Not only does a great story, actors and director make a great horror movie, but sometimes it’s also the location in which the movie is shot. Join me as I travel across the country and visit some of the most iconic buildings in horror history.
Our first stop is Chicago where we find The Brewster Building. Originally known as The Lincoln Park Palace, this ominous eight floor building looming over Chicago’s Lake View neighborhood was built in 1893. Rumor has it, it was the temporary penthouse home for Charlie Chaplin in the early 1900’s during his Essanay Studios days, but most importantly it was the apartment building of the Barclay’s who were unfortunately plagued by a Good Guy doll named Chucky that was possessed by serial killer, Charles Lee Ray in Childs Play (1988).
Here’s a little bit of dark history; Bjoerne Edwards, the man who commissioned the building to be built, fell to his death from the 8th floor while it was under construction.
You can find the Brewster Building at 2800 N. Pine Grove Chicago, IL.
Not far from the Brewster Building you’ll find The Witzky Residence from one of my favorite haunt movies, Stir of Echoes (1999), which stars Kevin Bacon as a family man whose psychic power is awakened via hypnosis, and leads to a dark horrifying secret lying beneath his house.
The house was built in 1886 and is in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago at 3619 W George St. If you choose to visit the property, please respect the people who live there. And appreciate the location from across the street or you may be the next horrifying secret that lies beneath the house.
1200 miles west of Chicago in Kingsland, Texas we find the original Sawyer house from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974). The house was originally a “Pattern Book” house, which was ordered from a catalog and assembled in 1908 at its original location in Red Rock, Texas. In 1998 the house was cut into six pieces and moved to Kingsland, Texas. The house was restored and open to the public as a Texas Chainsaw themed restaurant. Although still a restaurant, it is now called The Grand Central Café, and is no longer TCM themed.
The restaurant is open Wednesday to Sunday for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but closes between the hours of 2 and 5 PM. This is unfortunately the time I arrived, so I couldn’t go inside and grab photos and a plate Hawg Wings, but I was able to take photos of the exterior. I was in awe as I peered through the window and saw the stairway that led to Grandpa Sawyer’s room, the doorway to Leatherface’s kill room and both the dining and living rooms.
Come back for Chapter 2, where I’ll explore The Houses of Horror of Central and Northern California.
By PJ Baio
PJ Baio is a Standup Comedian, Avid Horror Movie Fan, Producer and host of Cinema Poo-Radiso, the good bad and ugly podcast.