The Night He Came Home…to South Jersey

It would be preposterous for me to go around posting sensational claims like “every state has an Empire State Building,” or “every state has a St. Louis Arch,” but it’s totally NOT out of the question to say that “Every town has an Elm Street,” because so many towns actually do. Freddy Krueger made that claim in his sixth film, but I can’t seem to recall Michael Myers ever boasting that “All states have a Haddonfield,” and even if he did, it would be completely unfounded.

Haddonfield is a well known town amongst the horror community for being the serene suburb of Illinois where Michael Myers went on a murderous rampage. Although the movie was filmed in California and set in Illinois, the real Haddonfield is in New Jersey, and it served as the inspiration for the town’s name.

Haddonfield would probably be relatively unknown town to the rest of the nation if it weren’t for the film’s co-writer and co-producer, the late Debra Hill, who was born there. Hill and John Carpenter worked on several films together including the first 3 Halloween movies. Hill, who at one time was romantically linked to Carpenter, grew up a mere 10 minutes away in Philadelphia, PA.

If you’ve been to the Monster Mania Convention in Cherry Hill, you’ve probably seen the signs in that area for the real Haddonfield. If you were second guessing yourself by saying “Nah, Halloween was in Illinois…” then technically you are correct, but just keep in mind that Illinois is about 700 some odd miles away from the real Haddonfield! That said, New Jersey doesn’t have sour grapes about the film being set in another state because Haddonfield is already known for another monster, the Hadrosaurus Foulkii. Haddy was the first in-tact dinosaur skeleton ever found and put on display, which is friggin’ cool. What town wouldn’t want their own dinosaur?

Dinosaurs aside, off the top of my head, New Jersey can lay claim to Jason Voorhees, The Toxic Avenger, Vera Farmiga (Norma Bates FTW!) and the inspiration for the setting of Halloween. Knowing that so much of the basis of many classic horror films are rooted in New Jersey is pretty incredible. I think trivia like this is awesome because of how obscure it is. If you’re not a big fan of the Halloween franchise, you might have been unaware of the fact that Debra Hill infused a little bit of South Jersey into Halloween.

In honor of its 35th anniversary, you can catch the original Halloween as it returns to theaters for special screenings around the country. In addition, both Halloween 4 and 5 will also be screened. Check for a full list of screenings in your area.

Other sites of interest:
Fictional Entry for Haddonfield on Horror Movies Wiki:,_Illinois
Coldwell Banker mentions the Halloween connection to NJ from a real estate perspective:
Official Site of the Hadrosaurus Foulkii:
Official Haddonfield Website:

Terra Nova in New Jersey: The Hadrosaurus Foulkii


Earlier tonight our love affair with dinosaurs continued with the premiere of Terra Nova on Fox. I have yet to watch the show because it’s on my DVR awaiting me to check it out sometime this week. In the meantime, in a state filled with highways, refineries, and shopping malls, it’s fun to think about how dinosaurs ruled the area at one time.

We’re actually lucky enough to have an official state dinosaur in New Jersey, the Hadrosaurus Foulkii. If your state only has a state bird or state dance, then you’re really missing out. Write a letter to your congressmen! So, how does a state get it’s own dinosaur you ask? Well, in our case, back in the Cretaceous period, Haddy roamed the land that now features a putrid smelling Turnpike, an infamous guido infested shore, and the same land that I call home. But seriously, 80 million years later a teacher and her students in Haddon Township helped get the creature made into our official state dinosaur.

Here’s a little background on the dino: Haddy was about 25 feet long and weighed nearly 8 tons. Since it was a herbivore it wasn’t ferocious – according to WikiDino, it only ate “twigs and leaves.” Back 1838, in Haddonfield NJ, the first remains of Haddy were found, but it wasn’t until 20 years later that it was officially documented as the most complete set of dinosaur bones unearthed in the world at that time. In 1868 it became the first ever mounted dinosaur skeleton.

How pissed have you been your whole life that dinosaurs are extinct? You really wanted to hang with Haddy didn’t you? Well, you still can! Sculptor John Giannotti created his own version of the Hadrosaurus which has resided in the center of the business district in downtown Haddonfield since 2003. For photos of the sculpture and all the info you can ever want about the creature, you can visit Haddy’s official site here: