Add a little Vermont to your scary-movie viewing this Halloween with these 6 films

There are few things more satisfying this time of year than settling down with a good spooky movie. What could make that moment even better? How about a movie with Vermont connections?

Think about it — all those fallen leaves and dour skies in late October around these parts lend themselves perfectly to creating a macabre mood. Though because we can’t always take ourselves too seriously during trick-or-treat season, those movies don’t necessarily have to be scary or gory. A little humor goes a long way as well.

Here are a few movies — some famous, some more obscure — that either have story lines that take place in Vermont or were filmed partly in the state.


Because Vermont lacks a movie-industry infrastructure or tax incentives to lure filmmakers, movies are often set in Vermont but made elsewhere. This 1988 Tim Burton-directed comedy "Beetlejuice" starring Michael Keaton, Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin was set in Connecticut but filmed partly in the Orange County town of Corinth. The movie about a mischief-making spirit causing trouble for new homeowners is “great fun, and surprisingly good-natured,” according to film critic Leonard Maltin.


This science-fiction/horror film that came out last year is one of the rare movies both made and set in Vermont. (Much of it was filmed in Shrewsbury, Rutland County.) “Inheritance,” by first-time director Annalise Lockhart, centers on a Black family terrorized by white spirits. "When I first came up with the idea for this film I felt like there was no better place to set it," Lockhart told the Burlington Free Press last year. "I've always felt that there's so much power and magic in the state and it just naturally fit in with this science fiction-horror genre stew of a film."

The main character in the Vermont-shot short film "Inheritance" runs a sugarhouse with her family in rural Vermont.
The main character in the Vermont-shot short film "Inheritance" runs a sugarhouse with her family in rural Vermont.

'The Spiral Staircase'

A classic psychological thriller released in 1946, “The Spiral Staircase” stars Dorothy McGuire and George Brent in a film set in Vermont in 1906. The story line centers on a young mute woman being terrorized by a serial killer who’s murdering people with disabilities. The film that can be viewed for free on YouTube holds up well, according to critiques on the movie-review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, which gives “The Spiral Staircase” an 86% favorability rating on its “Tomatometer.”

‘The Trouble with Harry’

Most movies by famed director Alfred Hitchcock — even the most suspenseful or frightening — had elements of humor. “The Trouble with Harry” is all about humor, as much as can be mined from small-town folk finding a body and struggling to decide what to do with it. The small town in this case was Craftsbury, where some of the film was made. “I loved it there,” Jerry Mathers, who two years after “The Trouble with Harry” was released in 1955 became famous as Beaver Cleaver, told the Burlington Free Press in a 2013 interview. “The food was great and as a little kid I just knew this was really fun, the whole movie experience.”

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‘Werewolves Within’

Like “Inheritance,” this is one of the more-recent of these films, also having come out in 2021. “Werewolves Within” was made in the Hudson Valley of New York state but is set in the mythical Vermont town of Beaverfield. The comedy-horror films explores the strain put on the community when the titular beast may (or may not) be terrorizing locals. The cast includes Sam Richardson of “Veep” and Milana Vayntrub, perhaps best known as Lily from those ever-present AT&T commercials.

‘The Whisperer in Darkness’

“Based on the H. P. Lovecraft story of the same name,” according to the Internet Movie Database, “a folklorist investigates reports of unusual creatures in Vermont only to uncover more than he bargained for.” Lovecraft’s 1930 novella upon which this 2011 movie was based was inspired in part by the historic Vermont floods of 1927 and takes part in the real-life southern Vermont community of Townshend.

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This article originally appeared on Burlington Free Press: Halloween movies tied to Vermont: 'Trouble with Harry' to 'Inheritance'