Original image
Getty Images

13 Really Creepy Movie Locations

Original image
Getty Images

It's not too hard to scare up a nightmare on a movie set, but it takes extra effort to find a spooky location to go with your tale. Although not all of these places are haunted, they look like they could be!

1. Danvers State Hospital, Mass.

Brad Anderson shot his terrifying horror film Session 9 on location at the Danvers State Hospital, an abandoned mental asylum in Massachusetts haunted by the pain of its former residents and the treatments they endured. A host of underground tunnels connected the castle-like buildings, the perfect location for five men brought in to clean up the place to slowly lose their minds. Anderson said about the location, "We found all sorts of creepy medical instruments and a straitjacket and stuff. We also got a sense of the asylum's history. Even if you're a very skeptical person about the supernatural, that place is so emotionally heavy. Hundreds of thousands of people were wrongfully committed and lived out their lives locked in these tiny little rooms that they call 'seclusions.' It's tragic."

Danvers is now an apartment community. Welcome home! Just watch out for those hydrotherapy tanks in the corner.

2. The Dakota, New York City

Courtesy of TheNails

This posh Upper West Side apartment building was the setting for Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby, and later was the tragic scene of John Lennon's assassination. Whether you believe in tales of paranormal activity or not, there's no doubt that this giant Gothic edifice looming over Central Park West is unforgettable.

3. Roosevelt Island, N.Y.

Courtesy of

This beautiful island just minutes away from Manhattan was the home to several creepy hospitals around the turn of the century, like the Smallpox Hospital known as Renwick Ruin. Although Walter Salles' Dark Water didn't take full advantage of its eerier locations, screenwriter Rafael Yglesias was inspired by the island. "When I was thinking of shooting a movie in the rain in New York, when you drive along the FDR Drive and you look at Roosevelt Island in the rain, which I guess you can probably do today, it looks a little bit ghostly."

4. Georgetown, D.C.

Courtesy of Mark's_DC_Pictures

A tween possessed by the devil wasn't the only scary thing in The Exorcist, especially if you are a little out of shape. Father Karras met his untimely end on a series of disturbingly steep steps that are used by locals to amp up their workouts.

5. St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, New Orleans

Courtesy of Greg Headley

Are these tombs gorgeous or creepy? Whatever your taste, there's no denying the cemetery's place in history, both as the resting place of many famous people (reportedly including Voodoo priestess Marie Laveau) and plenty of movie scenes. Perhaps the most infamous of these is Easy Rider, when Wyatt (Peter Fonda) and Billy (Dennis Hopper) drop acid and do…other stuff in the cemetery with some lady friends.

6. Hanging Rock, Victoria, Australia

Courtesy of Nuffcumptin

In the film Picnic at Hanging Rock, based on the novel by Joan Lindsay, a host of curious schoolgirls go exploring on a field trip to the famous Australian geological formation (which is actually a former volcano) in the Macedon Ranges. Petticoats and corsets can't stop them from exploring, but their Valentine's Day trip turns to disaster when several disappear without a trace. Perhaps they went spelunking in those creepy caves?

7. Devil's Tower National Monument, Wyoming

Courtesy of Lietmotiv

Steven Spielberg used this incredible formation in Close Encounters of the Third Kind as a possible hub of alien activity, but it's also packed with religious significance for the Lakota and a number of other Native American tribes. And it looks awesome. 

8. Amargosa Opera House and Hotel, Calif.

Courtesy of David's-Photos

It's in Death Valley. It was the Lost Highway Hotel in David Lynch's Lost Highway. And it may be haunted. This strange, adobe-style hotel is full of incredible murals and other paintings that only add to its strange desert presence.

9. Bagdad Cemetery, Leander, Texas

Courtesy of jimmywayne

Is any cemetery not creepy? Well, this one is a famous creepy cemetery, for horror fans at least. It stars in the opening scenes of Texas Chainsaw Massacre (narrated by none other than John Larroquette) as the victim of graverobbing and other unsavory activities. 

10. London, U.K.

Courtesy of Fox Searchlight

In 28 Days Later, poor Cillian Murphy wakes up all alone in the hospital—yes, all alone, because there's been a zombie outbreak and he's one of the few remaining humans. The eeriest scene in the movie is when his character, dressed in medical scrubs, walks across one of London's busiest intersections without a soul in sight.

11. Monroeville Mall, Penn.

Courtesy of

The mall can be stressful, but it's downright scary in Dawn of the Dead. George A. Romero's sequel to Night of the Living Dead was primarily shot on location at the Monroeville Mall, where four survivors of the zombie apocalypse have taken refuge. It is now a destination spot for both shoppers and horror lovers, as well as the occasional zombie crawl.

12. Yankee Pedlar Inn, Conn.

Courtesy of Historic Buildings of Connecticut

Director Ti West was staying at the Yankee Pedlar Inn while he was in production on his horror film The House of the Devil, and the strange goings-on at this little rustic inn inspired his next film, The Innkeepers. He ultimately filmed The Innkeepers at the Pedlar. He said, "Weirder stuff would happen back at the hotel than on the set…I don't believe in ghosts, but the TV would go off and on, the phone would ring and there was no one on the other end, I had really vivid dreams. It's just a weird vibe in this kooky old place."

13. Santa Cruz Boardwalk, Calif.

Courtesy of irene

In The Lost Boys, the vampires of Santa Carla love nothing more than a good trip to the amusement park after dark. After all, what's the use of being young forever if you can't have fun in between feedings? The Lost Boys was filmed in and around Santa Cruz, with its colorful boardwalk the stand-in for where the undead mix, mingle and fight at night.

Original image
Pop Culture
5 Bizarre Comic-Con News Stories from Years Past
Original image

At its best, Comic-Con is a friendly place where like-minded people can celebrate their pop culture obsessions, and each other. And no one can make fun of you, no matter how lazy your cosplaying might be. You might think that at its worst, it’s just a series of long lines of costumed fans and small stores crammed into a convention center. But sometimes, throwing together 100,000-plus people from around the world in what feels like a carnival-type atmosphere where anything goes can have less than stellar results. Here are some highlights from past Comic-Con-tastrophes.


In 2010, two men waiting for a Comic-Con screening of the Seth Rogen alien comedy Paul got into a very adult argument about whether one of them was sitting too close to the other. Unable to come to a satisfactory conclusion with words, one man stabbed the other in the face with a pen. According to CNN, the attacker was led away wearing handcuffs and a Harry Potter T-shirt. In the aftermath, some Comic-Con attendees dealt with the attack in an oddly fitting way: They cosplayed as the victim, with pens protruding from bloody eye sockets.


Since its founding in 2006, New York Comic Con has attracted a few sticky-fingered attendees. In 2010, a man stole several rare comics from vendor Matt Nelson, co-founder of Texas’ Worldwide Comics. Just one of those, Whiz Comics No. 1, was worth $11,000, according to the New York Post. A few years later, in 2014, someone stole a $2000 “Dunny” action figure, which artist Jon-Paul Kaiser had painted during the event for Clutter magazine. And those are just the incidents that involved police; lower-scale cases of toys and comics disappearing from booths are an increasingly frustrating epidemic, according to some. “Comic Con theft is an issue we all sort of ignore,” collector Tracy Isenhour wrote on the blog of his company, Needless Essentials, in 2015. “I am here to tell you no more. It’s time for this garbage to stop."


John Sciulli/Getty Images for Xbox

Adrianne Curry, winner of the first cycle of America’s Next Top Model, has made a career of chasing viral fame. Ironically, it was at Comic-Con in 2014 that Curry did something truly worthy of attention—though there wasn’t a camera in sight. Dressed as Catwoman, she was posing with fans alongside her friend Alicia Marie, who was dressed as Tigra. According to a Facebook post Marie wrote at the time, a fan tried to shove his hands into her bikini bottoms. She screamed, the man ran off, and Curry jumped to action. She “literally took off after dude WITH her Catwoman whip and chased him down, beat his a**,” Marie wrote. “Punched him across the face with the butt of her whip—he had zombie blood on his face—got on her costume.”


The lines at Comic-Con are legendary, so one Utah man came up with a novel way to try and skip them altogether. In 2015, Jonathon M. Wall tried to get into Salt Lake Comic Con’s exclusive VIP enclave (normally a $10,000 ticket) by claiming he was an agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, and needed to get into the VIP room “to catch a fugitive,” according to The San Diego Union Tribune. Not only does that story not even come close to making sense, it also adds up to impersonating a federal agent, a crime to which Wall pleaded guilty in April of this year and which carried a sentence of up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine. In June, prosecutors announced that they were planning to reduce his crime from a felony to a misdemeanor.


Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Disney

In 2015, Kevin Doyle walked 645 miles along the California coast to honor his late wife, Eileen. Doyle had met Eileen relatively late in life, when he was in his 50s, and they bonded over their shared love of Star Wars (he even proposed to her while dressed as Darth Vader). However, she died of cancer barely a year after they were married. Adrift and lonely, Doyle decided to honor her memory and their love of Star Wars by walking to Comic-Con—from San Francisco. “I feel like I’m so much better in the healing process than if I’d stayed home,” he told The San Diego Union Tribune.

Original image
iStock // Lucy Quintanilla
10 Pieces of Lying Lingo from Across the United States
Original image
iStock // Lucy Quintanilla

Maligner. Fabricator. Fibber. Con artist. There are all sorts of ways you can say "liar," but in case you're running out, we’ve worked with the editors at the Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE) to come up with 10 more pieces of lying lingo to add to your storytelling stash.


This term for a liar originally referred to a gold-rusher in Arizona, according to DARE. It can also be used to describe an old-timer, especially one who likes to exaggerate. The word hassayampa (also hassayamper) comes from the Hassayampa River, which is located in the Grand Canyon State. According to the Dictionary of American Folklore, “There was a popular legend that anyone who drank of the Hassayampa River in Arizona would never again tell the truth.”


“You’re a Jacob!” you might say to a deceiver in eastern Alabama or western Georgia. This word—meaning a liar, a lie, and to lie—might be based on the Bible story of twin brothers Jacob and Esau. Esau, the elder and firstborn, stood to inherit his parents' estate by law. At the behest of his mother, Jacob deceived their father, blinded in old age, into thinking he was Esau and persuaded him to bestow him Esau’s blessing.


Liza or Liza Jane can mean a lie or a liar. Hence, to lizar means to lie. Like Jacob, Liza is an eastern Alabama and western Georgia term. However, where it comes from isn’t clear. But if we had to guess, we’d say it’s echoic of lies.


“What a story you are,” you might say to a prevaricator in Virginia, eastern Alabama, or western Georgia. According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), story, meaning a liar, is mainly used in the phrase, “You story!” Story as a verb meaning “to give a false or malicious account, lie, tattle,” is an English dialect word, according to DARE, and is chiefly used in the South and South Midland states. “You storied to me about getting a drink,” you might tell someone who stood you up.


To load or load up means to trick, mislead, or “deceive by yarns or windies,” according to cowboy lingo in northwest Texas. The term, which can also be a noun meaning a lie or liar, might also be heard in northwest Arkansas and the Ozarks.


To spin a yarn, or to tell a long tale, began as nautical slang, according to the OED, and comes from the idea of telling stories while doing seated work such as yarn-twisting. (The word yarn comes from the Old English gearn, meaning "spun fiber, spun wool.") By extension, a yarn is a sometimes marvelous or incredible story or tale, and to yarn means to tell a story or chat. In some parts of the U.S., such as Arkansas, Indiana, Maryland, and Tennessee, to yarn means to lie or tell a falsehood. “Don’t yarn to me!” you might say. Street yarn refers to gossip in New York, Kentucky, and parts of New England.


Telling a windy in the West? You’re telling an “extravagantly exaggerated or boastful story,” a tall tale, or a lie, says DARE. Wind has meant “vain imagination or conceit” since the 15th century, says OED.

8. LIE

In addition to being a falsehood or tall tale, a lie in the South and South Midland states can refer to the liar himself.


You’ve probably heard of stretching the truth. How about stretching the blanket? This phrase meaning to lie or exaggerate is especially used in the South Midland states. To split the blanket, by the way, is a term in the South, South Midland, and West meaning to get divorced, while being born on the wrong side of the blanket means being born out of wedlock, at least in Indiana and Ohio.


In the South and South Midland, whack refers to a lie or the act of lying. It might come from the British English colloquial term whacker, meaning anything abnormally large, especially a “thumping lie” or “whopper,” according to the OED. In case you were wondering, wack, as in “crack is wack,” is probably a back-formation from wacky meaning crazy or odd, also according to the OED. Wacky comes from whack, a blow or hit, maybe from the idea of being hit in the head too many times.


More from mental floss studios