Book A Stay At This Famous Horror Movie Home, If You Can Handle It

Calling all fans of "The Silence of the Lambs": You can now visit the home of fictional serial killer Buffalo Bill, just like FBI trainee Clarice Starling in the Oscar-winning movie. The house features prominently in the movie's climax as Clarice, played by Jodie Foster, heads into the lion's den alone while the rest of the FBI rolls up on the wrong house in a completely different city and state. They're in Calumet City, Illinois. She's in Belvedere, Ohio. You'll be 30 miles south of Pittsburgh, in the borough of Perryopolis, Pennsylvania, where the real Buffalo Bill's House still stands.

The filmmakers used the home on 8 Circle St. in Perryopolis to shoot the scenes for Bill's lair in Belvedere. It's private property now, and no, actor Ted Levine, who portrayed Bill, doesn't live there. However, if you'd like to experience a truly macabre, horror-movie-inspired vacation, you can take guided tours of the house (2024 dates pending) and even spend the night there for about $500.

As scary as Bill's house of horrors might seem on-screen, the actual location looks much nicer now than it did in "The Silence of the Lambs." You might recognize the house, a 113-year-old, Queen Anne-style Victorian home, from the exterior shot in which the camera pans across train tracks to reveal Buffalo Bill's sleepy suburban residence (as seen in the still above). Inside, it's the kind of place that's decorated with equal parts antique furniture and kitschy "The Silence of the Lambs" memorabilia.

Visit Buffalo Bill's House from The Silence of the Lambs

The view outside Buffalo Bill's House looks much the same as it did in "The Silence of the Lambs," complete with the green, rusted-out bus across the train tracks. On the porch, you can stand in the same doorway where Clarice Starling first encountered Bill face to face. Then, you can enter the grand foyer, as seen in an overhead shot in the film. The dining room is more presentable than it was in the scene in which Clarice draws her gun and Bill ducks into the kitchen to grab his revolver off the stove. You won't see any death's-head moths flying around, but you might see one framed on a wall.

Around the house, there are many tongue-in-cheek decorations inspired by the movie, like an Andy Warhol-esque picture of a can of fava beans, or an inspirational quote that reads, "It's important to be comfortable in your own skin because it's illegal to wear someone else's." Yes, there's a basement, fully equipped with a Singer sewing machine, mannequins, and a full-length mirror where you can try on Bill's kimono and prance around to the tune of the Q Lazzarus song "Goodbye Horses" (which plays as you descend the stairs).

Best of all, the house's owner, Chris Rowan, brought in "The Silence of the Lambs" makeup artist Jerry Gergely, along with horror legend Tom Savini's special make-up effects program, to build an interactive version of the movie's basement well.

The Workshop of Horrors, recreation room, and beyond

In Buffalo Bill's "Workshop of Horror," you can pose for pics at the bottom of the basement's 4-foot well. Lower the white stuffed poodle, Precious, by bucket into the well with you, and you might feel just like Catherine Martin (Brooke Smith), the kidnapped senator's daughter in "The Silence of the Lambs." If you've booked an overnight stay, you can choose from the Precious Room or three other bedrooms named after the movie's characters.

On its third floor, Buffalo Bill's House has a recreation room with a pool table, arcade games, and a home theater. You can pretend it's the '90s all over again and play "Super Street Fighter II" or watch "The Silence of the Lambs" in the same house where it was filmed. Outside, the surrounding 1.7-acre property has other interesting features, like a koi pond and vintage train caboose. Located just along the Youghiogheny River, it's also prime real estate if you want to hit up Hazelbakers Canoe & Kayak Rentals or hike or bike the nearby Great Allegheny Passage.

You can also use Buffalo Bill's House as a gateway to other Pittsburgh horror movie locations, like the Monroeville Mall from "Dawn of the Dead." If you want to take things to the next level, you could even make a road trip out of it and visit the East Coast campground where "Friday the 13th" was filmed before spending the night in other spooky movie hotels and cabins.