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The Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead House

Oct 15th, 2009 | By | Category: Movie Locations

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Thought I’d take a little break today from writing about New York filming locations as there is a movie house that Mike, from MovieShotsLA, and I stalked a few weeks back that I am just dying to blog about – Christina Applegate’s home from fave movie Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead!  I swear, I’ve wanted to stalk that house for what seems like forever, but could never figure out its location.  In fact, Mike and I had become convinced that the house wasn’t really a house at all, but a facade that had been built on a studio back lot somewhere.  So, a few weeks ago, I decided to ask fellow stalker Owen for some help in either locating the house or getting a confirmation that it had been just a set.  Well, not twenty-four hours later, Owen emailed me back . . . with an address!!!!!!!!!!!!!  He had somehow managed to track down a crew member from the 1991 film who confirmed that the house was real.  And while he didn’t remember its exact location, he said he had the address written down in one of his files and promised to look it up for us.  So, later that day, the guy actually WENT THROUGH HIS FILES and found the address!!!!  How incredibly nice is that?????   And pretty much immediately after I had it, Mike and I were on our way to stalk the house. 

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Because the Don’t Tell Mom  house had been at the very top of my Must-Stalk list for YEARS, I was practically bursting with excitement the entire car ride there!  I’m actually surprised my head didn’t explode or something!  LOL   And I am very happy to report that, in person, the house did not disappoint!  :)   Over eighteen years later and it still looks very much the same as it did in the movie.  :)    The crew member had told Owen that they had roughed up the house a bit for the filming and dressed it to look dingier than it actually was.  He also told Owen that, using camera angles, the house was made to look much smaller onscreen than it actually was in real life.  Well, I really had to laugh when I heard that, because the one thing I’ve always remembered about the Don’t Tell Mom  house was how absolutely HUGE it was.  So, for the crew member to say that it was even bigger in person absolutely boggled my mind!  Anyway, due to the behind-the-scenes info that Owen was told, I wasn’t really expecting the house to look at all the same in person as it did in the movie.  So, you can imagine my surprise when Mike and I pulled up to the house and saw that it was still completely, one hundred percent recognizable from the film!  YAY!  Because the angle of the house shown in the movie was not the view of the house seen from the street, I was, unfortunately, not able to get great photographs of it.  In the movie, the exterior shots of the house were filmed mostly from the driveway area, with the camera facing West. The view from the street, however, which you can see in the above photograph, faces South.    

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Pictured above is the view of the house from the West, but because of the many trees on the property, not much is visible from that angle.  :(

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Other behind-the-scenes info the crew member told Owen was that the real interior of the home was used extensively for the filming, but that it, too, was made to look dingier and smaller for the production.  He also told Owen that the “Dishes Are Done” scene in which Kenny (aka Keith Coogan) stands on the roof of the house with his friends and shoots the dishes instead of cleaning them, was not filmed on the home’s actual roof, but on a fake roof that was built in the backyard area.  If you’ll notice in that scene, the camera never pans back far enough to show the whole house, because there wasn’t a whole house to show.  The boys were actually standing just a few feet off the ground.  :)

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The crew member also said that the home’s real life backyard and pool area were used for the filming of the fashion show scene.  And, as you can see in the above screen capture and aerial image, both look very much the same today as they did in the movie.

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And can I just say that I so love the fact that the house was made a part of the Don’t Tell Mom movie poster!  So cool!

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On an ironic side note: About a year ago I got to meet Christopher Morley, who played the Marilyn Monroe drag queen who stole Christina Applegate’s car in the movie.  And even though he wasn’t in any scenes that took place at the house, pretty much the very first words out of my mouth when I met him were “Do you happen to know where the house from Don’t Tell Mom is located?”  To which he replied, “Oh honey, I don’t even remember where I filmed my scene, let alone where they filmed scenes I wasn’t even in!”  LOL  I always find it amazing when people forget things like that.  And, while I realize that, as hard as it may be to believe, most people aren’t as interested in stalking locations as I am, I still find it odd when crew members don’t remember the addresses to places where they worked for days at a time.  For about a year and a half, I worked as a personal assistant and, I’m telling you, my former boss could call me up today and say, “Do you remember where you bought those sheets for my guest house in May of 2007?” and, even though I’m not particularly interested in bedding, not only could I tell him the name of the store and it’s exact location, but also the color of the sheets I got him and the cost!   And that’s not just because that particular store offered me champagne when I walked in the door, either.  LOL  No, no matter what anyone says, I will just never understand how people can forget something as important as a filming location!  ;)  

Big, big THANK YOU to Owen for finding this location!  :)

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  :)

Stalk It: The Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead  house is located at 15548 Iron Canyon Road in Canyon Country, near Santa Clarita.

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15 comments

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  1. Frank Vollhardt says:

    Have you ever searched for the hospital in DTMTBD?. I think it is North Ridge, and they just changed it to River Ridge..

    Have you scouted out the mortuary? Press kit says it is Groman Eden Mortuary in Mission Hills.

    It also says the temp hit 117 during filming part of the 6 weeks.

    • vanessa laine says:

      The hospital scenes were filmed in Lakeview Terrace. It used to be a hospital a long time ago, I believe it’s a rehabilitation center now.

  2. Travis says:

    I know where the ‘drag queen car jacking’ took place if you’re still looking for it. You can email me @ ALLISTER1973@AOL.COM

  3. Melissa says:

    Thank you so much for this article! I was just watching the movie (for the 20th time probably), and thinking about how much I love that house. I was really interested in what town it’s located in. Imagine my delight when I found this page complete with pictures and an address! Also thanks to Keith Coogan for being awesome in that movie, and clarifying on here what the set was like. Love all of it! :)

  4. Brittany says:

    I was just watching this movie, and decided to re-read your post on this because I remembered you had done one on the house. But now I’m totally amazed that Keith Coogan posted a comment below! Wow! So cool!!! Love him in that movie :-)

  5. Nicole says:

    Spectacular find! By far, my favorite movie of all time. I can watch it over and over and never get sick of it. Did read on the internet today that they are working on a remake. Please noooooooo! Hollywood needs to stop ruining the classics and going back to original thinking. Here’s to hoping it falls through!

  6. Evan Fritts says:

    I am i stalker…well let me rephrase that. I WISH I WAS a stalker. I sit at home (springfield ohio) alll day and look up weird and unusual facts about movies. Where they were shot, behind the scenes interaction, risks and such the actors had to go through ect. ect. I will add two comments. I 1.) I have a crush on you (iamastalker) and 2.) Think its totally fuckin’ rad that Keith Coogan commented on this shit. Well im watchin Dont tell mom the babysitters dead so i gotta go. Catch ya later twisted sister.

  7. Caroline says:

    Fun Fact: This house is also the same house from the 80s sitcom “Just the Ten of Us”

  8. Keith Coogan says:

    Dear IAmNotAStalker.com.

    The mock-up was used for the “Walter breaks his leg” scenes. We definitely crawled up onto the roof of the house to shoot the dishes scene. And the front of the house that you see from the driveway side is the side we used mostly. The “Kitchen” was also a working set right there in the real house, as well as Swell’s bedroom, Mom’s closet, and Melissa’s room. There was also a cut scene where we “discover” the pool in the backyard hidden all these years under brush and shrubbery. Thanks for finding the house, I get a lot of questions about that set/house, and now I can point them to your great article!

    Sincerely,

    Keith Coogan

    • Amanda M. says:

      hi do u happen to know any other of the film locations????????????? very interested by ue reply ….

    • Rick says:

      I can attest to the scenes filmed on the roof. One of the first things I did to the house was to re-roof it. Lots of broken roofing tiles.

  9. Ashton says:

    OMG This is a great location I love that movie!!! Its so great how you don’t forget about all the good movies from way back when!

  10. Amanda M. says:

    omg lindsay i swear u read my mind!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i was going crazy looking for this house!!!! i never asked u to stalk it though, so u read my mind LOL!!! love it!!!


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  2. [...] Dead.  In a random twist of fate, Owen happened upon this information during his search for the main house used in Don’t Tell Mom  back in September.  While trying to track down that location, Owen came across an interview with [...]

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