Orava Castle, Slovakia

Orava Castle, Slovakia ()

Many horror films are based on fictitious works; however,  some are based on reality. Regardless of the inspiration for these movies, they all share one thing in common, being filmed somewhere in the real world. Here are six iconic filming locations located in both Europe and in the U.S.

Nosferatu | Lübeck, Germany and Wismar, Slovakia

One of the earliest known full–length horror films, a majority of this 1922 unofficial adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel “Dracula” was shot in both Lübeck, Germany and Wismar, Slovakia. Shots of the Baltic Sea were also used, specifically when Nosferatu lays in a coffin aboard a ship near the end of the film. Historically, Lübeck became part of the Prussian province under the Nazi regime in 1937, losing the 711-year status of being an independent city. Lübeck is also home to the largest Baltic harbor found in Germany and was designated as a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage site in 1987; Wismar was also designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002.

Hostel | Czech Republic

“Hostel” kickstarted the subgenre known as “torture porn,” popularized by other films such as “Saw.” “Hostel,” was filmed in Český Krumlov, Czech Republic, despite the plot taking place in Bratislava, Slovakia. During filming, director Eli Roth took time to recruit locals for certain roles. The most well-known of these is the gang of street children who get paid off by the main character with candy and bubblegum. After the release of the film in 2005, Slovakian officials were outraged and disgusted by Eli Roth’s portrayal of their country and even offered him an all-expense paid trip to visit the country, though it was never established if he took them up on the offer or not. Funnily enough, after the release of the film, Eli Roth apologized to the people of Iceland for how he portrayed them through one of the main characters, Oli.

Various Films | Griffith Park, LA

Known as one of the best places to get a view of the iconic Hollywood sign, Griffith Park, and the Bronson Caves (located within the park) is home to many iconic films. These movies include: “Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956),” “Army of Darkness (1992),” “Cabin Fever (2002),” and “Halloween (2007).” Many places nearby are crowded with people who wish to see the Hollywood sign, but Bronson Caves (also known as Bronson Canyon) is regarded as one of the places with a clear view as well as being the least crowded place to gaze upon the sign.

Dawn of the Dead | Monroeville Mall, Pennsylvania

Released in 1979, “Dawn of the Dead” is the sequel to the iconic 1969 George A. Romero film “Night of the Living Dead.” In the movie, the main group of characters take refuge from zombies by using a mall in Pennsylvania as a makeshift fortress. The Monroeville Mall opened in 1969 and is the eighth largest shopping mall in the U.S. Pictures taken during production of the film can be found on a Macy’s facade located inside the mall. Even cooler, an attraction called “The Living Dead Museum” is located within the mall and celebrates zombie and pop culture in cinema and a dedication to Romero who is known as the director who created the zombie subgenre.

Rosemary’s Baby | The Dakota, New York City

“Rosemary’s Baby,” released in 1967, is an iconic film in its own right, mainly in terms of how bizarre and intense the plot of the story is. The Dakota building, located in New York City, was used as the main set for the movie, both with interior and exterior shots. This hotel is also known to be one of the most exclusive buildings in New York City, with celebrities such as Antonio Banderas, Cher, Billy Joel, and Madonna being rejected from living there. Built in 1884, this hotel is more infamous for an event that shocked the world as well as the rock industry than any other  horror film: the murder of John Lennon in 1980 as he approached the hotel.

The Blair Witch Project | Burkittsville, Maryland

Known as the kickstart of the found footage subgenre, “The Blair Witch Project” was released in 1999 with overwhelmingly positive feedback from both critics and audiences. Located an hour away from Baltimore and with a population of less than 200, this small town was also the site of the Battle of Crampton’s Gate in 1862, an event in the Civil War that led up to the Battle of Antietam. After the release of the film, many people believed that the legend of the Blair Witch in the film was real , as fictional found footage was new concept to people. Negative attention was brought to the town as tourists were blatantly disrespectful by doing things such as trespassing on private property, filming residents without consent, stealing a welcome sign, spray painting a church with a pentagram on its side, and holding candlelight vigils for children that didn’t even exist. Thankfully, nowadays most tourists who come through are more respectful. However, residents who were previously able to capitalize on the film’s success during its release are unable to continue selling merchandise due to copyright.

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