Here's The 1 Question Everyone Is Asking About Archive 81
The answer is what everyone hoped.
Archive 81, Netflix’s new dive into horror, seems to have everything. There’s a missing woman whose story is told by the videotapes she left behind in 1994. There’s a mysterious apartment building, no longer inhabitable, whose former residents live on in celluloid. There are creepy mythos, alternate dimensions, demons, witches, and occultist rituals. And yet it all seems to have a foot in the real world. So, is the Visser from Archive 81 a real building? Can one visit it, like they (sort of) can with the Arconia in Only Murders In The Building?
Warning: Spoilers for Archive 81 Season 1 follow. Those worried they might turn a corner in New York City and find themselves face to face with Archive 81’s terrifying wreck of a former multi-residential complex will be relieved to know that can’t happen. The Visser is entirely fictional. Much like the occultist details in Archive 81’s first season, the series made the place up from whole cloth.
That’s not to say there aren’t haunted (or at least “haunted”) apartment buildings in New York City. The Dakota, for example, at Central Park West and 72nd, is famous for being full of ghost sightings for nearly a century, well before John Lennon was murdered in front of it. But even if one were to do a rundown of the most haunted places in Manhattan, none have stories that come even close to what happened inside the Visser.
That doesn’t mean the show didn’t use an actual building to stand in for the Visser. It’s just that, like many series, it’s not one located anywhere near where the show says it is. (Downton Abbey is a perfect example of another show that did this. The series says the estate is located in the northeast, just outside York. In reality, Highclere Castle is in the south-central region, less than an hour from Oxford.)
The building that stood in for the Visser is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Apparently, a lot of the street filming for the series took place in and around that area, as well. Thankfully, The Cinemaholic went full Google maps to find the address and turned it up on the corner of First Avenue. Though Google does not show the inside of the building, the outside indicates the labyrinth hallways and creepy twists inside the building aren’t authentic. That was all filmed on soundstages.
So, New Yorkers can breathe easy that they will not accidentally stumble upon the terrors of Archive 81. On the other hand, fans in Pittsburgh may suddenly look up as they traverse First Avenue and wonder if they’ve stepped through an alternate dimension to New York City.
All episodes of Archive 81 are streaming on Netflix.