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BY ERICA COWIN
Iconic Horror Movie Spots To Visit On Vacation
Imagine a getaway where you’re safely situated in the comfort of your resort hotel room all while being a short drive from The Exorcist steps Father Karras leapt to his death on. How about being nestled in the mountains of Colorado knowing the “Overlook Hotel” and its cinematic ghosts loom nearby. Maybe you’d like to grab lunch at the Crystal Lake Diner in the town just outside “Camp Blood.” With the Halloween season right around the corner, Club Wyndham offers many resort options within driving distance of various classic Horror movie settings/locations. Stay a tombstone’s throw from some of the creepiest spots in cinematic memory … if you dare.
1. The Real-Life Inspiration For The Shining
WorldMark Estes Park in Colorado is nestled against the scenic majesty of Rocky Mountain National Park. Staying at this resort offers hiking, cycling, and access to the Estes Park Museum. It is there you can learn all about The Stanley Hotel (pictured above), the real life inspiration for the Overlook Hotel made famous in the classic Stephen King novel, The Shining. This of course led to the 1980 landmark horror film of the same name. The actual location is a short drive from the resort and offers guided tours perfect for ghost tales and haunted selfies. Visit the room the legendary author stayed in when he got the inspiration for one of his most iconic stories. Although the original movie was filmed in a different location, the 1997 miniseries adaptation filmed at this very site brings King’s nightmarish experience full circle. Walk the same halls where Jack Torrance stalked his suffering family to its icy conclusion.
2. The Gas Station From The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
In the capital city of Texas, a creepy tone is set immediately knowing the famous Congress Bridge Bats are awake and on full display at dusk. The eclectic southwest city offers a wide array of activities including public parks, tons of live music, and world-famous cuisine during your stay at Club Wyndham Austin. If your tastebuds long for some true barbecue with a sinister touch, venture just outside town to find The Gas Station, made infamous in the 1974 visceral classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. In the masterpiece of the Grand Guignol, this is the spot the cannibalistic Sawyer family offered hungry, unknowing visitors a sampling of their “secret ingredient” succulent meat goods, often giving a very up-close look at their bloody process. The Gas Station is a monument to the film and actually has an adjoining motel and still offers delicious barbecue. Presumably the food preparation has evolved but is still … to die for.
3. The Diner From Friday The 13th
Club Wyndham Midtown 45 is right near Rockefeller Center in the hustle and bustle of Manhattan near all of New York City’s famous museums, restaurants, and iconic landmarks. But you’re on the hunt for spooky stuff, so a short jaunt outside the city in a seemingly other world takes us to Blairstown, New Jersey, home to the Crystal Lake Diner. This operational restaurant was frequented by the doomed counselors in the 1980 franchise starter, Friday The 13th. Enjoy pancakes and eggs benedict knowing Camp Blood is eerily nearby. Try some horseback riding at the Top View Riding Ranch, then checkout the Blairstown Museum for the history of the town and its surrounding areas. But keep an eye out for a vengeful Mrs. Voorhees, her hatchet, and her omnipresent son … JASON.
4. The Steps From The Exorcist
Just 9 miles outside Georgetown resides Club Wyndham Old Town Alexandria along the Potomac River. The Alexandria area has a cozy 18th century feel and many historical sites are just a stroll away. But for travelers who yearn for a recognizable taste of the cinematic macabre, a short drive or Metro trip to the Exorcist Steps is a must. These are the alley steps leading up to the room of the demonically possessed young Regan McNeil and her tormented family in the 1973 horror classic, The Exorcist. In the nerve-jangling climax, a defeated Father Karras invites the demon into himself then plunges out the bedroom window to save the young girl, fatally crashing down these iconic steps and vanquishing the malevolent presence at last. Until many sequels arrived. This is a perfect destination during autumn to replicate the icy feel of the film and welcome the season of ghouls and spirits.
5. Bodega Bay From The Birds
The WorldMark Windsor resort is nestled in scenic Sonoma County, California, a mecca for wine lovers. For horror fans, a 32-mile drive brings you to the doomed coastal town of Bodega Bay where the birds of Alfred Hitchcock’s frightful masterpiece descended upon its hapless denizens. Fans of The Birds can seek out sites such as the Brenner Ranch and the Potter schoolhouse — all while being wary of any aviary threats coming down through the foggy skies.
6. The Lighthouse From The Fog
John Carpenter’s ghostly film, The Fog, leads you to its memorable film location, the Point Reyes Lighthouse just outside San Francisco. From Club Wyndham Canterbury, a short drive takes you to the eerily remote light station. This is where radio DJ Stevie Wayne first noticed the oncoming fog filled with the ghosts of drowned sailors seeking their watery revenge. She warns the townspeople through her broadcasts there, then fights for her life by the conclusion. Come prepared as there are no restaurants and the closest gas station is 20 miles away, adding to the overall effect.