Silent Hill and our top 10 scary movie towns
You don’t want to go trick or treating in these neighbourhoods. Sure, they might look welcoming or quaint at first glance, but these towns harbor an abnormal amount of demons, serial killers, the undead, and ghostly apparitions making the events that take place there truly scary. We head back to Silent Hill, one of cinema’s creepiest towns this week as Silent Hill: Revelation 3D lands in Cineplex theatres this week.
With pathways to other dimensions and strange beings afoot, Silent Hill is up there with the scariest towns in horror movie history. Because it’s too fun to be scary, you won’t find stop-motion Halloweentown on our list though we’d totally take up residence if we were under 12 inches tall and made of clay. Instead, we’ve mapped out the scariest movie towns fit for humans and non-humans alike on our horror movie road trip.
Come along for the ride as we count down the top 10 scary movie towns!
|#10 Santa Carla, California - The Lost Boys (1987)
Santa Carla has a beach, a video store, and a cool amusement park hang-out called The Boardwalk. It also has a lot of vampires who are really good at peer pressuring the living into joining them. Michael (Jason Patric) never stood a chance when it came to joining the teen vampire gang led by David (Kiefer Sutherland). You can’t really turn down an invite to join an undead, leather jacket-wearing motorcycle gang and still hope to be popular. As long as you don’t mind the vampires, Santa Clara looks like a pretty cool place to live.
|#9 Gatlin, Nebraska - The Children of the Corn (1984)
You’ll never look at a corn field the same way. Billed as “every adult’s nightmare,” the children of Gatlin, Nebraska like to hunt down adults to sacrifice them to their corn god. On the plus side, the downtown area of Gatlin has ample parking spaces and no line at the gas pumps. The demon known as “He Who Walks Behind the Rows” promises the cult of children a successful harvest in exchange for spilling the blood of adults. No one gets between these children and their corn!
|#8 Summerisle - The Wicker Man
What a charming island! Nothing abnormal about Summerisle…unless you think a pagan group of farmers practicing human sacrifice to make their crops grow is weird. Featured in both the original cult classic from 1973 and in the so-bad-it's-good 2006 Nicolas Cage remake, Summerisle is a quaint English countryside-looking village that shuns modern technology. You’d be hard-pressed to get a cell phone signal here, except maybe from the top of the giant wicker statue…
|#7 Springwood, Ohio - A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
It’s your average suburban town with modest housing, lots of families, a good school system and close-knit neighbours who partake in PTA meetings and lynch mobs. Meant to be a comment on the perceived innocence of the suburbs by middleclass Americans, Springwood looks like it would be a dream come true. It’s just a shame all the teens are being murdered in their dreams by the burnt-in-the-boiler-room Freddy Krueger.
|#6 Silent Hill, West Virginia - Silent Hill (2006), Silent Hill: Revelation (2012)
Witch burnings, ghostly ladies, cultish beginnings and a monster fearfully named “Pyramid Head” are just some of the charming attributes Silent Hill has to offer. Often drenched in fog and home to several derelict and decrepit abandoned buildings, Silent Hill is definitely one place you don’t want to be after the sun sets. Oh yeah, the town just happens to house an alternate dimension. Scary stuff.
|#5 Crystal Lake, New Jersey - Friday the 13th (1980)
When you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the big city, look no further than Camp Crystal Lake and its surrounding town. The camp boasts a great lake for swimming (just ask hockey-loving Jason Voorhies) and cozy secluded cabins. Crystal Lake has been popular since 1980- people just can’t stop returning, despite drownings, decapitations, and a whole lot of axe-murdering. It’s nature at its best.
|#4 Amityville, New York - The Amityville Horror (1979)
Here’s a town you can actually visit! Amityville, Long Island is home to one of the most-famous haunted houses. In 1975 the Lutz family got a great deal on their colonial house due in part to the grisly murders that had occurred in the home the previous year. After spending some time in the house, the family began to experience everything from unexplained noises and scents to oozing slime and demon sightings. Scariest part? It’s all claimed to be based on real-life experiences. This is one town people can’t stay away from: there are now 10 films in the Amityville franchise.
|#3 Haddonfield, Illinois - Halloween (1978)
Haddonfield was just a quiet residential utopia until youngster Michael Myers brutally killed his sister one Halloween night in 1963, beginning a penchant for murdering babysitters. Conveniently located near one of the least secure sanitariums in the country, the town and its inhabitants are really good at faking their own deaths and swapping bodies. And with ten Halloween films in the franchise, there certainly isn’t a shortage of babysitters to go around.
|#2 Sleepy Hollow, New York - Sleepy Hollow (1999)
The quintessential Halloween village sprung from the mind of the dark and twisted Tim Burton for his 1999 film. The late 1700’s village, surrounded by a dense forest and cloaked muted greys and dusty browns, is the perfect setting for the terrifyingly sharp-toothed Headless Horseman (Christopher Walken) to run amok. Just thinking about the town’s spooktacular centerpiece, the Tree of the Dead gives us chills.
|#1 Woodsboro, California - Scream 1-4
Woodsboro is a town for movie lovers. With film-loving teens forming movie clubs and celebrating the infamous Woodsboro murders with all-night Stab-a-thons, it’s a relatively safe place to be….as long as you aren’t friends with Sydney Prescott (Neve Campbell). That girl is bad luck. Anyone who is somehow connected to her often ends up dead. Woodsboro’s home to some goofy cops, a tough-as-nails investigative journalist, and high school principal Henry “The Fonz” Winkler. Just follow the simple horror movie rules and don’t approach anyone wearing a mask and you're likely to survive a visit to Woodsboro.
Did our scary movie road trip bypass one of your favourite towns? Weigh in below!