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Relive ‘The Ring’ in these spooky Seattle-area locations

Before you die, you see these coastal scenes

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Our eerie, dark, foggy environment has been an inspiration for many a spooky setting. While sometimes better film incentives mean a trip to Vancouver for film crews, the Seattle area has provided a backdrop for many a creepy scene, from Twin Peaks to The Hand that Rocks the Cradle.

The 2002 film The Ring, an American remake of the Japanese film Ringu, could have easily phoned in a Seattle-area locale. But despite lots of interior shots on a Los Angeles soundstage, the film expertly captures the eerie Pacific Northwest vibe by actually filming on location here. After all, it’s really hard to fake that fog and uniquely dreary magic hour.

While Seattle scenes are filmed in Seattle, with some exceptions, the movie carves out the exteriors of the island Rachel (Naomi Watts) explores looking for answers to a deadly VHS tape out of our actual island and peninsula coastlines around Whidbey Island, Skagit County, and Port Townsend—with brief trips to more landlocked locales like Monroe.

There are, of course, some big missed opportunities: An extremely scholarly library interior was filmed in OSC’s Mudd Hall of Philosophy, when UW’s Suzzallo Library would have been a great choice. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer was still in print at the time and had an extremely distinct headquarters (the one with the spinning globe), but its scenes were filmed in the offices of the Orange County Register.

One honorable mention: The lighthouse was also in the Pacific Northwest, but it’d be a stretch to call Newport, Oregon, more than two hours south of Portland by car, anything close to the Seattle area. But the chaotic surf around Yaquina Head certainly gets the job done.

Here are 10 notable Seattle-area filming locations of The Ring. Did we miss one? Tip us!

Special thanks to various movie location guides for getting us started here.

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1. Harbor Steps Apartments

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1221 1st Ave
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 624-5775
Visit Website

On a journalist’s salary, Rachel (Naomi Watts) manages to house herself and her son Aidan (David Dorfman) in a fancy, view apartment in the downtown Harbor Steps building across from the Seattle Art Museum.

2. Alaskan Way Viaduct

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Hwy 99
Seattle, WA

While it’s now gone (or almost gone, at least), the Viaduct and Pier 55 are visible behind Rachel as she waits for her friend Noah (Martin Henderson) to finish the video.

A large, double-decker, elevated highway runs along a coastline past many piers, including one with a lighted ferris wheel, at night. Alex Garland for Curbed Seattle

3. 1923 5th Avenue

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1923 5th Ave
Seattle, WA 98101

Rachel picks up her niece’s vacation photos—the ones with the smooshy faces—from a storefront across Fifth Avenue (and the monorail track) from the Westin Hotel. The location currently boarded up, but the Avis seen in the background is still there. It’s also right behind the Escala, perhaps the most famous filming location for Fifty Shades of Grey.

4. The Westin Seattle

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1900 5th Ave
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 728-1000
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Just across from the photo place is the Westin Hotel—and if you loop around downhill to its lower entrance at Sixth, Westlake, and Stewart, there’s a stone-paneled wall where Aidan gets stared down by a man in a hood, as if judging the child for using an umbrella. A real Metro bus passes by.

5. Pass Lake

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Many of the film’s watery scenes were filmed in the area surrounding Whidbey Island, starting with Pass Lake on the southern part of Fidalgo Island. Rachel passes it while driving on Highway 20 toward Shelter Mountain Inn.

6. Camp Firwood

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1740 Lake Whatcom Blvd
Bellingham, WA 98229
(360) 733-6840
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When Rachel reaches the Shelter Mountain Inn, the exterior is filmed at this Bellingham summer camp.

7. Stanwood Island cabin

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21729 50th Ave NW
Stanwood, WA 98292

While there’s a brief stop in Whatcom County, the film turns back to the Whidbey Island and Skagit County area for Cabin 12, the building where Katie (Amber Tamblyn) and her friends sealed their fate with a VHS tape. It’s a moss-covered, wood-shingled standalone cabin in Stanwood.

8. Port Townsend Ferry Terminal

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1301 Water St
Port Townsend, WA 98368
(206) 464-6400
Visit Website

While the ferry scene—including that incredibly spooky (and CGI, don’t worry about it) horse—was filmed on the Quinault ferry on its route from Whidbey Island to Mukilteo, Rachel boards the ferry at the Port Townsend terminal.

9. 23200 Yeager Rd

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23200 Yeager Rd
Monroe, WA 98272

The Morgan Horse Farm—home to Richard Morgan, played by Brian Cox—is filmed not on an island, but in the much more horse-dense area of Monroe at Emerald Glen Farm.

10. Deception Pass Bridge

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North Whidbey
Oak Harbor, WA 98277

Rachel and Noah travel over the super-eerie Deception Pass Bridge, which connects Whidbey Island to Fidalgo Island, on their way to the lighthouse—which, while it has a distinctly Pacific Northwest coastal vibe, is in Oregon.

Scaffolding underneath a bridge makes a cascading diamond shape. Shutterstock

1. Harbor Steps Apartments

1221 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98101

On a journalist’s salary, Rachel (Naomi Watts) manages to house herself and her son Aidan (David Dorfman) in a fancy, view apartment in the downtown Harbor Steps building across from the Seattle Art Museum.

1221 1st Ave
Seattle, WA 98101

2. Alaskan Way Viaduct

Hwy 99, Seattle, WA
A large, double-decker, elevated highway runs along a coastline past many piers, including one with a lighted ferris wheel, at night. Alex Garland for Curbed Seattle

While it’s now gone (or almost gone, at least), the Viaduct and Pier 55 are visible behind Rachel as she waits for her friend Noah (Martin Henderson) to finish the video.

Hwy 99
Seattle, WA

3. 1923 5th Avenue

1923 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101

Rachel picks up her niece’s vacation photos—the ones with the smooshy faces—from a storefront across Fifth Avenue (and the monorail track) from the Westin Hotel. The location currently boarded up, but the Avis seen in the background is still there. It’s also right behind the Escala, perhaps the most famous filming location for Fifty Shades of Grey.

1923 5th Ave
Seattle, WA 98101

4. The Westin Seattle

1900 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101

Just across from the photo place is the Westin Hotel—and if you loop around downhill to its lower entrance at Sixth, Westlake, and Stewart, there’s a stone-paneled wall where Aidan gets stared down by a man in a hood, as if judging the child for using an umbrella. A real Metro bus passes by.

1900 5th Ave
Seattle, WA 98101

5. Pass Lake

Pass Lake, Washington 98221

Many of the film’s watery scenes were filmed in the area surrounding Whidbey Island, starting with Pass Lake on the southern part of Fidalgo Island. Rachel passes it while driving on Highway 20 toward Shelter Mountain Inn.

6. Camp Firwood

1740 Lake Whatcom Blvd, Bellingham, WA 98229

When Rachel reaches the Shelter Mountain Inn, the exterior is filmed at this Bellingham summer camp.

1740 Lake Whatcom Blvd
Bellingham, WA 98229

7. Stanwood Island cabin

21729 50th Ave NW, Stanwood, WA 98292

While there’s a brief stop in Whatcom County, the film turns back to the Whidbey Island and Skagit County area for Cabin 12, the building where Katie (Amber Tamblyn) and her friends sealed their fate with a VHS tape. It’s a moss-covered, wood-shingled standalone cabin in Stanwood.

21729 50th Ave NW
Stanwood, WA 98292

8. Port Townsend Ferry Terminal

1301 Water St, Port Townsend, WA 98368

While the ferry scene—including that incredibly spooky (and CGI, don’t worry about it) horse—was filmed on the Quinault ferry on its route from Whidbey Island to Mukilteo, Rachel boards the ferry at the Port Townsend terminal.

1301 Water St
Port Townsend, WA 98368

9. 23200 Yeager Rd

23200 Yeager Rd, Monroe, WA 98272

The Morgan Horse Farm—home to Richard Morgan, played by Brian Cox—is filmed not on an island, but in the much more horse-dense area of Monroe at Emerald Glen Farm.

23200 Yeager Rd
Monroe, WA 98272

10. Deception Pass Bridge

North Whidbey, Oak Harbor, WA 98277
Scaffolding underneath a bridge makes a cascading diamond shape. Shutterstock

Rachel and Noah travel over the super-eerie Deception Pass Bridge, which connects Whidbey Island to Fidalgo Island, on their way to the lighthouse—which, while it has a distinctly Pacific Northwest coastal vibe, is in Oregon.

North Whidbey
Oak Harbor, WA 98277