Buildings and houses are often overlooked for how much character they can bring to a movie. They’re more than just props—they can reveal backstory, personality, or even come to life and act on their own.
Whether it’s because the house is haunted, the building is secretly a magical maze or labyrinth, or even a futuristic battlefield for death games, the setting itself can bring a movie to the next level.
Here are some of the most interestingly magical, mysterious, haunted, or otherwise unusual houses and buildings in movies.
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11. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (Harry Potter)
We can start off with an obvious one: the majestic Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where the trio of Harry, Ron, and Hermione lived as students under Gryffindor House.
Hogwarts itself is already quite an unusual place, but the magical areas inside and outside the school make it truly one of a kind—like the moving staircases, the talking portraits, the Forbidden Forest, the Quidditch Pitch, and even the giant chess pieces underground.
The school incorporates a ton of fantasy throughout the movies, leading to fun and challenging adventures for Harry and the rest.
10. Heelshire’s Mansion (The Boy)
The Boy is a story about a woman who’s hired as a nanny to the son of an elderly couple. Much to her surprise, the boy isn’t normal—he’s actually a porcelain doll named Brahms.
As the story progresses, the haunted mystery of the house comes to light, showing that it was restructured to hide a boy who murdered someone a long time ago. The walls have pathways that lead all over the house.
The new home of the main characters in Within also has a similar premise, with a man living inside the walls. Is there anything more terrifying than the thought of someone in your walls without you knowing?
9. The Escape Room Venue (Escape Room)
The film Escape Room features a well-planned death game venue where the escape room players must solve puzzles to escape death and survive. From fiery hazards to frozen traps, every room is built to satisfy the game’s viewers and make it impossible for players to escape.
8. Avengers Tower (Avengers)
Formerly known as Stark Tower, Avengers Tower became the base of operations for Marvel’s superheroes and has featured in several of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films.
It’s technologically advanced and houses Tony Stark’s Iron Man suits, plus all kinds of other technologies used to ward off villains.
7. Carl’s House (Up)
A flying house may not feel too unusual when it comes to movies—especially animated ones—but Carl Fredricksen’s house in Up is definitely unique: it uses thousands of helium balloons to lift it up and take him to the place where he and his wife had planned to go to.
The house has its own steering system as if it were really an airship, with Carl as the captain and Russell as his first mate (who just wants to earn a merit badge by helping the elderly).
6. Howl’s Magical Castle (Howl’s Moving Castle)
If you like the Boar’s Hat of the Seven Deadly Sins anime series, then you’ll be thrilled with Howl’s magical castle in Howl’s Moving Castle. It looks like a heap of scrap metal and materials, but it’s so much more.
Calcifer, the fire demon, is the source of its life and keeps the castle moving. The moving castle has a huge body supported by long thin legs. One fascinating feature of the castle is its front door, which is connected to various locations, allowing for fast travel.
5. Parsons’ House (Intrusion)
Anyone who loves living in a huge open area would love the isolated location of the Parsons’ house from Intrusion. It’s right in the middle of nowhere without any neighbors in sight.
The house was designed and built by its owner, Mr. Henry Parsons—and hides a mystery connected to the intrusion and the missing girl. Hidden down in the house is a basement only Henry can enter, with secrets and horrors that not even his wife Meera knows about.
4. The Creeper’s Hideout (Jeepers Creepers)
Who would have thought that a killer monster could be as artistic as Michelangelo in terms of interior design? Michaelangelo’s base was an old church with a secret basement where he did all his artwork.
The killer in the film Jeepers Creepers decorates his hideout in the same way as the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, except using the bodies of his victims that are petrified, preserved, sewn, and glued to the walls.
3. Sinclair’s House of Wax (House of Wax)
The film House of Wax is another movie that features an unusual house full of inhumane artwork—life-sized human wax figures. And it’s not just the human figures but even Sinclair’s house that’s made out of wax.
The concept may sound silly, but its execution is horrifying as we see scenes where characters tragically turn into artworks themselves.
2. Winchester Mystery House (Winchester: The House That Ghosts Built)
The typical haunted house is an abandoned structure filled with ghosts and spirits of the dead. But the mansion of Sarah Winchester in Winchester: The House That Ghosts Built isn’t abandoned—it’s purposely built for the spirits of the victims of the Winchester rifle.
The film features a house that’s constantly being rebuilt, adding more rooms for every additional victim of the Winchester rifle. The house is always busy with workers renovating, satisfying the owner’s belief of the curse of those who have died by their guns.
1. Gonjiam Psychiatric Hospital (Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum)
Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum is a found footage horror film that’s based on the real-life Gonjiam Psychiatric Hospital.
The real building was abandoned due to non-paranormal reasons and never opened its doors for patients. In fact, it was open to the public, which led to it being a hot topic in all sorts of media.
The Gonjiam Psychiatric Hospital featured in the film is a home for the souls of those killed by a murderous hospital director. It’s unusually creepy knowing that Gonjiam is a real place!