Where Was The Exorcist Filmed? William Friedkin’s 1973 Classic Horror Film!


Hollywood has been making horror films for a very long time. But not all horror films are up to the mark or scary enough. Having said that, if you want to witness a movie that is spine-chilling, then you have to watch The Exorcist. The all-time classic 1973 horror movie has redefined the genre once and for all. Many filmmakers who made horror movies took inspiration from this film. So, in this article, we’ll discuss the movie and tell you where was The Exorcist filmed.

The American supernatural horror film, The Exorcist was released on 26th December 1973. The film was a super hit and a huge commercial success as it earned over $441 million against its $12 million budget. The movie is based on the 1971 horror novel of the same name by William Peter Blatty. It was the highest-grossing R-rated horror movie until 2017. The movie stars some of the Hollywood industry’s veteran actors like Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, and Lee J. Cobb.

Now, to answer your question about where was The Exorcist filmed, the supernatural horror film was shot in the United States of America, specifically in Washington DC, New York, and Mosul, Iraq.

Plot Of The Exorcist (1973) | The Exorcism Of Regan McNeil!

Where Was The Exorcist Filmed? William Friedkin’s 1973 Classic Horror Film!

The story of The Exorcist revolves around the character of Chris McNeil played by Ellen Burstyn, a professional actress, and a single mother. Everything changes for Chris when she notices dramatic and terrifying changes in the behavior and physical appearance of her 12-year-old daughter Regan played by Linda Blair. 

Worried, Chris seeks medical help and goes to several doctors, but nothing works. After witnessing her daughter levitating and speaking in a man’s voice she comes to the conclusion that something evil must have gotten into her daughter. She immediately gets in touch with a local priest who goes to Father Lankester, played by Max von Sydow to inform him of the entire situation. Father Lankester finally takes up the responsibility to perform the exorcism on Regan.

Where Was The Exorcist Filmed?

Where Was The Exorcist Filmed? William Friedkin’s 1973 Classic Horror Film!

William Friedkin’s The Exorcist was the first horror film to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture. The film received a number of critical acclaims. Friedkin’s direction and Linda Blair’s performance were applauded as well. The movie has had a notable influence on pop culture and also has been regarded as one of the greatest horror films of all time.

The movie was selected for preservation for the US Film Registry by the Library of Congress. As we all know, horror films are difficult to make because every aspect of them has to be perfect, starting from the screenplay and cinematography to direction and sound design. Having said that, this particular film has got it all covered. However, as you already know where was The Exorcist filmed, let’s dig deeper to find out some more information about the filming locations.

Washington DC | United States Of America

Where Was The Exorcist Filmed? William Friedkin’s 1973 Classic Horror Film!

Principal photography of the supernatural horror film, The Exorcist began on 14th August 1972 and was wrapped by the end of June 1973. The majority of the filming took place in Washington DC and a few other scenes were shot in places like New York City and Mosul in Iraq. 

The story is mainly set in Washington DC, and that is where the actual filming took place. The McNeil residence, the house where all the horrific scenes take place, is in reality located at 3600 Prospect Street in the neighborhood of Georgetown, in the southwestern part of Washington DC. 

For the scene where Chris investigates the strange noise in the attic, the production team installed a mansard roof on top of the house. The popular “Exorcist steps” that we see in the movie were actually named Hitchcock Steps. If you visit the area, you can check out the concrete stairs descending from the corner of Prospect Street. The first scene of Ellen Burstyn was shot just outside Healy Hall. It is one of the historic venues within the compound of Georgetown University.

The Archbishop’s office in the movie was actually the office of the university’s President. The desecration scene was shot at the Dahlgren Chapel, which is also a part of the University. The bar scenes in the film were shot at The Tomb which is a bar meant for university students. It is located at 1226 36th Street Northwest.

New York City | New York, United States Of America

Where Was The Exorcist Filmed? William Friedkin’s 1973 Classic Horror Film!

A number of important scenes were filmed in and around New York City. The scenes at the hospital were filmed at Bellevue Hospital. It is situated at 462 First Avenue near the Kips Bay neighborhood of Manhattan. Interestingly, this is the oldest hospital in all of America. The interior scenes of the McNeil residence were shot in the CECO Studios. It is a temporary studio facility situated at West 54th Street in Manhattan. 

The scene where father Karras listens to the tapes of Regan’s voice recordings was filmed in the basement of Keating Hall, within the compound of Fordham University. It is located at 441 East Fordham Road near the Rose Hill neighborhood.

Mosul | Iraq

Where Was The Exorcist Filmed? William Friedkin’s 1973 Classic Horror Film!

The opening scene of the supernatural horror film, The Exorcist was shot in an excavation site in the city of Mosul in Iraq. The archaeological site that we witness in the movie is in reality the ancient Mesopotamian city of Hatra, which is located in the southern part of Mosul. All scenes were shot in the early mornings as the temperature rose to 54 degrees during the day.

Final Word

So, now that you know everything about the movie, The Exorcist, and its filming locations. It’s time you make a plan to visit the filming spots we mentioned. And most importantly, if you haven’t seen the movie yet, make sure you do. You can stream it on HBO MAX, Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, and Vudu. Also, if you want to find out more about such filming locations then do check out where was The Godfather and 30 Minutes Or Less filmed.

Who Directed The Film, The Exorcist?

William Friedkin directed the film, The Exorcist.

What Is The Tagline Of The Movie, The Exorcist?

The tagline of the movie, The Exorcist is “The movie you’ve been waiting for…without the wait”.

Who All Acted In The Movie, The Exorcist?

The cast of The Exorcist includes actors like Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Lee J. Cobb, Kitty Winn, Jack MacGowran, Jason Miller, and Linda Blair.

Who Produced The Film, The Exorcist?

William Peter Blatty produced the film, The Exorcist.

Who Wrote The Movie, The Exorcist?

William Peter Blatty wrote the film, The Exorcist

What Is The Runtime Of The Movie, The Exorcist?

2h 2m is the runtime of the movie, The Exorcist.

Ujwal Mattoo
Ujwal Mattoo
With full journalism and half engineering background, Ujwal has hands in both the tech and creative fields. He is a film enthusiast who loves all kinds of genres. As much as he enjoys watching movies, he is always amused to know more and write about the locations to feed his hunger for traveling. In this world of fictional louds, he voices his opinions softly! He is either busy writing or playing with Milo, his dog!


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