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Destination Review: Buffalo Bill’s House

The Silence of the Lambs Film Location in Perryopolis, Pennsylvania
8 Circle Street, Perryopolis, PA 15473

Perryopolis, Pennsylvania is a borough in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, and it’s part of Pittsburgh’s metropolitan area. Fayette Count was established in 1814 with Buffalo’s Bill’s House being built in 1910. It’s located in a beautiful scenic serene part of Pennsylvania. I, myself felt as if this was some sort of inception or dream town. It’s beautiful and scenic. It’s also home to Buffalo Bill’s House, the iconic film location for The Silence of The Lambs.

We know it from the iconic film, THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. A film that has truly stood the test of time. THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS WAS directed by Jonathan Demme and written by Ted Tally, and adapted from Thomas Harris’ 1988 novel, The Silence of the Lambs.

Well, there is a lot of history with this home. Originally the three-car garage had been the town’s General Store. The homeowners that received a knock on the door from Director Jonathan Demme had their kitchen demolished and rebuilt for the film, and then demolished again so they could build it back again for the family. Chris Rowan adds some exclusive footage shared with him from the family. This footage was played during the tour. It’s a nice touch to see a family living in the home, although it reminded me of Red Dragon.

Filming locations have always been fascinating to me. I find that when you watch a film, and it could be a home, a building, an apartment, a space, a farm. No matter what it is, it becomes a character within the film. Buffalo Bill’s House became part of Buffalo Bill’s (Jame Gumb) character. The home became a terrifying place, a place of safety, history, crime, and more.

The owners of Buffalo Bill’s House are Chris Rowan who works in film, and his wife Deanna Rowan. It’s a family home truly. They don’t live in the house but they made it feel like a home. It feels comfortable, and loved. They made it comfortable, film savvy, fun, bright and colorful yet it’s still Buffalo Bill’s house. When I first arrived at the house, I instantly thought of Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling driving up the stone driveway to the house. It still gives you goosebumps because if you’ve seen the film, you know they didn’t think Clarice was anywhere near Buffalo Bill. And of course, Dr. Hannibal Lecter had some inside information.

The opening scene where Clarice arrives at Buffalo Bill’s House, https://youtu.be/yNeQm5aqrHo

Buffalo Bill opens the door as “Jack Gordon” and Ted Levine delivers quite a few classic lines as Jodie Foster stands outside the door. The camera pans around from the railroad tracks to the house. It’s one of the most chilling scenes in film history. You may not know at first but when you find out, it’s terrifying. Jodie Foster’s Clarice Starling notices some stuff that it off as Buffalo Bill fumbles with business cards inside the house next to the curio cabinet which is in the house. Chris encouraged everyone to pose for photos and he asks everyone to add business cards to the drawer.

Chris encourages everyone to take photos during the tour and, reenact the iconic scenes with photos. Buffalo Bill’s House is amazing. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, and place to visit. If you take the tour or you want to book a stay. You can do both or pick what you want to do.

Actor Ted Levine portrays Buffalo Bill. Ted Levine is from Bellaire, Ohio with his signature voice, those blue eyes, and endless talent that has had him working since 1983. He’s starred in everything from Heat, Shutter Island, and Wild Wild West. The Silence of the Lambs was one of those unforgettable stories, films, and Ted Levine made Buffalo Bill unforgettable.

Outside the house, there are railroad tracks and the train does come through a few times a day, Chris advises every single person to be careful and safe because the train does come through. The river is past the railroad tracks. You can check out Hazelbakers River Trips  – Chris and Deanna know the neighbors. There is a caboose in the backyard. There is a place to sit and have a barbeque. There is a sprawling front porch. You could sit out on the front porch for hours and just get lost in the sounds, lost in the nature and beauty of the surroundings.

My adventure at Buffalo Bill’s House was so much fun. Spending time in this home is so much more than just visiting a movie location. Chris and Deanna make it feel like home. Chris Rowan set up an amazing game room in the attic. He even had the place wired for electricity. There was none in the attic when they bought the house. It’s beautiful painted, set up with comfy sofas and pillows many Horror fans and fans that love and appreciate movies will love. There is a calmness, it’s a fun place to chill, watch movies, play games, have great conversations with friends. It’s a significant part of the house because it brings people together.

Even if you’re not a horror fan or a fan of Silence of the Lambs, you would still LOVE this home. If you want some place to get away, some place peaceful but yet close to Pittsburgh and the hustle of a great city, come and stay here. Chris worked incredibly hard making all of this come to fruition. Everything is incredible down to small details. There is donated art inspired by Buffalo Bill, Clarice Starling, the infamous Death Moth chosen for the film because of the skull-like face that adorns its body. My talented friend Jennifer Harding has a piece hanging in Buffalo Bill’s House. She is also friends with Chris and Deanna.

I sat in the living room for a while and started writing. The words flowing like the river located across the railroad tracks outside of Buffalo Bill’s home. Just a side note, the train is active so always be safe and be respectful of the home and the property. Chris and his family worked so hard on everything. He said he just wants to see people have fun. He wants families, couples, friends, and more to fully experience the house. You are not just getting a room at Buffalo Bill’s, you have access to the kitchen, living room, bathroom (also again as Hannibal would say, mind the rules. Well, no rules, it was “mind the drawings” but Hannibal is never pleased with the rude. So be courtesy and take care of stuff during your stay here.) You have access to the game room. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. There are not many places as elaborate, and well maintained, and cared for as Buffalo Bill’s home.

Q Lazzarus sings “Goodbye Horses”, the song that Buffalo Bill dances in the basement while surrounded by his mannequins, the disco ball going, and Buffalo Bill in full Buffalo Bill mode getting “his tuck on”. Chris shared the story about how Q Lazzarus’ song wound up in the film. The basement with the sewing machine, the chair, the disco ball, the flag. It’s an incredible set-up. Chris is so enthusiastic, and he encouraged everyone to put the robe on, the feather boa, and of course the wig that Buffalo Bill makes during the film.

As you walk through the house with Chris, you are taken upstairs and shown the bedrooms which are named appropriately after the characters. The Buffalo Bill room is the master bedroom, and then you have the Dr. Hannibal Lecter bedroom, the dog Precious bedroom, and the Clarice Starling bedroom. The bathroom has an incredible shower curtain that was commissioned and it’s Buffalo Bill. This is a family friendly place. It’s adorned with artwork everywhere. The rug when you first walk into the house is Buffalo Bill in his kimono robe.

Go and visit Buffalo Bill’s House, get your tuck on, enjoy the house, enjoy the yard, and the porch. There is so many reasons to go and visit this house. Chris and Deanna are just incredible people. Lots of love and all the hugs to them. They deserve it. A lot of work goes into caring for a house. The maintenance, clean up, the care of the property, bills, and more. If you love film locations, go visit the house. It’s a blast. I had so much fun. Go and visit Buffalo Bill’s House.



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