Is there a better place to watch a horror movie than a haunted Victorian mansion? We found out the answer to that last year when we, the Atlantic Highlands Historical Society, hosted three film screenings during the month of October. This year, we are doing three more—two of the same, and a new one fitting for the date we are showing it on.
The first will be the 1922 silent film classic Nosferatu, which is considered to be the first horror movie ever made. Loosely based on Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the title and story was tweaked after a legal battle for the filming rights with Stoker’s estate. Last year’s screening sold out. It featured the live music of Asbury-based musician Cody McCorry and his friends. They brought along a theremin and other cool instruments. It wowed the audience, who were even more fascinated by the instruments themselves following the conclusion. When I told him what a great job he did, McCorry said he watched the movie only once and “just threw it together”—by “it”, he meant a nearly 90-minute film score. This year he is returning with musicians Kevin Grossman, Jon Francis, Ben Karas, and AJ Merlino. There will be two showings (8PM and midnight) this Friday, October 6th. Cost of admission is $15.
Then on Friday, October 13th, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to show Friday the 13th. The 1980 slasher is a crowd-pleaser we swapped in for The Exorcist, which was last year’s second film. We are hoping the energy in this haunted house will be through the roof on such a night. Admission is a suggested donation of $10 per person, and those proceeds may go on to help the restoration of said roof.
Finally, on Friday, October 20th is the cult classic exploitation horror movie that was filmed at the Strauss Mansion in 1979 when it had fallen into disrepair and was slated to be demolished. This is, of course, 1980’s Don’t Go in the House. Readers of this blog will recall me being filmed for the special features for the Blu-Ray release last year. It’s B-level if a movie ever deserved such a label, but to watch it in the location of filming is beyond special. We are doing 8PM and midnight screenings of this one as well, for $15 per person. After the movie, take a tour or walk freely around the house to check out the filming locations. Last year’s single performance also sold out. There were actually so many people that some were laying on the floor in front of the screen and sitting up on the foyer staircase. It was unreal.
This is yet another busy October for the Atlantic Highlands Historical Society. There is also a Halloween party and weekend of ghost tours which I will be talking about as we get closer. Tickets for Nosferatu and Don’t Go in the House are available here. Friday the 13th is walk-ins only. Refreshments will be available at all events.
These events are graciously sponsored by the Blue Bay Inn, Atlantic Cinemas, and Lynn Fylak & Steve Griffing. Presented in partnership with Ghosts on the Coast.