If you’ve ever watched a vintage horror film involving a cannibalistic chainsaw-wielding murder and thought, That’s my ideal dining experience, Bastrop, Texas, has the spot for you. The original gas-station-cum-barbecue-joint featured in the cult classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is now a weekend destination, complete with four rustic cabins (with one shared bathroom), a campsite, and, of course, plenty of smoked and sauced meats.
The lodge’s phone number may be 512-321-SAWS, but don’t worry: A sign out front reassures visitors that “We Slaughter Barbecue,” rather than, say, people. That’s a relief, considering that in the iconic film, the cannibal family that runs the gas station serves their customers…literally.
The station has been a pilgrimage destination for horror buffs since the film’s 1974 release. A few years ago, one Massacre aficionado took his love for the franchise one step further. Roy Rose, an Ohio businessman, purchased the station, added food, lodging, and a replica of the film’s green vintage van, and opened in 2016. Rose even recruited Ari Lehman, who made movie history as the original Jason Voorhees, as a partner in his “horror resort.”
Whether they book a night at the lodge or just come for dinner, visitors can enjoy classic Texas barbecue, with brisket and sausage by the pound or plate, alongside coleslaw, beans, and potato salad. True lovers of this cult classic can purchase a piece of cinematic history at the site’s brick-and-mortar and online gift shop. For $90, fans can acquire an eight-inch plank taken from the original Gas Station awning, complete with a Certificate of Authenticity. Fans pinched for cash can shell out $30 for an autographed photo of Caroline Williams, star of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, holding a chainsaw. If autographed photos and authentic awnings aren’t enough “chainsaw love” for you, take a trip to Texas and book yourself a night at the original.
Know Before You Go
The cabins are in high demand, so if you're contemplating a scary sojourn, book well in advance; the cancellation policy alone requires 60 days’ advance notice.