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Scary Movies Filmed in Forests

October 30th, 2017|

By Dylan Stuntz, American Forests

October is scary movie season, but do you know the history behind the locations of some of the classic scary films? Take some time to appreciate the iconic locations some of these frightful films were based on, because without the proper setting, these films just wouldn’t be as scary!

Blair Witch Project

Credit: Will Folsom

A 1999 “found-footage documentary,” written and directed by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez, this film details three students investigating the “Black Hills Forest” near Burkittsville, Md. While the Black Hills Forest is not real, filming did take place in Seneca Creek State Park, located just 25 miles outside of Burkittsville. The park encompasses over 6,000 acres, along 14 miles of Seneca Creek. While there are hiking trails and campsites found throughout the park, there could just be one more spooky resident waiting in the woods for her next victim.


Credit: Victor Iemini

A 1922 black-and-white German Expressionist horror film, directed by F. W. Murnau, “Nosferatu” was an unauthorized take on Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”, and one of the first depictions of vampires on film. The setting of the tale is Transylvania, a region of the Carpathian Mountains found in Romania, now well-linked to vampires in popular lore largely thanks to film adaptations of Bram Stoker’s work. Reportedly, the fictional location of Count Orlock’s castle can be found in an eastern section of the Carpathian Mountains known as Călimani Mountains. The mountains encompass over 2,500 square miles, and are the largest volcanic complex of the Carpathians. Forests of beech, spruce and cade juniper can be found covering the range, with a variety of other flora as well. No crumbling castles full of decrepit Transylvanian royalty with a predilection for sleeping underground have been seen since the time of Vlad the Impaler, but if you feel a prick on your neck while hiking through, don’t take my word for it.

Sleepy Hollow

This Tim Burton picture from 1999 takes place in the little town of Sleepy Hollow, and tells the tale of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman. The town was established in 1693 when Frederick Philipse was granted a royal charter by the English, creating the Manor of Philipsburg on the land that was later to become the site of Sleepy Hollow. Now it’s a little town of 10,000 people, located along the Hudson River, just 25 miles outside of New York City. Reportedly every single one of the 10,000 residents had a head firmly attached to their shoulders, but after nighttime falls, maybe don’t take any chances if you spot a shadowy figure on horseback perched on the hill.

Friday the 13th

Credit: Illfonic

This classic 1980 slasher film directed by Sean S. Cunningham was filmed at Camp Be-Bo-Sco, a Boy Scout Camp located in Hardwick, N.J. The camp is located near the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, 70,000 acres of federally protected land managed by the National Park Service. It’s a perfect area to swim, bike, or practice your jogging just in case some knife-wielding maniac decides to rise out of the water and terrorize your outdoor fun.

Cabin in the Woods

Credit: anoldent/Flickr

The titular “woods” in this 2012 horror comedy, written by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard and directed by Goddard, can be found in the wilds of Vancouver and Hope, Canada. Hope, British Columbia is framed by the Fraser River to the west and the Coquihalla River to the east. Meanwhile, Vancouver is the site of one of North America’s largest urban parks, Stanley Park, which is just over 1,000 acres. It’s thought that prior to urbanization, Vancouver was home to some of the largest old-growth trees in North America. No word on whether there are any secret underground facilities, or families of zombies roaming the nearby woods though.

October 30th, 2017|0 Comments

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