LIGHTNING STRIKES: Fire blazes at “Big Fish” prop movie house in Millbrook

jackson lake island fb LIGHTNING STRIKES: Fire blazes at "Big Fish" prop movie house in Millbrook
Startling fire after lightning strike at Jackson Lake Island. (Jackson Lake Island Facebook)

A prop house at the famous “Big Fish” movie set in Millbrook, Alabama was struck by lightning and burned down on July 2.

Featured in Tim Burton’s 2003 movie “Big Fish,” the fictional Town of Spectre, where the movie was shot, still exists as a tourist attraction on Jackson Island in the small town.

For years, the abandoned movie set has been a popular attraction to walk around and tour.

Remembering “Big Fish”

I caught up with Brian Kurlander to speak with him about the fire this weekend. Kurlander was the past Alabama Film Office executive director and award-winning actor who recruited the film for Alabama, making a huge impact on the state’s film industry. As a popular movie, it is still one of the highest grossing and most successful films produced in Alabama.

He was saddened to hear about the news, but it brought back a lot of memories about filming the movie.

“I remember driving Tim Burton around the set for a tour. Tim kept jumping out, running around doing “camera hands” to visualize his film. He loves this kind of stuff.

Filming was such a magical period of time, and I believe that the magic still exists.”

Brian Kurlander, award-winning actor and writer

The goats are safe!

jackson island goat LIGHTNING STRIKES: Fire blazes at "Big Fish" prop movie house in Millbrook
Town of Spectre resident, Midnight the goat, safe and sound. (Jackson Lake Island Facebook)

For folks familiar with the town, the abandoned set is now home to a community of adorable goats. This community has a large fan-following that was very concerned about the goats’ safety from the storm.

Jackson Lake residents confirmed all of the goats were safely sheltered under the church when lightning struck the prop house.

According to their Facebook, Jackson Lake Island’s Town of Spectre is still open for visitation. The rest of the town was unharmed and they will continue to be open every day!

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Julia Sager
Julia Sager
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