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Top Vampire Diaries Film Locations in the ‘Reel’ Mystic Falls

Earlier this year, we ushered in the final moments of the eight-season series, The Vampire Diaries. For eight years in a row, CW production teams & crews took over areas of Covington, GA in order to create the landscape of fictional Mystic Falls. Because these local Vampire Diaries film locations are actual homes & structures shot on-location, it makes Mystic Falls come alive in a very reel way. Covington has branded itself #ForeverMysticFalls, because the spirit of the show and everyone’s favorite characters endure although the series has wrapped.

Luckily, the series is still available on Netflix so that fans may relive their favorite moments on-screen. The only thing better than watching your favorite moments of movie-magic are seeing and feeling them for yourself! Tours of film locations have been running for several years, and business is still booming even post-finale. The following spots are the top Vampire Diaries film locations in Downtown Covington, the reel Mystic Falls: Courthouse and Square Park
vampire diaries film locations

This is the most popularly used local landmark throughout the entire Vampire Diaries series. Some of the most memorable moments of our historic courthouse and Square Park include Damon & Elena jumping off the top of the clocktower, Enzo’s steamy make-out session with the coat check girl, Alaric escaping from the sewer below the clocktower, and the Founders Day parade. These are just a few of the many countless moments on our square!

Covington has The Vampire Diaries to thank for eight years worth of film to make our historic square & courthouse the iconic tourist attractions that they are today. We are also pleased to welcome the popular supernatural spinoff, The Originals, to film in Newton County areas like local Porterdale, as well as Covington, and keep the spirit of Mystic Falls alive.

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Mystic Grill

vampire diaries film locations
Photo via @nicolehaser on Instagram

Not only is the Mystic Grill Restaurant a great place for a bite to eat, it’s also a great way to see a piece of reel film history! A very popular scene that features the Mystic Grill as a location is when Lexi, Stefan’s longtime friend, is staked by Damon in Season 1.

The stairs on the side of the building are where one of the Original brothers, Finn, was staked in Season 3.  Damon also ripped out the heart of a stranger in the alleyway at the bottom of the stairwell in Season 7.
Worthington Manor -aka- Lockwood Mansion
vampire diaries film locations

This local home should look very familiar to any Vampire Diaries fan.  Worthington Manor is easily recognizable from the front gate as Lockwood Mansion, were many parties were held throughout the series, as well as the masquerade ball, founders ball, and the famous “Steroline” wedding in the series finale. Owners Ben and Ralph keep the grounds beautifully manicured so the location always looks just as pristine as it does on-screen.

The Gilbert House
vampire diaries film locations

There are several notable film moments that take place on the front porch of the Gilbert House, including the juicy Damon and Katherine kiss during the finale episode of Season 1.  This historic home on Floyd Street is also where Original brother, Klaus, tried to break down the front door in Season 3 to find Elena. According to the Vampire Diaries canon, Elena burned the house down in season 4 after her brother Jeremy was killed.

However, the reel Gilbert House is still very much intact, and was still continuously used for filming, especially in season 6, as well as the series finale. See if you can scope out this location by driving down historic Floyd Street!

Covington City Cemetery on Elm Street
vampire diaries film locations

Covington City Cemetery his is the very real and historic graveyard where many civil war soldiers and confederate congressman are buried. It is in this location that Isobel, Elena’s mother, took her life, in addition to being the burial place of Jon Gilbert and Aunt Jenna.  It’s also the location that Damon admitted to Stefan in Season 2 that he was dying of a werewolf bite, inflicted by Tyler Lockwood.

There are many other local homes & sites that can be identified as Vampire Diaries filming locations. All you have to do is re-watch episodes of the hit vampire series, and plan a trip to Covington, GA to experience the reel Mystic Falls! It just may haunt you forever if you don’t…

Behind the Scenes of Taken 3: They Are Going to Take You….to Georgia

What is that sound? There’s a shatter of broken glass from the other room, and footsteps of several men who are breaking into your home. You receive a phone call from a familiar, brooding voice giving you instructions on how to survive, and says, “The next part is very important. They are going to take you…”

taken 3
Liam Neeson Behind-the-Scenes of Taken 3

Does this sound familiar? Fans of the series of Taken movies should immediately recognize this famous quote by Liam Neeson’s former CIA agent character, Bryan Mills. It’s the suspenseful moment in the first Taken movie that sets the stage for the action-packed ride that encompasses these thriller films. The first two movies were filmed mainly in California and Paris, but French producers of these films had a different “take” on how to complete the principal photography for the third and final movie in the series, released in 2015. The plot twist is also much different in this film, since Liam Neeson reportedly told producers he would agree to shoot a third movie only if ‘nobody gets taken’.

After 17 days on set in Los Angeles, California, the Taken 3 production crew wrapped and packed up their gear to move to Atlanta, Georgia for the next three weeks of shooting. In these 21 days, cast and crew made a special appearance to nearby Newton County for scenes filmed at the old Newton High School. The high school has since been demolished, but you can still pick out scenes including the blue lockers in the hallways, the blue tile in the high school bathrooms, and various classrooms within the administrative building. The interrogation between Kim [Maggie Grace] and Detective Dotzler [Forest Whitaker] is among these particular scenes. [Fun fact: the old Newton High School gym was also used in the filming of American Reunion!]

taken 3

taken 3

The French production team of Taken 3 decided to take advantage of the film incentives in our state with this final film in the Taken series. Georgia is known to have some of the most generous film incentives of anywhere in the United States, in which filmmakers can recover up to 30% of their production costs. The transferable tax credit offered here in 2008 was undoubtedly a huge benefit for the producers since they also shot the last 26 days on a sound stage in Paris, so cutting costs wherever possible would be a huge plus.

taken 3

taken 3

Considering the growing repertoire of big-budget films produced and released in Georgia, it’s a fantastic place to live and work if you have a “very particular set of skills.” After all, Georgia is the new Hollywood, and Newton County is the original Hollywood of the South™! If you haven’t seen it yet, rent Taken 3 today, and enjoy the concluding chapter of this thrilling series. The plot twist in this film may have you taken by surprise…

Almost Christmas: A Covington Christmas Film

almost christmasEvery family has their favorite holiday film that they watch every year. Classics such as Home Alone, The Family Stone, and White Christmas bring us laughter and a little drama, as we gather together for Christmas. We’re pretty proud of our Covington, Georgia film legacy, so let us introduce you to our newest Christmas film (and your soon to be Christmas film favorite), Almost Christmas.

Almost Christmas is the newest release from director David E. Talbert and Universal Pictures. The film is packed with notable stars, like Danny Glover, Gabrielle Union, and Mo’Nique, who round out an incredible ensemble cast. Omar Epps, who also starred in Almost Christmas, told CNN that this film will “transcend time […] It feels like when you are seeing the movie, you are being fed. You walk away feeling inspired and hopeful.”

almost christmasThis hopeful film begins with Walter (played by the incomparable Danny Glover), a retired automotive engineer and recent widower. Walter lost his wife one year earlier and has been grieving her loss. Now that the holiday season is here, he invites his four grown children and the rest of the family to his house for a traditional celebration. But, as his children arrive, Walter realizes a perfect Christmas without his wife is easier said than done. If the family can survive five days of Christmas, without killing each other, it will be a Christmas miracle. Between a congressional campaign, a recent divorce, and a sassy Aunt May (Mo’Nique), Almost Christmas has the makings of your next Christmas film favorite.

almost christmas Principal filming for Almost Christmas began in Atlanta and around Covington on November 2nd, 2015. Some key scenes were filmed around our small town, but you’ll have to go see the film to find out where! The film was released on November 11th, 2016 and has grossed over $15 million, so far. You can check out this fun filled comedy in theaters now!


Hello, Dolly: Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors

christmas of many colorsWell, hello Dolly! The holidays are here and that means one thing; it’s time for Dolly Parton’s highly anticipated Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love. This film, as we all know, is the sequel to Ms. Parton’s hugely successful Coat of Many Colors. The film premiered on NBC late last year, and became the most successful television movie broadcast in the last seven years.

We broke the news of Coat of Many Colors almost two years ago, when we spotted Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland fame and Ricky Schroder strolling around Covington. We even got a chance to catch up with Dolly’s sister Stella, who played Corla Bass in the film. And we’re pretty sure everyone in Covington tuned in on December 10th, 2015, when Coat of Many Colors premiered and viewers caught glimpses of their hometown on the silver screen.

This year, Covington was graced with Ms. Parton’s presence since the summer. Fans flocked to the Covington Square to catch a glimpse of the cast and crew for Christmas of Many Colors. From the snow machines seen around The Little Shop, it looks like this film will be a White Christmas, to say the least.

A synopsis from Variety magazine declares, “ ‘Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love’ is the next chapter in the life of young Dolly Parton. The film will deliver Christmas joy and peril as an unexpected blizzard threatens the Parton family, while at the same time Dolly’s father (and his kids) make sacrifices to raise enough money to finally buy his loving wife the wedding ring he could never afford to give her. Meanwhile, an important person in little Dolly’s life begins to see that her amazing voice and musical gift might just be made for something bigger than rural Tennessee.”

We can share that Jennifer Nettles and Ricky Schroder have both returned to reprise their roles as Avie Lee and Robert Parton. Alyvia Alyn Lind will also return, as young Dolly herself. Be sure to tune in to NBC on Wednesday, November 30th for Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love.

#FreakyFriday: Consenting Adults, Filmed in Newton Co.

consenting adultsFor this installment of #FreakyFriday we’re bringing you a suburban nightmare. You always think you can trust the neighbors, but what happens when one of them decides they want your life, no matter the cost? Such is the tale of Consenting Adults, Alan J. Pakula’s 1992 film that chronicles the horrors of suburban living. The film will make you questions whether you really know the neighbors, after all.

The story begins as Richard Parker (Kevin Kline) and his wife Priscilla live an ordinary suburban life until they meet their new neighbors Eddy (Kevin Spacey) and Kay Otis. The two couples soon became friends and start spending time together. Kay’s talent for blues singing gets Richard’s attention, and Eddy is attracted to Priscilla. It becomes clear that Eddy is a scam artist who fakes a neck injury after an auto accident for the insurance proceeds. The plot takes a nasty turn when Richard does sleep with Kay (supposedly without her realizing that he is not her husband) and Kay turns up bludgeoned to death with a baseball bat the next morning.

consenting adultsConsenting Adults does have some problems as a film. Currently, on Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a 27% approval rating; a huge disappointment for Pakula, who directed Academy Award winning films like Klute (1971) and All the President’s Men (1976). While we do get to revel in the performances of two incredible actors, Kevin Spacey and Kevin Kline, the film lacks plot distinction and comes off as lackluster.

But, what doesn’t disappoint, is the scenery. Consenting Adults is one of the many Hollywood movies to have chosen Newton County as its backdrop. However, Consenting Adults uses our gorgeous Covington neighborhoods and turns them into something sinister. You always get the feelings that something wicked is just around the corner.

consenting adultsAll in all, Consenting Adults is a pretty safe choice for thriller lovers. But, you get to revel in Newton County’s beauty, along with the stellar performances of Kevin Kline and Kevin Spacey. Check out the very last scene, in which filmmakers chose an isolated house in Covington’s countryside. It captures the perfect contrast between the beauty of the surroundings and the horror our characters just escaped. Consenting Adults was released in October of 1992 by Buena Vista Pictures.

Where is Chief Bill Gillespie’s House from ITHOTN?

chief gillespie's houseIn the Heat of the Night was an extrodinary achievement for Covington, Georgia. The entire town was transformed into fictional Sparta, Mississippi for six years while the cast and crew worked their filming magic. The show would run for seven seasons and would inspire 4 made-for-television movies. Because of the incredible amount of work that went into creating this show, Covington has become a walking “museums” of sorts. Visitors can tour all of their favorite filming locations, like the Covington Square and the Newton County Library aka Sparta’s Police Station, and Chief Bill Gillespie’s House, of course!

But, the most important character of the show had to be Chief Bill Gillespie. Played by the incomparable Carroll O’Connor (who also wrote for the show, under the name Matt Harris), the Chief of Sparta was a kind but firm man, who led his community with honor. He faced the challenges of Sparta head on, with his loyal coworkers and officers by his side.

chief gillespie's houseYou can still visit Chief Bill Gillespie’s house, located on Monticello St. The home is a two-storied Colonial, painted yellow, with a small balcony off the upstairs front windows. Unfortunately, you can’t tour the inside of the property because it is a private residence, but the owners will let you take pictures of the front of the house.

It was long before the locally-lensed In the Heat of the Night became a legendary show, because of glimpse into the lives of southern men and women, and the challenges that law enforcement face every day. Celebrate this great show by visiting the home of Sparta’s favorite son, Chief Bill Gillespie!

Where is Chief Bill Gillespie’s House from ITHOTN?

Orna Villa | Historic Film Location from the Vampire Diaries

film location from the vampire diariesIn anticipation of our upcoming Bite Night event, we’re spilling the blood on one of our favorite Vampire Diaries film locations. Orna Villa, located in Oxford, Georgia, was used during season 4 of The Vampire Diaries, in an episode called “The Five”. If you aren’t familiar with Orna Villa, or its ties to Covington’s haunted history, check out the Newton County Tourism blog here.

The home was owned for a time by Alexander Means, a founder and president of Emory College (the original site of which is now Oxford College of Emory University) and was used as a hospital during the American Civil War. The house has been featured in works on haunted houses because of its alleged association with the ghost of Tobe Means. This beautiful home is actually the oldest house in Newton County, and was also listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) in 1973.

film location from the vampire diariesNow, back to our fanged favorites. Do any of our vampire fans remember the Murder Night frat party in season four? Producers revamped historic Orna Villa into the Sigma Kappa Beta house for episode four of that season. No wonder they picked this estate for the on-location filming, being that it is known to many locals as the “Greek Revival House.”

Just in case you’ve forgotten which episode we mean, here is brief reminder with no spoilers! Damon, Elena, and Bonnie decided to visit Whitmore College, to gather more information about the Five. While there, our trio were invited to a Whitmore frat party, at the Sigma Kappa Beta house. The theme of the party? Murder Night, of course! Guests of the party came dressed as infamous, historical serial killers or their unfortunate victims.

Creepy, right? If you’re looking for more from The Vampire Diaries, why not visit Mystic Falls, yourself? You can learn more and actually see a film location from The Vampire Diaries by signing up for the walking tour at Vampire Stalkers. You can also learn more here about the upcoming event to conclude the current season, on Friday May 13th. Enjoy this infamously superstitious day in Mystic Falls as we gather among fellow vampire lovers to watch the season 7 finale with live coverage by the CW. The annual finale event is always a bloody good time. We hope to see you there!


A Look at Twelve Oaks in Film | Popular Film Location

popular film locationHave you ever stopped by Twelve Oaks Bed and Breakfast in Covington, GA? This beautiful 10,000 square foot antebellum is a popular film location with some pretty incredible history. It is on the National Register of Historic Places, was chosen by GPB as one of Georgia’s Most Romantic Places, and named one of the top 10 B&B’s in the country by The beautiful home has also been featured in numerous publications & books, and is considered a prime example of true antebellum architecture. Twelve Oaks has even become something of a celebrity amongst the Hollywood elite. But we’ll touch more on that later.

Twelve Oaks was originally built by Judge John Harris as his town house in 1836.  The house would change owners a few times, immediately following the Civil War.  In 1903, Nathanial S. Turner, an affluent cotton broker who owned Covington Mills, purchased the home and named it Whitehall.  Turner added the third floor with the dormer windows, an expanded colonnade, and a second-floor, making the house into the stunning, stately home it is today. But, how did Turner’s Whitehall become Twelve Oaks as we know it today? Why, with the help of Margaret Mitchell of course!twelve oaks gone with the wind

In his book Antebellum Homes of Georgia, David King Gleason writes, “Margaret Mitchell saw a photograph of the house in the Atlanta Journal in February, 1939. She sent the clipping to Wilbur Kurtz, an Atlanta historian and Civil War authority who was in Hollywood consulting with the set designers of Gone With the Wind, saying, “I like this for Ashley’s home,” referring to Twelve Oaks.”

This clipping can be seen in the book, David O. Selznick’s HOLLYWOOD and a copy of this book now resides in the Twelve Oaks Bed and Breakfast.

And from there, Hollywood kept calling! Some of the most films to be made at Twelve Oaks are the latest Vacation reboot, the 70’s indie horror flick Scalpel (also known as False Face), and scenes from locally filmed In the Heat of the Night. The home was also the setting for a Cindy Crawford Home Furniture Collection commercial by Rooms to Go. However, most fans will recognize Twelve Oaks as Lockwood Mansion from Season 6 of the Vampire Diaries!

twelve oaks film location

The Vampire Diaries is still the biggest tourism draw for Twelve Oaks. Fans from across the globe have visited Newton County for film tourism. By our count, Covington has seen fans from 37 states and 16 countries, including visitors from Brazil, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Panama, and Portugal, just to stand where the Salvatore brothers once stood.

Care to check it out for yourself? Head down to Twelve Oaks and stay in one of their incredible “Hollywood” themed suites! You can choose among rooms like “Suite Home Alabama,” “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” and “Steel Magnolia’s Spa Grand Suite.”

We personally recommend Katherine’s Mirror Image Grand Suite, with an original, working ribcage shower from the 1900’s. The other cool feature about this suite is that it has a connecting door to the “In the Heat of the Night” room if you wish to stay with a group of family or friends.

Make sure to take the Mystic Falls Tour with the Vampire Stalkers while you’re in town, which highlights the other great local spots where the Vampire Diaries has been filmed. Channel your inner Scarlett or inner Salvatore and book your stay at popular film location, Twelve Oaks, today!


We ‘Remember the Titans’ | Scenes Filmed at Sharp Stadium

remember the titansStrength. Determination. Courage. In this New Year, these values should be the cornerstone of your resolutions and your goals. And, if you need some inspiration on how to accomplish these goals, try watching Remember the Titans. Remember the Titans is a film that tells the story of a newly appointed football coach, played by Denzel Washington, and his high school football team on their first integrated season. Scenes of the film during field play were produced in our very town in 2000. This movie truly shows just how far strength, determination, and courage can change one small, Southern, segregated town for the better.

The film centers around T.C. Williams High School, home of the (segregated) Titans. Coach Herman Boone comes to T.C. Williams in 1971, as the first African-American coach. His arrival heralded the integration of both the school and the team. mighty mighty titansTo say that this action ruffles a few feathers around the small Virginia town, is putting it lightly. After witnessing the town’s racial prejudices, and having a brick thrown into his window by racist vandals, Boone decides that he has the responsibility to bring his football team together, to show the community that integration is both right and necessary. Slowly, this ragtag band of players come together and fight for what is right in America. Remember the Titans is based on a true story and Covington’s square was used in scenes of the movie as well as our very own Homer Sharp Stadium as the team’s home field in the final football scene.

Talk about strength and determination! This Covington, Georgia filmed movie is rated PG and is a great family movie that shows real life problems and how they are solved with real life integrity. This film should inspire you to meet all of your New Year goals with strength and determination. Bonus: Super Bowl Sunday is right around the corner! This is the perfect film to gear you up for the big game. “We are the Titans! The mighty, mighty Titans!”

Remember the Titans

Tune Into NBC Tonight for a Coat of Many Colors Re-Run

coat of many colorsDid you happen to miss Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors on NBC? Don’t fret. Because of the overwhelming response from the fans, NBC is hosting a special, Christmas Day viewing of Coat of Many Colors! In fact, Ms. Parton’s biopic was viewed by over 13 million people when it first aired and is one of NBC’s most successful movies to date.

We broke the news of Coat of Many Colors last September, when we spotted Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland fame and Ricky Schroder strolling around Covington. We even got a chance to catch up with Dolly’s sister Stella, who played Corla Bass in the film. And we’re pretty sure everyone in Covington tuned in on December 10th to catch glimpses of their hometown on the screen. So, when NBC announced that there would be a special showing on Christmas Day, we had to share the news!

Not only is Coat of Many Colors a great movie that shows Covington in a gorgeous light, it’s also a great movie to watch at Christmas. Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors is inspired by one of Parton’s hit songs, which describes a moment in the life of a young girl from a humble upbringing. The story is woven around the tight-knit Parton family struggling to overcome the devastating tragedy of losing a child. Through a raggedy patchwork coat, Dolly and her family discover the healing power of love and faith. What better message to watch with your family this holiday season?

Be sure to tune in December 25th at 9:00pm to watch a special showing of Coat of Many Colors on NBC. And share your favorite moments from the movie or when you see a familiar sight on our Facebook page!