While summer draws to a close before it’s back-to-school, there’s still plenty of time for a summer road trip to visit the filming locations of your favorite supernatural TV and film. Georgia’s Undead Trail was just announced earlier this year, and while it’s still being developed, you can take a self-guided tour on our local stretch of Interstate-20, or what we like to refer to as the Supernatural Highway.
The entirety of the Undead Trail takes visitors on a 93-mile journey through city municipalities and trendy small-towns that have been the backdrop of TV & film productions depicting monsters, zombies, and vampires. Featured destinations will include Senoia, Atlanta, Conyers, & Covington. For the local stops we’ll be covering on your supernatural summer road trip, the Supernatural Highway portion of the trail spans from Downtown Atlanta to Madison, Georgia—about an hour without stopping. This convenient stretch of I-20 offers easy navigation to the following film locations:
First stop: Downtown Atlanta
View Atlanta from the Jackson St. Bridge (as seen on The Walking Dead)
Atlanta has a growing repertoire of all types of TV and film. The city’s biggest claim to fame, The Walking Dead, features areas around Downtown Atlanta in many early episodes, including fan-favorite locations like the hospital where Rick wakes up and the entire series begins, as well as tank intersection, the Jackson Street Bridge, and Rick’s House. These are just a small sampling of the many locations that are available on the various Walking Dead tours that are available in the Atlanta area with Atlanta Movie Tours.
Other supernatural film that highlights downtown Atlanta includes Rings, The 5th Wave, Goosebumps, and a handful of recent superhero films.
Stop #2: Conyers, Georgia
Distance from Atlanta: About 26 miles
The Originals on-location in Olde Town Conyers
Conyers is our sister city, just a few short miles from Covington/Newton County. This neighboring town is home to The Vampire Diaries spinoff— The Originals. Historic Olde Town Conyers doubled as the mysterious French Quarter in New Orleans as the production crew shot much of the series on-location.
The recent Netflix hit, Stranger Things, also completed Season 1 production in local wooded areas & the bike trail near the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers. FOX’s Sleepy Hollow, MTV’s Teen Wolf and Zombieland are among other supernatural productions filmed in the area.
Stop #3: Covington & Porterdale, Georgia
Distance from Conyers: About 11 miles
Iconic clocktower & Mystic Grill Restaurant (as seen on The Vampire Diaries)
Newton County is a popular film hub that’s been in film dating back to the 1950’s. The biggest supernatural draw to the area is The Vampire Diaries, which shot all eight seasons almost exclusively on-location in the community. A crossover episode of The Originals also featured Covington, and newer episodes have been filmed in historic Porterdale, which is also a small-town in Newton County. Many of the homes & locations used on the set of these series are visited on the Vampire Stalkers/Mystic Falls Tours, including the famous courthouse & clocktower.
The Vampire Diaries shooting on-location in Downtown Covington
Covington also has a very special historically-accurate Ghost Tour available for any visitors who dare. So this small-town is a premier destination for all things vampires, witches, werewolves, and ghosts.
Other Supernatural cinema using Downtown Covington as a backdrop include various episodes of FOX’s Sleepy Hollow, and Rob Zombie’s Halloween II film.
Stop #4: Mansfield, Georgia
Distance from Covington: About 10 miles
The Walking Dead Season 1 Pilot on-location in Mansfield
The Walking Dead’s early episodes didn’t just depict scenes with post-apocalyptic urban landscapes. Who remembers the Season 1 pilot, Days Gone Bye, when Rick & Shane enjoy a pre-zombie epidemic lunch break in their squad car? Mansfield, Georgia (also a small-town municipality of Newton County) is used as the backdrop in this scene as the car is nestled in the parking lot between Blackwell’s Grocery and the Mansfield Post Office.
The rural countryside of Mansfield was also shown in the scenes including the car chase where Rick gets shot, and later in the episode when Rick runs out of gas to stumble onto the property of a beautiful, white farmhouse (pictured above).
Stop #5: Madison, Georgia
Distance from Mansfield: About 20 miles
Goosebumps Movie on-location in Madison
Madison is somewhat easy to get to from I-20 once you leave Mansfield; however, fans of the Friday the 13th movie franchise could take a quick backroad detour through Hard Labor Creek near Rutledge, which is where famed moments from Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives were filmed. The lake at Hard Labor Creek doubled as Crystal Lake for this sequel.
Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives on-location at Hard Labor Creek
Once you reach scenic Madison, Georgia, you’ll be able to walk around the historic downtown area that was used as a setting in the 2015 Goosebumps film. During principal photography in 2014, six crew members spent three days collecting visual data for this film, which was then used to render a CGI background of the downtown Madison area. Location scouts Neal Moritz and Rob Letterman stated that Madison was their first choice for the production after scouting the city.
CGI Scene from Goosebumps, featuring Downtown Madison
So if you’re a super-fan of the supernatural, what are you waiting for? Plan a summer road trip on the Supernatural Highway of Interstate-20 from Atlanta to Madison. You’ll find plenty of places for film, food, and fun along the way. And be sure to share your road trip journey on social media by tagging our profiles @gocovingtonga, or using hashtags #HollywoodOfTheSouth, #GeorgiaFilm, or #ForeverMysticFalls!