7 Filming Locations for Netflix’s “The Pale Blue Eye” in Pennsylvania that You Can Visit

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The Netflix film, “The Pale Blue Eye”, starring actor Christian Bale was shot primarily in the Pittsburgh area, including some very recognizable spots if you’re familiar with the region.

In the film, western Pennsylvania stands in for West Point and the Hudson Valley circa 1830 as Augustus Landor (played by Bale), investigates a series of crimes on the campus. He is assisted by a young Edgar Allan Poe.

Even in the trailer for the film, which you can see above, there are several spots in PA that are instantly recognizable, including McConnells Mill State Park and Westminster College.

Below, I share those and a few others that you can visit on your own if you want to see the filming locations for “The Pale Blue Eye” in Pennsylvania. (Note that this article contains no spoilers that weren’t reported prior to the movie’s premier.)

Compass Inn Museum

The exterior of the Compass Inn Museum in Laughlintown PA
The Compass Inn Museum was the first spot used for the film “The Pale Blue Eye”.

The Compass Inn Museum in Westmoreland County, PA was the first filming location used for the movie, with filming for the entire movie starting there on November 29, 2021.

The Compass Inn Museum’s blacksmith shop stands in for an 1830 tavern, which is a perfect fit because the Compass Inn was at its peak as a stagecoach stop and tavern in the 1830s.

Blacksmith shop at the Compass Inn Museum in Westmoreland County PA
The interior of the Blacksmith Shop as it typically appears.

Also recognizable in at least one scene in the tavern are Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman and his wife Gisele, who were extras during at least one scene shot here. Bale said of Fetterman, “John’s got this fantastic face, hulking figure…That’s a face that fits the 1830s.”

Visitors looking to visit this filming location can tour the museum, including the blacksmith shop, to learn what life was like in the early 1800s, and how taverns like this one helped in the settlement of both the region and the western United States.

McConnells Mill State Park

Covered Bridge in McConnells Mill State Park
McConnell’s Mill (both the mill and the entire park) features prominently in the film’s trailer.

When I first watch the preview for “The Pale Blue Eye”, McConnells Mill State Park in Lawrence County stood out to me instantly from my many visits to this scenic area.

The park actually features quite prominently in the trailer with at least 4 of the scenes being shot there (and likely more). This includes the historic mill in the park, which is the most recognizable of the features.

Slippery Rock Creek from Eckert Bridge near the Trailhead.
Some of the film’s action clearly takes place along Slippery Rock Creek.

This mill was constructed in 1868, making it a bit too modern for the film, but it still is a fitting setting and looks quite striking as it towers above Slippery Rock Creek. It also sits adjacent to the beautiful McConnell’s Mill Covered Bridge, one of my favorite covered bridges in PA.

There is another shot in the trailer that looks like it may be from just below Kildoo Falls, but it’s a little hard to tell for sure.

McConnells Mill is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful state parks in Pennsylvania, and there are miles of hiking trails and many great waterfalls for visitors to enjoy while looking for the filming locations for “The Pale Blue Eye”.

Westminster College

Westminster College in New Wilmington is another filming location for “The Pale Blue Eye” in Pennsylvania.

This Lawrence County liberal arts school stands in for West Point because of its Collegiate Gothic-style buildings, even though the school didn’t open until more than 20 years after the film is set.

The college’s Quad, which consists of Old Main, Browne and Ferguson Halls, and the McGill Library, is featured prominently in the film and can even be seen in the trailer above.

While this isn’t an official tourist attraction, visitors can certainly visit the campus and walk through these beautiful grounds.

Moraine State Park

Sunset over Lake Arthur in Moraine State Park in Pennsylvania
Moraine State Park stands in for the Hudson River during the film.

Located just a few miles from McConnell’s Mill State Park, Moraine State Park is another filming location from the movie.

Interestingly, Lake Arthur in the park was filmed in such a way that it stood in for the Hudson River at various points throughout the film. While using a lake for this purpose seems strange, the forested shores of a lake are a nice match for what the Hudson Valley looked like 200 years ago.

 Visitors today can enjoy Moraine State Park’s lake, many miles of hiking and biking trails, and, in the summertime, several great beaches.

Penguin Court

Penguin Court (as well as the adjacent Thomas Road Farm) is an 1,100-acre section of preserved land in Westmoreland County that is owned by the Brandywine Conservancy. The area got its unusual name due to the 10 penguins that used to roam the land when this was private property.

Penguin Court’s land is mostly forest and meadow, which provide a variety of locations for the outdoor shots used in the film. The property is also home to a historic barn, remnants of a mansion, and a very large greenhouse and conservancy.

Penguin Court isn’t open to the public on a daily basis, but visitors are allowed to check out the area during regularly-occurring events.

Old Economy Village

Old Economy Village in Ambridge PA
Old Economy Village is a perfect spot to shoot a film set in the 1830s.

Old Economy Village is located in Beaver County and is another location used in the filming of “The Pale Blue Eye”.

This village was constructed beginning in the 1820s and was the home of the Harmony Society, a religious sect that has since died out (in no small part due to their vow of celibacy).  Several of their historic buildings, including the Feast Hall and the Granary, are said to have been used to shoot various scenes in the film.

Visitors wanting to explore this site can take tours of the village, which are offered from May through December.

Allegheny Cemetery

Soldiers Memorial In Allegheny Cemetery in Pittsburgh PA
There are many historic monuments in Allegheny Cemetery, including the Soldiers Memorial.

Allegheny Cemetery is located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood in Pittsburgh and is one of Pennsylvania’s most historic cemeteries.

The cemetery opened in 1844 and is one of the oldest rural cemeteries in the country. The cemetery is 300 acres in size and is said to be the final resting place of more than 100,000 people, including many famous Pittsburghers and even soldiers who died in the French and Indian War (who were reinterred here).

While the cemetery is a few decades more recent than the film’s timeline, it’s still a beautiful and historic spot, and it’s definitely not a stretch for it to stand in for scenes in a movie set in the early 19th century.

Today, visitors can drive or walk through the cemetery grounds to both enjoy the beautiful setting and to pay their respects to the people buried there. Some of the most notable graves can be found on this map.

Have you seen the film or been to any of these filming locations for “The Pale Blue Eye” in PA? Let us know in the comments below.

Looking for more things to do near Pittsburgh? Check out Pittsburgh’s best breweries, the Heinz History Center, and Historic Hanna’s Town.

35 thoughts on “7 Filming Locations for Netflix’s “The Pale Blue Eye” in Pennsylvania that You Can Visit”

  1. I believe the Mansion of Fifth in Shadyside neighborhood of Pittsburgh was used for at least one scene in the movie. I happened to be walking by during production and found they were shooting possibly a scene with Gillian Anderson. I haven’t seen the movie yet so I can’t say which scene or if Ms Anderson was indeed in it.

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  2. My Son was in the Laughlintown/ Ligonier Area many times working nearby the Compass Inn from November 2021 through the Winter months of 2022 and saw them filming on many occasions. Also I think some of the film crew was staying in the Johnstown area around where he lives. I’ve been to McConnell ‘s State Park . where some of it was filmed.

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  3. Can’t wait to watch this. Lived all of my childhood and most of my adult life within minutes of McConnells Mills and Lake Arthur.
    Beautiful area!
    When’s this coming out on Netflix?

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  4. We drove to Lake Arthur one day last year, in the early spring I think, and were turned away by a filming crew. Was happy to finally see what the movie was!!! Will be watching it for sure!!

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  5. I have been to many of these locations and I’m so glad to share the beauty of our region with more folks. Looking forward to seeing this series in January!

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  6. I walk Hartwood acres in Allegheny Co regularly, saw them filming many scenes there in the open meadow area, and was told it was for this particular film. Hard to believe those scenes didn’t make it into the film. It was a huge undertaking

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    • They may have. This isn’t a complete list of all the filming locations. Just the ones I could find specifically listed in news articles or could pick out myself from the trailer.

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      • The cabin where Christian Bale stays is the NCT cabin, North country trails cabin. It is situated in the north shore of Lake Arthur, Moraine State Park. i’ve stayed there many times with family and friends. The cabin is shown in the very beginning of the movie, in the end of the movie, and many times in between. The original cabin is probably at least 230 years old, but the majority of the scenes are filmed in the addition of the cabin which is a very large stone sitting room with fireplace. Lovely.

  7. Waiting to see the film of all the sites in Pa. Was raised in North Side, Pgh, Pa, school at Neville Island, Pa., and miss my Pa. scenery and towns. I am 89 yrs old and was glad to see this article, and hope to see the movie soon.

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    • NorSide! You can take a girl outta the Norside, but you can’t take the Norside outta a girl! Yes so many awesome landscapes from the Pittsburgh and surroundings areas! It is a must see movie!

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      • My ex-wife is the former Donna Slazinski from Bloomfield! I am going to message her to make sure she sees this film. Alegheny Cemetery we passed on our trips into Bloomfield!

    • Hello Carolyn~ My grandparents owned the Corpen Hotel on Neville Island . Jim & Eileen Pentland. They would of enjoyed seeing the locacl scenery in the movie.

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  8. Just a quick mention that my brother Ed Appleby, is the in-house blacksmith for the Compass Inn and can be seen on many weekends pounding away at the anvil and teaching blacksmithing at the site as well as many other locations in the area throughout the year. He and his son do the Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival every year, Mountain Craft Days – Somerset Historical Center and many more. Look for the Hammer In at the Compass Inn usually held in June that hosts 25+ blacksmiths showing off their wares and techniques. Another great event!

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    • I just watched The Pale Blue Eye, came across it by chance on Netflix. I have lived in the UK for nearly fifty years, but doing a bit of family history several years ago, I discovered a personal connection to the Compass Inn. Philip Freeman, who bought the land in 1799 and built the log section of the inn, was my Grandfather several generations back.
      My father was Raleigh Freeman and I visited the Inn with him and found it a wonderful little gem of a building, full of atmosphere. Very happy to see it inside and out in the film .

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  9. Haven’t seen the movie yet but recognize several views of the inside of the Rapp House at Old Economy Village.
    After you see the movie see the village. It is amazing.

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  10. It was exciting to see my hometown, New Wilmington, and Westminster College on this movie. My Mom worked there for many years and my whole family were great Titan fans. My sister graduated from Westminster on the quad which is where the outdoors scenes were filmed.

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  11. Just watched the movie, and it was wonderful. It was great to see place I visit all the time. I love the part filmed at Lake Arthur, you can see 422 in the background. Hope this comes out on dvd I would love to own it and be able to share it with my daughter when she gets older.

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  12. I believe the scene where they found the boy hanging from a big rock was filmed at Beam Rocks, about 10 miles from the Compass Inn, east on Rt. 30 then south on Laurel Summit Rd. It’s a beautiful area and a favorite of visitors to the Laurel Highlands region of Pennsylvania.

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    • That was filmed in McConnell’s Mill, on the opposite side of the park from the mill.

      Beam Rocks was initially going to be used for the cliff scene at the end, but it’s way too dangerous to take a film crew there, so it was done on a stage instead.

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  13. We just watched this movie yesterday
    I recognized McConnells Mill & the covered bridge!!!
    Netfilx did not run the credits so I was not sure but in researching and I found this info I was excited to see that the filming did occur at the Mill and in New Wilmington – Hurray for Lawrence County!!

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  14. Watched the film and had no idea parts of it were filmed near where I had grown up. Great movie and locations where they were shot only added to its credibility. Did not notice Fettermans so will watch a second time.

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  15. I thought I recognized the historic cabin from Moraine State Park’s Davis Hollow. Landon’s home in the film. Does anyone else know?

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  16. Agreed, I’m a experienced hiker and took a fall on the Beam Rocks trail (not rocks) recently and ended up with a fracture/tear. I can see its a tough spot to film.

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  17. I was wondering about the creek near the beginning of the movie but since it was supposed to be New York I figured it was a creek that was similar. Then the McConnell’s Mill is there and wow!!! I love that area. I lived near Slippery Rock when I was young. I live in Louisiana now and go back once in a while. We always go to see the mill and covered bridge.

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