Deep in the Heart of Dixie, a sign welcomes you to Spectre: a fictional town left behind after the filming of Big Fish wrapped up in 2003. This custom-made community was built on a private island in the Alabama River, where it remains today in eerie disrepair. Visitors can seek out and actually wander through this unusual small town that's been forgotten, but not lost.
Spectre resides on Jackson Lake Island, near the real-life city of Millbrook in Alabama. The weathered shops and homes bow with age but still look like the beloved town that fans may remember from the film.
It was the island's property owners, Bobby Bright and Lynn Clardy Bright, that told Director Tim Burton to leave the set behind. It now serves as a testament to the beloved film, attracting a myriad of visitors.
The set wasn't originally built in such bad shape though; the final scenes of the movie featuring Spectre were meant to look like a ghost town, so it was altered to look run down.
Despite its shabby appearance, the set has a unique air of nostalgia and charm. It offers the rare opportunity to step into an old movie and take a real-life walk down memory lane.
In the film, the main character's father tells him "true" stories that may have been made up all along — not unlike Spectre, which feels almost real even though it isn't.
Entry to the town is on Cypress Lane. At the gate, there's a number to call for the access code. There's a $3 admission fee to visit the set and a $10 fee if you're feeling brave enough to camp out overnight.
Big Fish fans and curious travelers alike will enjoy a walk through this forgotten town full of memories. Remember to bring an old pair of shoes to hang on the line.
Town of Spectre
Price: $3 entry and $10 camping
Address: Cypress Lane, Millbrook, AL. Directions can also be obtained by searching "Town of Spectre" on Google Maps.
Why You Need To Go: Wandering through a film set town will make you feel like you're starring in your own movie.
We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.