Any Halloween lover knows that the month of October is best spent rewatching some of your favorite Halloween movie classics, but sprinkled in between the typical roster of scary movies are some more endearing ones — especially the Halloweentown franchise.
The original Halloweentown movie was released by Disney in 1998 and quickly became a hit among Halloween lovers, who found the film to be timeless and something the whole family could enjoy.
The original was the only one filmed on location in St. Helens, Ore.
The fictional world of Halloweentown was originally filmed in St. Helens, Ore. This small town on the Columbia River was the story's backdrop, and it even led the town to begin hosting their own "Spirit of Halloweentown" celebration for the entire month of October every year, featuring family-friendly Halloween activities and a large jack-o-lantern.
Now, big fans of the film consider the quaint town a landmark in their film repertoire, while the townsfolk embrace its reputation.
But the 1998 Halloweentown was actually the only movie in the entire franchise to be filmed in St. Helens. Each of the subsequent movies were filmed in other locations, with producers replicating the original Halloweentown set as closely as possible in each of these new places.
It's currently unclear why production made this decision, though it's possible it had something to do with how popular the location had become after the first movie's release.
Where was 'Return to Halloweentown' filmed?
Return to Halloweentown was the last installment in the Halloweentown series, being released eight years after the original. By this point, St. Helens was a clear hub for Halloweentown fans to visit, despite also not being the filming location for the previous two movies.
According to IMDb, Return to Halloweentown was filmed across three different location in the state of Utah: Salt Lake City, Ogden, and Provo.
While none of these locations are the same as cute little St. Helens, this wasn't the first film in the franchise to be filmed in Utah. Halloweentown High, the movie preceding this final installment, was also filmed in a couple of locations across the state. Much of the filming took place in Salt Lake City, while shots inside the high school the film was set in were done at Juan Diego Catholic High School.
Halloweentown II, however, was actually filmed in British Columbia, Canada. Some of the scenes were shot in Vancouver and Richmond, while others were filmed in the Fantasy Gardens.
This isn't an unusual practice for film franchises, as they often shoot in new locations for sequels, despite the difficulty this can create in replicating a previously-used set. Luckily, the difference in filming locations wasn't obvious to viewers, who did not seem bothered by the change.