Scream movie cover Movie Locations Guide

Where was Scream filmed?

1996

About Scream

In the era of cell phones, social media and constant contact with other people, teenagers may wonder what the big deal was about a creep prank-calling pretty girls who were home alone. It may feel silly by today’s scare standards, but Scream was easily the defining horror movie of the 1990s.

Scream was actually a subtle satire of other slasher films such as Halloween and Friday the 13th, and it was the first mainstream horror movie in a long time that wasn’t a sequel or spin-off of another film – most of which received a lukewarm reception at best. It also featured several well-established actors and actresses, such as Neve Campbell and Drew Barrymore, which helped Scream’s popular appeal and won that battle for the young female viewership.

While the movie is absolutely fictional, the storyline was loosely based on the very real case of the Gainesville Ripper. In the summer of 1990, a serial killer raped and killed five students over a four-day period in Gainesville, Florida. The film was a critical and commercial success, remaining the highest-grossing slasher flick until the 2018 remake of Halloween – in terms of adjusted dollars, Scream still holds the record more than 25 years after its release.

The film opens with teen Casey Becker (Barrymore) answering a call from an unknown person. It seems both people are enjoying the conversation about scary movies until the man on the other end flips a switch and begins to threaten Casey, demanding she answer questions about popular horror films and revealing that her boyfriend is bound and gagged on her patio.

Enter the Ghostface Killer, whose famous likeness has been featured in everything from indie horror films to obvious parodies to Budweiser commercials.

Thus, terror takes hold of Woodsboro, where Sidney Prescott (Campbell) is having a hard time on the one-year anniversary of her mother’s rape and murder when she receives a similar creepy phone call and is attacked by Ghostface.

Convinced her boyfriend Billy (Skeet Ulrich) is just trying to scare her, Sidney runs to her best friend Tatum’s (Rose McGowan) house, where she unexpectedly receives another call while Billy is in jail, having been arrested for making inappropriate phone calls and possibly assaulting his girlfriend.

As the calls are traced to Sidney’s father’s (Lawrence Hecht) phone, suspicion falls again on her family, the high school principal is stabbed to death in his own office and school is suspended. This leads to an ill-advised party thrown by Tatum’s boyfriend Stu (Matthew Lillard) which is, ultimately, just fish in a barrel for a costume-wearing killer. As the body count rises throughout the night, there are plenty of revelations about Sidney’s mother’s demise and innocent-sounding teens who moonlight as masked murderers.

City Locations

Santa Rosa, Glen Ellen, Tomales, Healdsburg and Sonoma, CA

Location Types

American, Colonial, House, Modern, Miscellaneous, Police/Jails, Schools/Colleges, Retail

Location Styles

Colonial, Modern Building, School

Scream Locations

Most of the Scream action scenes take place in the fictional town of Woodsboro, California. Several northern California towns stood in for Woodsboro, including Santa Rosa, Glen Ellen, Tomales, Healdsburg and Sonoma.

Since most of these places are public, it’s easy to step up and snap a few photos for your blog or Instagram feed. None of the scenes in Scream were filmed on a sound stage. Since the towns are in fairly close proximity, you can make a little mini-vacay out of finding some of the easily-recognizable locations and posing for some great memories.

Sadly, some of the locations have moved or changed, or are no longer in business. The Healdsburg Police Department, which was used in the film as the Woodsboro Police Department, has since been moved, but many of the resident officers have information about other filming locations in and around Healdsburg. Bradley Video is also no longer in business – and what video store is, these days?

Since most of the Scream filming locations are readily available, let’s take a look at where you can find some of these well-known places.

Fun Fact:

The Ghostface mask that defines the entire movie, as well as many sequels and spin-offs, was found by accident. It happened to be lying around a house the crew was scouting for a filming location. Although they tried to create their own iteration of the mask, producers ended up finding the original owner of the mask design and negotiating its inclusion in Scream.

The death of Casey Becker scene in Scream

Casey’s House, 7420 Sonoma Mountain Road

Poor Casey. She never even got a backstory.

Casey Becker is home alone when she receives a call from an unknown person, who proceeds to chit-chat in a very comfortable, non-threatening manner – until, of course, he doesn’t.

As the phone call takes a turn for the even creepier, the caller continues to ask Casey her name, to which Casey finally replies in a straightforward manner, “Why do you want to know my name?”

“Because I want to know who I’m looking at,” the caller replies in an equally straightforward-yet-oh-so-psychotic manner.

And that’s when everyone knows that Casey Becker is in for a rough night. She finds herself at the hands of a psychopath, demanding she satisfy his lust for horror movie trivia or face the (bloody) consequences – which in this case is her boyfriend bound and gagged on her back porch.

After failing to answer a question correctly, Casey sees her boyfriend stabbed to death before she herself comes face to face with Ghostface. Taking a butcher knife of her own in a nod to her favorite film (and horror classic) Halloween, Casey tries to run but is ultimately no match for the killer, who finally catches her and stabs her to death before hanging her body in a tree (without ever tripping on his or her very unwieldy black robe).

The home used for Casey’s house is in a fairly isolated area of Glen Ellen, California, just a few miles southeast of Santa Rosa. The home is located at 7420 Sonoma Mountain Road, and it sold for nearly $6 million in 2016. It is a private home, so walking up to the house to take photos is not recommended without express permission from the homeowners.

Sidney meets Ghostface scene in Scream

Sidney’s House, 1820 Calistoga Road

After the murder of Casey Becker, the small community of Woodsboro is abuzz – and what town wouldn’t be – Sidney finds herself living in teenage hell.

Her arch-nemesis, which is really just code for an investigative reporter that got on Sidney’s bad side while looking into her mother’s murder, Gale is back in town sniffing around, and her relationship with boyfriend Billy Loomis is rocky to say the least.

While waiting on Tatum, Sidney receives a call from presumably the same jerk who terrorized Casey – and she is having none of it. She goes outside and taunts the caller herself, asking him if he can see her before picking her nose and asking him to tell her exactly what she’s doing. Telling the caller, who she clearly believes is a friend, to tell Tatum to hurry up, Sidney starts to disconnect the call.

That’s when Ghostface brings out the crazy.

“If you hang up on me you’ll die, just like your mother!” says the voice, now more menacing than creepy. “Do you want to die, Sidney? Your mother sure didn’t!”

After hurling two choice words at the caller, Sidney locks herself in the house, only to discover that Ghostface was waiting for her in the coat closet. After a struggle, with the killer taking entirely too long to mess with her instead of just finishing the job, Sidney breaks away and runs to her bedroom, where the killer has her trapped until her boyfriend bursts through her second storey window, saying he heard her screaming.

The home that stood in for Sidney’s house is located at 1820 Calistoga Road in Santa Rosa, California. It’s a short drive northeast of the city center in the outlying rural area. This is also a private home, so don’t trespass for photos. Stick to photos from the road if you haven’t received permission from the homeowners.

Randy doesn’t know scene in Scream

Tatum’s House, 824 McDonald Ave

Simultaneously scary and funny at the same time, the scene featuring Randy is one of the best in the entire movie.

Randy (Jamie Kennedy) is what you might call a horror movie junkie. He knows all the tropes, all the unwritten rules, all the methods directors use to scare and fool the audience. He’s happy to point these things out to fellow party-goers, too.

In an alcohol-infused state, Randy is lying on the sofa watching Halloween. As he watches killer Michael Myers get closer and closer, Randy tells Laurie, played by Jamie Lee Curtis, to turn around, since her would-be killer is standing just behind her.

That’s when we see Ghostface creep up behind Randy from the kitchen. The humor in the scene, dark though it may be, comes from Randy’s insistence that Jamie (Curtis) turn around and be aware of her surroundings, while simultaneously being completely unaware that the killer is directly behind him as well.

Also, the fact that Randy is played by Jamie Kennedy, and he’s begging Jamie to turn around, was not lost on viewers.

This scary Scream scene takes place at Tatum’s house, where the previously-mentioned ill-advised party takes place. The house that belongs to Tatum in the movie is located at 824 McDonald Ave. in downtown Santa Rosa, California. The home is privately owned, so stick to taking photos from the street unless you have secured permission from the homeowners to be on their property.

Gale gets a tough break scene in Scream

Healdsburg Police Department

Sidney was traumatized by the rape and murder of her mother a year ago, and news reporter Gale Weathers was there to see it all in real time. While trying to get an inside scoop, she insinuated that the man responsible for the crimes, who was convicted and imprisoned, wasn’t the actual perpetrator.

Of course, this didn’t sit well with Sidney, and when Gale shows up again after Casey Becker’s murder looking for another scoop, Sidney’s hackles are immediately raised, along with her fists.

Because she’s a no-nonsense reporter on the scent of a hot developing story, Gale tracks Sidney down as she’s leaving the police station and follows her into a narrow alley hoping to get some information, although any information she might pull from a traumatized teenager should be considered immediately suspect.

Although her questions are obviously related to the most recent Ghostface attack, Sidney asks Gale when her book will be released, revealing the reporter is writing a tell-all investigative book about her mother’s murder. Unfazed, Gale answers that the book will be out later that year.

“I’ll send you a copy,” Gale says snarkily as Sidney turns to make her escape.

Instead of a blazing comeback, however, Gale is met with a stiff right roundhouse from Sidney, sending her flailing backwards into her camera crew as Sidney and Tatum march away.

Just outside the Healdsburg Police Department, which was also used in the film, is the alley where this scene takes place. You can get to the alley by taking Center Street to the north end of the building, between the Police Department and Tom Cariveau Fiduciary Services. Sadly, the alley has been remodeled and doesn’t appear as it does in the film, the door having been removed when the building was renovated.

Tatum won’t be the final girl scene in Scream

Tatum’s House, 824 McDonald Avenue

As all hell breaks loose at a party meant to celebrate the fact that the school has been shut down because all hell has broken loose, Tatum, who has been a brassy, resilient defender all this time, is in the spotlight for a very different reason.

After Ghostface crashes the party – because of course he did – Tatum finds herself separated from what’s left of the group. Realizing she’s cornered in the garage with Ghostface closing in for a theatrical stabbing, Tatum at first thinks it’s just someone pulling a prank – just like everyone else who has so far ended up dead.

“Do I get to play the helpless victim?” she quips as Ghostface nods sagely.

When she realizes it’s most definitely not a prank, she tries to get the upper hand by launching empty beer bottles straight at his head. Good move.

However, after running out of ammunition, the busty and decidedly non-feline Tatum tries to escape through the doggie door. Not a good move. Caught in a compromising position, Tatum can only wait in terror while Ghostface decides to quell his stabbing urges just this once and instead slowly raises the garage door, crushing her to death.

This scene also takes place at Tatum’s house, located at 824 McDonald Avenue in Santa Rosa.

The unmasking of Ghostface scene in Scream

Tatum’s House, 824 McDonald Avenue

This is the moment everyone has been waiting for: is Ghostface a local? Someone the teens have spoken to, interacted with, perhaps are even friends with? Or is he just some nameless, homeless psychopath who just happened to be passing through Woodsboro for a couple days?

As it turns out, viewers who bet on the first option are the big winners, if there is such a thing. After the scattered friends begin to come back together in the house – because why would you want to head to a town full of lights and non-robed people – Sidney finds a bloody Billy and gives him the gun she had taken from a dead police officer to protect them.

After letting Randy in the house, after which he and Billy simultaneously accuse each other of being the murderer, Billy shoots Randy, revealing himself to be the killer the whole time.

How, you ask? (It’s easier than asking why.) Out comes a maniacal-looking Stu, talking into a voice changer. One had been harassing victims on the phone while the other did the stabbing, making it appear as if the killer was in two places at once.

If you’re still wondering why at this point, you’ll likely be disappointed. When questioned by Sidney, Stu simply answers “It’s all fun and games.”

Presumably, that is the psychotic equivalent of “Because.”

Like the last third of the movie, this scene takes place during – well, after – the fateful party at Taylor’s house. The home, located at 824 McDonald Avenue in Santa Rosa, is privately owned, so stick to taking photos from the curb unless the homeowners give permission to be on their property.

Conclusion

Scream was wildly successful when it premiered in 1996, and in the past 25 years, the film has spawned numerous sequels and a host of parody films – the Scary Movie franchise. Ironically, Scary Movie was intended to be the original title, but it was changed just prior to production.

Unlike most movie franchises, however, where each subsequent sequel seems to lose more and more ground by parting from the subject matter, theme or actors in the original, movies in the Scream franchise have remained popular. In fact, another film, Scream 5, is set to be released in 2022.