7 times the house from Alfred Hitchock’s ''Psycho'' appeared on TV
When it comes to horror movie houses, there is perhaps none more iconic than the towering mansion overlooking the Bates Motel from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. But the building’s instantly recognizable looks didn’t stop producers from using it over and over again.
Originally built as a two-sided façade that could only be shot from one angle, the full structure was completed later on to better suit the needs of different productions. The house was put to use on TV immediately after Psycho’s release, appearing in the Old West, on creepy anthology shows and as a historical mansion.
Take a look at seven shows that reused the famous Victorian!
One of the first shows to use the Bates house was Thriller. The two-season anthology hosted by horror legend Boris Karloff actually used it twice. In “The Purple Room,” which aired just a month after Psycho’s initial release in 1960, a skeptic must stay in a haunted Baton Rouge mansion willed to him by his brother. The next season, the house was featured in “An Attractive Family” about a household that was more homicidal than hospitable.
In between its two appearances on Thriller, the house showed up in the classic Western Wagon Train. “The Eleanor Culhane Story” revolves around an old flame of Flint McCullough who lives in a crumbling mansion, shunned by everyone in town. Though not haunted in the episode, the off-kilter shots of the house still make it look quite ominous. The view of the house in these early TV appearances is the same angle seen in Psycho, as it was likely still just a two-sided façade.
The Alfred Hitchcock Hour
It seems like a no-brainer that the house should be on one of Alfred Hitchcock’s shows, but it took five years and a switch from 30-minute episodes to full hour installments for it to happen. In “An Unlocked Window” nurses working at a large private home lock themselves in to escape a serial killer on the loose.
In 1967, the Bates house finally appeared on TV in color. The short-lived Western Laredo used it as part of a ghost town in “The Small Chance Ghost.” Even with the paranormal pretense of this episode, the house looks far less creepy in color. The white picket fence makes it look downright inviting compared to other appearances!
The Bates house continued its prolific TV career into the 1970s. In the second season of Rod Serling’s Night Gallery, it appeared again as a haunted house that someone must spend the night in, this time to win a bet. Naturally, the at-first fearless Colonel, played by Leslie Nielsen, gets more than he bargained for by the night’s end.
In the first-responder series Emergency! the house is threatened by a wildfire. Paramedics John and Roy help an elderly woman in the mansion get to safety. And no, the woman lives there with her sister — not a homicidal son.
Captains and the Kings
Like many miniseries from the time, Captains and the Kings brought together a star-studded cast to tell an epic story from the past. Richard Jordan starred as a poor Irish immigrant in the 1800s who built an empire of enormous wealth. Robert Vaughn, Patty Duke and Jane Seymour also appeared along with the Bates house, which got its own rags-to-riches makeover.