Kingston’s spine-chilling productions

By Abbey McCauley

Did you know some of your favourite horror, mystery, and thriller shows and movies were filmed in Kingston? Check out the list below for some eerie entertainment this spooky season.  

Crimson Peak

The historic cityscape of Kingston was perfect for the backdrop of Guillermo de Toro’s Crimson Peak. The film was partially shot downtown, in Springer Market Square and along King Street. The Kingston shoot took about a month, and transformed 2015 Kingston into 1880s Buffalo, New York. The film follows a young American heiress who marries a mysterious British aristocrat. She moves into his crumbling and creepy ancestral home, only to find it conceals sinister secrets and spirits.  

Where to watch: Google Play, Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube  

Locke & Key filming in Springer Market Square
Locke & Key filming in Springer Market Square.

Locke & Key

Netflix’s fantasy and horror drama Locke & Key features three siblings who move to their father’s ancestral estate after his murder. The siblings discover magical keys that unlock powers and sinister secrets. The three-season television series was filmed in several other locations and brought the crew to Kingston for almost a week to set up for a one-day shoot on Market Street, transformed to look like Bath, England, the setting for a romantic getaway for characters Tyler Locke and Jackie Veda. 

Where to watch: Netflix (Season 2, episode 4)  

Den Mother Crimson

Den Mother Crimson

Discover what happens when three AI experts meet as consultants on a shadowy project in the film Den Mother Crimson. This movie was developed, produced, and delivered locally in Kingston in 2023 by Kingston production company, Branded to Film. Visual Menace, a full-service design company for local productions, transformed a plain west-end studio space (at James Media) into an eerie, futuristic setting, complete with mysterious tunnels and doors leading into the unknown.  

A work-in-progress print of “DEN MOTHER CRIMSON” was screened at the Kingston Canadian Film Festival in March 2023. The film was invited as 1 of 7 international productions to pitch at Frontières as part of the Canne Marchê du Film in 2023.

Film poster of the Lost Symbol
Film poster for Dan Brown’s Lost Symbol.

Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol

In 2021, NBC Universal Pictures chose the Kingston Penitentiary as a filming location for Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol. This series is a captivating blend of action, adventure, mystery, and thriller genres, with Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon embarking on a quest to locate his missing mentor while also unlocking an ancient supernatural portal. The TV crew spent 14 days at the Pen, leveraging the site’s cavernous, limestone buildings as the setting for the final, suspense-filled episode of the first season.  

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video + STACKTV (Season 1, episode 10) 

Shot from the set of Kill Victoria.
Shot from the set of Kill Victoria.

Kill Victoria

Prepare for a horror-filled twist on your typical cottage vacation! This summer, cameras rolled on the set of Kill Victoria in and around Kingston. Kill Victoria unfolds as a story of an idyllic trip to cottage country that spirals into a nightmarish ordeal. The group of 30-somethings are unimpressed with Nick’s new girlfriend, Victoria, who just doesn’t fit in. Gradually, Victoria learns certain dark secrets from the friends’ pasts – secrets they don’t want to get out. What initially started as a running joke about “killing Victoria” begins to lose its humour, taking on a deadly seriousness that none of them could have anticipated. 

Release date coming soon. 


To learn more about shows and films shot in historic Kingston, take a self-guided film walking tour around the city.