Upon occasion, I run into locations when I'm out trekking on the roads, researching or urban exploring. And, they give me shivers of deja vu, reminding me of a horror movie I adore. I am going to share some of these locations with you.
If you loved the 1972 film "Gargoyles," make a trek to Dragoon Arizona along I-10 southeast of Tucson to the gift shop. The billboards past Tucson and through New Mexico along I-10 warn you that it's coming up at the exit.
You pay $1 in the gift shop (with gas station outside and Dairy Queen next door) and you go out the back door and follow the sidewalk footprints through outbuildings that are dusty and smell of the desert and have bizarre displays. Finally, you come to the building with "The Thing" mummy and her baby in the glass case. If this expedition in the desert doesn't make you feel like you're in the movie, nothing will!
And, while you're there, go a few miles up the road toward Tucson to Texas Canyon for the next one.
You'll know the area when you see it because it's giant boulders everywhere and they have a rest stop there for picture taking so you can get your Tremors on.
We inserted the graboids, but those boulders make you think of the movie immediately!
Now, if you liked the movie "The Fog," you might want to make a trek to quiet inlet towns.
Haven Beach in Southern Virginia on the Chesapeake Bay in Mathews County has an interesting history and vibe that made me think of "The Fog" so much.
The legends there of Old House Woods are interesting, involving pirate ghosts that supposedly haunt the woods and a ghost ship that rides up on the beach with organ playing.
If you loved the classic "Night of the Living Dead," get yourself to Evans City, Pennsylvania outside of Pittsburgh.
The cemetery is precisely like it looked in the movie, in the rolling countryside. It is really a weird deja vu feeling when you drive up the driveway to this hillside cemetery that feels like you are truly the last people on earth.
I found the Nicholas Kramer headstone from the movie and did a little reenactment.
The 1977 film, "The Hills Have Eyes" was really unsettling. What's even more unsettling for those of us in the desert southwest is how much deja vu you get driving through the desert and thinking of that movie and "what if I break down?"
One particular roadway makes me think of it like mad. Route 83 to Sonoita, Arizona, southeast of Tucson.
The desert winding road takes you past areas with boulders and hillsides that look almost identical. The town of Sonoita is well worth the visit to do wine tastings and they have some wonderful inns on ranches and such. The nearby town of Patagonia is utterly charming, as well, and the cemetery atop the hillside there is very creepy!
If you are a fan of the movie "House of Wax," you might want to go to Tombstone, Arizona's Birdcage Theater. If you are hitting "The Thing" and the Tremors-looking Texas Canyon, it's not that far off.
It is dusty and set up with props and mannequins.
If you enjoyed "Wrong Turn," I have the place for you -
Even though the movie "Wrong Turn" was supposed to take place in West Virginia, it was actually filmed in Canada. But, there are some locations in West Virginia (a lot of them) that have that feel. I felt this sense most driving back to Sandstone Falls outside of Hinton, WV in Southeast West Virginia.
If you loved "The Birds" and want to stay in an inn that would give you deja vu of the house on the water used in the movie, I suggest going to Virginia.
The Inn at Tabbs Creek is the most charming B&B in all the world and fairly isolated and quiet on an inlet. The interior has the feel of the house in the movie!
You can always go onto IMDB an find out the movie's filming locations, but you can also do a bit of research to find locations that have similar feels. If you look at "The Goonies," it was filmed in Astoria, Oregon, Cannon Beach, Oregon, and also in Bodega Bay, California (the location of "The Birds"). As well, Bodega Bay has a decidedly "The Fog" feel to it, as well. You could get a good deal of your atmosphere on there!
Wherever you trek to, let me know what places reminded you of horror movies. I love to add to the list!