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The Evil Dead was shot in a number of locations over the two years it was in production. The main body of shooting was over seven weeks in Tennessee from November 1979 to January 1980. Then Between January to November 1980 there were a number of additional shoots & reshoots around the Detroit and Michigan area. This page details some of those locations. A number of the photos were taken personally for this website during a visit from the UK to the USA in December 2012, including the cabin site.

The location videos below have been edited from over 4 hours of raw footage shot, filmed personally in 16:9 1080i HD with a JVC GZHM445 PAL Camcorder, which was downscaled to SD 16:9 25p PAL and encoded to DVD. If any media production companies are interested in licensing this footage for use in their own DVDs, then please get in contact via email at  


The Cabin

The cabin from The Evil Dead is located in the town of Morristown, Tennessee. Although the bridge was in a separate location some 30 miles away, the lonely trail leading in, and the cabin & workshed area layout existed pretty much as shown on screen. Many people reading this will know the famous tale Sam Raimi tells of the creepy history of the cabin. You can read it as written in the Book Of The Dead 1981 Detroit première program below. Unfortunately none of that is true. The reality is far less sinister, and is told here courtesy of Robin, a nephew of the current owner.

The land on which the cabin once stood is part of a large area currently owned by a local man; Thomas. He's managed to keep his full name out of the public domain so far, and is happy to keep it that way. Even at the age of 94, Thomas is still as bright as ever and still works in the local family business. It's been in his family since his father bought it in 1896, although part of that land was taken away by Tennessee Valley Authority when the valley was flooded to make Cherokee Lake a few miles north.

The cabin itself was built in the late 1960's by Thomas and his brother to be used as a hunting cabin. It was originally much smaller than was shown on screen, just being two rooms (basically what comprises the main room area in The Evil Dead). The first room was for eating and sleeping, the side room was for hunting supplies & stretching furs. They also used it to brew corn liquor to sell to make it through the winter if trapping season wasn't good.

Gary Holt arranged the lease of the cabin to Renaissance Pictures in November of 1979, the only stipulation being that they had to leave the cabin in the same condition they found it. By that point it was just used off season for hunting. Other than that, Thomas just saw it as some people being on his land to do work and then leaving before the following September. He never visited the production, and didn't really care about the film itself, he just wanted the money.

The final page in the Book Of The Dead première program (1981)

Knowing that the existing cabin wasn't going to be big enough, Renaissance Pictures contracted Hearthstone Lumber Company out of Newport, to build an extension at the rear. (incidentally, Hearthstone Lumber Company now specialize in building log homes). The owner of the Lumber yard at that time didn't want the contact at first because of his religious beliefs. Apparently he thought movies such as this corrupted young people. He passed away just a few years ago.

Soon after filming wrapped, the cabin became a magnet for kids. This was still in the years before The Evil Dead was theatrically released in the USA, but the whole of Morristown knew, actually, most of East Tennessee knew! It was a big deal for their little town to see a big director picking a spot in the valley to tell their story, and people were regularly trespassing to visit it.

Thomas's family had hoped to build a spring house next to the existing cabin, and dig a water well to use during the summer. It gets awfully hot in Tennessee during the summer, and you could sit in the four-person swing in the shade of the front porch. That swing incidentally, was built by Thomas's father. Before being moved to the cabin, it had hung outside his old homestead on Panther Creek Park which is now under Lake Cherokee. It was cut up in 1980 by trespassing kids, which was a sore loss.

The cabin burned down in the middle of the night in the Spring of 1982, around the end of April. Alcohol bottles were found at the scene, but no arrests were made. Thomas and his son tore down the rest of the house but left the old brick fireplace in hopes of rebuilding it, or using it as an outdoor fireplace that could be used during camping. Some of the wood was salvaged and used to make fence posts on Thomas's farm.

Thomas had no idea of the amount of visiting fans the film would generate, and was always upset by people trespassing onto his land. He's become quite bitter about the whole experience and feels it wasn't worth what he's has had to deal with since. He used to enjoy hunting there, but after kids started turning up, he was afraid of accidentally shooting someone. Further to that, the whole area was littered with animal traps and it was never properly cleared. He's still finding traps in the woods which were set decades ago. He's caught many people on the property over the years, escorting a good few back to the road with his shotgun to make them think twice about coming back.

Thomas's nephew and his cousins used to hold camping trips there after The Evil Dead was released, telling each other ghost stories after going to a local fall and Halloween fair; the Rose Theatre's Mountain Makings. Thomas is getting on, and in all likelihood, once the land is passed down to his children, it will be sold to the county, which has offered big money in the past to build new communities and housing on the west side of Morristown.



The Evil Dead's cabin location in Morristown Tennessee, with Sam Raimi standing in the doorway (1979)


So there you have it, the definitive truth about the cabin. Thomas has no interest in reconstructing the cabin as a local attraction, or even formalizing an arrangement whereby people can pay to 'legally' visit the existing site. He seems content to let things continue as they are for the moment, but it looks like the site's days are numbered.

Bruce travelled back to the cabin roughly six months after the completion of shooting around August of 1980, finding the cabin overgrown but still intact. Some local guys partying, had built a camp-fire in the centre of the wooden floor of the main room which caused some obvious damage, then inevitably about two years later the cabin burned to the ground. The only current evidence of its existence is a partially standing stone chimney stack, and a large amount of rusted corrugated roofing. During the spring and summer the area becomes heavily overgrown and quite hard to make out, as the chimney is the only thing that's visible amongst the undergrowth. It's only in the dead of winter when the foliage has died back and the leaves have fallen; the same season in which The Evil Dead was shot, that you get the true feel of the location.

The cabin never had a cellar, Dart cut a trapdoor in the flooring, they dug a 6ft hole, and Dart built some steps to the bottom. They didn't need to build an entire cellar as they knew they could use the cellar in the Rob Tapert's family farmhouse in Marshall, Michigan which had the look they wanted. Incidentally, the same cellar can also be seen in Within The Woods.

I won't post the exact location of the cabin as many fans visiting take away stones from the chimney as souvenirs, and there is so little of it left now that soon it will all be gone. The information to find the site is out there if you look hard enough. A number of people who had posted their experiences of visiting the site recently have said the town is edging closer to the area. There are also a number of accounts of visiting fans being interrupted by an angry property owner requesting they leave (in line with the above owner's account), and one strange story of a guy wearing pink UGG boots who charged a group of visitors $100 before allowing them access. In 2011, the right-hand of the two main trees seen on screen standing in front of the cabin, was blown over during a storm, although it fell away from the cabin and hasn't damaged or obstructed the rest of the site


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CLICK HERE TO WATCH CABIN LOCATION FOOTAGE
(© 2013 BOOKOFTHEDEAD.WS)
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The barbed wire across the entrance on the main road only stretches a few metres across the immediate entrance. Either side, you can simply walk through the undergrowth. The trail as shown on screen starts about 50 metres in from the fence. The trail itself runs for around 150 metres from the entrance up to the cabin site, and seemingly has been kept clear to stop it becoming overgrown. It would actually still be drivable, and there are various worn paths leading into and away from the site. There is also a wire fence running across the site, roughly level with the cabin's back door. It's not obvious why this is, it's not electrified and there isn't any livestock nearby, although it is possible the rear of the property may just be owned by someone else. Either way there doesn't seem to be any signs of the land being used for anything as of 2012.

With visiting fans taking away chimney stones, Each year the stack gets progressively shorter. As of December 2012, it's roughly 5ft tall, which is around 16" shorter than it was in Fan photos taken back in February 2007. The 2007 photos also show rows of stones still above the fireplace opening, which have since collapsed and disappeared completely. There is however, a surprisingly large amount of the rusted tin roofing still scattered around the site.

If driving to the location, parking directly outside the entrance will mean your car partially blocking the road, and will make it far more likely that you will be interrupted by someone. It's advisable to drive past the entrance and park up on the left-hand grass verge about 150 metres further on which will put your car out of sight of all but those driving past on the road. While a number of cars drove past in the few hours I was there, I never saw a soul.


The start of the trail in (taken by EvilDeadChainsaws - 08/12/2012)

Halfway down the trail (taken by EvilDeadChainsaws - 08/12/2012)


The two trees (taken by EvilDeadChainsaws - 08/12/2012)

The chimney & roofing (taken by EvilDeadChainsaws - 08/12/2012)


A panorama of the cabin site, from the cabin-rear to the left, to the trail-in on the right (taken by EvilDeadChainsaws - 08/12/2012)

As many will know, once location shooting was complete at the end of January 1980, Sam, Bruce, Rob & Josh put a 'time capsule' in the trapdoor hole. The items were contained in a cigar box wrapped in tape (according to Bruce) or a glass jar (according to Sam & Josh), of which a glass jar is far more plausible as the crew used Mason Jars to drink Moonshine. Either way it was reported to contain some or all of the following items; a burned out Fresnel light bulb, A piece of an It's Murder! beam, a piece of gaffer/duct tape, a spent shotgun shell, a sample of fake blood and a hand-written 'visual code' to the film. According to the person who actually dug the trapdoor hole, Josh Becker, contrary to common belief they simply "dumped a bunch of junk in the hole, including the jar Sam stuck in there, didn't fill it back in with dirt, and nailed the trap door shut". This presents an uncomfortable thought; the fire which destroyed the cabin in April 1982 probably would have resulted in burning debris dropping down into the hole either breaking, burning or melting everything in there left by the crew. The 3ft crater which exists today at the site, roughly where the cellar trapdoor would have been, wasn't the result of a fan's efforts to find the 'time capsule' as was previously thought, it's what is left of the original trapdoor hole itself. That aside, Evil Dead fan Ramsey Lawson may well have been the person who actually found the remnants of the 'time capsule'. Here is his account;


"When I visited the cabin site in the Fall of 2006 looking for it, I noticed that someone had already dug a big hole roughly where cellar should be, and I decided to dig about 3ft further back from the chimney than that, as I thought that could of been an incorrect 'guestimate' dig. I started digging a hole 2ft in diameter, when I got about 1ft down I started finding a nails so I knew at that point I was digging inside the footprint of the cabin. I continued digging, only finding dirt and granite rocks. About 4ft down, I scooped up a few shards of a glass Mason jar. I then laid on my stomach, and started to dig with my hands. Then I found the rusted lid still attached to the top of a piece of the broken jar, laid it to one side, then broke off a small branch to scrape around at the bottom of the hole. A little deeper I started to find more glass shards, as well as two metal shotgun shell ends, and put them all in the broken jar top. I went back into the hole, and scraped down to around the 5ft mark, but found nothing further. It would have taken forever to dig a wider hole with the fold-up shovel I was using, so I called it quits and filled the hole back up, laying a piece of fireplace rock on top as a marker, so if I ever returned, I knew where to dig. I put the jar top, shell ends, a couple of nails, and two fireplace stones into my backpack, and left. I took about 20 pictures with my 35mm SLR; from top of the path that leads in, to the fireplace, and the big hole, along with the one I dug. The next day, I switched rolls of film and dropped it off a week later get developed. Unfortunately it couldn't be printed due to the film having been blacked out by extreme heat as I'd left in my car to bake! Anyway I'm guessing that the pressure from burial busted the glass jar, and destroyed the contents, and I have all that's left.

In 2008 I flew out to the New Jersey Monster Mania convention where Bruce was the headline guest. I told him about my trip, and grinning he asked if I had to dodge bullets looking for it, then asked to see what I'd found. Before I could explain the condition, he said he knew by the time someone found it, the earth would of eaten it away leaving nothing left. He then signed my The Evil Dead poster, and grabbed the remaining part of the jar, inscribed the word 'Sucker!', then autographed it for free due to me wasting my time looking. Since then, he's told people at conventions not to go looking for it, because there is nothing to find."


It's worth adding a caveat to the above; The trapdoor hole sat open under the floor for over two years before the cabin fire would have buried the contents with debris, so the chances of a couple of random shells and a broken glass jar completely unrelated to the production ending up in there, is possible. That said, if this was indeed all that remains of the 'time capsule', it's contents are probably no more; the Fresnel light bulb would have also got broken and would have just mixed in with the jar's broken glass, the same goes for the sample of fake blood if it was contained in something glass, the piece of It's Murder! beam was just Styrofoam and would have quickly burned up in the heat, as would have the hand-written 'visual code' to the film (assuming it was just a piece of paper), the piece of gaffer/duct tape, and the plastic sections of the spent shotgun shells, leaving only their metal ends. So in all likelihood the shotgun shell's metal ends would have been the only 'capsule' contents which could have both survived the heat & elements, and been realistically find-able after 30 years.


What's left of the trapdoor hole at the cabin location as of 2013

Burial photo from If Chins Could Kill, likely a recreation

In 2007, user Errornix posted on the Deadites.net forums that he'd dug around the site twice only finding broken glass and garbage, which fits with the above story. In that same forum post Errornix referring to the photo shown in Bruce's book; If Chins Could Kill depicting the burial of the time capsule pointed out that it didn't look like it was being buried in the cabin floor, and he'd checked on the name of the photographer and come to the conclusion that he would have been only 5 or 6 years old at the time the movie was made. Although this information is unconfirmed, given all the facts it's likely this photo was indeed a recreation for the book rather than the actual burial itself. The photographer is actually listed as Craig Sanborn, and that's not a name which has ever been associated with The Evil Dead production, so it would be unlikely that he would have been at the original burial.

The area is heavy with iron ore deposits as well as being littered with tin roof pieces, rendering a metal detector useless (especially at a depth of 6ft). Anyone searching would need to excavate the existing trapdoor hole, digging down another 4ft, along with widening the hole out to be sure of finding anything there was to find, which is an awful lot of work especially while you're trespassing.



The Production House

The production house was where the vast & crew lived, up until they were evicted late in the shooting by the owners who then turned it into a brothel. It was described by Josh Becker in his journal as an extremely large house with 6 bedrooms and 3 full baths about an hour outside Knoxville. It's location isn't too far from the cabin, and it still exists today looking almost identical. You can see recent footage of it in Ryan Meade's 2013 documentary Invaluable, and while it's location is personally known, I'm not disclosing it publicly as it's currently a family home and the inhabitants have with nothing whatsoever to do with The Evil Dead production.


A photo of the front of the production house as it was in 1980

A photo of the rear of the production house as it was in 1980




Bluff Road Bridge

The bridge shown at the start of The Evil Dead isn't as close to the cabin as was shown on screen, it's some 30 miles away. The production shot for a few days with the bridge intact, then used a welder & tow-truck to manipulate the north end into a knarled hand. To find the bridge site you need to take interstate 40 and get off in Newport, Tennessee, go through Newport on the 25 that will take you to Bridgeport. You will see a rail road sign and then an old barn then the new bridge. Don't blink or you will pass it. Cross the bridge and immediately on the left is bluff road at the end of the bridge. It is a one lane road so be careful. The bridge is opposite a white house on the other side of the river. There is a fork in the road towards the river that leads to the old bridge. All that exists now is one of the central pillars and the paths either side leading up.


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CLICK HERE TO WATCH BRIDGE LOCATION FOOTAGE
(© 2013 BOOKOFTHEDEAD.WS)
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The path to the bridge (taken by EvilDeadChainsaws - 09/12/2012)

A bridge support (taken by EvilDeadChainsaws - 09/12/2012)

Here is the bridge location on MSN maps, just click this link;
http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=pzsbvv826799&lvl=19&dir=0&sty=b&form=LMLTCC



Clinch River Road/Riverside Road

At the beginning of the movie you see the Oldsmobile travelling down a gravel road running along a river and narrowly missing a logging truck. This location is on Clinch River Road/Riverside Road site directly off of Highway 25E right over across the Clinch Mountain, next to the Grainger County/Claiborne County line, TN. The road is marked with a green state road sign "Clinch River Rd and Riverside Rd". The Highway 25E bridge is visible in the background of the scenes shot of the logging truck & car on the road.


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CLICK HERE TO WATCH CLINCH RIVER ROAD LOCATION FOOTAGE
(© 2013 BOOKOFTHEDEAD.WS)
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Before the logging truck (taken by EvilDeadChainsaws - 08/12/2012)

View from the hill (taken by EvilDeadChainsaws - 08/12/2012)

Here is the Clinch River Road/Riverside Road location on MSN maps, just click this link;
http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=q200z881bm2b&lvl=17.65&dir=6.49&sty=b&form=LMLTCC



Old Highway 25E


Waving fishermen (taken by EvilDeadChainsaws - 08/12/2012)
Just after the Oldsmobile narrowly misses the logging truck, Scott shouts at two waving fishermen (incidentally played by Sam & Rob). This was filmed directly below Clinch Mountain. This road is the Old Highway 25E and is accessible from Highway 11W towards Rutledge (past Bean Station) on the right or Highway 25E north on the left. Here you can see the Clinch Mountain Gap in the background, high on the mountain.

The Old Highway 25E is a small winding 2 lane road that was the original road through the mountain and is closed to through traffic near the top. It was replaced by Highway 25E, a new 4 lane highway in the 1970's. Now the Old Highway 25E is used only by local traffic.


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CLICK HERE TO WATCH OLD HIGHWAY 25E LOCATION FOOTAGE
(© 2013 BOOKOFTHEDEAD.WS)
This text will be replaced


The section used for filming was at the bottom, only a few metres from the main road. If visiting, be aware that a group of dogs usually sit out in the road outside a driveway a few hundred metres further up, and will run at any cars driving past. The bar located at the bottom end should also be avoided!

Here is the Old Highway 25E location on MSN maps, just click this link;
http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=q1nt0p81jvyc&lvl=18.09&dir=2.98&sty=b&form=LMLTCC



The Reshoot Locations

The reshoots between January and November 1980 were all done in various locations around the Detroit & Michigan area, including a number detailed below, as well as Bruce Campbell's family summer cabin in Gladwin, Michigan, for a week where they shot much of Cheryl's vine rape scene.

The local Detroit area covered the rest of the shooting locations, including Sam's backyard for the inserts for the vine rape scene, and Sam's garage, doubling for parts of the cabin basement.



Bullard Lake

The opening 'force' POV shot roving across a swamp, was filmed at the southwestern edge of Bullard Lake during the re-shoots, which is located on a vacant property in Hartland Township owned by Josh Becker's father. The same location was used to shoot Stryker's War incidentally.

The modern lakeside is fairly urbanized, but back in 1980 that edge of the lake was rather swampy, with a dirt road running right up to it, enabling them to drive right up with their equipment. Sam came up with the idea of putting the front end of an old car in the swamp, which sat there for years until it was finally removed by Renaissance Pictures at the insistance of Josh's father. As an aside, there are now two roads directly north of the lake called Joshua Street and Erika Lane, named after Josh and his sister, as their father built that subdivision.

Here is the lake location on MSN maps, just click this link;
http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=r360jq80qdzp&lvl=18.59&dir=353.02&sty=b&form=LMLTCC



Rob Tapert's family farmhouse

The production shot at Rob Tapert's family farmhouse in Marshall, Michigan, for two weeks during the re-shoots. This served for the cellar & bathroom scenes, as well as all the shots around the fireplace (which had been replicated there), and the rear of the property used for Linda's burial & decapitation. Those eagle eyed fans out there will have already spotted that the rooms in the cabin laid out exactly as shown on screen couldn't work in reality. There is no place for the bathroom to be as the side door from Scott & Shelly's room would lead out into the hallway which runs the length of the cabin from the back door to the large main room. According to Bruce the bathroom was shot in Rob's farmhouse. This was the same location as was used for Within The Woods, and the cellar is seen on screen in both.


A panoramic view of the cellar of Rob Tapert's family farmhouse as of 2013, shown in Invaluable

The farmhouse still exists today, still externally looking virtually identical to it's appearance in both Within The Woods & The Evil Dead. Apparently, there are still blood splatters on the cellar walls, over 30 years later! You can see recent footage of the exterior of the house and the cellar in Ryan Meade's 2013 documentary Invaluable. While it's location is personally known, I've promised not to disclose it publicly. It no longer belongs to the Tapert family, and the current owner; a farmer and his family, have no wish whatsoever to be associated with the film, or to become a local tourist trap. They just want to be left alone. Given the sad tale of the destruction of The Evil Dead's cabin as detailed at the top of this page, I doubt many readers would blame them.


The rear of Rob Tapert's family farmhouse as of 2013, shown in Invaluable

The side of Rob Tapert's family farmhouse



Bart Pierce's house

Bart Pierce's garage & basement were used to house all the stop motion animation used in the meltdown sequence. You can see recent footage of it in Ryan Meade's 2013 documentary Invaluable. The house still exists today around six miles outside Detroit, apparently in quite a bad part of town, although Bart no longer lives there.



Sam Raimi's parent's house

Sam's parent's garage was used to double parts of the cabin cellar during the re-shoots. Given that it was the house in which Sam grew up, it also crops up as a location in a number of the Super-8 Short films. You can see recent footage of the exterior of the house in Ryan Meade's 2013 documentary Invaluable. While it still exists today and it's location is personally known, I'm not disclosing it publicly as it's still Sam's parent's home.






THE EVIL DEAD & EVIL DEAD II LOCATIONS FOOTAGE DVD

You can order all the locations footage on DVD. The locations covered include The Evil Dead's Cabin site, Bluff Road Bridge, Clinch River Road/Riverside Road, & Old Highway 25E all around Morristown Tennessee, and Evil Dead II's Cabin, Production House, Bonsal Ballast Pits, J. R. Faison Junior High School, & Anson County Airport in North Carolina. Orders can be shipped worldwide via Airmail at one fixed rate, and the footage is available in two versions;

  • The single DVD version: 49 minutes edited from the raw footage, it's basically what's shown on this site with a few extra minutes. Playable from start to finish, with start & end credits, chapter stops and subtitle introductions.

    Price Each £4.99/$7.99 + S&H

  • The three DVD disc set: Nearly four hours of raw footage as it was shot, playable from start to finish over three discs.

    Price Each £9.99/$14.99 + S&H

  • Both the single & three disc versions

    Price Each £12.99/$19.99 + S&H
All the DVDs are PAL (please make sure you can play this) widescreen Region '0' single layer DVD+R discs, and are supplied in paper slip-cases with printed disc artwork. You can order via the Paypal checkout button below, or send an email direct to  


This footage was filmed personally in 16:9 1080i HD with a JVC GZHM445 PAL Camcorder, which was downscaled to SD 16:9 25p PAL and encoded to DVD. If any media production companies are interested in licensing this footage for use in their own DVDs, then please get in contact.

Footage © Copyright 2013 'BookOfTheDead.ws'. Please do not copy,
redistribute, or upload any part of it without expressed permission.


Please Note: As both the current & previous owners of the Evil Dead II Cabin Site did not wish to be identified or appear in any footage released to the public (for obvious reasons), 14m 16s of the total 4h 03m 38s of video which was shot, has been removed from the raw footage covering the Evil Dead II Cabin Site, Production House, Storage Barn, and The J. R. Faison Junior High School, along with blanking a couple of short portions of audio in the footage that's left too. Most of this is simply unrelated general conversation inadvertently captured by the camera while setting up and packing away at each location. The footage in the three disc DVD set still runs at 3h 49m 22s and is literally as complete as it can be without breaching their confidence.



 
 
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