|City/Town: • Milbrook|
|Location Class: • Commercial • Religious • Residential|
|Built: | Abandoned: • 2003|
|Status: • Abandoned|
|Photojournalist: • David Bulit|
Spectre is a fictional town in the 2003 Tim Burton film “Big Fish” and written by Birmingham native Daniel Wallace. In the movie, Edward Bloom takes an abandoned path through a haunted forest where he eventually comes upon a small town. The town has no roads that lead or cut through Spectre. It contains rows of homes and businesses which lead up to a white church down the middle of them.
Built specifically for the film on Lake Jackson Island, the buildings are mostly empty shells and were used strictly for exterior shots. The buildings can be seen in the movie in a pristine shape and also in a state of gloom and distress. After the scenes were filmed of the pristine town, Tim Burton had set designers to distress the buildings to make it look that the town was abandoned.
After filming, the owners of Lake Jackson requested the building not be demolished. Over the years, the owners have allowed people to visit the island and even camp there as long as a small payment is made at the gate. As years went by, many of the storefronts began to weaken and collapse due to a lack of maintenance on them. As the owners were clearing debris, sparks from a fire traveled across and set some of the buildings on fire. Another house was demolished due to flooding from the river. Visitors can still cross through a pair of styrofoam trees that leads into the town and visit the church and six of the homes, as well as the columns where Jenny’s house once stood.
This shouldn’t be said, but if you decide to visit, please respect the animals, campers, and those living nearby. Admission is $3 per person and $10 for overnight camping.