MARBLEHEAD — Adam Sandler's film "Hubie Halloween" has transformed The Hotel Marblehead into a haunted mansion straight from "Scooby Doo."
A crew has repainted the pale blue and white hotel, built in the early 1870s, into a blackened haunted house complete with boarded up windows and dead vines crawling up the front vestibule. There's even a scowling tree out front.
So how did the Victorian-style building at 264 Pleasant St. wind up as a set in the Netflix Productions/Happy Madison Productions Halloween comedy that has been filming around the North Shore and Cape Ann this summer?
"It was partly luck and the beauty of the building lending itself to that sort of scenery," said Hotel Marblehead operations manager Sara Garibotto, of Marblehead. She said the producers of Sandler's film knew the area from filming "Grown Ups 2" in Swampscott and Marblehead in 2012.
The hotel was the first place the location manager thought of for the haunted house, she said. And when the producers approached them about the idea, Garibotto said the owner laughed, because they often thought about how they could shake the "haunted" vibe the Victorian building gives off.
Formerly the Marblehead Inn, the hotel expanded to 14 rooms during renovations last year. The owners were hesitant about painting the building for the movie, but producers have said they will return it to what it looked like before.
Garibotto said she has been amazed at how just a few people were able to transform the building. They layered on colors until they got the right effect.
The hotel's transformation has been startling for some. Garibotto said one person thought there had been a fire.
The plan is to have one night of filming on Thursday, she said.
Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @TannerSalemNews.