Johnny Cash Has Never Been Here, Man

Some of the spooky sites that I've been to that have inspired horror movies.

August 3, 2013 — Yesterday, there was a search-engine-bait/movie marketing piece in the UK Telegraph about the "true stories" behind eight popular horror movies, posted on the occasion of the theatrical premier of The Conjuring. I found the listicle because they linked to OTIS at one point. Turns out, in looking through the list, I've actually been to sites connected to five of the eight movies on it. Because I've always wanted to earn Fox Mulder's nickname for myself.

1. The Conjuring (2013): I haven't been to the Rhode Island house that inspired this movie (it's on the map, though), nor the Warren's Occult Museum featured in the movie (ditto, as my emails were never answered when I tried to visit it for The New England Grimpendium), but I have been to their nephew's paranormal museum. Incidentally, I dug the movie, thought it had a well-crafted feeling of dread throughout...even if I was extremely uncomfortable at watching the Warrens played in such an uber-heroic light. 

I hope I remember to put this away before my daughter sees this.

2. Child's Play (1988): Apparently, and I didn't know this before reading the Telegraph piece, Chucky was  inspired by the infamous Robert doll at the Fort East Martello Museum in Key West. I always thought he was just based on this guy. Anyway, I spent most of my three and a half years living in Florida not doing cool things, but I'll get back to that state one day. I do, however, have a Chucky action figure. Does that count?

3. The Exorcist (1973): Man, I've been to a lot of stuff connected to that movie: The house of the boy who inspired it, the stairs and house where they filmed it, and the bust containing the ashes of the man who played Father Karras in it. Heck, I've even published on the topic. I guess every day's a good day for an exorcism to me.

4. The Mothman Prophecies (2002): One of my first OTIS pieces was on my visit to the Mothman statue and museum in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. But I didn't do that whole story and place very well. Didn't make it to the TNT area, and I hardly took any pics of what I did see. One day I'll go back and do that place up right. Maybe even make it to the Mothman Festival

5. The Entity (1982): I haven't been to anything connected with this flick, but I will say that its climactic image of a levitating, spinning, bloody Barbara Hershey is probably more a part of my brain than any of the memories I have going to these other places. 

6. The Amityville Horror (1979): I've been to the house where the original murders (and subsequent haunting claims) happened, the restaurant where Butch Defeo ran after killing his family, and the graves of the Defeos themselves. It's all on Long Island, and it's all in The New York Grimpendium. The only thing I really want to check off my Amityville list is the New Jersey home where they filmed the original movie. Oh, and it's another Warren case. The one that made them famous.

7. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1988): This entry seems out of place, both on the Telegraph list and mine. Wes Craven's opus certainly was inspired by a real-life happening, but less in the "based on a true story" kind of way and more on the way that every fiction idea is based on something. In this case it was the story behind Asian Death Syndrome. As for my entry, I went strictly Hollywood and only visited the Los Angeles street that stood in for Elm Street, complete with Nancy's house and her boyfriend's across the street. 

8. A Haunting in Connecticut (2009): Hey, look, another Warren case. Just like Ed Gein inspired an entire subgenre of horror movie, these guys are pretty much responsible for possessed house flicks. I've been to the ex-mortuary house where the events in the movie are supposed to have happened. And, while at John Zaffis' paranormal museum, he showed me a small statue of the Virgin Mary missing its hands, which he told me melted off during the exorcism. Those treks are in The New England Grimpendium.

And that's the list. I've been to tons of other horror movie filming locations and tons of sites of supposedly real-life supernatural shenanigans, but instead of spending all the time looking through my files, I promised myself I was only going to rip off the Telegraph piece. Done.

And I don't really have any official files. That's probably why I don't have Fox Mulder's nickname.