Shutterstock.com

A spooky look at the geography of more than 200 top-rated scary movies.

The best horror movies pack a peculiar kind of punch to the gut. There's that feeling that, even though you know what you're watching is pure fiction, it could happen here. That's why the settings are often so vague: a generic and quiet suburban cul de sac, a deserted country road, a creepy cabin in the woods, or a musty and abandoned urban basement. Really, it could be anywhere. Even right where you are.

But many horror movies do actually take place somewhere specific, and this Halloween-themed interactive map by Esri plots the geography of some of the spookiest movies of all time. The Geography of Horror maps the settings of more than 200 of the top-rated horror films ever, organized by decade.

The main takeaways? In those pre-1960s years, it looks like the cold and abandoned castles and manors of England captured our imagination.

More recently, Tokyo's booming film industry has given filmgoers across Japan the chance to imagine what could happen close to home.

And for Americans in the 1990s, there was plenty to go around, from Santa Rosa, California's Scream to rural Pennsylvania's Night of the Living Dead.

Top Image: Shutterstock.com/ CREATISTA

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. a photo of yellow vest protesters in Paris, France.
    Equity

    To Understand American Political Anger, Look to ‘Peripheral France’

    French geographer Christophe Guilluy has a controversial diagnosis of working-class resentment in the age of Trump, Brexit, and the Yellow Vests.

  2. A rendering of a co-living building in San Jose.
    Life

    The Largest Co-Living Building in the World Is Coming to San Jose

    The startup Starcity plans to build an 800-unit, 18-story “dorm for adults” to help affordably house Silicon Valley’s booming workforce.

  3. A photo of a street barrier in New Delhi
    Equity

    What’s Behind New Delhi’s Gated Communities?

    India’s capital city is full of private residential “colonies” protected by locked gates. But many claim the barriers don't stop crime and cause traffic chaos.

  4. A cat lays flat on a bench at a park on the outskirts of Tokyo.
    Life

    Why Don't Americans Use Their Parks At Night?

    Most cities aren’t fond of letting people use parks after dark. But there are good lifestyle, environmental, and safety reasons to reconsider.

  5. Equity

    Is It Better to Be Poor in Bangladesh or in the Mississippi Delta?

    The Nobel laureate Angus Deaton discusses extreme poverty, opioid addiction, Trump voters, robots, and rent-seeking.

×