Wicked Fall Guide

Wicked Fall Guide

Wicked Fall Guide

It’s Halloween season, time to get into the spirit. What better way then to go back to some of your favorite scary movies for a revisit. Here are a few suggestions to scare you. Oh, the horror! These 8 scary movies were made in Massachusetts? That’s too close to home.

To this day I can’t watch Exorcist. I just can’t go there. The teenage trauma has never left my body. Honestly, if I did watch it again, I probably wouldn’t be as afraid. Afterall, today’s generation of scary films is a level beyond.

To be honest, the older I get the less scary movies I watch. Turning on the news is frightening enough. However, there are plenty of people who are fans of the movie genre. The proof is in the numbers, and it’s not just around Halloween. Take a look at the box office biggies this week. At number 1 is The Exorcist: Believer, which is a follow up the the original 1973 supernatural horror movies. Close behind in #3 is Saw X. Horror movies psychological thrillers and Halloween films are big money.

Horror At Home

So, let’s bring it home to Massachusetts. Over the years, there have been quite a few fright films made right here in Mass or at least set in the Commonwealth. Likely the one that comes to mind for most is Jaws, and all the Jaws sequels. And let’s not forget Stephen King, the king of horror, is from New England and often chose the area for his story settings.

With the help of Wikipedia, Ranker and Boston Uncovered, take a look at this list of movies. In no particular order, just to make it more suspenseful, here are a few films that hit a little too close to home. Oh, the horror! These 8 scary movies were made in Massachusetts, or at least set here.


  • 1. Jaws

    Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard

    Starting with the obvious here. Steven Spielberg directed the original Jaws movie set in the fictional town of Amity Island, New York. Which, according to screenrants.com was supposed to be Long Island. There’s even town named Amityville there. So why was the 1975 movie filmed on Martha’s Vineyard?  The simple answer is, it was too crowded. Spielberg wanted the area to feel more isolated.

  • 2. The Conjuring

    Harrisville, RI 

    The first installment in this horror franchise was in 2013 and centered on the real-life story of husband and wife, Ed and Lorraine Warren. They investigated paranormal events. The film focused on a 1971 case where the Warrens probed into a witch’s curse at a farmhouse located in Harrisville, which is part of Burrillville, Rhode Island. Now, you can pay to stay overnight at the house. Oh, that would be a no for me, thank you.

  • 3. The Witch

    Although The Witch wasn’t filmed here, it was set here. The 2015 movie was written and directed by Robert Eggers, who lived in New Hampshire, according to Wikipedia “was inspired to write the film by his childhood fascination with witches and frequent visits to the Plimoth Plantation as a schoolboy.” The movie is set in 1630s New England and starred Anna Taylor Joy in her film debut. 

  • 4. The Haunting

    Berkshires (Western Mass)

    This 1999 remake of The Haunting (1963) takes place in the Berkshires, although the house is actually located in England. As the story goes, a group of people come together at this Western Massachusetts sprawling estate thinking they have signed on for an insomnia study. Ultimately, they find themselves plagued by paranormal events in Hill House, which has a very grim history. Starring Liam Neeson, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Owen Wilson.

  • 5. Altered States

    Beacon Hill, Boston and Harvard Medical School

    Filmed partially at Harvard Medical School, Beacon Hill and Logan International Airport, this 1999 thriller stars William Hurt, in his film debut. It’s described as a “science fiction body horror film.” Drew Barrymore also made her film debut in this gem. It’s about a highly respected scientist and psychology professor and his work on combining sensory deprivation tanks with hallucinogenic drugs. The more he works on the experiment, the more he loses his sense of reality.

  • 6. The Covenant


    The 2006 supernatural horror movie was directed by Renny Harlin. It’s set in Ipswich, where 4 high school boys, known as the Sons of Ipswich, are all descendants of colonial witch families. They boys all of magical powers that manifest when they turn 13, and grow stronger every year. The power is addicting. And eventually leads to their premature aging and death. Struggles ensue and dead spirits arise.

  • 7. Shutter Island


    Based on the Dennis Lehane novel, this 2010 American neo=noir psychological thriller was directed by Maritn Scorsese and starred Leonardo DiCaprio. The shooting took place at Peddocks Island, which is a ferry ride away from Boston Harbor, just south of the Harbor. The story follows  U.S. Marshal Edward “Teddy” Daniels in 1954 as he and his new partner travel to Ashecliffe Hospital for the criminally insane on Shutter Island, Boston Harbor. They are there to investigate the disappearance of a patient of the hospital who had previously drowned her three children.

  • 8. Hocus Pocus


    Ok, I know, not particularly a spooky movie, but certainly worth mentioning here because of it’s famous setting and popularity. This 1993 Walt Disney Halloween Movie follows a “villainous comedic trio of witches (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy) who are inadvertently resurrected by a teenage boy (Omri Katz) in Salem, Massachusetts, on Halloween night.” (Wikipedia). Some of the filming locations included the Old Burial Hill in Marblehead, the Old Town Hall in Salem, where the town Halloween party takes place, and Phillips Elementary School. The school is where the witches are trapped in a kiln. And did you know the exterior for Max and Dani’s house is a actually a private residence on Ocean Avenue in Salem?

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