In Hulu’s ‘Goosebumps,’ the audience is transported to a world of horror and intrigue where five teenagers become entangled in a mystery that has roots in the past of their parents. The story begins with the death of a teenager in the 1990s, which has far-reaching consequences for the ones involved in it. In 2023, the dead teenager’s house becomes the location for a Halloween party, and that’s when all hell breaks loose.
The show takes place in a seemingly quiet town where the residents stay away from what is deemed the haunted house of the town. If you are curious whether there really is such a house in a place called Port Lawrence, here’s what you need to know. SPOILERS AHEAD
Are Port Lawrence and the Biddle House Real Places?
The Biddle House and the town of Port Lawrence in ‘Goosebumps’ are both fictional locations created specifically for the show. There is a Port Lawrence area in Toledo, Ohio, but it is not connected to the Hulu show. In the same vein, the tragedy of Harold Biddle and the house that he haunts are also completely made up.
‘Goosebumps’ is inspired by the books of the same name by R.L Stine. Unlike the show, the books are standalone, focusing on a different story in a different location with new characters every time. While the show references Stine’s stories and uses some of them to further the plot, it takes a more serialized approach to storytelling, which calls for the story to be set in a particular location with a fixed set of characters. Instead of setting it in a real town, the creators chose to create the fictional town of Port Lawrence because it gives them more control over the vibe and the aesthetic they want for the story, without being tethered by the location of the events.
Fixing the location to one town gives the story a better structure, allowing the audience the time to take in the events and the mysteries that unravel with each episode while getting to know the characters. In an anthology format, this familiarity would have been lost, with the audience meeting new characters in new locations every week. The creators of the show didn’t want to do that, which is why it made sense to create something like Port Lawrence.
In the Hulu series, Port Lawrence is a coastal town somewhere in America. The filming for the show, however, took place entirely in British Columbia, Canada, more specifically in the Greater Vancouver area. The cast and crew utilized several locations in Hollywood North to create a unique look for the show, which calls for a quiet, sleepy town with secrets lurking in the corners.
The Biddle House becomes one of the central locations in the story with the death of Harold Biddle and the Halloween party which kickstarts the events in 2023. The house is important to the plot because it ties things together for the teenagers who wouldn’t usually hang out with each other. It’s a mismatched group of misfits thrown together in a random shuffle because all of them ended up coming in contact with one of the haunted things in the Biddle House. For this, the show must have employed uniquely crafted sets that would give them the freedom to shape the house in a way that would best serve the narrative.
To reiterate, Port Lawrence and the Biddle House in ‘Goosebumps’ are not real places and were merely concocted by the writers to give a home to the stories of R.L Stine where the characters could work together in harmony as opposed to in an anthology series, where they would have been miles away from each other.