Horror, Monster, Murder Movies Filmed on Redwood Coast

aerial of Trinidad Head sunrise with white waves below and sun rays streaking through low cloudsThere’s something even better than watching a spooky, scary movie to get into the mood for Halloween – you can visit the places where the movies were filmed. It seems a lot of monsters, vampires, murders, and other worldly spirits inhabit California’s Redwood Coast! It’s often been chosen as a location for feature films as well as television shows, documentaries, music videos, and advertisements.

Map of the Movies Self-guided Tour of film sites in Humbodt & Del Norte Co. with gray map of CaliforniaThanks to the Humboldt – Del Norte Film Commission, visitors can take a self-guided tour of some of the most popular movie locations in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties in California. Their Map of the Movies locates the sites for 35 different movies, including Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Jurassic Park: The Lost World, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, and A Wrinkle in Time. The Map includes directions to markers at or near the actual filming sites. Their website includes links to a PDF version of the Map of the Movies, a Googlemap, and a complete filmography for both counties.

Below are some of the locations of horror films and thrillers featuring monsters, aliens, ghosts, witches, murderers, and more – just in time for Halloween! Those closest to The Redwood Riverwalk Hotel in Fortuna are listed first:

  • A Death in Canaan (1978), a made-for-TV murder mystery movie, was filmed entirely in Humboldt County, including locations in Fortuna, Ferndale, and at the Humboldt County Jail. The marker is on the light post at corner of 9th and N Streets in Fortuna, less than 2 miles from The Redwood.
  • Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982), one of the series of Halloween horror films, shot the scenes inside The Silver Shamrock Novelties Factory at a former milk bottling plant in Loleta, CA. The marker is in front of the Loleta Cheese Factory, about 7 miles from The Redwood.
  • Ferndale, CA, has been a popular choice for recreating New England and Victorian era towns. The TV movie version of Stephen King’s vampire novel, Salem’s Lot (1979), was filmed at locations including the Ferndale Cemetery and Sequoia Park in Eureka. Ferndale is just 9 miles from Fortuna. The marker is on the exterior wall of the Ferndale Museum.
  • Bigfoot, that elusive monster, sometimes roamed the Redwood Coast. Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes (2012) was filmed in Southern Humboldt County on private property and at Sequoia Park, about 18 miles away in Eureka. (The marker is on the gate of the driveway into Sequoia Park.) Bigfoot was stalked again in Willow Creek (2013), located about 66 miles from Fortuna. That marker can be found at the Information Kiosk near the intersection of CA 299 and CA 96.
  • Jennifer 8 (1992), another murder mystery, has scenes filmed at Jim Dunn’s Tavern in Old Town Eureka (about 20 miles from The Redwood), and farther north along the Redwood Coast at Trinidad Harbor. You can find the marker right at the door to Jim Dunn’s Tavern in Eureka. While you’re there, you might want to take the Old Town Haunted History Tour that visits some of the 27 places in Old Town Eureka that are reported to haunted or have ghost sightings.
  • Another film shot partly in Eureka and farther north in Arcata is The Love Witch (2016). The plot features a modern-day witch who uses spells and magic to get men to fall in love with her – not a typical Halloween theme! Since more of the movie was filmed in Arcata, the marker is at Arcata Plaza (27 miles from Fortuna).
  • Jezebel’s Kiss (1990) is a tale of revenge filmed at the Mad River Community Hospital in Arcata, at Moonstone Beach, and the Trinidad Pier. The marker is near Trinidad Pier.
  • Farther north along the Redwood Coast, Swiss Army Man (2016) tells the tale of a hopeless man who befriends a dead body while he is stranded on an island. It was filmed on Agate Beach in Patrick’s Point State Park, at Houda Point Beach, and at Humboldt Redwoods State Park. (Scenes from A Wrinkle in Time also were shot at Patrick’s Point). The markers are inside the Visitor Center Building there.
  • Scenes in Dead Man (1995), were filmed on Klamath Beach at the mouth of the Klamath River, north of Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. The plot revolves around a murderer on the run who meets a strange Native American, Nobody, who prepares him for his journey into the spiritual world.
  • Terror and monsters continue to lurk even farther north in the redwoods. In Love in the Time of Monsters (2014), scenes were filmed at Trees of Mystery, north of Klamath, and at Patrick Creek Lodge in Gasquet, CA.
  • The Final Terror (1983) begins at Stout Grove in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.
  • Palmer Westbrook Ranches, farthest north near the Oregon border, provided the backdrop for both Primal Rage: The Legend of Oh-Mah (2016), in which a young couple confront a monster and other challenges, and the setting for E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) aliens landing, E.T.’s near death experience, and final call home.

As you can see, Fortuna makes a great place to stay while you explore some of the many locations along the Redwood Coast chosen for these movies. The Redwood is your perfect hotel choice for a relaxing evening after the day’s monstrous adventures. If you decide dinner and a movie in your room is the best way to end the day, The Redwood has a Pizza! Pizza! Dinner Package that brings dinner to you from Westside Pizza.

We promise your stay at our independent hotel will be a shining example of our warm, personal hospitality – our guests will never experience any scenes like The Shining (1980)! Come see us – just go online to check availability, or give us a call at 707-725-5500!

Image of Trinidad Head courtesy of Humboldt Lodging Alliance

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