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The Location Of The Locke And Key House Might Surprise You

A great TV series can use its setting as a selling point. A location that sets the show apart from others can turn the scenery into its own character.

There aren't very many series that display the level of commitment to detail as Netflix's Locke & Key. The central location, Keyhouse, and the fictional Massachusetts town of Matheson are as essential as the cast. Many of the mysteries in the series revolve around locations — the hiding places of keys, the whereabouts of doors -– and so it's important to give them a suitably mysterious place to inhabit, to put those details in the proper perspective as the Locke children uncover the secrets of their family's past.

In that spirit, the show's real-world location also comes with a dash of mystery. The house as it appears on Netflix isn't built anywhere in Massachusetts; in fact, it's a bit further to the northwest. 

Why no real location could live up to Keyhouse

Locke & Key's primary filming occurs in Ontario. Don't go wandering around High Park North or Rosedale looking for the real Keyhouse, though. To achieve the level of detail seen in Gabriel Rodriguez's original comic book series, the show needed something very specific. 

Rodriguez trained as an architect in his native Chile before getting his big break in comics, so the challenge of creating a funky and unique manor house was one he took with enthusiasm. He laid out a detailed set of blueprints for Keyhouse, and when the comic's writer, Joe Hill, kept ignoring them, he told CBR that he and the series' editor printed them in an issue so Hill would have to learn to live with them as canon.

To capture Keyhouse as Hill and Rodriguez portray it, the crew built the house, or at least portions of it, as an exterior set. They used CGI to fill out the wide shots that capture the entire estate, and the interiors are filmed on stages in a Toronto studio. 

Why the Locke & Key series made changes to Keyhouse

Architect or not, the series couldn't just use Rodriguez's plans to build its Keyhouse. Showrunner Carlton Cuse told CBR that while the show's house was inspired by the artist's schematics, the creative team behind the series had to make some changes. To give the actors paths through the space that the camera could follow, they created what he called "traffic patterns."

It's not the only change the show made to the series' locations. Matheson was called Lovecraft, Massachusetts in the comics, but was changed at Hill's suggestion to honor I Am Legend author Richard Matheson instead of H.P. Lovecraft, whose racist behavior has come under increased fire in recent years. Many of the non-Keyhouse exteriors of Matheson, including the approach to the Drowning Cave, are filmed in the small Nova Scotian town of Lunenberg, according to Decider. The showrunners decided it was a small town with plenty of character, which was perfect for what they were setting out to accomplish with Locke & Key