6 Places That Inspired Your Favourite Horror Movies and Books

6 Places That Inspired Your Favourite Horror Movies and Books
These places have been the inspiration for iconic horror movies (Representative Image), Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Iconic visits for those who are fearful yet fascinated by the dark side of the universe

Sahana Iyer
June 27 , 2019
05 Min Read

I have spent many nights alone in my apartment, chanting the holy verses I ignored as a kid, sprinting to the kitchen and back to avoid demons of whom I’m now convinced. If you are an avid horror movie viewer, chances are you’ve done the same. It still doesn’t stop us from watching or reading our favourite spooky tales. If you enjoy the adrenaline rush of watching a completely unrealistic depiction of a demon as much as I do, you might want to add these 6 horror movie inspirations to your travel list.

A close up front winter view of the famous Stanley Hotel at Estes Park, Colorado, USA


The Shining, Colarado

Redrum. Nothing more needs to be said. One of the most iconic books of the horror genre, The Shining depicted the story of a family left alone in an expansive hotel for the winters. While the ghostly twin girls still haunt our dreams, the most memorable descriptions are the ones of the seemingly endless corridors that are loosely inspired by Stephen King’s own experience at The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colarado. Being the only guests at the hotel (King and his wife), the corridors seemed daunting to him and inspired him to pen down the classic read to which we are all well acquainted. For those who can verbatim recount King’s description or Kubrik’s movie stills, this legendary attraction is a sight to marvel.

A view of Beach Haven, where the first attack occured

Jaws, Beach Haven

This movie petrified people as it played on the screen but also left a lasting fear beyond the theatre experience. The realistic scope of Steven Spielberg’s Jaws stunned people to such an extent that large numbers of people refused to visit beaches post watching the film.  The fact that the thriller was based on Peter Benchley’s book of the same name, documenting true incidents of sharks terrorising the waters of New York State, only made the fear elevate. The first attack at Beach Haven, Long Island, cemented the impact it would hold and the place soon became legendarily infamous. If you count yourself among the adventurous, this might be an addition to your bucket list.

The real house that inspired The Exorcist

The Exorcist, Missouri

Watching characters under exorcisms -the demonic being possessing them; priests yelling at them while throwing holy water that burns their skin; being tied to their bed-frame- one cannot help but feel skittish. The Exorcist left the audience with a revolting feel as it brought across the scene to the big screen. Astonishingly, the movie was based on true-life events of a 14-year-old Roland Doe who was visited by 12 priests in an attempt to purify his spirit off the demonic presence that they believed possessed him. One can see the actual bricked house of Doe in St. Louis, Missouri. It looks like a modest abode, but carries an uneasy aura of infamy. 

Sleepy Hollow Lighthouse located in the town that inspired Washington Irvings The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown 

A Halloween classic,Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow is a slasher marvel. While most fans know of the original short story The Legend of the Sleepy Hollow on which the movie is based, some may be surpised- maybe even spooked- to know that the author Washington Irving based his stories on real life incidents in and around Tarrytown in New York. The influence of the Dutch population at the Hudson river is also largely evident in the story. This legend now lives on in the real-life Sleepy Hollow village, a massive attraction for the Halloween horror fiends.

A view of the Amityville Original House

The Amityville Horror, Long Island

A house that fostered five killings seems like an ideal horror movie premise. This house in Amityville, Long Island, inspired not just one, but 18 different horror movies and documentaries! You might recognise the well-known movies, The Amityville Horror in 1979, and it’s 2005 remake, based on Jay Anson’s popular read of the same name. The infamous house was occupied by the DeFoe family in the 1970s until one of the children, Ronald DeFoe Jr. shot his entire family, apparently under the influence of a voice that told him to do so. The house has been taken over by other families who have further shared ominous stories of their stay. A few years ago, the house was renovated and thus, you might not get to see the iconic window panes if you decide to visit.

Google Maps street view of the Old Arnold Estate, Harrisville, Rhode Island.

The Conjuring, Rhode Island

Indisputably the most successful horror series in recent history, The Conjuring legacy brought a collective sense of fear when the audience were made aware of the true story behind it. The actual house on which the movie is based, is a humble farmhouse in Rhode Island. Inhabited by the Perron family in the 1970s, the place is claimed to be the resting place of evil. Upon experiencing a malicious paranormal force, the family reached out to Ed and Lorraine Warren to investigate the matter. In fact, the family has expressed approval for the movie series, sharing that it portrays true representation of what they faced. This place may not be open to visitation as the owners have expressed disdain after the rise in trespassing following the movie. Well, at least now you've steered clear of Bathsheba.


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