Featured Trips Types:

  • All Featured Trips
  • Weird Guides
  • Scenic Drives
  • Outdoor Escapes
  • National Parks Trips & Tips
  • Camping & Road Trips
  • Interstate Highway Exit Guides
  • Ghost Guides
  • Classic USA Road Trips
  • Airstream - Live Riveted
  • 48 Hour City Guides
  • Family Road Trips
  • Thor Industries
  • Fun for the Whole Family
  • Grand County
  • Explore Memphis like a Local
  • Offbeat Camping
  • Scenic Routes
  • Outdoor Adventure
Clear All

Accommodation Types:

  • All Accommodation
  • Bed and Breakfasts & Inns
  • Boutique Hotels
  • Hostels
  • Hotels
  • Motels
  • Unique Stays

FastBook

Look for FastBook for quick links to
your favorite booking sites

Clear All

Attractions & Culture Types:

  • All Attractions & Culture
  • Amusement Parks
  • Children's Attractions
  • Fall Attractions
  • Museums
  • Offbeat Attractions
  • Top Attractions
  • Tours & Excursions
  • Winter Attractions
  • Zoos & Aquariums
Viator
Look for the icon to book the best
tours and activities nearby.
Clear All

Food & Drink Types:

  • All Food & Drink
  • Bars & Drinks
  • Burgers & BBQ
  • Coffee & Tea
  • Delis & Bakeries
  • Diners & Breakfast Spots
  • Ice Cream & Sweets
  • Restaurants
  • Vegetarian & Health Food
  • Wineries, Breweries & Distilleries
Clear All

Outdoors & Recreation Types:

  • All Outdoors & Recreation
  • Beaches
  • Fall Foliage
  • Geographical Areas
  • Geographical Features
  • National Parks
  • Nature Reserves
  • Parks & Gardens
  • Scenic Point
  • Swimming Spots
  • Trails & Hikes
Clear All

Points of Interest Types:

  • All Points of Interest
  • Abandoned
  • Architecture
  • College Icons
  • Film & TV
  • Historic
  • Holiday Lights
  • Literature
  • Military
  • Monuments
  • Photo Op
  • Planes, Trains, Autos
  • Public Art
  • Science & Tech
  • Spooky Places
Clear All

Vacation Rentals Types:

  • All Vacation Rentals
  • HomeAway
  • Vacation Rentals

We’ve partnered with HomeAway to find you the perfect vacation rental.

Clear All

Camping & RV Types:

  • All Camping & RV
  • Cottages & Cabins
  • KOA Campgrounds
  • RV Parks
  • Tent Campgrounds
Clear All

Entertainment & Nightlife Types:

  • All Entertainment & Nightlife
  • Art Galleries
  • Casinos & Gaming
  • Cinemas
  • Games & Amusements
  • Music
  • Nightlife
  • Shows & Entertainment
  • Theaters
Clear All

Services Types:

  • All Services
  • ATMs
  • Auto Services
  • Gas/Fuel Stations
  • Rest Areas
  • Tourist Information
  • Transportation
  • Vehicle Rental
Clear All

Shopping Types:

  • All Shopping
  • Antiques
  • Books & Music
  • Crafts & Handmade
  • General Goods
  • Gifts & Souvenirs
  • Groceries
  • Malls & Shopping Areas
  • Quirky Shops
  • Thrift & Flea
Clear All

Sports Types:

  • All Sports
  • Adventure Sports
  • Cycling
  • Equestrian Sports
  • Fishing & Hunting
  • Golf
  • Gyms & Fitness
  • Skate & Surf Spots
  • Stadiums
  • Water Sports
  • Winter Sports
Clear All

Motoring Types:

  • All Motoring
  • Automotive Attractions
  • Off-Road Trails
  • Racetracks
  • Scenic Drives
Clear All
  • Trip
  • Places I've Been
  • My Saved Places
  • Collection
  • Featured Trips
  • Accommodation
  • Attractions & Culture
  • Food & Drink
  • Outdoors & Recreation
  • Points of Interest
  • Vacation Rentals
  • Camping & RV
  • Entertainment & Nightlife
  • Services
  • Shopping
  • Sports
  • Motoring
  • DON'T FORGET TO SAVE YOUR TRIP. CLICK HERE.

0 Layers
4.4
27 votes

Town of Spectre (Big Fish Filming Location)

Montgomery, Alabama USA

$
$$$$
Budget
  • Chain
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Not Wheelchair Accessible
  • Public Restrooms
  • Outdoor Seating
Add to Trip

“An entire abandoned town built for Tim Burton's "Big Fish!"”

In Tim Burton's surprisingly touching film Big Fish, Edward Bloom, played by both Ewan McGregor and Albert Finney, visits a mysterious town in the middle of a dark forest. The picture-perfect town was named Spectre, and all of its citizens were so friendly and comfortable that they spent their days wandering the town barefoot. It was the idyllic, quaint American neighborhood, but it never existed...or did it?

You might think that some lovely little southern community acted as the setting for fictional town, but what few know is that Tim Burton had the entire town built from scratch on an island along the banks of the Alabama river...and it still sits there, hidden and alone. Here's how to visit the abandoned town of Spectre from Big Fish.

Today, Spectre is a shadow of how it appeared in the movies. Situated on a private island, outside Montgomery, Alabama, many of the buildings have collapsed of have burned down, though a few reportedly remain, complete with plasterboard bricks and roofs covered in moss and mold. Those who look closely will see that even numerous trees are beginning to show that they're actually just styrofoam setpieces. Still, seeing the derelect town in person is one of the most unique road trip stops for any movie lover. You can almost imagine the residents still strolling through the fictional town.

While the remains of Spectre are located private property, the owners of the island are friendly and generally willing let visitors roam the island, though it costs travelers three bucks to cross the bridge, a small price to pay when it comes to wandering an abandoned film set.
-Roadtrippers


Built specifically for the 2003 Tim Burton film "Big Fish", the fictional town of Spectre actually exists on the banks of the Alabama river, unused since the movie's production.

Each of the buildings created for the film still stand, from a general store to a chapel at the end of the short road, slowly decaying on a private island.

You can visit the town of Spectre, complete with plasterboard bricks and roofs covered in moss and mold. You can almost imagine the residents still strolling through the fictional town.

In the film, Edward Bloom (played by Ewan McGregor) has taken an abandoned path through a supposedly haunted forest where he discovers a mystical sleepy little town. Spectre is made up of two neat rows of homes and businesses leading up to a humble, white church in the middle of thick woods where few men travel. No roads lead to or cut through Spectre which rests on its perfectly trimmed and lush grass clearing. The town is so comfortable, none of its residents even wear shoes!

Be warned that the town is on private property, and to visit, you'll need an "OK" from the owners of the island.. but it's worth the hassle.

Read More >
Add Review
Thanks!
Your Rating
1
2
3
4
5

Reviewed by
jmboykin28

  • 6 Reviews
  • 11 Helpful
July 06, 2014
Rated 4.0

Just came back a week ago from this trip. The gentleman I spoke with to get onto the island seemed to think I was crazy for wanting to get out there and take pictures, but understood why I wanted to do it. The property is used for fishing and camping. I'm thinking about going back and staying over night.

6 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
stephjane

  • 1 Review
  • 7 Helpful
June 30, 2014

I explain how to get permission to go on the property in my blog post about my visit! I also provide a picture of the google maps image of the island :)

http://ifyago.tumblr.com/post/87399637566/if-youre-near-montgomery-ala-check-out-this

7 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Bryan

  • Road Warrior
  • 74 Reviews
  • 69 Helpful
December 12, 2014
Rated 5.0

Better get here quick - I was there last month - got in by calling the number on the gate getting the code and depositing money at the un-manned gate house. Really neat to see what is left - remember this is just a studio set - fake partial buildings that were poorly constructed and falling apart from the weather. Expect to spend an hour looking around - the grounds are pretty cool with all the big trees, waterfront and moss.

4 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Memphismom

  • 1 Review
  • 3 Helpful
November 29, 2014
Rated 5.0

The folks around there are generally very giving, interesting, folks. Pretty good business folks at the time as I remember. You see it took a lot to talk Fox, Zanuck, Cohen, Burton into leaving the town.
You see the little one that played young Jenny is my now grown daughter.

3 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
miss.mandyjean

  • 1 Review
  • 3 Helpful
April 26, 2014

Has anyone heard anything about how to get permission to go on the property? My boyfriend and I will be road tripping across the country and would love to make this stop.

3 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
vwgto

  • 1 Review
  • 1 Helpful
June 05, 2016
Rated 5.0

Easy to get-to just outside Montgomery. Very pretty little island. All instructions are at the gate. $3 per person. Worth the detour - - and won't be there forever.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
likeomgjess

  • 1 Review
  • 1 Helpful
April 20, 2016
Rated 4.0

This is on an island called Jackson Lake Island. You can find out information about the island on their Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/JacksonLakeIsland/timeline

When you get there, you call the number on the gate to get the gate code. Don't worry, there are instructions on the gate. Then you put your entrance fee in a provided envelope at the gatehouse. The fee is $3 per person to visit and $10 per person to stay overnight. If you're not staying overnight, you have to be off the island by dark.

Once you go through the gate, just keep following the dirt road onto the island until you eventually see a little wooden sign that says Spectre with an arrow pointing to the left. Go to your left, and you'll start to see the tiny wooden town. Be warned, this town has residents, a small herd of goats. All of the ground around and inside of the prop houses is covered in goat droppings, so be sure to check your shoes before you get back in your car.

The town itself is showing lots of wear and tear, which is to be expected from a prop town outside on an island. It's really neat to see the parts that have aged naturally versus the parts that were aged by the set dressers for the movie. There's a line for you to throw shoes on like the little girl did in the movie, so bring an old pair with you for an awesome photo-op!

When we went, there were lots of people fishing on the island and people kayaking in the water around it. There were also a fair number of people camping. We even saw two separate couples taking what looked like engagement pictures. It was an absolutely beautiful area.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
LindsayKoch

  • 1 Review
  • 1 Helpful
April 17, 2015
Rated 5.0

Lots is left of this little place. You just drive up to the gate, call the number posted on the gate, and deposit $3/person for entrance. The man on the phone is very nice and will give you the gate code. Drive on in, across a winding River, and then you will see Specter! Took lots of pictures- for being a prop set 15 years old, I think it looks pretty great.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
jblalldredge

  • 1 Review
  • 1 Helpful
March 28, 2015
Rated 5.0

Driving home from spending the day here & can't say how lovely it was! The land owner said there's only about 40% of the set standing (March 2015)- I would agree. The island itself was great to explore!! Since its private property, we were confused how to get in but it was simple. Drove to the gate - called the "for info" number on the gate - a gentleman answered - I kindly asked if we would be able to see the Big Fish set & the island - he asked me to fill out a card at the booth by the gate. Name / car tag # / make&model / # of people and you pay $3.00 per person he gave us a code and the gate opened!! We will certainly come back to camp & fish!!!

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
MommaB3

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
May 15, 2014

I could see the owners turning this into a great "tourist trap" with shops and cafe's.......Think about it!!!!

1 person found this review helpful

Be the first to add a review to the Town of Spectre (Big Fish Filming Location).

Town of Spectre (Big Fish Filming Location)

Montgomery, Alabama
USA

Hours not available

Is there a problem with this listing? Let us know.

  • Chain
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Not Wheelchair Accessible
  • Public Restrooms
  • Outdoor Seating
  • Wifi
  • Free Parking

Own this business?

Claim your business to keep your
listing's information up to date.

Claim

Nearby Hotels

Millbrook, Alabama
FastBook
$

Click to find a
great deal for this hotel

Prattville, Alabama
FastBook
$$

Click to find a
great deal for this hotel

Prattville, Alabama
FastBook
$

Click to find a
great deal for this hotel

Millbrook, Alabama
FastBook

Click to find a
great deal for this hotel

102898