Imagine you own a little motel in the country. Business is steady, and you make a decent living. Not bad at all for a small business owner. Then almost overnight, your motel becomes the talk of the town. More guests appear on the reservation list. People find excuses to drop by for impromptu visits, snapping photographs of your lobby, rooms, hotel sign, and parking lot. Dotting the internet are articles (such as this one) written about you - and your motel. What could possibly bring on such changes?
For Andy Patel, owner of The Sherwood Motel, located at 318 West Main Street in Havelock, North Carolina, a location scout found his property and thought it would make a perfect filming location for the new FOX series Sleepy Hollow.
A surprise phone call came from the producers who said they’re interested in renting The Sherwood Motel as a film location for the pilot episode.
A savvy business man, Mr. Patel agreed to have the production set up camp on his property. “They are filming in one room but they blocked about 30 rooms,” Patel said.
The production came with trucks and trailers which took over the entire parking lot. The trucks were for the film gear and equipment. The trailers were for the cast members.
“Anything and everything they brought on their own. They brought their own catering,” Patel said. “They didn’t even need to go to the hardware store. They brought everything they need. They said they even bring the circus with them if they need it.”
The neighbors had a ball watching Hollywood working in their backyard, so to speak. “We’re here to watch the show and to see my favorite hotel is on TV,” said Shirley Kendell, a local resident. “We don’t see this every day here. It’s cool. It’s kind of exciting. The security people are very nice to let us sit here and see what’s going on.”
“[The production crew has] been good,” Patel said. “It’s good for business. Hey, it’s good for Havelock.”
Other Filming Locations of Sleepy Hollow
After a few days shooting at The Sherwood Motel, the Sleepy Hollow production continued filming at the Tryon Palace and Cedar Grove Cemetery in New Bern, North Carolina. For Tryon Palace, most of the filming took place at night, in order to not disturb its regular operating hours.
Sleepy Hollow was the first major production to ever film at Tryon Palace. “It’s very different from what we do here,” acting director of Tryon Palace, Philippe Lafargue said. “I’m very excited about this opportunity because I hope some other film crews will recognize New Bern and Tryon Palace.”
The series is a modern day twist of Washington Irving’s classic story. After two and a half centuries, Ichabod Crane (portrayed by Tom Mison) came back to life to help solve an old mystery dating all the way back to the founding fathers. Accompanying him is the Headless Horseman who sets out on a murderous rampage in present-day Sleepy Hollow.
To give you a peak into the exciting new FOX series, here’s the official trailer of Sleepy Hollow.
Filming in North Carolina
Browse North Carolina’s film locations.