The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) – one of the scariest movies ever made – was filmed in rural areas around Austin, TX, during a particularly hot summer in 1973.  When I travelled to Austin in May of 2001, I was both surprised and disappointed by what I found.  Surprised that some of the places, such as the cemetery and the gas station, had hardly changed in the almost 30 years since the movie was made.  But I was also disappointed to learn that the family’s farmhouse had recently been moved from its original location.  Still, I visited all the main sites from the movie, and the following are my photos from my visit to Leatherface’s hometown.

(click on photos to enlarge. All photos copyright © Brett McBean 2001)

THE CEMETERY

The Cemetery is located in the small town of Leander, TX, Northwest of Austin. The area still had the rural feel you get from watching the movie, and the iconic headstone, which the family propped the corpse on at the beginning of the movie, is still there.

THE GAS STATION

The gas station is located in Bastrop County, and both the surrounding countryside and the gas station itself had hardly changed in the thirty years since they filmed the movie.  It was a little unsettling being there; almost like walking onto a movie set.  While I did go into the main grocery area and bought some snacks (although this area wasn’t seen in the movie), I was too shy to ask the owners if I could see the private back room, the ‘BBQ shack’ in the movie.  As far as I know, the gas station is still in business.

THE LAND

The Bulk of Texas Chainsaw Massacre was filmed on a small patch of land called Quick Hill, located just north of Austin.  It was the location of both the family’s farmhouse (since moved from the land), as well as the Grandparent’s house (where the kids go before being slaughtered).  Once a rural area, when I visited the Hill in mid-2001, major highways surrounded the area, as well as housing developments. It was an overgrown, disused patch of land in the midst of fast-paced modern life.  It’s been ten years since I was there: I fear by now Quick Hill is gone.  Sometimes, progress sucks.

Looking from the top of the driveway towards where the house once stood (to the back right of the photo)

Standing roughly where the house once stood, looking down the driveway

Farther down the overgrown driveway.  The road running the length of Quick Hill (Old Country Rd) can be seen in the background

All that’s left of the Family house: just a bunch of foundation stones.  I was later told that the area was rife with rattlesnakes and other nasty critters

Where the house once stood.  Notice the shed and water tower to the left

Close-up of the shed and water tower

A shot of Quick Hill from a distance.  You can see the bottom of Old Country Rd in the middle of the photo

Looking up Old Country Rd.  The driveway leading to the land where the house once stood would be over the hill and to the left

Standing about where the driveway is located (to the right).  This is the road Sally makes her escape down, and where Leatherface stands and swings his chainsaw at the end

Farther down the road

THE HOUSE

The old farmhouse where the chainsaw family lived was moved from Quick Hill in 1998 to the town of Kingsland, about 50 miles Northwest of Austin.  It was cleaned up and turned into a restaurant.  The day I arrived, the restaurant had just closed for the afternoon, and so I unfortunately missed out on going inside and dining in the old farmhouse (but I bet they served a mean BBQ…).

Leatherface’s house all prettied-up

The ‘bone room’ is located behind the windows on the left

The kitchen…meat hook anyone?

The back of the house

In the movie, Sally jumps out of the top window

For more information about the making of the movie, including copious amounts of other location photos, visit the wonderful fan site The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: A Visit to the Film Locations

13 responses

  1. The place still sends a chill down my spine. Creepy as hell.
    I’m jealous!

    February 25, 2011 at 4:24 am

    • Simon Antony

      Me Too! Just looking at the gas station and imagining the COOK standing there is so extremely creepy!

      September 16, 2013 at 3:09 pm

  2. annemarie

    hi erm isnt the texas chainsaw massacre based on a true story about man called ed gein who fantasised about being a woman and would wear womens skin after he killed them and collected there bits in jars

    April 4, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    • Yes, Texas Chainsaw Massacre was loosely based on Ed Gein’s exploits. I say loosely, because the filmmakers used only the rural farmhouse setting and the broad ideas of creating furniture out of body parts and Leatherface’s mask from Gein’s life. Psycho and Silence of the Lambs were also loosely inspired by Gein.

      April 4, 2011 at 11:08 pm

  3. Stuart

    I was going to visit next week (Sept. 2013) and checked Google Maps and unfortunately there is a freeway wall that is being built and doesnt look like you can even access Quick Hill, this is SAD news!

    August 31, 2013 at 3:59 am

    • That is indeed sad news. Sometimes, progress sucks.

      September 1, 2013 at 8:53 am

  4. Why you didn’t visit slaughterhouse in Watterson and 18-Wheeler in San Marcos, Texas.

    August 24, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    • Didn’t have time to visit all the places.

      August 28, 2014 at 8:51 am

  5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEFpUFECSXs-Quick Hill still exists.

    August 24, 2014 at 12:54 pm

  6. I would love to get full address detail of where the chainsaw restaurant is me and my boy would love to come eat there. Never been to texas so give us detail instructions how to get there thank you.

    September 19, 2014 at 11:14 am

    • Hello Daphne. It’s been almost fifteen years since I visited the restaurant, so not sure if it’s still there/functioning as a restaurant. It was in the town of Kingsland, and when I went there it was called the Kingsland Old Town Grill. Best, Brett.

      September 27, 2014 at 1:21 am

  7. jesse

    I’m from North Texas and taking a trip to South Texas in a few weeks. Quick Hill is a planned stop as well as the gas station and house in Kingsland. I hope to get a few pics on Quick Hill. Pray that I dinto get run off, arrested, or worse! Has anyone contacted the landowner regarding preservation or at least providing a plaque, monument or landmark? Shame on Austin for trading culture for commerce.

    May 19, 2015 at 4:37 pm

  8. flor

    We just moved into Cedar Park, Texas soon after my husband showed me a cemetery and he said that is where they filmed part of the movie of Chainsaw Massacre, we live about 15min. away from there, how creepy right but legendary, never thought I would live close by to this cemetery.

    November 9, 2015 at 5:22 pm

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