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Issue: Fall 2018

Spooky Hollywood: Hollywood Horror Film Locations

Kathy Flynn

Hollywood, land of sunshine and palm trees. So much glitz and glamour. But there’s a darkness hidden behind even the brightest facade. Did you know that many of your favorite horror film locations are in hidden in plain sight? I’m not talking studio locations,but houses right on the street you might pass every day unaware of their dark and haunted history. Let’s take a look at some of the spookiest horror film locations in Hollywood.


Halloween

Halloween's Wallace house
The Wallace house from Halloween, located at 1537 N Orange Grove Ave
Current photo by Kathy Flynn

The original Halloween is one of the most popular horror films of all time, so it’s a thrill to turn off Sunset Blvd and find yourself in the middle of the fictional town of Haddonfield, Illinois. While the Myers house and many of the other the film’s locations were in South Pasadena, the culmination of the film takes place right on Orange Grove Ave in the heart of Hollywood.

Halloween's Doyle House
The Doyle house is located at 1530 N Orange Grove.
Current photo by Kathy Flynn





The final act of Halloween was shot in two homes. Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) is babysitting at the Doyle house while the murders take place at the Wallace house across the street. The Doyle house is 1530 and the Wallace house is 1537 N. Orange Grove Ave. The south side of 1537 has been altered, with a garage replacing the carport, but the front porch, front door and upstairs windows are still instantly recognizable.








Nightmare on Elm Street

Nightmare on Elm Street home
The Nightmare on Elm Street home, located at 1428 N Genessee.
Current photo by Kathy Flynn

It’s only a few blocks from Haddonfield to Springwood, Ohio’s Elm Street. Nancy Thompson’s home, haunted by Freddy Krueger, is at 1428 N Genesee, a half block south of Sunset. The house, built in 1919, sold for $2.1 million back in 2013. The Lantz house, where Glen (Johnny Depp) was memorably murdered, is located across the street at 1419 N Genesee.





Whatever Happened to Baby Jane

Hudson Mansion from Whatever Happened to Baby Jane
The Hudson mansion from Whatever Happened to Baby Jane at 172 S McCadden Place.
Current photo by Kathy Flynn

Traveling south to Hancock Park, the Hudson mansion from 1962’s Whatever Happened to Baby Jane remains virtually unchanged more than 50 years later. The home is located right where it’s mentioned in the film at 172 S McCadden Place. Remarkably, the house across the street and the carport next door, both appearing often in the film, are still intact and recognizable as well.


The Ring

The Ring
The Embry home at 413 S McCadden Place

Traveling south a few blocks, you’ll find Katie Embry’s house from 2002’s The Ring, at 413 S McCadden Place. While much of the film takes place in the Pacific Northwest, Katie (Amber Tamblyn) is the first to die in the film, having watched the cursed tape 7 days prior. It is her death in this house that puts the plot into motion.





Family Plot

Family Plot
Blanche's home in "Family Plot" is located at 4254 Lexington Ave.
Current photo by Kathy Flynn

Alfred Hitchcock’s later films often used Bay Area locations, so it’s particularly exciting to find a location he used here in town. In his last film, 1976’s Family Plot, Blanche the “psychic”’s modest bungalow at 17 Castle Heights Road is actually 4254 Lexington Ave, at the corner of Lexington and Bates. In what is undoubtedly an intentional nod, the Bates Ave. sign can be clearly seen in the film.






Scream 2 & 3

The Vista Theatre in Scream 2
The Vista Theatre in "Scream 2".
Exterior photo by Kathy Flynn



In Scream 2, the premiere of the film-within-a-film, “Stab”, takes place inside the Vista Theatre, 4473 Sunset Drive in Los Feliz, where Maureen Evans (Jada Pinkett-Smith) meets her disturbingly public demise.

Scream 3
Cotton's home at 1336 Harper Ave in Scream 3
Current photo by Kathy Flynn









Cotton Weary (Liev Schraiber), the main suspect in the original Scream film, figures prominently in the climax of Scream 2. In Scream 3, he’s a talk show host living the good life in West Hollywood’s Harper House, a gorgeous 1929 courtyard apartment complex. Cotton and his girlfriend Christine are murdered in his apartment at 1336 Harper Ave in the Harper Historic District, at the beginning of Scream 3.










The House on Haunted Hill

The Ennis House
The Ennis House today, and right, in "The House on Haunted Hill".

High above Los Feliz, the Ennis House looms over the neigborhood. Located at 2607 Glendower Ave., the Frank Lloyd Wright designed home was completed by his son, Lloyd Wright, in 1924. The home is the largest of Wright’s textile block designs based on ancient Mayan temples. It has been used many times as a film location. First and foremost, it provides the exterior for William Castle’s 1959 The House on Haunted Hill. William Castle purposefully wanted the location for Frederick Loren’s (Vincent Price) mansion not to be your typical haunted house, and the immense stone behemoth makes a powerful and imposing statement. The Ennis House was also Angel’s lair in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series, as well as being prominently featured in Blade Runner, Day of the Locust, and many other film and TV shows. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Bronson Canyon
The Bronson Caves in "Invasion of the Body Snatchers".
Current photo by Kathy Flynn

Bronson Canyon is located in the southwest section of Griffith Park (one of the most filmed locations in the US). In Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Bronson Cave is the pivotal location where Miles (Kevin McCarthy) kisses Becky (Dana Winters) after hiding from the pods, and realizes she is no longer human.

Bronson Canyon has been seen in hundreds of films, starting with 1919’s Lightning Bryce. In horror films it has been seen in nearly every 50s B-flick, as well as 1933’s The Vampire Bat, 1992’s Army of Darkness, and 2002’s Cabin Fever. It is best known today as the Batcave from the Batman TV series. Nearby, the Beachwood Canyon location, Westshire Drive and the stairs up to Hollyridge Drive, where Miles and Becky are chased by a mob of pod people, still remain.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Beachwood Canyon in "Invasion of the Body Snatchers".

Another location from Invasion of the Body Snatchers can be found at 4376 Sunset Drive. An early film studio and TV production facility, brick exterior with distinct, arched brick doorways, has also been seen in several B horror flicks, such as 1942’s Black Dragons, 1943’s Ghost on the Loose, 1944’s Return of the Ape Man, 1954’s Target Earth, and 1960’s The Hypnotic Eye.







Where Monsters Walked

Thanks to Where Monsters Walked: California Locations of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films, 1925-1965 by Gail Orwig and Raymond Orwig. A fun and interesting read for more information on older films and other locations out of LA.