Harlow Texas – Ghost Town (Texas Chainsaw Massacre)

You’ve probably watched the gory yet captivating 2022 version of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It revolves around a group of young influencers who decide to visit Harlow, Texas, to restore it to modern civilization. Unfortunately, things don’t go as planned!

After seeing the slasher movie, you might wonder about Harlow, Texas. Does it even exist, or is it a fictional place?

In short, Harlow, Texas, used to be a small community back in the 1800s. It was named after the Harlow family, who resided in Hunt County. However, Harlow doesn’t show on any maps nowadays, so it’s considered a ghost town after all!

The House In Texas Chainsaw Massacre. - Texas View
The House in “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” – Photo by G Yancy

Where Was Harlow, Texas Located?

According to the Texas State Historical Association, Harlow was located right in the middle of Hunt County, which still exists today.

A more precise description of its location states that the ghost town lies west of State Highway 34 and four miles south of Greenville.

Up until around the 1930s, the town appeared on the county’s roadmap, but it only contained farms and a small business establishment. There were no records of its population, and soon enough, the town ceased to exist on highway maps.

Real Harlow and Its Movie Counterpart

Unfortunately, there aren’t many historical resources that tell us how Harlow, Texas, used to be. We only know that it mainly housed a few farms and a business establishment, but no clue about its population.

In the movie, the ghost town is completely deserted. Its only occupants are dilapidated buildings and a deranged serial killer! Yet, there was a reference to its former population, which used to be 1,300.

By the 1980s, the real Harlow was pretty much free of people, too, disappearing from roadmaps. Therefore, we can safely say that the only similarity between both places is that they were both small towns once but didn’t have a population anymore.

Where Was the 2022 Texas Chainsaw Massacre Filmed?

If you liked the movie and its setting that looked as if it existed in real life, you might wonder if it was filmed in the location where Harlow once stood. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.

The movie wasn’t shot in Texas at all or even in the United States! The 2022 Texas Chainsaw Massacre was filmed in Bulgaria; the set isn’t related to any existing location in Texas whatsoever.

However, the original 70s movie was filmed in several places in Texas, especially around Austin. So, that’s always good to know!

Is the Video Footage at the End of the Movie Real?

At the beginning and end of the 2022 movie, bad-quality footage is shown of two police officers going through a crime scene. Soon enough, they’re met with Leatherface; the rest is history. But is that real?

No. The footage was filmed and edited to look like it’s been recorded using a home video camera. While it sure looks real, you can rest assured that it was purposefully created to appear that way and make the movie more interesting.

Junction House Restaurant Kingsland Texas. - Texas View
Junction House Restaurant, Kingsland, Texas – Photo by Billy Hathorn

Facts About Hunt County

If you want to take a deeper look at the place Harlow, Texas, used to be part of, here are some facts to keep in mind about Hunt County.

  • County seat: Greenville
  • Population: 98,559 (in 2019)
  • Total area: 882 square miles
  • FIPS State / County Code: 48 / 231
  • Number of housing units: 36,704
  • Telephone area codes: (430) and (903)
  • Time zone: Central Time Zone (CST/CDT)

What Are the Places That Border Hunt County?

Hunt County is bordered by a few counties that may or may not have inspired the setting of Harlow, Texas, in the movie. These are:

  • Hopkins
  • Delta
  • Fanning
  • Kaufman
  • Collin
  • Rains
  • Rockwall

Are There Other Ghost Towns in Texas?

Yes. Texas has its fair share of ghost towns that look a lot like the movie Harlow. Some are downright creepy, while others speak of a long-forgotten history.

The table below includes three deserted towns in the state and some interesting facts about each.

Town NameLocationQuick Facts
Belle PlainCallahan CountyEstablished in 1876Only four families were left in it by 1987Known for Belle Plain College, a one-of-a-kind institution back in the day.
TerlinguaNot far from Big Bend National ParkFamous for the three languages that were once spoken there (Spanish, Indian, and English) Texas’s most popular ghost town.
CatarinaBetween Laredo and UvaldePeople left it after its wells dried up following the Great DepressionNow, it’s left with a few dilapidated buildings, a barely-standing hotel, and the outer shell of a restaurant.
Ghost Towns In Texas

Captain George W. Robson, a newspaper editor from New York, had much to say about Belle Plain, back when it still had its full glory. His exact words were:

“We do not know of a more pleasant or beautiful place or one with brighter prospects for a prosperous future than Belle Plain.” Little did he know!

Other places that were unfortunate enough to end up as ghost towns for one reason or another include:

  • Lobo
  • The Grove
  • Bartlett
  • Bluffton
  • Barstow
  • Independence
  • Shafter
  • Glenrio