Halloween is here, and I start thinking about things to do on the creepiest night of the year. Staying home and watching a horror movie is always a good option. The exciting thing is that I can’t resist a good classic, although today’s films are increasingly well done and realistic.
Like any movie, horror flicks also have their settings, many of which are essential to set the mood of the story. From the United States, the Middle East or Europe, enjoy my top horror movies and take a different journey to this haunting places.
Glacier National Park, Montana, USA
Glacier National Park, located in the state of Montana, on the border of the United States with Canada, is one of the most important natural parks in the region. Around here you can find about 130 lakes, over a thousand different types of plants and hundreds of animal species.
But this place, already so crucial for its ecosystem, was also the stage for the recordings of the famous Stanley Kubrick film, “The Shining” (1980).
The opening scene takes us to fly over the waters of Glacier National Park and following the car that transports the main character through the winding roads that lead to the hotel where everything happens. This is accompanied by a soundtrack that brings a shiver down our spine. “The Shining” is and remains a Halloween classic!
Just out of curiosity, the hotel that appears in the movie (at least the outside footage, since most of the scenes were filmed in the studio) is Timberline Lodge and is not in Glacier National Park but in Mount Hood in Oregon.
Bodega Bay, Califórnia, USA
For me, one of the horror movies of all time! Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” may seem kind of lame to some movie fans, but we have to keep in mind that the film debuted in 1963 and still excites us today. Goosebumps!
In the opening scenes, we see the main character walk the streets of San Francisco, but it’s in Bodega Bay, about 50 miles further north, that the action takes place.
In fact, the small fishing village is a very sought after place by migratory birds and, it’s not at all unusual to see birdwatching enthusiasts passing through there.
Since the film was released, Bodega Bay gained popularity. And if we take into account that some scenes from the movie “I Know What You Did Last Summer” were also filmed on the nearby roads, we can say that this is definitely a place to visit by fans of horror movies.
And one thing I tell you: on my trip to California I noticed that there are ravens everything in this part of the United States… and how I remembered this movie. 😉
Speaking of Hitchcock, who doesn’t know the classic “Psycho”?! But instead of taking you back to one of the locations chosen by the master of suspense, I decided to go further in time to another horror classic: “American Psycho.”
Don’t be fooled like me, if you think that the movie that has Christian Bale in the lead role was filmed in Manhattan, New York.
Yes, some scenes went by there, but the majority of the film was recorded in Toronto, Canada.
From the “Pierce & Pierce” office where the character works to the various restaurants and bars he passes through, everything was orchestrated in one of the major Canadian cities.
Seneca Creek State Park, Maryland, USA
In 1999, a movie left the whole world shaking in their movie chairs and wondering if those images were real. “The Blair Witch Project” was released as actual recordings found in the woods near a small Maryland village called Burkittsville. The Story: Three film students making a documentary about a local story disappear into the woods.
Shortly after the film’s debut, the myth was broken and the film identified as fiction. But that didn’t stop thousands of fans from going to Burkittsville looking for clues about the mysterious disappearance of the young people.
In fact, only the cemetery scene, right at the beginning, was captured in Burkittsville. The most striking images in the forest took place at Seneca Creek State Park.
This beautiful park stretches for 2,500 hectares and is highly sought after by fishing enthusiasts, but also by the ideal trails for hiking or biking. It doesn’t have anything scary about it… except if you go there alone… at night… during Halloween… Goosebumps again!
But not all notable horror films are filmed exclusively in the United States or in a scary forest. “The Exorcist” has had much of its scenes shot in Georgetown, Washington, but director William Friedkin takes us to Iraq for the opening scenes that cast the mood for one of the greatest horror films ever.
Under the sound of Muslim prayers, we are taken to an excavation in Hatra, where archaeological finds are discovered, among them a statue of the demon Pazuzu, demonic god of the old Babylon. The “archaeologist” is the priest who’ll later help the possessed girl, and the image of Pazuzu reappears in one of the scenes at the end of the film.
Mosul and Al Mawsil are other Iraqi locations where the filmmakers of “The Exorcist” went filming before its debut in 1973.
Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
I end with one of the horror movies that has been on my most scary list since it premiered. I remember well when I went to see it at the cinema… It was one of those that made my stomach sick…
The “Hostel” takes two backpackers to Slovakia, after an accommodation with a reputation for being full of beautiful women. But the adventure turns into a nightmare, with them dying at the hands of rich men who pay fortunes to kill and torture other human beings.
But forget Slovakia because the whole film was filmed in the neighboring country, the Czech Republic.
The small village where the main characters arrive is no more and no less than Cesky Krumlov, whose historical center is considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. There are several scenes recorded in this location, as well as the existence of a Torture Museum.
What do you think of this list of places that inspired horror movies? Are you a fan of Halloween? Have you visited any of these destinations? Share your opinion in the comments box below.
And don’t forget to share this post on your social networks. Happy Halloween!