Coordinates: The Exorcist steps, located in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., are famous for being featured in the film The Exorcist. The stone steps at the corner of Prospect St NW and 36th St NW leading down to M Street NW in Georgetown were built 1895 during construction of the adjacent Capital Traction Company car barn.
For The Exorcist, the steps were padded with ½"-thick rubber to film the death of the character Father Damien Karras. Because the house from which Karras falls was set back slightly from the steps, the film crew constructed an extension with a false front to the house in order to film the scene. The stuntman tumbled down the stairs twice. Georgetown University students charged people around $5 each to watch the stunt from the rooftops.
In a ceremony Halloween weekend 2015 that featured the film's director William Friedkin and screenwriter William Peter Blatty (who also wrote the book on which the film is based), the Exorcist steps were recognized as a D.C. landmark and official tourist attraction by Mayor of the District of Columbia Muriel Bowser, with a plaque unveiled at the base of the steps recognizing its importance to D.C. and film history.
Joggers and local crew teams commonly use the Exorcist steps for cardio-respiratory exercise.
In local Washington, D.C. folklore, there is a saying that every time a person tries to count the number of steps, he/she will always return with a different answer.
- "Why Do the Exorcist Steps Exist in the First Place?". The Georgetown Metropolitan. October 30, 2015. Retrieved February 18, 2016.
- Truitt, Brian (October 7, 2013). "'Exorcist' creators haunt Georgetown thirty years later". USA Today. Retrieved June 24, 2014.
- "Ahead of Halloween, Mayor Bowser to Commemorate “Exorcist Steps”" (Press release). Washington D.C. Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment. October 26, 2015. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
- Chadbourn, Margaret (October 30, 2015). "'The Exorcist' Steps Declared a Washington DC Tourist Site". ABC News. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
- Romano, Nick (October 31, 2015). "The Exorcist steps made an official Washington D.C. tourist attraction". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
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