The 10 Most Infamous Houses in Horror
We all have our own unique fears and phobias. Some people are scared of spiders or snakes, while others are terrified of heights or enclosed spaces. But have you ever stopped to think about why we houses so scary? After all, they’re supposed to be our safe havens, our places of refuge from the outside world. So why do they sometimes give us the creeps? Perhaps it’s the creaking floorboards, the flickering lights, or the mysterious shadows that seem to lurk in every corner. Or maybe it’s the fact that houses are often the settings for some of the most iconic horror movies and stories of all time. Whatever the reason, there’s no denying that houses have a certain spooky allure that keeps us coming back for more. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most prominent house of horror with a list of the top ten most terrifying abodes. Step Inside the Nightmare, here are The 10 Most Infamous Houses in Horror.
Psycho – Bates’ Mansion
When it comes to ominous buildings, nothing quite captures the creepy nature of the house that looms over the Bates Motel. Looking down upon the steep hill like a dark figure observing the horrors below, very few buildings manage to become a character inside of their own films, but that is exactly what the Bates’ Mansion achieves. Sitting front and centre of the franchises marketing, the house is a key element to the story that witness’ Norman Bates psychotic episode that results in multiple murders.
Amityville – 112 Ocean Avenue
The Amityville horror is possible one of the most famous recorded hauntings of our time. The story has inspired an entire franchise of films all centred on the creepy looking house that sits at 112 Ocean Avenue. Whist the story of floating pig heads, wheeping walks and demonic howling’s is enough to chill the blood of any hardened horror fan, the films were aided in the terror department with the houses’ design, which sports two rather ominous looking second floor windows that look down upon us like evil eyes. So impactful is this image that the films marketing all ways leans very heavily upon this visage of evil. Even know, I bet you can summon up the house in your mind’s eye? such is the films powerful hold over the public subconscious.
Salem’s Lot – Marston House
Conjured up by the mind of Stephen King and directed by Tobe Hooper, Salem’s Lot features another house that sits high up on a hill, looking down upon us like “a monument to evil”. The Marston houses is a prominent feature of both the novel and TV miniseries ( which arrived in the UK as a cut down movie) and its presence is felt throughout. Looking down upon the town, the house represents the evil and corruption that exists in Salem’s Lot. So impactful is this building that the stories protagonist, Ben Meres, decides to burn it down in order to cleanse the town of the evil. The House also features heavily in the poster and artwork that adorned VHS, DVD and Blu-Ray covers.
A Nightmare on Elm Street – 1428 Elm Street
Whilst the very first A Nightmare on Elm Street film might not have made a big fuss about the house at 1428 Elm Street, it was future films that heavily twisted the building into the public consciousness, through the dreams of Freddy Krueger victims. Throughout the franchise, Krueger “children” would constantly be haunted by two locations, the boiler room where Freddy died, and the house in which he had lived. So tormented by this image, Kristen Parker (Dream Warriors) creates a paper mache version of the house, to help her stay awake and fight the nightmares that come when she closes her eyes. A fun fact for horror fans, the Nightmare franchise was so successful, it starved off bankruptcy for the New Line cinema studio, so much so that it is often referred to as “ The house that Freddy built”.
Halloween – 45 Lampkin Lane
Halloween also features a house that was elevated for the film’s sequel, whilst featuring very little in its debut film. The Myers house is a key location for many Halloween sequels, including the recent films directed by David Gordon Green. Drawn to the house line a moth to a flame, Michael Myers often finds himself confronted at his childhood home, the house in which he murder his sister. Halloween: Resurrection (2002) even framed it’s entire story inside this house. Thus, the Myers house is a prominent and important building inside of the franchise and for horror fans.
The Exorcist – MacNeil House
The MacNeil House is the location of cinemas most terrifying moments in horror, as Regan MacNeil undergoes a horrifying transformation in The Exorcist. The luxury home is quickly enfolded within a veil of evil, as Regan’s possession twists every room into its story. From the basement’s Ouija board incident, the “ no rats” in the attic scene to the blood curdling spider walk down the stairs, no room is left un spoiled by the demonic presence. However, the films marketing forever imprinted the MacNeil House into our subconscious, thanks to one of cinemas greatest shots, which see’s Father Lankester Merrin standing in front of the house, shadowed against the light spilling out from Regan’s bedroom. Chilling stuff.
Night of the Living Dead – Farm House
George A. Romero officially created two mainstays in horror, the creation of the modern zombie and the home invasion sub-genre. Never before, in horror, had a home ever featured so prominently as it did in the 1968 film Night of the Living Dead. Whilst Psycho had mastered the ominous nature of a building a few years previous, Romero tapped into something more grounded and terrifying, the home invasion. As the films plot plays out, and the evening slowly gives way to night, the handful of survivors, that hold up inside the old farm house, find themselves fighting to keep the zombies out. This home invasion plotline has become a key part in the zombie genre, it even influenced one of the most popular games Fortnight, which started life as a zombie survival game, where you built defences and defended a house from zombies. Night of the Living Dead is one of the most influential horror films, and it all started with a little Farm House in Pittsburgh.
The House films are a complex collection of horror instalments, with subgenres ranging from psychological, supernatural, slasher, comedy, and even adventure. At the centre of most of these movies is an ominous haunted houses where supernatural events take place. Whilst the film all use different locations, the idea behind a malevolent haunted house that spawns so many different stories is a great concept and one that could have (and will be…) explored much more.
Poltergeist – Freeling House
Another film that was directed by Tobe Hooper, Poltergeist, features a home haunted by a bunch of spooks willing to literally rip the house apart to get their hands on a specially little girl. The setting for this film is a suburb in California, where the Freeling house is beset with terrifying supernatural occurrences. In real life, this house is indeed in California, at 4267 Roxbury Street in Simi Valley, and whilst the movie counterpart is swallowed up into a supernatural black hole, the real life house is still standing to this day.
Evil Dead – The Knowby Cabin
No list of famous horror houses would be complete without the infamous cabin in the woods that prominently features in Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead franchise. Featuring prominently in the first two films (and remake), the The Knowby Cabin is the central location for a series of supernatural-related events that resulted in the possessions (and eventual deaths) of nearly everyone that enters. One of the key elements to Evil Dead, is the remote nature of the cabin, where the characters are isolated from any form of help or salvation, meaning that the trapped at the focal point of the supernatural events. The Cabin in the woods from the Evil Dead has become a firm trope within horror and has become a popular location to set films, where they have been host to home invasions, flesh eating virus’ and even werewolves.
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“Hello Horror Fans – I live in a big scary gothic mansion, and sadley for me, I’m the things that scares aware those young folk that come snopping round. However, I do love a film based around scary buildings, so I give this list a firm thumbs up. Did you hear about the man who invented the door knocker? He won the no-bell prize for his effort….
Until next time folks…