62 In Alabama/ Travel

The Town of Spectre from Big Fish- Alabama

Big Fish is one of my favorite movies of all time, so I was more than elated to discover- the day before I left- that the town of Spectre was still setup somewhere near Montgomery and that you just had to get permission to get onto the island in the Alabama River to get to the set.

I had actually talked to my dad on the phone that morning while I ate breakfast, and I told him that when I looked it up, I saw that it was almost a half an hour in the opposite direction of where I wanted to go, so I decided not to go.  Well… That spontaneity kinda came over me again, and I decided Why Not? So, I found this info out on the Roadtrippers App, and it had this random pin in their map and I just followed it.  I missed the turn a time or two, but then I felt really accomplished when I got to a gate and saw it was only $3. My bubble burst a bit, when I realized that the gate had a code.  I almost turned my car around, defeated, but then I decided to knock on a random door and ask about the code, and I ended up knocking on the door of the woman who owns the island!  I told her how I had come from Missouri on this road trip and how this was one of my favorite movies.  Then she told me that she loved sitting and watching them film because the set was so beautiful.  She told me there had been a fire and not a lot was left, and then she told me that since that was the only reason I came that I could go in for free and to have fun!  So sweet!

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I crossed the Alabama River, onto the island, and drove for a bit through these beautiful, but kinda creepy trees and all of a sudden… I came up on this beautiful, dilapidated town in the middle of all of it.  It was so incredible to be a part of Spectre.  It felt pretty magical to be there!

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I could see how, if you weren’t a huge fan of Big Fish, this wouldn’t be worth the drive for the set alone, but being a huge fan, I can’t imagine being so close and not stopping.  However, the island itself is absolutely beautiful and worth it.  In fact, when I went back through the gate, I wrote on the money envelope, ‘It’s still worth it,’ and paid her the three dollars!

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THE TOWN OF

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62 Comments

  • Reply
    The English Professor at Large
    April 14, 2014 at 11:43 am

    A charming, enchanted kind of little settlement, like the movie itself. It looks beautiful still, and I love those magical trees.

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      April 20, 2014 at 4:21 pm

      Exactly! It was really magical, and I am elated to have been able to experience it firsthand. I’m so glad I happened to stumble upon the information to find it! It was so worth it! Thanks for reading and commenting!

      • Reply
        Scott Dodson
        April 30, 2014 at 7:51 pm

        Call me please 205 306 2542 my name is Scott. My wife and I are and have been interested in going ad seeing this ourselves I know where it is located but I have a couple of other questions if you don’t mind. Call or text anytime ASAP please

        • Reply
          PaigeBrown
          April 30, 2014 at 8:29 pm

          Hi, Scott! I would love to answer any questions, currently the best way to get ahold of me is my email- fortheloveofwanderlust@aol.com

  • Reply
    Kamila Pala
    April 14, 2014 at 11:47 am

    Very interesting, again! Cheers!

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      April 20, 2014 at 4:21 pm

      Thank you, Kamila! Cheers to you as well!

  • Reply
    karenaedwards71
    April 14, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    Love the movie as well. Seeing the pictures made me smile really big…thank you!

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      April 20, 2014 at 4:22 pm

      I’m glad to bring a smile! Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!

  • Reply
    Wanderlust Wednesday- Big Fish | For the Love of Wanderlust
    April 23, 2014 at 10:29 am

    […] Wanderlust Wednesday is a bit motivated by a recent post I did about my trip to the Spectre movie set from the movie Big Fish.  This is in my top three favorite movies of all time, and […]

  • Reply
    Mysti
    May 21, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    Could you send me directions or any contact information you might have? I would dearly love to go see this in person!

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      May 26, 2014 at 11:10 am

      I found directions on the Road Trippers App (I know for sure it’s free for iPhones), but on their website you can see it as well.
      (<- Click on the link) It was pretty incredible. When you get to the gate, there will be a house to your left, with a porch with a gate on it. That's the owner's house. I knocked on her door and she was very welcoming!

  • Reply
    Audrey
    October 31, 2014 at 1:49 am

    We want to visit, but I’m afraid of driving two hours and the owner not being home. I wish there was a way to contact her ahead of time.

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      November 15, 2014 at 10:54 pm

      I’m sure if she wasn’t home, that a neighbor could give you the code and you could pay the money like everyone else who visits- in the envelope at the gate. It was truly an incredible experience. I hope you get to go! I’ll try to see if I can find a way to contact her.

      • Reply
        Audrey
        November 15, 2014 at 10:59 pm

        We actually got to go yesterday! When we drove up to the gate, a couple of workers were going in. They gave me change for my $20.00 and told me the code. Tonight, my Mom watched “Big Fish” for the first time, and she said it made it so much more exciting for her, since we had been to “Spectre.” 🙂

        • Reply
          PaigeBrown
          November 15, 2014 at 11:03 pm

          Oh my gosh that’s so incredible, Audrey! I’m so glad that you made it! I would love to see your photos of it! I got chills stepping onto the little road through town! How cool that your mom got to see Big Fish after already being a part of it!

  • Reply
    Spectre Movie Set - For the Love of Wanderlust
    December 21, 2014 at 12:36 am

    […] on a tiny island in the Alabama River is the ghost of the town of Spectre. Spectre is a fictitious town from the beautiful film Big Fish (one of my favorites). When I was […]

  • Reply
    «Best Travel Moments of 2014» - For the Love of Wanderlust
    December 29, 2014 at 10:35 am

    […] time, and when I saw on the Road Trippers App (which every road tripper should download) that the Spectre movie set was still partially intact. I made a spontaneous side-trip to a tiny island on the Alabama River […]

  • Reply
    equinoxio21
    January 15, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    A great “tour” Paige. I assume the big fish is one of your ten favourite movies! 🙂
    Thanks for sharing.
    Brian

  • Reply
    equinoxio21
    January 15, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    PS. Loved the movie too.
    🙂

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      January 18, 2015 at 9:13 pm

      Isn’t it phenomenal?! It is one of my top ten favorites 🙂 I think they change from time to time, but this is consistently in my top three! It’s so good!

  • Reply
    Lisa
    July 18, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    How do you get in contact to see if it’s still available to tour?

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      July 19, 2015 at 9:06 am

      To be honest, I’m not sure how you would do it. I just drove up and when I saw it was gated, I knocked on doors- luckily finding the owner first. The address is 1060 Cypress Lane I hope that’s helpful. Someone emailed me about 1.5 months ago and went and did essentially the same method. Sorry I’m not of more help.

    • Reply
      Audrey
      July 19, 2015 at 4:35 pm

      We went 8 months ago, and it was the same. While I was at the gate, reading the instructions, a truck drove up and the guys gave me the code to get in. As far as I know, there is no way to check in advance. Someone always seems to be around.

  • Reply
    Ruben Arribas | Gamin Traveler
    August 24, 2016 at 4:36 am

    I love the movie too 🙂 Great post!

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      August 25, 2016 at 9:13 pm

      Thanks! It’s definitely in my top three movies of all time so visiting here was pretty special to me!

  • Reply
    klipdrifters
    August 24, 2016 at 9:24 am

    Wow like a complete ghost town! Absolutely love visiting places like this and so many awesome photo ops too! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      August 25, 2016 at 9:14 pm

      It is a bit like a ghost town, although someone said they’re trying to revamp it! It’s such a cool spot!

  • Reply
    Jaimee Nicole
    August 24, 2016 at 9:48 am

    This is so cool – I’ve never been to a place like this. I love the shots you got of it – it looks so empty and pretty.

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      August 25, 2016 at 9:15 pm

      Thank you! I’ve been to some ghost town places in the SW, but this had more of an aura to it for me even though it wasn’t ever actually a place of residence.

  • Reply
    Anamika Ojha
    August 24, 2016 at 10:52 am

    I’d love to visit place like this and your pictures are amazing!

  • Reply
    Audrey
    August 24, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    I recently learned that the buildings are being repaired. You can learn more on the Facebook page for Jackson Lake Island. https://www.facebook.com/JacksonLakeIsland/

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      August 25, 2016 at 9:15 pm

      How cool! That makes me really happy! Thanks for sharing that with me!

  • Reply
    Tess Andrade
    August 24, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    I must admit….I have never seen the movie….but clearly need to rectify this as soon as possible!! 🙂 Beautiful pictures and beautiful blog too!

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      August 25, 2016 at 9:17 pm

      It’s such a beautiful movie! It’s one of my very favorites. I hope you enjoy it too. And thank you so very much! I really appreciate that.

  • Reply
    Maja
    August 24, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    Ooops I did not see the movie! I will need to check it out, this is so cute.

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      August 25, 2016 at 9:17 pm

      You’ll definitely have to check it out. It has a really beautiful story, a dreamy sense of adventure and just makes my heart swell every time I watch it!

  • Reply
    Naomi
    August 24, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    I love how you went anyways! No matter the detour or the obstacles, you did what you wanted to see!

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      August 25, 2016 at 9:19 pm

      Thank you! I definitely did! It always feels good when that spontaneity pays off and doesn’t leave you in the middle of nowhere looking at a something incredibly disappointing… That’s happened to me before too. haha

  • Reply
    everyfootstepanadventure
    August 24, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    Oooh this town looks so interesting! I haven’t seen the movie but I may have to now 😀

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      August 25, 2016 at 9:19 pm

      It’s one of my top three favorites of all time, so I would highly recommend it. Hopefully you enjoy it too!

  • Reply
    Laura
    August 24, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    Wow, I had no idea! This is awesome and certainly somewhere I’d love to visit. It still looks like the movie set – so picturesque and a bit magical. I love that charm of the south. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      August 25, 2016 at 9:21 pm

      Oh and the feel of it was pure magic. I would highly recommend a visit, especially if you’re a fan of the movie!

  • Reply
    wanderingwagarschristina
    August 24, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    I have not seen the movie but now I am very intrigued. It is great that the lady let you in and your spontaneity paid off in the end.

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      August 25, 2016 at 9:22 pm

      It’s a great film! I’ve been really surprised by the number of commenters who haven’t seen it! It was really great that my spontaneity paid off because that doesn’t always happen.

  • Reply
    Cori Carl
    August 25, 2016 at 9:59 am

    I haven’t seen the movie either, but I love the idea of getting to explore an abandoned movie set. So cool!

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      August 25, 2016 at 9:22 pm

      It was really cool and extra-cool since it was from one of my all-time favs!

  • Reply
    Natasha G
    August 25, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    How cool is this? I love going to places where books and movies take place. My favorites so far were the Christmas Story house (lol) and Hobbiton. Thanks for sharing this experience with us!

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      August 25, 2016 at 9:23 pm

      That is too funny – do they have a leg lamp in the window?! And I would LOVE to visit Hobbiton!

  • Reply
    Kerri
    August 25, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    I’m so not a movie fan so have never even heard of this movie. But the area looks really nice, and interesting. It would be a place that I would stumble upon, think it’s cool, hang out there, and walk away without ever knowing it had another connection 🙂

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      August 25, 2016 at 9:25 pm

      It’s a really great film, and an equally amazing book if you’re more of a book person.

  • Reply
    Sally E
    August 25, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    Maybe I totally live under a rock or something but I’ve never even heard of Big Fish before! Either way this town looks super cool and quaint and that’s awesome that you got a chance to visit!

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      August 25, 2016 at 9:26 pm

      Clearly, I think the Big Fish lovers live under a rock because I think only two people who’ve recently commented on this have seen the movie! Haha! It’s more of an indie movie, but it’s so worth watching if you’re a movie-lover!

  • Reply
    abcdeghizzy
    August 25, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    I always wonder what happens to in situ movie sets! I know that Hobbiton in New Zealand has stayed in tact but that was a million-dollar enterprise so to see something out of an almost indie film like Big Fish still erect, that’s just pretty awesome. I loved Big Fish too! It was so whimsical and adventurous, makes sense that you would like it too 😛

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      August 25, 2016 at 9:28 pm

      It was really incredible. Especially as a Big Fish lover – I’m glad you love it too! It’s a movie that inspired me the first time I saw and continues to each and every time that I revisit it! It’s actually the first movie Matt & I ever watched together. Someone else commented on here that they’re actually working on revamping the island and set, which is interesting. I almost wonder something happened to the lady who owned the land…

  • Reply
    The Thought Card
    August 25, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    I love your spontaneity! Sometimes its worth a try to see what happens and knocking on the random door and meeting the owner was really special!

    • Reply
      Paige Wunder
      August 25, 2016 at 9:29 pm

      Thank you! It was really special, especially since I got to hear her describe the filming and how proud she was of her property and what they made with it. Thanks for reading!

  • Reply
    Fern Coll
    August 25, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    Wow, that town looks so cool. I didn’t know there were places like that in Alabama

    • Reply
      WordPress.com Support
      August 26, 2016 at 9:17 am

      It’s an old movie set, but even the island in the river is something to be seen! The south has a lot of really amazing places if you take the time to look!

  • Reply
    Janna
    August 26, 2016 at 2:04 am

    I love visiting places where my favorite movies have filmed! I loved Big Fish too and I would be so excited to check this place out for myself. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Anne
    August 26, 2016 at 7:33 am

    This looks such a cool place and I love the southern states

    • Reply
      WordPress.com Support
      August 26, 2016 at 9:18 am

      I do too! They really have a special place in my heart.

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