerts beneath its magnificent Tiffany dome.
Michael Myers' simple, two-story house was empty and abandoned when the producers of Halloween found it and decided to use it for the film. Since production wrapped, however, the house has moved across the street and found new life as a chiropractic office.
In case you were wondering, Bill Murray's Hollywood estate in Zombieland isn't his actual house. At the time of filming, it belonged to real estate developer Lee Najjar, ex-boyfriend of Real Housewives of Atlanta star, Kim Zolciak. What's more, the house itself isn't even in California, but in the residential neighborhood of Buckhead in Atlanta, Ga. Nevertheless, the sprawling, multi-million dollar mansion is pretty incredible and boasts some of the most awesome ceilings I've ever seen. Take a Full Tour of This Atlanta Estate
Now a private residence, the Potter Schoolhouse in northern California’s Bodega Bay was perfect for Alfred Hitchcock’s purposes in 1963: migratory birds really do flock to it, though they don’t wreak avian vengeance on unsuspecting children as they did on the silver screen. The building’s owner told California Home & Design that when her parents bought the property, its roof was in tatters and a piano on the second floor was covered with bird droppings. She also reported that it’s haunted, which would, perhaps, make Hitchcock smile.
Rocky Horror Picture Show
An ideal setting for Dr. Frank-N-Furter's devious dealings, this stunning Victorian Gothic country house sits on a sprawling 35 acres overlooking the river Thames. When it isn't being used as a film set, Oakley Court is a hotel and event center that entertains its fair share of English royalty.
"Say hello to my little friend." You've heard — or said — that at least once in your life. This 10-acre property in Santa Barbara, Calif., was made famous in 1983 as the home of Cuban drug cartel kingpin Tony Montana (played by Al Pacino) in Scarface. Although the movie is set in Miami, exterior shots were filmed right here in sunny Montecito. The lush estate was built in 1890 by J. Waldron Gillespie, the head of a wealthy New York banking family. To this day the property features a Persian-inspired garden, tiered terraces, crystal-clear pools, more than 125 varieties of palm trees and 9,000 square feet to boot.
The Woman in Black
Director James Watkins said he chose Gothic-style Cotterstock Hall because "it looked like it had eyes." The only drawback? The place was in pristine condition. It took the production team four days to cover the house and grounds in ivy, weeds and moss before it was ready to play the role of the sinister Eel Marsh House. See Inside This Stunning Estate
Before you get too excited (like I did) and start booking your flight to East Corinth, you should know that the Maitland's quaint, turn-of-the-century home was just a facade built for the film. All interior scenes were shot on set in California. Needless to say, the modern touches the Deetzes added to the home in the movie are pretty cool. I especially love the avant-garde porch and black and white-striped brick skirting. See the House Before & After Its Movie Makeover
The evil, human-eating mansion from Stephen King's thriller was brought to life on the big screen in the form of Tudor Gothic-style Thornewood Castle. Similar to Rose Red, Thornewood was given as a gift from husband to bride. Unlike Rose Red, the story of the real home has a happy ending. Originally built in England at the beginning of the 16th century, the castle was bought by Mr. Chester Thorne for his wife Anna. It was then deconstructed, shipped in pieces by boat around Cape Horn and rebuilt in Lakewood, Washington. Take a Virtual Tour of This American Castle
The Blair Witch Project
With 63,000 acres of forests, lakes and hiking trails, Seneca Creek State Park in Montgomery County, Md., is a nature lover's paradise in reality and a creepy place of doom in the psychological thriller The Blair Witch Project, which follows three students producing a documentary about a local witch. Black Rock Mill (pictured) is the starting point for the trail to Coffin Rock, where the three students camp for the night and where five men were supposedly ritualistically murdered.
The inspiration for Stephen King's fictional Overlook Hotel was the Stanley Hotel in Estes, Co. But the film adaptation of The Shining 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, OR. Fun fact: proprietors at the Timberline asked director Stanley Kubrick to change the number of the sinister room 217 to room 237 (a room number they don't actually have) so guests wouldn't avoid booking the room. See 14 More Famous Cabins & Lodges
In the 2010 remake of the 1941 film The Wolfman, the Talbot family lives on an estate called Talbot Hall. Members of the family end up becoming the murderous werewolves. Talbot Hall is really the Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, England, which is the home of the Duke of Devonshire and his family. The estate has 35,000 acres and includes gardens, towers, stables and shops. The 11th duke has opened the estate up to the public, granting much wider access to the property.
SEE MORE: Horror Movie Locations
This cookie-cutter, mock-Tudor-style home was exactly what director Steven Spielberg had in mind when scouting out houses for his creepy paranormal thriller. Who would ever suspect that the Freelings' nice suburban home was harboring an evil secret beneath its foundation? Fun fact: To capture the final scene in which the house gets sucked up into a vortex, set designers built a 4-foot wide mock-up in a California studio, then placed industrial-sized vacuums above the replica with hooks attached to specific points in the house. When the camera started rolling, the special effects team shot at the tiny house with a shot gun while the vacuums seemingly whisked it away into the Netherworld. Watch the scene here.