- Sign In
  Dark Destinations
Bullet Dark Destinations
Bullet Dark Traveler Library
Bullet Horror Blogs
Bullet General Horror Quotes

Dark Destinations > Locations - E > The Exorcist Steps

The Exorcist Steps Other destinations within a
mile radius.

Bullet The Exorcist (1973): The MacNeil House
Bullet Washington DC Zombie Lurch
Bullet Ford's Theatre National Historical Site
Bullet National Gallery of Art
Bullet National Museum of Health and Science
Bullet Horrorfind Weekend - Maryland
Bullet GoatMan Hollow
Bullet Bunny Man: Second Encounter at Guinea Road
Bullet Bunny Man: First Encounter at Guinea Road
Bullet Bunny Man Bridge

Displaying 10 of 50
View All on Map
Availability: Open to the Public
Filed Under: Movie Locations > The Exorcist Series
Added By: TheCabinet
Added On: April 19, 2007 - 01:45 PM UTC
Last Modified: April 29, 2008 - 04:07 PM UTC
Your Rating: Sign in to add your rating
Average Rating:
5 (1 ratings)
Visited By:
2 Users
Sign in to let other users know if you physically visited this location.
Invisible Invisible
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
The Exorcist Steps
This is the staircase that was used in the movie The Exorcist and played a pivotal role in the film's climax. The steps are located on the campus of Georgetown University in Washington D.C., along with a couple of other locations that were used in the film. In fact, the MacNeil House where the film's exorcism took place is located at the top of this staircase - dubbed the "Hitchcock Steps" by the crew. The Exorcist author William Peter Blatty was a student at Georgetown University and got his inspiration for the novel from a series of articles about an exorcism case that was rumored to have taken place in nearby Mount Rainier and Saint Louis, Missouri.

The stairs were the scene of two major deaths in the film, though only during the climatic scene does the camera follow Father Karras's (Jason Miller) sacrificial plunge down the steps. Word got out around Georgetown when the scene was being shot and the adjacent houses soon rented out their roof space for $5 a person to watch. In preparation of the fall, the stairs were lined half-inch thick rubber and a bag that dispersed blood was taped to stuntman Charlie Walters's back, so that blood spurted from the back of his neck every time he turned over. Walters took the plunge not once, but twice; ultimately coming to a rest at the bottom with the blood bag still leaking and producing a pool of blood.

At the bottom of the steps, the scene continued with Father Dyer rushing through a crowd of onlookers to deliver last rites to his friend. Dyer was portrayed by real-life Father William O'Malley who was not a professional actor. After fifteen takes and reaching around 2:00 A.M., director William Friedkin told O'Malley that he was not delivering the look of horror and devastation that he wanted. After O'Malley pleaded his exhaustion, Friedkin asked him twice if he trusted him (O'Malley replied that he did) and then hauled off and slapped hard him across the face, then told the cameras to roll. A shaken, teary-eyed O'Malley immediately delivered the lines and Friedkin got the scene he wanted.

Later Films
The ending of The Exorcist II: The Heretic takes Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair) back to her former home in Georgetown. The filmmakers behind the remake had hoped to return to the original sets, but were quickly rebuffed by the owner of the MacNeil House, as well as the city who refused permission to once again use the "Hitchcock Steps." Both the house and the staircase seen in the sequel were instead constructed on the Warner Brothers backlot in Burbank, California.

However, when Blatty took a run at doing his own sequel with 1990's The Exorcist III, the production once again returned to Georgetown. The stairs also returned in a couple of scenes, including one where the camera takes the plunge and the audience gets the last viewpoint of Father Karras's fall down the steps.

A Georgetown University Tradition
Every Halloween, the University has a screening of The Exorcist in nearby Gaston Hall. After the film is over, it has become a tradition for students to take a tour of the nearby locations from the film to try and spook themselves out. Older students at the university reportedly also commonly urge the freshmen to visit the steps as something of a rite of initiation to the school.

The Location
Starting from Prospect Street, the stairs provide a quick route to nearby M Street. Given their steep nature, it is safe to say that those less in shape got their work cut out for them. They are open to the general public at all hours. Those that want the greatest spook factor should probably go at night, but be careful! They are quite steep and it would not be pleasant to take a tumble down those, just as the movie showed.
GPS Interface
Save Waypoint to Garmin Device.
User Trips
O.T.I.S.(Odd Things I've Seen): Exorcist Stairs - From: O.T.I.S. (03/15/09, 05:58 PM UTC)
Article excerpt from O.T.I.S. (Odd Things I've Seen): "Me and the stairs go back a ways. I wouldn’t call what we have a history; it just pops up i...More
Rating: 5/1 (0 Comments)
Related Sites
The Exorcist Revisited
Fan site dedicated to The Exorcist series, including a visit to locations associated with the original film.
The Haunted Boy: The Inspiration for The Exorcist
A five-part article by Mark Opsasnick that explores the true story behind the inspiration for William Peter Blatty's The Exorcist. The article relies on newspaper reportings at the times, as well as Blatty's own explorations into the case.
Similar Destinations
The Exorcist (1973): The MacNeil House
Columbia County Courthouse, Oregon
John Marshall High School, Los Angeles, CA
See Also on
Movie of the Day - 2/9/2007
Blog: The Exorcist and the Academy Awards (04/02/09)
Available from
The Exorcist (The Version You've Never Seen)
The Exorcist
The Exorcist
The Exorcist 3
The Exorcist (25th Anniversary Special Edition)
Dc Goes to the Movies: A Unique Guide to the Reel Washington
Shot On This Site: A Traveler's Guide to the Places and Locations Used to Film Famous Movies and TV Shows
Washington, D.C. Off the Beaten Path, 4th: A Guide to Unique Places (Off the Beaten Path Series)
The Exorcist - Vintage Movie Poster
Exorcist (Linda Blair Scary Face) Movie Poster Print - 24" X 36"
Exorcist (Linda Blair in Green Light) Movie Poster Print - 24" X 36"
User Options
Bullet Edit this Location
Bullet Manage Categories
Bullet Add/Edit Related Sites
Bullet Add/Edit Images
Bullet Add/Edit My Trip
Bullet Set Up Reminder
Bullet User Trips (1)
Bullet Comments (0)
Bullet Dark Destinations Search
Bullet Print Location
The Exorcist Steps
Looking down the staircase in September 2002 in Georgetown that was used in The Exorcist.
From: TheCabinet
More Exorcist Steps
Another view from September 2002 looking down the staircase that was used in The Exorcist.
From: TheCabinet
O.T.I.S. at the Exorcist Stairs
O.T.I.S. at the Exorcist Stairs
From: O.T.I.S.
Displaying 3 of 3.
View All Images
Invisible Invisible
The above content is for informational purposes only. Before making any travel arrangements, it is highly recommended that you contact those in charge of the property to check for updated availability and hours of operation. While we do our best to keep this information updated, we cannot guarantee that it is completely valid and up to date. Any destination marked "Closed to the Public" is marked that for a reason and we discourage any visits or attempts to gain access to that facility. Similarly, take note of any "Travel Advisory" that may be associated with a destination. Finally, treat any location and its local residents with respect. Any vandalism and/or unruly behavior is completely despicable and only ruins the experience for future visitors.

There are 0 comments in the database.  
User Comments Order by: Most Recent | Originally Submitted

There are currently no comments for this entry.

There are 0 comments in the database.  

Add Comment | Return to Index

Dark Destinations Search
Find:   Search:

Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | RSS Feeds
Copyright ©1994-2015 by The Cabinet Productions, Inc.
If you have any questions, comments or corrections, please Contact Us.
Invisible Invisible Invisible Invisible