Creep Vibes: Spooky Thrillers Filmed In And Around Philly
DYK that PA is the horror capital of the U.S. and that many iconic scary flicks were shot in and around Philly? From The Blob to The Sixth Sense (and pretty much all of M. Night Shyamalan’s movies), we’ve narrowed down some thrillers that were filmed right here that will give you serious heebie-jeebies. So, call some peeps over, grab a bowl of candy corn and settle in for the most terrifying movie marathon you’ll have all semester.
The Blob - This 1958 classic takes place in the Philly ’burbs of Phoenixville (not too far from King of Prussia) and featured a big gooey alien blob that oozes and terrorizes the town. Fun fact: every year the Colonial Theater hosts Blobfest, a three-day festival that includes a screening of the film and other horror classics, a re-enactment of the theater escape sequence (a scene in the movie that took place at the theater), street fairs and more.
Location(s): Colonial Theater; Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
Watch: Amazon Prime, iTunes
Fallen - If you’re in the mood for a little demon possession, this thriller centers around a never-ending chase of innocent victims possessed by a killer. Some scenes were shot in the abandoned Holmesburg Prison in the Northeast section of Philly.
Location(s): Center City, Holmesburg Prison, parts of South Jersey
Watch: Amazon Prime, iTunes, Vudu
Dressed to Kill - This 80s mystery/slasher flick follows a sex worker who witnesses a murder and becomes the lead suspect. It’s intense and there’s some pretty cool throwback shots of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (sans Rocky steps).
Location(s): Philadelphia Museum of Art
Watch: Amazon Prime, HBOGo, Hulu, iTunes, Netflix, Vudu
Twelve Monkeys - Probs best known for featuring a young Brad Pitt, this sci-fi movie follows a time-travelling convict who is recruited back to the 90s to find out more about a man-made virus that wipes out civilization.
Location(s): City Hall, Delaware Power Station, Eastern State Penitentiary, Fairmount Park, Macy’s Center City, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts
Watch: Amazon Prime, Google Play, Vudu, YouTube
Eraserhead - Although not technically shot in Philly, filmmaker David Lynch used his time studying in Philly in the 1960s as inspiration for this bleak, surrealist horror cult classic about a man who lives alone in an apartment in a post-industrial area.
Location(s): Callowhill (12th and Callowhill, 13th and Wood streets)
Watch: Amazon Prime, Google Play, Vudu, YouTube,
Here are a few M. Night Shyamalan creepers:
The Sixth Sense - OK, who hasn’t seen this? This OG flick launched a thousand “I see dead people” jokes and memes and M. Night’s signature twist endings. Fun fact: most of the film was shot in and around Center City.
Location(s): 4th Street, Blue Bell, Bryn Mawr, Society Hill, St. Augustine’s Roman Catholic Church
Watch: Amazon Prime, Google Play, iTunes, Netflix, Vudu, YouTube
Signs - Aliens land outside of Philly and spoiler alert: water stops them! It’s still creepy tho.
Location(s): Bucks County, Delaware County, Delaware Valley University
Watch: Amazon Prime, Hulu, iTunes, YouTube
Unbreakable - This supernatural thriller stars Bruce Willis as a security guard who miraculously survives a train wreck and is the center of a mysterious theory that explains his good luck. It’s the first of a “unique gifts” origin series by M. Night.
Location(s): The Curtis Center, Germantown, Manayunk, University of Pennsylvania
Watch: Amazon Prime, Hulu, iTunes, YouTube
Split - This one falls in line with Unbreakable—in that “unique gifts” sequence—and is about a man diagnosed with 23 distinct personalities who kidnaps three high schoolers. Bonus: the final act takes place at the Philadelphia Zoo.
Location(s): 30th Street Station, Philadelphia Zoo, Silk City Diner Bar & Lounge (435 Spring Garden St.)
Watch: Amazon Prime, Hulu, Vudu, YouTube
Devil - A group of people are trapped in a stuck elevator … with the devil. It’s scary, creepy and will definitely give you chills.
Location(s): some aerial shots of Philly
Watch: Amazon Prime, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube
The Village - This one has two twists and follows members of an Amish-style community who are cut off from civilization and threatened by dangerous creatures that live in the woods.
Location(s): Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania
Watch: Amazon Prime, Google Play, iTunes, Netflix, YouTube
Mr. Glass - The final flick in M. Night’s “unique gifts” trilogy, this one features characters from Unbreakable and Split as they square off on each other.
Location(s): Center City; Allentown, Pennsylvania
Watch: Release date January 2019
*Shoutout to IMDb, Abandoned America, Billy Penn, Wikipedia and our team of horror aficionados for references.