Go On Location: Iconic Horror Movie Locations in Los Angeles
Celebrate "Halloween Ends" and "Poltergeist" 40th anniversary
The late 1970s through the early 90s was a golden age of the horror/slasher flick, and nowhere was filming of the genre more prevalent than in the City of Angels and its environs. Many horror locales from that time period remain unchanged today, still possessing the power to give those in the know a good scare.
Celebrate the release of Halloween Ends, the 40th anniversary of Poltergeist, and more with our guide to iconic horror movie locations in Los Angeles.
NOTE: Most of these locations are private residences, so please be respectful.
Michael Myers House - “Halloween”
The Haddonfield, Illinois residence where a young Michael Myers murdered his sister in John Carpenter's original Halloween (1978) is actually located in South Pasadena. Abandoned at the time of the filming, it was later remodeled and moved a few blocks north from its original location. Despite the changes, the two-story office building should still be recognizable to horror movie buffs. Known today as the Century House, the building was named South Pasadena Cultural Landmark No. 34 and is located just steps from the South Pasadena Station of the Metro L Line (Gold).
Bonus location: the building that housed Nichol's Hardware Store - where Myers shoplifts his infamous mask, rope and knives - is across the street from the Century House. Located on the corner of Mission and Meridian, the space is currently home to Radhika Modern Indian restaurant.
Laurie Strode’s House - “Halloween”
The owners of this South Pasadena residence - located a five-minute walk from the Century House - have embraced its status as an iconic horror movie location. Visitors are invited to pose in the same spot where Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis, in her film debut) waits for a ride in the original Halloween. Fake foam pumpkins are also on display year-round to add to the experience.
Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2022, Poltergeist is centered around a house possessed by supernatural beings in the fictional Cuesta Verde community. The Freeling family home can actually be found in the suburbs of Simi Valley. A six-foot scale model was used for the residence’s implosion in the film’s final sequence. The real dwelling remains very much intact and looks identical to its onscreen counterpart.
Nancy’s House - “A Nightmare on Elm Street”
Wes Craven’s insanely popular 1984 juggernaut, A Nightmare on Elm Street launched seven sequels and a 2010 reboot and was largely lensed on a leafy residential street in Hollywood. The green-roofed, Colonial-style house where Freddy Krueger stalked Nancy Thompson’s dreams still looks virtually identical to its onscreen self – as does the residence where Glen Lantz (Johnny Depp in his first-ever acting role) lived. Glen’s home is located two houses down from Nancy’s, on the opposite side of the street.
Funeral Home - "The People Under the Stairs"
The funeral home where the Robeson family lived in the Wes Craven-directed 1991 thriller, The People Under the Stairs is actually a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument known as the Thomas W. Phillips Residence.
Based on a recent Google Maps photo, the looming three-story Craftsman - which once belonged to Gone with the Wind actress Butterfly McQueen - is currently undergoing renovations, but still bears the dark wood exterior that gives it the feel of an authentic haunted house.
The abandoned mansion across the street also boasts a horror film resume – it appeared in The Convent, Twice Dead, Evil Toons and The Immortalizer, just to name a few.
"House II: The Second Story" Mansion
In House II: The Second Story (1987), a young couple inherits a Richardsonian Romanesque-style haunted mansion. That castle-like house was played by the Stimson House, a 12,800 square-foot estate built by lumber and banking millionaire Thomas Douglas Stimson in 1891. Today the property is owned by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, who rent it out regularly for filming.
In addition to House II, the mansion has appeared in After Midnight (1989) and The Manor (2021). On TV, the Stimson House starred as the Francis house in Mad Men seasons 5, 6 and 7.
The Stimson House is located a five-minute walk from the LATTC/Ortho Institute Station of the Metro E Line (Expo). The mansion was added to the National Register of Historic Places in March 1978, and designated Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 212 in May 1979.
Hollywood’s historic Wattles Mansion was used as the demon-possessed home where Jonathan Graves lived in the 1985 horror-comedy, Ghoulies. The property, which was built as the winter residence for wealthy Nebraska banker Gurdon Wattles, is currently owned by the Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation and its grounds are accessible to the public. Designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1993, Wattles Mansion is a popular filming location and has also appeared in The O.C., My Family, Troop Beverly Hills, Rain Man, and Diana Ross’ “Eaten Alive” music video.
High School Gym - "Carrie"
The infamous prom scene from the 1976 Brian De Palma film, Carrie took place at the gym of the former Pier Avenue Junior High School in Hermosa Beach. While the school’s gym interior was used for some filming, a replica of it was created on a soundstage at Culver Studios for the massacre scene. Pier Avenue Junior High shut its doors in 1975 and was subsequently converted into the Hermosa Beach Community Center, which still looks largely the same as it did in "Carrie."
Andy’s Foster Home - “Child’s Play 2”
In Child's Play 2, the 1990 sequel to the cult favorite, Andy is sent to live with a foster family in a large two-story Craftsman residence located on a quiet street in South Pasadena. Unfortunately for Andy, his demon doll, Chucky, manages to track him down at the home and continues with his plan to possess his body.
Morningside Cemetery - "Phantasm"
The gates to a former 1916 Mediterranean estate that once belonged to lumber magnate Charles Cobb masked as the entrance to Morningside Cemetery in the 1979 supernatural thriller, Phantasm. After Cobb’s death in 1939, the estate went through a succession of different owners until it was finally purchased by the Marx Brothers. They demolished the residence in 1959, but left the entrance gates unaltered. Today the 107-acre site, which is reportedly haunted, serves as a popular hiking area.
Leigh Cabot’s House - “Christine”
One of Monrovia’s oldest surviving Victorian homes appeared as Leigh Cabot’s residence in Christine, John Carpenter’s 1983 film about a possessed Plymouth Fury. The gorgeous dwelling was originally constructed in 1887, the same year that Monrovia was incorporated as a city. The house was also where Betty White lived in the 2010 rom-com You Again.