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 the L.A. Metro Expo Line extension
    Life

    Why Can’t I Take Public Transit to the Beach?

    In the U.S., getting to the beach usually means driving. But some sandy shores can still be reached by train, subway, and bus.

  2. a photo of the Eiffel Tower with the words "Made for Sharing" projected on it
    Life

    How France Tries to Keep English Out of Public Life

    France has a long history of using official institutions to protect the French language from outside influence. Still, English keeps working its way in.

  3. A photo of a police officer in El Paso, Texas.
    Equity

    What New Research Says About Race and Police Shootings

    Two new studies have revived the long-running debate over how police respond to white criminal suspects versus African Americans.

  4. Two women wave their phones in the air at a crowded music festival.
    Life

    The Rise, and Urbanization, of Big Music Festivals

    The legacy of hippie Woodstock is the modern music-festival economy: materialist, driven by celebrities and social media, and increasingly urban.

  5. Warren Logan
    Transportation

    A City Planner Makes a Case for Rethinking Public Consultation

    Warren Logan, a Bay Area transportation planner, has new ideas about how to truly engage diverse communities in city planning. Hint: It starts with listening.

×