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Unk’s Favorite Horror Towns

January 31st, 2011 by unkle lancifer · 23 Comments

In the not so distant past your Unk, along with his fellow Pennsylvania pal CHRISTINE HADDEN of FASCINATION WITH FEAR, created a couple of conjoined twin posts together. The first concerned our FAVORITE HORROR HOMES and the second explored our LEAST FAVORITE HORROR HOMES. Both were Internet sensations that resulted in mass suicides across the globe and heavily censored high-profile films. Now we’re back with our 3-D third installment, duel listings of our FAVORITE HORROR TOWNS because YOU did not specifically ask us not to!

So below are my TOP TEN FAVORITE HORROR TOWNS. If you don’t see your favorite town there then that means I either don’t feel the same as you, do feel the same as you but totally forgot that I do or CHRISTINE has it listed over at her place. See, we went out of our way not to have duplicate towns for the sake of your entertainment and now don’t you feel like a heel? Check out Christine’s list HERE. If you still feel your favorite town has been neglected then by all means leave a comment. Let me warn you though, I did not include ELM STREET’s SPRINGWOOD on purpose just because I’m still mad about that last movie stinking like a crab dip litter box.

10. SILENT HILL

I guess nobody would want to actually spend too much time in SILENT HILL due to all the triangle head monsters, faceless killer health care professionals and worst of all, swarming cucarachas but hey, at least you get a warning alarm before they appear. I know the place is run down and falling apart, but I’m all about the shabby chic and let’s hear it for snow considerate enough to look pretty but not stick around. It’s like the whole town is a giant haunted house with streets for hallways. Hey, except for that considerate snow thing, it sounds kinda like Philly!

9. GREEN TOWN (SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES)

If I had my way it would be autumn all year round and what better place to spend a crisp fall day then in the town featured in this RAY BRADBURY classic. Maybe the 1983 movie directed by JACK CLAYTON (THE INNOCENTS) pales in comparison to the novel but can the novel boast an appearance by PAM GRIER? I think not. Perhaps your Unkle Lancifer was born in the wrong time, I’d rather deal with armies of tarantulas in my bedroom than people yacking on cell phones any day of the week. Yeah, I know it looks boring but that’s what tall dark transient carnies are for. By the by, Green Town, Illinois is featured in two other BRADBURY works, “Dandelion Wine” and “Farewell Summer.” I admit it, I never read those two but doesn’t that just give me something to look forward to in my twilight years?

8. HOBB’S END (IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS)

Fictional fiction author Sutter Cane’s fictional New England town can be said to be located at the crossroads between STEPHEN KING’s Castle Rock and H.P. LOVECRAFT’s Dunwich. Named after a fictional London underground transport station featured in 1967’s QUARTERMASS AND THE PIT (which altered the moniker from “Hobb’s Lane” a fictional street prominent in the 1958 television serial of the same name) Hobb’s owes just as much of its existence to frequent CARPENTER inspiration NIGEL KNEALE. It’s interesting to note that “Hob” was once one of the Devil’s many call signs. Fictional or not, I dig any town with a covered bridge dimensional doorway.

7. SALEM’S LOT

Speaking of our old pal STEPHEN KING, one of his many great creations is the town of Jerusalem’s Lot, Salem’s lot for short. (If you prefer “Salem” to “Jerusalem” thank the publisher’s marketing concerns.) You can visit this unfortunate town via KING’s novel (or through 2 short stories featured in NIGHT SHIFT), TOBE HOOPER’s 1979 mini-series, the RUTGUER HAUER featuring 2004 miniseries or even the 1995 radio play found HERE. I don’t care how you go there, just go there. KING himself, at one point, admitted that it was his favorite of his works and if I thought about it for a while I’d probably agree with him. Also, if you like vampires, there is at least one vampire in this town.

6. BODEGA BAY (THE BIRDS)

DAPHNE (REBECCA, DON’T LOOK NOW) du MAURIER’s original short story took place in a British coastal town but ALFRED HITCHCOCK placed his telling smack in the muddle of the non-fictional Bodega Bay in California. In fact the only element HITCH retained from du MAURIER’s story is those kooky ornery birds. HITCH’s choice is what lands the classic here as what a scenic spot he chose, even if many of the scenes in THE BIRDS are in fact shot on UNIVERSAL sets. The famous (and rumored haunted) schoolhouse shown in the film to be within running distance of the bay actually exists miles away. Bodega Bay has also made in appearance in THE GOONIES, PUPPET MASTER and a little something called THE FOG but more squawking on that film later.

5. KINGSTON FALLS (GREMLINS)

I love this little compact town even though it has the fakest looking snow I’ve ever seen and is merely a Universal back lot fated to appear soon after in BACK TO THE FUTURE. (There sure is a preference for small towns in this compilation; I must be trying to tell myself something.) Kingston Falls seems like a place where everybody knows everybody and the jewel in its crown has got to be Dorry’s Tavern (which was included in our “Best Horror Watering holes” found HERE!) I think the only minus to this burg is the witchy asshole known as Mrs. Deagle (POLLYFLOHOLIDAY) but a faulty stair elevator seems to have cleared up that miserable problem.

4. SANTA MIRA (INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS/HALLOWEEN 3: SEASON OF THE WITCH)

Everything is perfect in the fictional town of Santa Mira, California and you can thank mind controlling aliens and clockwork replicants for that. Whether it’s the landing pad for pod people or the home to a Stonehenge tripped booby trap Halloween mask novelty company, Santa Mira is a town like no other. So what if you have to give up your personal identity, think of the peace and quiet!

3. VALENTINE’S BLUFF/ HARMONY (MY BLOODY VALENTINE)

Maybe FOOTLOOSE’s KEVIN BACON would have a hard time in the dance forbidding mining town of Valentine’s Bluff found in the 1980 slasher MY BLOODY VALENTINE but as I’m loath to do a jig and chuck confetti anyway, I’m thinking I’d fit right in. How could I say no to a town with such a hospitable and accommodating laundromat like Mabel’s? The town was renamed and relocated into the dance neutral Pennsylvanian mining town of “Harmony” for the 2009 remake and truth be told, I like it just about the same. Harmony may not be quit as charming as Valentine’s Bluff but it makes up for that by being home to that crapilly built bridge that THE MOTHMAN is always trying to warn everybody about.

2. POTTER’S BLUFF (DEAD AND BURIED)

This place covers all of my bases. It’s small, it’s coastal, it’s lost in time and it’s inhabited by zombified weirdoes. It’s the perfect storm of all of my wants and desires in regards to cinematic towns. Also FLASH GORDON’s MELODY ANDERSON lives there. I’m packing my bags as we speak. DEAD AND BURIED was filmed in Mendocino, California; other notable films filmed there include CUJO, THE HOWLING and HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP.

1. ANTONIO BAY (THE FOG)

Let’s face it, Antonio Bay is the coolest fictional town on Earth. Sure the town’s ancestors murdered lepers in the name of prosperity, stole their gold and then strangely just hid the gold in a church wall anyway. If you want omelets in your future, you better be ready to trick some eggs into smashing their boats into some rocks. Many towns were actually used within the course of the film to represent ANTONIO BAY but I’m most interested in Point Reyes, California, the home of Stevie Wayne’s radio station lighthouse. I want to have my ashes dumped from the top of that lighthouse! Not the ashes of my cremated body but the ashes of my set-on-fire copy of the 2005 remake of THE FOG.

EXTRA BONUS TOWN! SUNNYDALE (BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER)

I did my whole list concentrating on movies and books and forgot that I could include television shows as well. I don’t want to bump Antonio Bay out of the spotlight, but I’m thinking perhaps I should for the fictional town of Sunnydale from BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. After all, over seven seasons Sunnydale exists in 144 episodes and that’s not even counting novelizations and comic books. Quite an achievement if ya think about it, Sunnydale was destroyed in the last episode of BUFFY but remember it exists on in all those earlier installments. If you’ve never visited, you should.

So that wraps it up. Don’t forget to let CHRISTINE take you on a tour of her favorite towns HERE and let us know if there are any other horror towns you’d like to visit!

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Tags: General Horror




23 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tommy VNo Gravatar // Jan 31, 2011 at 9:29 am

    Damn you with your Buffy spoiler!!

    (Thank you for including Potter’s Bluff. I would have forgotten it but it’s place is well deserved.)

  • 2 Dylan Donnie-DukeNo Gravatar // Jan 31, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Yay!!! Sunnydale! Salem’s Lot is nice, but they have no Buffy to dust the vamps for us.

  • 3 Will ErricksonNo Gravatar // Jan 31, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Great list, Unk! I particularly like the inclusion of Bodega Bay, and I love that aerial view of fiery chaos: my favorite scene in the movie!

  • 4 craigNo Gravatar // Jan 31, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    I’m so glad Antonio Bay is number 1! But there’s an oft-overlooked movie that has yet to get it’s due on this site and it’s got a real kiss-ass town; THE DARK SECRET OF HARVEST HOME. It’s one of those permenant autumn movies with old stately homes, cornfields as far as the eye can see (used for both ambience and sacrifices), a forbidden forest, covered bridges, and old-world towns-folk apoppin’. Plus, it’s all cast in that 70’s made-for-tv sunshine.

  • 5 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Jan 31, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    TV,
    Zoinks I forgot you were in the middle of the series. Don’t worry, there are several hundred bigger surprises coming up for ya.

    DDD,
    Oh, a Salem’s Lot/Buffy crossover would be the coolest thing ever. I’m going to have to think about that for a couple hours…

    WE,
    Such a great looking movie, I love those fakey looking sets & yead that ariel shot is awesome.

    Craig,
    Good call! We really need to highlight Harvest Home a bit better soon. I’ve got the vhs around here somewhere & yep Antonio Bay is the place to be.

  • 6 Chuckles72No Gravatar // Jan 31, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Craig – Oh Man. Harvest Home completely freaked my parents out. I was not allowed to see it but they watched it and afterward all covered bridges were strictly a no-go.

    This was a really great post – funny and (along w/ Christine’s list) a very thorough compilation.

  • 7 ZombetteNo Gravatar // Jan 31, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    I love so many of those movies but you know I love Sunnydale more than all.

  • 8 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Jan 31, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    Chuckles,

    Yes, thankfully Christine covered all my other favorites esp. Haddonfield and the town from Ghost Story! She knows her stuff.

    Zombette,

    Sunndydale forever! I’m known to visit Sunnydale over and over again. All seven seasons are currently on Netflix streaming. My poor neighbors are probably sick of hearing “Once more with Felling” blasting through the wall!

  • 9 christineNo Gravatar // Jan 31, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    Hey, great list you have here, Unk! Of course you know I’m madly jealous of Antonio Bay, but I’m not sure I’d give up Bon Temps for it, so we’ll call it even.

    I will say though, I laughed out loud when I saw your comments about Harmony (MBV) & Mothman -and the bridge from hell- I literally live less than ten miles from that town and my hubby crosses that bridge every day to go to work. And you’ll notice I didn’t beg for that town, simply because it’s already home and I want to get out of here! LOL.

  • 10 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Jan 31, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    Christine,

    Wha? I had no idea you lived so close to that town! I’m going to have to plan a field trip visit when and if the weather ever clears!

    By the way that photo of the bridge looks all fuzzy because it is in 3-D!

  • 11 Jami JoAnne RussellNo Gravatar // Jan 31, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    I can’t remember if the name of Ash’s home town is even mentioned, but I want to shop smart, I want to shop S-Mart.

  • 12 Joanna BoeseNo Gravatar // Jan 31, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    Forks, WA-Home to the Olympus clan of vamps (The Cullens) and Quiluete wolves…and visited by rabid “Twilight” fans year after year. Also very prone to attacks by nomad and newborn vamps.

    I know there was that picturesque town in “The Woman in White”…I can’t recall where in New England it took place in…

    Although my personal taste involve cities OUTSIDE the US…like Vaseria, Romania for instance…

  • 13 Joanna BoeseNo Gravatar // Jan 31, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    Correction, it’s “The Lady in White”, and it’s Willowpoint Falls…which is somewhere in NY as the narrator says you could see the city from the cliff.

  • 14 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Feb 1, 2011 at 12:25 am

    JB,

    I love that town too! It reminds me of the one in “Something Wicked This Way comes” Perfect for Halloween.

  • 15 crabbymoonNo Gravatar // Feb 1, 2011 at 4:53 am

    I agree with your number 1 choice. I live in San Francisco and travel up the coast to the Point Reyes lighthouse a couple of times a year. The main road to the lighthouse is about 14 miles long and you have to pass a few incredibly foul smelling cattle ranches. Once you get close to the coast it feels like you’re really at Antonio Bay. If you try to get to the lighthouse after noon there’s a good chance you’ll be surrounded by REAL fog which is incredibly scary since the road hugs so many steep cliffs hundreds of feet above sea level.

  • 16 ZombetteNo Gravatar // Feb 1, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Unk, I saw on Fascination With Fear that you said you like towns where you might bump into Tom Atkins!! Ahahaha! I freaking LOVE that man!

  • 17 bdwilcoxNo Gravatar // Feb 1, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    How about Summerisle in ‘The Wicker Man’? It’s actually set in Dumfries & Galloway in South West Scotland. I love the look of the place.

  • 18 bdwilcoxNo Gravatar // Feb 1, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Heh. From IMDB’s trivia for ‘The Wicker Man': “Britt Ekland labeled it as the ‘bleakest place on Earth’. The producers were forced to apologize to the locals. “

  • 19 bdwilcoxNo Gravatar // Feb 1, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Nevermind, I’m a total moron. Christine covered it in her list…

  • 20 knobgobblerNo Gravatar // Feb 2, 2011 at 12:24 am

    Great list!
    I’m kinda partial to Antonio Bay.

    One thing… I was always under the impression that the stuff falling from the sky in Silent Hill is ash (from the mine fires) not snow… coulda sworn that’s mentioned in the movie somewhere.

  • 21 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Feb 2, 2011 at 12:54 am

    J.J Russell,

    Now you have me thinking of doing a best places to shop in horror post…#1 = S-Mart!

    Crabbymoon,

    You have to send us some pictures next time you go to Antonio Bay! That sounds awesome.

    Zombette,

    Yes! he is one of my lifelong heroes! I got my picture taken with him!

    I don’t look it but I was very happy…

    http://www.kindertrauma.com/?p=11659

    Bdwilcox,

    Great minds! Again, I’m so glad Christine has my back!

    Knob,

    You are right about that! In the game it was snow, I got the movie and the game mixed up in my brain, Still sounds like Philly though!

  • 22 Jami JoAnne RussellNo Gravatar // Feb 2, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    I think that would be an awesome idea, Unkle!

  • 23 bdwilcoxNo Gravatar // Feb 3, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    “Now you have me thinking of doing a best places to shop in horror post…#1 = S-Mart!”
    — Don’t forget the “Food House” from Stephen King’s THE MIST!

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