5 Famous Movie Locations (With Horrible Secret Backstories)

When the credits roll after a film, you might wonder what became of the characters or their actors. (Wonder what that rich douche from Ghosts Can’t Do It is up to these days?). It’s far less often that anyone thinks about what happened to the poor, innocent sets. And that’s too bad, because it turns out that many famous movie backdrops have led lives that are just as exciting — and in a few cases, just as tragic — as anything that happened in the films. So until these sets get movies of their own, let us tell you about how …

5

One Of The Ships From Pirates Of The Caribbean Sunk (But Only After They Shot A Porno On It)

If you name a boat after the most famous one to ever mutiny, then you’re asking for trouble. It’s like how you don’t see a lot of ships named Titanic anymore. The Bounty‘s fate was almost as tragic as that of its namesake (the HMS Bounty), but at least it had some, uh, “good times” along the way.

The Bounty was built in 1960 for, logically, the film Mutiny On The Bounty. It then went on to show up in a whole bunch of other movies. It was used in an episode of Flipper, the ’80s comedy Yellowbeard, and the 1990 version of Treasure Island. Moving on to shit you’ve actually watched, the Bounty got to meet Johnny Depp when it played the part of the Edinburgh Trader in Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. It even had a cameo in The SpongeBob Squarepants Movie as the greatest non-David-Hasselhoff-shaped vessel in the film:

But perhaps most notoriously, it was featured in Pirates Of The Caribbean…’s porn parody, called simply Pirates. (Really? No Penis-ates Of The Caribbeass?) The owners of the boat wouldn’t have allowed it, so the producers told them they were making “a Disney-type pirate film for families.” Hey, some families watch porn together, right?

But there’s a sad ending for this ship that brought so many happy ones to so many people. Perhaps unable to get the stench of pirate-fucking out, the owners ended up selling it in 2010. Unfortunately, in 2012, the Bounty was caught in Hurricane Sandy while off the coast of North Carolina. As a report into what happened later showed, the captain ordered his crew to abandon ship much too late, leading to the death of one of them and his own disappearance.

4

The Baseball Diamond From Field Of Dreams Has Been The Subject Of Nonstop Lawsuits

Field Of Dreams is a classic movie about a totally sane guy who hears voices and builds a baseball diamond in his cornfield so he can watch dead people, including his dad, play ball. This is what happens when society stigmatizes going to therapy.

It might all end happily for Kevin Costner’s character, but the field itself wasn’t so lucky. The problems stem from the set having been built on two different owners’ land in Iowa. The same year the movie was released, one of them dug up his half of the field so he could replant corn on it. This was a logical move, considering he was a farmer and all, but so many people got upset about this sacrilege that he had to promise never to do it again, or else he was sure he’d have to “leave the country.”

Then the owners set up competing souvenir stands for the fans who came to see the field and the celebrity games that sometimes took place there. It seems one of the families couldn’t take the pressures that come with being part of the cutthroat world of movie memorabilia, because they ended up selling their half of the field to their rivals.

And so a period of peace and calm came upon the land … but it wasn’t to last. After the owners put the whole thing up for sale in 2010, it was bought by people who wanted to develop it for commercial means. For them, one famous baseball field wasn’t enough. They wanted all of the baseball fields — 24, to be exact. This begs the question of how often one is going to need 24 fields to play baseball simultaneously. Is this like the baseball capital of the world, where 48 teams are always desperate for use of the one local diamond?

Actually, one of the reasons locals are so against building this sports complex is that it will bring increased noise and traffic to a “predominantly rural area.” So this really is a case of hoping that if you build it, they will come. “They” being every little league team in the whole state, it seems.

3

Hollywood’s Go-To Wild West Town Was Also The Home Of The Manson Family

A small ghost town in the middle of nowhere in California has an IMDb page that most actors would kill for. Used as a backdrop for everything from hits like The Lone Ranger and Bonanza to crappy softcore pornos, the set would be famous for that alone. Sadly, in 1970 it became famous for something way creepier: It housed the notorious Manson Family.

The ranch dated back to 1885, and had been used as in movies since at least the ’40s, possibly longer. In 1953, it was sold to George Spahn — who, if this was any other place, would have been the weirdest character to ever live there. Spahn left his wife and 11 children behind to move onto the set with a former circus performer named Ruby Pearl. Then in 1968, Spahn made what was probably the biggest mistake of his life: He invited Charles Manson and his totally-not-a-cult to come live at his ranch after they had been evicted by the Beach Boys’ manager.

Ralph Crane/Life Magazine
The Beach Boys are way too laidback to evict anyone themselves, not matter how murder-y.

The ranch was the ideal location for Manson, because its location allowed him to physically isolate his “family” even more. Plus, they didn’t even have to pay normal rent — in exchange for a place to live, Mason promised that his “girls” would keep the place tidy, and one of them, future would-be presidential assassin Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, was offered up to be Spahn’s “wife.” He must have gotten rid of the circus performer by then (maybe she wasn’t as bendy as he hoped). The family lived there for two years, being as scary as you would assume. One census taker who visited the place described various members as “carries a gun,” “don’t approach suddenly,” and “very fierce dog.” We hope he got paid extra in danger money.

Once the family was arrested for whole brutal-string-of-murders thing, they left the ranch empty. Which was probably good for them, since only a few months later, in September 1970, a wildfire raged through and destroyed all the sets. If that supposed to be divine retribution for the murders and/or the porn, it arrived a little too late.

2

Sam Raimi Says The Cabin From The Evil Dead Was Flat-Out Cursed

Bear in mind that everything we’re about to tell you was relayed by director Sam Raimi in promotional interviews, and the guy does know how to spin a good horror tale. But a good horror tale it is, so here we go.

Long before Raimi spent hundreds of millions making Tobey Maguire look like a teenager in the Spider-Man movies, he did a little low-budget horror flick called The Evil Dead. The budget was so low, in fact, that Raimi and his crew had to shoot (and sleep) in a real abandoned cabin in the middle of the woods, which was full of cow shit when they arrived. The smell wasn’t the worst thing about staying there, though; that would be the stories of what happened to the people who’d done the same thing before.

New Line Cinema
We mean staying there, not shitting, though we guess both apply.

According to Raimi, locals told the crew that the cabin’s original owner, a man named Emmett, built the place in the late 19th century, only to be struck by lightning and killed. The area was known for attracting lightning strikes due to its unusual concentration of iron ore, so apparently our boy Emmett wasn’t too clever. Can you really call a place “haunted” after only one unlucky death, though? Well, years later, the cabin was being occupied by a mother, daughter, and grandmother (according to some versions, Emmett’s family). During one stormy night, the girl freaked out and went to her mother’s room, where she found her dead. Even more terrified, she ran to her grandmother’s room, where she found her dead as well. Both mother and grandmother had died of natural causes on the same night. Yeah, OK, that’s haunted enough.

Anyway, Raimi says he found out the story when a guy showed up near the end of shooting and asked if the crew had seen an old woman around the cabin — it was the little girl, now grown up, who would get confused during lightning storms and come to the cabin looking for her family. Of course, it’s entirely possible that Raimi is as full of shit as the cabin was when they found it, and he made all of this up. The one thing we know for sure is that the cabin was destroyed at some point after filming, because all that remains now is a lone chimney stack:

via Book of the Dead
Gotta say, Bruce Campbell aged much more gracefully than some of his co-stars.

It’s unclear whether it was struck by lightning (as Raimi claims), burned down by hooligans, or swallowed by a portal to Hell, but there it is.

1

The Con Air Plane Straight-Up Crashed

Con Air was a kickass Jerry Bruckheimer action flick that we’re pretty sure only exists because some producer thought of that title pun and went “Well shit, now I have to do this.” It stars Nicolas Cage before he started letting his accountant pick his movies, John Malkovich, Steve Buscemi, and Dave Chappelle. There’s one essential cast member that’s rarely acknowledged, though: the C-123K Provider plane. Yep, in the same way that’s the real Steve Buscemi and (we’re 90 percent sure) the real Nic Cage, they used a real plane for all the stunts in this movie.

Unfortunately, despite all the security measures, there was a plane-related death during the production … when a model of the plane fell on a welder who was working on it.

The plane, not happy to merely be tangentially related to tragedy, waited until it was its turn. After being sold in 2003 to a freight company for commercial work in Alaska, the C-123K ended up crashing near Denali National Park in 2010. Not only did it disintegrate and kill all three of the crew onboard, but it managed to start a wildfire. If this plane was going down, it was taking everything and everyone with it.

But then again, what can you expect from the kind of plane that was originally used to drop Agent Orange on people during Vietnam? They say Hollywood can turn anyone into a dick, but this plane was a bastard from the get-go.

Ward off evil in your home with a miniature ASH Funko Pop Vinyl–the hardcore bloody version!

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