September 26, 2013

Filming Location: THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE (1973) - deepest, darkest Sussex

Didn't we have a loverly time, the day we went to Hell House...

Always, always, always wanted to see Hell House, the actual building used as the exterior location for John Hough's The Legend of Hell House (1973). Well, today was that day. 

Zero research went into tracking this location down - it's all written up in Derek Pykett's 2008 guidebook, British Horror Film Locations. It's not far from the A23, a few miles outside Brighton. But how much of the house can you actually still see?

Hell House was shot there forty years ago, primarily for the scene when the team of psychic researchers arrive to investigate 'the Mount Everest of haunted houses'. Throughout the film, there are various scary angles of the outside to denote passage of time (the interiors were all shot in a film studio). 

It's called Wykehurst Place and is now a private residence. While I'd love them to be running a location tour and a Halloween haunted house 'maze' attraction, in reality, the front gate is as close as you can get. There's no point in trespassing, please don't even consider it - that'll just freak out the owners into closing it all off completely from the public, then no-one will be able to see it. 

We just stood at the front gates, which were open, and took these photos. The stone gate pillars are still topped with the iconic eagle statues - though the trees now surround one and obscure the other.

We could still get a great view of the whole building, thankfully of the north side, which was used in the film. From the drawing in the guidebook, the south-facing side is quite spectacular - looking like it actually could house 105 rooms - but that side is less creepy-looking, besides being hidden from view.

In the film, I think the team approach from the other end of the drive - from the east (picture left). We couldn't quite see the bell tower from this viewpoint.

The east approach is gated off from cars and walkers, but we could still get this glimpse of the house from the road (above), as well as a view of some of the private grounds of Wykehurst Park which extend for miles - a large area of grass and woodland.

My preview of The Legend of Hell House (no spoilers, if you've not seen it yet) is here...

Later that day we drove a few miles to another horror movie location, from The Innocents. Photos here...

A huge thank you to my husband, for putting up with these insane daytrips and also for taking some of the photos, otherwise you'd never know we'd been there...


  1. "The Legend of Hell House" is actually a good film to watch over the yuletide period because the captions indicate that they are supposed to be there in the week leading up to Christmas. So when you watch it you can imagine that you`re spending Christmas there as well.

  2. Do you, by chance, happen to have more pictures of Hell House?

  3. What a wonderful location. It works so well for the film. I'd love to own a big house like that. I have the film on DVD and love it. It has a real atmosphere to it and skilfully acted and directed. Shame there isn't more like it.

  4. My Dad purchased this house when it was derelict in 1970. We grew up there as kids, it was great and an amazing upbringing. Took about 5 years to restore! Also thoroughly enjoyed watching all the movies that were made there.

    1. hi anonymous , my mum used to help your mum and bring us kids with her , i remember the movie being made and us camping in the grounds ! amazing house even though spooky happy times :) gaynor x

  5. Well done to your Dad for restoring it all. It looks brilliant. Though I'm still wondering what the back of the house looks like!