“Don't get too close..”
The hauntingly beautiful 6,000 sq foot southern plantation house used in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies 2003 & 2006. The six bedroom house was built in Austin in the 1850's then moved by train in the 1930's and rebuilt brick by brick where it now sits. Thanks to the rural location of the home, and it's natural eerie look, the house was a shoe-in for the 2003 Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake and it ended up playing the part of Leatherface's abode. This film, like the 1974 original, as well as Psycho, was inspired by Wisconsin serial killer Ed Gein. Gein skinned human bodies and made up furniture out of it, but he acted alone and did not use a chainsaw. Most of his "victims" were already dead and he "only" personally murdered two people. The film's opening claims the events are factual, a use of the false document technique (filming of the first film was from July 15, 1973 to August 14, 1973, while the event took place on August 18, 1973). While the house looks pretty awesome, visitors should be aware that it is on private property. While you can visit the building from the road, the owners of the house are not friendly to trespassers, so please be respectful of their wishes... your safety might depend on it..
I am a member of the family that owns this house. For those that have been to the road outside the drive, I am the one who wrote the flyer. So what I am saying here you can take as gospel.
1) The house is private. No exceptions. You can take photos from the road of course
2) The house is on a working farm. And people DO live there. The house is undergoing total restoration as some of you might have seen
3) The family is part of "Old Austin". Some have asked why have the house in the movie and not expect day trippers? The reason is simple. As part of "Old Austin" we wanted to encourage film production in and around the city. Early on there was little or no activity at the house. Hence the reason to allow for part 2 to be filmed
4) Remember....TCM is NOT real. This is simply a prop from a movie. Nothing more.
5) The house used to be where UT stands today. It deserves respect. Hence the current restoration.
Finally, please remember, yet again, the house is on private property. Respect that fact and the house itself, and feel free to take photo's from the road.
I live a few miles from this house. I'm writing this so people know... Do Not Trespass on that property. They do have signs up and will shoot you. I really can't blame the folks. I'd get tired of having people just walk up to my house also. But, that being said, the house is quite beautiful in its own creepy way and worth the drive by if you're a fan of the movies.
A couple facts here.
A) The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is not based on a true story. It was loosely inspired by real events. Director Tobe Hooper spent his childhood in Wisconsin, where he heard stories about a local madman who murdered, robbed graves, and even made furniture from human remains. That man was Ed Gein, indeed a real person, but that's where the film's connections to reality end. If there was ever a chainsaw-wielding serial killer who stalked and ate hippies in Central Texas, it is not public record.
B) You'll be happy to know that the actual Chain Saw house is very much open to the public. You can even catch a bite there (!), as it is now the Grand Central Cafe in Kingsland, TX. That humble cafe is housed in the original structure where Marilyn Burns and Edwin Neal and Gunnar Hansen spent a miserable summer in 1973 making motion picture history. This house--The Hewitt House--was used to film Michael Bay's 2003 remake. So while its history is fascinating, its pop cultural value is dubious. It certainly isn't worth a trespassing charge. Hope this is helpful.
I am rating this three stars because yes, it is the actual "Texas Chainsaw Massacre House" used in the film that made my teens in the early 2000's. And the drive from the Interstate to the house was very eery, and I couldn't help but to think that Lee Ermy has driven the same roads that I have. Definitely scratched that one off my bucket list. I drove to the end of the driveway, and I noticed a wire rigged up along the width of the driveway. I thought it was a motion detecter or something. I saw the No Tresspassing signs. I also thought that no one was there because I didn't see and cars at first. I got some really neat pictures but I couldn't resist so I walked down the driveway to try to get as close as I could to the house. When about halfway down the creepy driveway I noticed someone out of nowhere with a barking dog hopped in an old truck and gassed it towards me. I freaked thinking that it had to have been leather face, or Sherrif, I sprinted back to my car. When I turned around to see, he just stopped and deeply stared. So I waved my camera and badge to show him I meant no harm. He just stared. So I gunned it out of there. I don't know much about the owners of the house now, what I do know they need to lighten up! You put that house in a movie, knowing the legacy of the series, the huge fan base it holds, let alone it's impact on popular culture in Texas. I didn't want to break in, just get a little closer. I would pay an extreme amount of money I were able to see the house at a closer distance. It could be a way to make a little extra money.
A person from "the family who owns this house" posted here that they do not shoot people or threaten people. There's a sign right in front of the house reading: "Private property & road. Keep out or go to jail, or worse, REST IN PEACE." Yeah....I think they shoot people. They may not have "yet". But they would.
And what kind of trashy sign is that? And at least one poster here had a shotgun pulled on her OUTSIDE the property. What these homeowners don't know, apparently, is that it's illegal to shoot someone in Texas for simply trespassing. The person has to be entering your HOME (defined as the actual structure - not the property), AND they have to "enter with force." You have to be in fear for your life or safety, as well. These people better read the Castle Laws more carefully. If these people ever do kill someone, they're going down to china town, I guaran-TEE you. The Big House, baby! Even possibly the death penalty.
Also, I happen to know that the very existence of that sign on the property, which threatens life, will act against them in court if they ever do shoot someone. There is definite precedent for this. It establishes that they already had an intent to kill trespassers, and works against any "my life was in danger" argument (which, is kind of hard to prove in the first place, if you shoot a person taking pictures of a movie house). In fact, the sign may actually be illegal.
These people obviously regret their fame, and have a bad attitude about it. They probably didn't get the money they thought they would get, or thought they deserved, once the movie got popular, which may add to their hostility about the situation. All this business about "Old Austin" and wanting to help the film industry there is most likely a load of hot air. More than likely, they're not as rich as they let on, and they let the house be used in the movie for money/fame/bragging rights, and are now upset with the disturbance. They might even be the family living there and farming it. My guess is, they are. Hey, if you don't want people congregating outside of your house, don't lend it out for a movie. But you're not about to get away with shooting ANYONE. Rest in that peace.
I feel I have to add a few things. I am the one who wrote the review with the most “likes” that is at the top of page 1 dated February 4, 2016 and a member of the family. I want to clear some things up
1) No, we don’t shoot people. Nor do we threaten to shoot people
2) No, we do not harass people for taking pictures from the road or near the main gate
3) Yes, we have security. Some you can clearly see from the road. Some you cannot
4) Yes, people do live there. All age groups.
5) Yes, it is a working vibrant farm
So, have fun, stay on the road. Remember it’s just a prop from a movie. Nothing more.
Drove by today to show my 12 year old where the home was (We only live 10 miles away) to me it's a piece of small town history. As we turn onto cr 336 I notice a car sitting on side of road (they must hv been taking pics too) and another car in the drive way un-doing the metal wire that goes across the driveway. As I stopped on the actual County Road...I'm assuming it was the owner. She was about in her 50's and she started taking pics of me sitting in my car and my license Plates. It threw me off guard as I was not on her property and thought was strange she was taking pics of me. I got out and asked her how she was and was everything ok....she was rude in saying "well I hope it will be".....I actually told her she didn't hv to be so rude. I was baffled! I snapped a pic of house from the main road and left. My 12yr old daughter freaked out! Anyways, I do respect private property and I did nothing wrong. Took my 3 pictures and left.
I went by there this weekend and if you are a movie fan, its worth it. We stayed on the road and didnt even think about going onto their property. The cornfields on the opposite side of the road made it feel creepy! thanks for the suggestion!
I was able to get some good pictures from the other side of the road. There are very large and clear no trespassing signs that threaten jail "or worse." But I experienced no problems at all, no threats and no real acknowledgement. It seems as long as you stay off the actual property and on the road they have no problem with you grabbing a few photos - at least that was my experience. It does look run-down like in the movies but its clear that people live there from the vehicles on the property.
I was threatened with a shotgun when I stepped from the road onto the property (less than a foot). The area is pretty remote, so it isn't hard to know when someone is coming down the road. They watch for visitors and do not want you anywhere near their home. Be careful.
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