Halloween movie cover Movie Locations Guide

Where was Halloween filmed?

1978

About Halloween

Fans of prolific 1980s slasher films owe their slumber party scares and movie night dates to an unknown actress, an almost-unknown director with a knack for suspense and a large, lumbering man who agreed to play one of Hollywood’s most iconic bad guys for $25 per day.

The year was 1978, and, fresh off the successful Assault on Precinct 13, John Carpenter signed on to direct an independent slasher film for $10,000. Originally called The Babysitter Murders, Carpenter penned Halloween with his girlfriend Debra Hill in about 10 days, filmed it over a month, and released it in October of the same year. The film was given a budget of only $300,000 and grossed $70 million, making it the most profitable independent film of all time.

The horror movie tropes of escaped lunatics and seemingly indiscriminate killers were not new to Carpenter or the film genre – Hitchcock’s Psycho was a master class in insanity-driven scares. But Michael Myers, who murdered his own sister when he was only six years old, was on a different level. Not only did he stalk young teenagers, he did so with no motive other than just being pure evil. Other famous film killers like Norman Bates, who was severely mentally ill, and Freddy Krueger, who was burned alive, at least had a past that drove their demented doings. Michael Myers was just… bad.

After being committed to Smith’s Grove Sanitarium for murdering his older sister Judith as she babysat him on Halloween night, Michael Myers (Nick Castle, Tony Moran and Will Sandin) has spent 15 years convincing psychiatrist Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasance) that he is beyond rehabilitation. However, while escorting him to a court hearing with his colleague, Loomis loses control of Myers, who steals his car and peels off, stopping to kill a mechanic and steal his signature white mask and killing implements from a local hardware store.

The next day in Haddonfield, Illinois, teenager Laurie Strode (a then-unknown Jamie Lee Curtis) catches a glimpse of Myers as she’s dropping off the keys to his long-abandoned home. That night, as Strode and her friends Lynda (P.J. Soles) and Annie (Nancy Kyes) babysit nearby, Myers attacks them one by one, killing Annie, then Lynda and her boyfriend before setting his sights on Laurie.

The next series of attacks, in which a knitting needle, coat hanger and knife are all used to poke various holes in Myers, lays out one of the key themes in the film, according to co-author Hill: you can’t kill evil. At the end of the film, Myers, having suffered multiple injuries that would kill a normal man several times over, is nowhere to be found.

Halloween was a wild success, and has since spawned an entire franchise of seven sequels, a remake and its sequel, and a series of sequels that completely ignores everything after the 1978 original. The final film in the series, Halloween Ends (or does it?) is scheduled to be released later this year.

City Locations

South Pasadena, CA; Los Angeles, CA

Location Types

American, Colonial, House, Miscellanous, Police/Jail, Schools

Location Styles

Americana/Anywhere, America, Colonial, Dated/Retro, Dilapidated/Neglected, School, Station Wagon

Halloween Locations

The action in Halloween takes place in the semi-fictional town of Haddonfield, Ill. Haddonfield is a real place – it’s where screenplay co-author Debra Hill grew up - but it’s nowhere near Illinois. It’s in New Jersey. Halloween, however, was filmed in neither location – it was staged entirely in Los Angeles.

Tommy Lee Wallace, who served as the production designer and editor, said it was a challenge to film, not only because Los Angeles doesn’t exactly have that All-American small hometown vibe the director was looking for. Wallace said it also didn’t have any resemblance at all to the moody, spooky, autumn feel of the Midwest. Producers worked against the famous Los Angeles sunshine by choosing Halloween filming locations with lots of tree cover and going for shots during overcast hours. They even made their own dried, brown leaves to scatter around to make it look like a typical autumn is a thing that exists in southern California.

Because the movie was filmed entirely in one place, you don’t have to worry about getting to multiple cities. Prepare to spend a few days stalking the sunny streets of Los Angeles and recreating some of the most famous Halloween locations for your Instagram feed.

Who hasn’t seen Halloween? Anyone? Still, spoilers ahead!

Fun Fact:

More than 20 actors have been cast as Michael Myers, including six in the original film alone. Sometimes the film crew had to fill in for the role.

The beginning of Michael Myers scene in Halloween

1000 Mission Street in South Pasadena

It’s one of the most iconic opening scenes in a horror movie to date.

The Myers home in fictional Haddonfield is where it all started. Here, viewers watch an intruder stalk the outside of the house, creep silently inside, take a knife from a kitchen drawer, and sneak up the stairs. Stopping to put on a mask before entering the room of a young woman, the intruder looks around the room before walking right up to the woman.

An aggravated “Michael!” is all that can be heard before she is stabbed several times, her screams echoing through the house.

Michael Myers, aged six in a colorful clown costume, murdered his sister Judith in cold blood. He then walks out the door only to be unmasked by his parents, still holding the bloody knife.

The house is located at 1000 Mission Street in South Pasadena, California. To get there, take Interstate 10 and exit on Orange Grove Avenue. Travel two blocks to Mission Street and turn left to number 1000. The owner allows photos, but asks visitors not to take them on the porch or walkways so as not to disturb the building’s business tenants.

Michael’s escape scene in Halloween

Upper Hollywood Reservoir

Fifteen years after Michael was locked away in Smith’s Grove Sanitarium for murdering his sister, his doctor, Sam Loomis, and a nurse travel through a driving storm to prepare to move him to a court hearing the next day.

Viewers learn that Michael is unlikely to ever be rehabilitated – he hasn’t spoken a word in 15 years – and in fact, Loomis is actively working to ensure he never leaves Smith’s Grove again. While he seems completely hardened to his patient, even referring to Myers as “it,” Loomis is flatly telling viewers who he is: an unrepentant killer.

When asked by the nurse if he really didn’t want Myers freed, Loomis responded firmly in the negative:

“Never, ever,” he said gravely. “Never.”

While driving up to the sanitarium, Myers attacks the nurse while Loomis is out of the vehicle and quickly takes the car and disappears into the heavy rain. How did he learn to drive after being incarcerated since he was six? We’re not sure either, but it’s clear Smith’s Grove security measures are lacking.

Although Smith’s Grove Sanitarium is a fictional hospital and we never see the inside of it, visitors looking to snap a few photos of Michael Myers’ escape can head to North Hollywood. The Halloween film scene was shot on a stretch of empty, gated off road near the Upper Hollywood Reservoir.

The skeptical sheriff scene in Halloween

1000 Mission Street in South Pasadena

If there’s one thing that’s consistent across the horror movie genre, it’s that ever film has a stoic, tough, skeptical character that just isn’t having any of whatever nonsense is going on. A reporter, a school official, a mayor, a parent – there’s always someone ready to downplay any real or imagined concerns, and in the case of Michael Myers, it’s Haddonfield’s sheriff, Leigh Brackett.

Dr. Loomis, who has been pursuing Myers since his escape from Smith’s Grove, has trailed him to his old hometown of Haddonfield, to his old home, even. After going with Brackett to the abandoned house and sharing what he knows about Myers, he’s met with slightly dismissive skepticism from the sheriff, who’s not sure there’s anything to worry about in the small, safe haven of Haddonfield.

Brackett agrees to patrol the streets on Halloween after some heavy convincing from Loomis, who tells him Myers isn’t any ordinary ruffian.

“Death has come to your little town, Sheriff,” Loomis says. “Now you can either ignore it, or you can help me stop it.”

The Myers home is located in South Pasadena, California, at 1000 Mission Street. Visitors can see the home, but it’s not the dilapidated mess or the middle class family home viewers will remember form the film. Photos are allowed, but not on the porch of the home, as it is now office space for various businesses.

The now you see him scene in Halloween

Montrose Avenue

One of the creepiest scenes in Halloween is just a few moments long – if you’re not paying attention, you could miss it.

As Laurie and Annie walk home from school through a quiet, middle class neighborhood, Myers peers at them from behind a tall hedge.

A blink, and he’s gone.

Although he’s not in the scene, viewers here Dr. Loomis talking in the background, fervently trying to convince the Haddonfield police that Myers is a force to be reckoned with. Death has indeed come to their small town, and he’s watching their children from behind unassuming hedge rows.

“You’ve got to believe me, officer, he is coming to Haddonfield,” says Loomis, presumably interrupted by an unimpressed policeman who wants to know why he’s so sure. Loomis continues to warn the officer of the impending upsurge in funeral services as Myers disappears.

How to get there: This is one of Halloween fans’ favorite photos to recreate, because it’s easily accessed, and there are number of ways from menacing to hilarious that photos can be created. The hedge is located on Montrose Avenue, about halfway between Oxley and Mission Streets in South Pasadena.

Laurie Strode’s house scene in Halloween

1115 Oxley Street in South Pasadena

Although we only see it briefly throughout the entire film, Laurie Strode’s house is a great place for fans of the movie.

Viewers first see the house at the beginning of the film, in which Laurie’s father asks her to drop a key off at the Myers place, thus setting the entire night of terror in motion.

Later, we see Laurie sitting on one of the concrete pillars with a pumpkin in her lap, waiting on her friend Annie to pick her up to babysit.

The owners of the house appreciate the location’s role in one of the most famous slasher flicks of all time, and frequently invite visitors to take as many photos as they’d like. They even have a selection of fake pumpkins and a framed photo on the porch, inviting guests to sit on the pillar with a pumpkin in their lap to recreate the exact scene from the movie.

How to get there: The Strode house is located at 1115 Oxley Street in South Pasadena, not far from the infamous Halloween Hedge (seriously, it has its own marker on Google Maps). Visitors are welcome and even encouraged to pose for photos on the property.

The babysitting scene in Halloween

Orange Grove Avenue

After returning to Haddonfield, Myers pays a visit to his old home (we’re not sure for what) and sees local teenager Laurie dropping off keys to the abandoned house, which her father is trying to sell. It’s a momentary encounter, but from then on Myers stalks Laurie, as well as her friend Annie, the skeptical sheriff’s daughter.

Both of the girls are babysitting young children across the street from each other, and it’s here that most of the Halloween action scenes take place. After Tommy Doyle, whom Laurie is babysitting, sees Michael near the home across the street, he tells Laurie he saw the boogeyman. Thinking it’s just a silly story, Laurie tells Tommy it’s not real.

“What about the boogeyman,” Tommy asks.

“There’s no such thing,” Laurie drones, not looking up from her magazine.

After attacking Annie and her boyfriend, as well as Lynda (who was in the wrong place at the very wrong time), Myers moves across the street to the home where Laurie is babysitting. Having just discovered her friend is dead at the neighbor’s house, Laurie tells the children to hide and secures them inside the house.

A few bolted doors have never stopped Myers, though, and he attacks Laurie twice, earning himself a knitting needle to the neck, a coat hanger to the eye and his own knife through his chest. After sending the children to another neighbor’s house to call the police, Laurie is again attacked, this time saved only by a timely appearance from Dr. Loomis, who shoots Myers several times.

His death doesn’t last, of course.

Unable to find two usable houses in the South Pasadena neighborhood where much of Halloween was filmed, the producer settle on two houses just a few miles and a world away in West Hollywood. Sandwiched between the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the famous Chateau Marmont, the two homes are located at 1530 and 1537 Orange Grove Avenue. To get there, take Highway 2 to North Fairfax Avenue and turn Right. Take another right on Sunset Boulevard and turn left at the next street, Orange Grove Avenue.

These homes are privately owned, so either snap some photos from the street, or politely ask the homeowners if they mind you taking a few shots on their property.

Conclusion

Created on a shoestring budget without any reliance on special effects or CGI, Halloween has stood the test of time as one of the most successful horror films of all time. It was a hit at the box office and enjoys an annual renaissance around Oct. 31 as parents, grandparents and their kids tune in.

It was also the film that launched the popular slasher films of the 1980s – characters such as Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees and even the Ghostface Killer all owe their renown and staying power to John Carpenter’s powerful treatment of Myers. The movie also launched untested actress Jamie Lee Curtis into the spotlight, jumpstarting her career in several films, not just Halloween sequels.

For fans of the film series, a trip to Los Angeles is well worth the opportunity to visit some of the well-known Halloween film locations take some great photographs or make movie magic of their own.