COMMENTARY: MTSU Professor Looks at Real life haunted houses that you've heard about, because of a movie

Oct 04, 2021 at 09:25 am by WGNS

Often, plots of movie’s started at a real location. In other words, while a movie maybe fictitious, the idea behind the movie plot may have started because of a real life news story. With more on this interesting subject, here is Dr. Larry Burriss from MTSU…



VERBATIM of ABOVE AUDIO: In “The Wizard of Oz” Dorothy famously tells us “There’s no place like home.” 

Well, maybe you don’t want to go back home, especially if your house has been the star of a horror movie, or even worse, your home is the location of the real world events upon which the horror film is based.

Take, for example, “The Exorcist” houses, one at 3600 Prospect St., NW, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., and the other at 3807 40th Ave., Cottage City, Maryland.

The Maryland home is where the supposed demonic possession that inspired the movie took place.  The house in Georgetown is where the exteriors for the movie were shot, right next to the infamous stairway next door.

The interiors, by the way, were shot on a demon-free sound stage.

Then there is 112 Ocean Avenue on Long Island, widely known as the Amityville House.

In 1974 an entire family was murdered by one of the children.  One of the sons was soon arrested, and died in prison only eight months ago. 

Things get murkier once new owners moved in.  They supposedly encountered evil paranormal activity, and moved out less than a month after they moved in. 

There is evidence, however, they faked all of the supernatural activities in order to make money from the gruesome past.

The house, by the way, has a new address, and has been the focus of more than a dozen movies.

Like “The Exorcist,” “The Shining” uses two different actual locations.  Exteriors were shot in Mount Hood, Oregon, at the very real Timberland Lodge.

But it’s the interiors that still generate interest, located at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado.

In fact, you can even check into room 217. Where most of the action takes place.  Well, you could check in, except the room is booked solid for years in the future.

But if you’re still looking for a place to stay, there is always the Lizzy Borden house 230 Second St., Fall River, Mass.  In fact, you can stay in the actual room where Lizzy’s mother was hacked to death.

The Borden story has been told, with varying degrees of accuracy, in film, music, radio, television and theater.

In just a few weeks we’ll see supposedly haunted houses springing up everywhere. 

But not nearly as haunted as the actual movie locations. - I’m Larry Burriss.




About Dr. Burriss

Larry Burriss, professor of journalism, teaches introductory and media law courses. At the graduate level he teaches quantitative research methods and media law. He holds degrees from The Ohio State University (B.A. in broadcast journalism, M.A. in journalism), the University of Oklahoma (M.A. in human relations), Ohio University (Ph.D. in journalism) and Concord Law School (J.D.). He has worked in print and broadcast news and public relations, and has published extensively in both academic and popular publications. He has won first place in the Tennessee Associated Press Radio Contest nine times. Dr. Burriss' publications and presentations include studies of presidential press conferences, NASA photography, radio news, legal issues related to adolescent use of social networking sites, legal research, and Middle Earth.

Dr. Burriss has served as director of the School of Journalism, dean of the College of Mass Communication and president of the MTSU Faculty Senate. He was appointed by Gov. Phil Bredesen to serve on the Tennessee Board of Regents. He was a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force and served on active duty in Mali, Somalia, Bosnia, Central America, Europe and the Pentagon.



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