As many Central Texans know, the classic 1974 horror flick The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was filmed in our own backyard. One of the local sets was a quaint cottage in Round Rock. But in the movie, the house wasn’t so quaint — the film’s evil villain, Leatherface, lurked there.
Today, the Queen Anne-style home, originally built in the early 1900s, stands in the Texas Hill Country town of Kingsland, roughly 65 miles northwest of the original site. Since 2012, it’s been home to Grand Central Café, where you can partake of breakfast, lunch, and dinner every Wednesday through Sunday.
This spring, devotees of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre will get a chance to spend the night in the Leatherface house — if they dare. A film series called On Set Cinema is clearing out Grand Central Café on March 29 and 30 for what’s billed as “the coolest horror slumber party ever.”
In one of the rooms — where the infamous dining room scene took place — organizer Kenny Caperton will set up a TV for guests to watch a Texas Chain Saw-a-thon.
“Fans will be able to hang out and sleep wherever they want inside the house … in the hallway where we first see Leatherface emerge from the doorway and smash Kirk in the head with the sledgehammer, or in the room that was filled with bones and chicken feathers discovered by Pam just before she gets snatched up and hung on the hook, or even upstairs where Sally finds Grandpa in the rocking chair,” Caperton writes.
Aside from the movie screenings and the sleepover, guests will be treated to “horror” games, board games, and video games, as well as a barbecue dinner “with headcheese on the side,” Caperton says.
The late movie director Tobe Hooper, an Austin native, filmed The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in 1973 around Central Texas on a shoestring budget. As a refresher, here’s a summary of the plot, courtesy of the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas:
“The film follows five teenagers on their way to visit a desecrated grave when they pick up a hitchhiker. They find themselves at the hitchhiker’s family home, where they are thrust into a world of terror. The hitchhiker is the brother of a chainsaw-wielding, cannibalistic serial killer called Leatherface, a name born from his grisly habit of creating and wearing flesh masks from his victims.”
Only 13 guests per night will be admitted to the horrifying affair. A ticket for the first night sells for $400; the price drops to $350 on the second night.
The event is open only to people 21 and older. Guests must bring their own blankets, pillows, and air mattresses. A word of warning: The house has restrooms but lacks showers.