Fake things: Sunnydale, CA and other scary places

As a woman of leisure, I’ve taken some time this week to catch up with my favorite show. Inspired by hours of watching the goings on of a certain small, unlucky town, I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome you to Sunnydale, CA, home and vacation destination for Acathla, D’Hoffryn, vampires, older vampires, various Polgara demons, and, of course, Moloch the Corrupter.

Sunnydale, population 38,500 (down to 33,000 by season 7 according to Wikipedia), has 12 Gothic cemeteries, a public university (fantastic source of young victims), a variety of abandoned mansions and factories, and it’s located on top of a Hellmouth (an area of increased supernatural energy, DUH).

While, in my opinion, this is basically the ULTIMATE setting for a horror story, I think the subject is worth exploring.

Jaws (1975)

This movie holds a special place in the darkest parts of my brain. I watched it for the first time when I was 8 years old with my dad, and while he took my silence and wide eyes for immersion in the story, I’m pretty sure I had an acute stress reaction, culminating in a crying fit that started 15 minutes after the end of the movie and ended 45 minutes later. I’ve since never really taken to ocean swimming. Or horror movies.

Anyways though! It takes place on the fictional Amity Island and is apparently based on shark attacks at the Jersey shore in 1916. The movie was filmed on Martha’s Vineyard, where they held JAWS FEST!!! in 2005, which sounds pretty awesome.

Psycho (1960)

The creepy parts of this movie take place in a roadside motel stumbled upon by a woman traveling alone from Phoenix to California.


The Shining (1980)

The Shining also takes place in an isolated hotel, miles from any town, with no one near enough to help you. Ummmm awesome!

To capture the creepiness of the Overlook Hotel, Kubrick used shots of the Timberline Lodge, located on Mount Hood in Oregon. The lodge looks pretty sweet! And its logo is this cool snow goose.

Halloween (1978)

The made-up town of Haddonfield, IL has the bad luck of playing host to a babysitter-hating psychopath, but otherwise it’s really kind of nice! Just some chill suburban Midwesterners really, I wouldn’t mind hanging out there.

Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

This movie takes place in New York City, OMG!! Rosemary Woodhouse moves into the Bramford Apartment Building, which is otherwise inhabited mostly by Satan worshippers. Oops! The movie was filmed at the Dakota building on W 72nd Street.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

Horror really isn’t my thing, and I generally have absolutely no desire at all to see the movies but I. MUST. KNOW. what the story is. One night when I was bored, I was overcome with curiosity and read all the Wikipedia entries ever written about this movie, its characters and all of its sequels. Needless to say, HORRIFYING. But it did take place in the U.S., and its location is pretty much iconic, but frankly, I’m so not going into detail on this one.

So! If you’re out of your mind and looking for a good time alone or with a date, this is the road trip route for you. [trying to figure out how to upload the actual image of the map now]


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