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. photo: South Korean soldiers attempt to disinfect the sidewalks of Seoul's Gagnam district in response to the spread of COVID-19.
    Coronavirus

    Pandemics Are Also an Urban Planning Problem

    Will COVID-19 change how cities are designed? Michele Acuto of the Connected Cities Lab talks about density, urbanization and pandemic preparation.  

  2. Equity

    We'll Need To Reopen Our Cities. But Not Without Making Changes First.

    We must prepare for a protracted battle with coronavirus. But there are changes we can make now to prepare locked-down cities for what’s next.

  3. photo: a For Rent sign in a window in San Francisco.
    Coronavirus

    Do Landlords Deserve a Coronavirus Bailout, Too?

    Some renters and homeowners are getting financial assistance during the economic disruption from the coronavirus pandemic. What about landlords?

  4. photo: a bicycle rider wearing a mask in London
    Coronavirus

    In a Global Health Emergency, the Bicycle Shines

    As the coronavirus crisis forces changes in transportation, some cities are building bike lanes and protecting cycling shops. Here’s why that makes sense.

  5. Equity

    The Last Daycares Standing

    In places where most child cares and schools have closed, in-home family daycares that remain open aren’t seeing the demand  — or the support — they expected.

×