'The Exorcist' Steps Declared a Washington DC Tourist Site

"The Exorcist" stairs receive official recognition in Washington, D.C.

ByABC News
October 30, 2015, 8:37 PM

— -- It's been turning heads -- all the way around -- for years and now, just in time for Halloween, the eerie staircase featured in "The Exorcist" is receiving official recognition.

The steep set of 75 stone steps, now known as the "The Exorcist Steps" has become a popular tourist stop for fans of the 1973 horror flick -- a tale about a little girl who is possessed.

In the film, actor Jason Miller plays the role of a priest who tumbles to his death down the distinctive staircase during an attempt to try and rid actress Linda Blair, playing the role of little girl Regan MacNeil, of her evil spirits.

A plaque officially designating the spooky staircase as “The Exorcist Steps” was unveiled by Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. The ceremony was followed by a screening of the movie with director William Friedken in attendance.

"It is important that all the tourists know exactly what these steps mean to DC history and they are indeed an icon in our town," said Bowser. “It is also a marker for us to put in the ground to say that we are going to double and redouble our efforts to make DC a film town.”

The flight of stairs were built in 1895 on the side of a building used to house trolley cars when Washington still used a cable car system. Many in the community now find the staircase is useful for work-outs with runners often sprinting up and down to strengthen their legs.

Film buff Andrew Huff began pushing for the plaque earlier this year, raising money from the neighborhood and the city’s Office of Motion Picture and Television Development.

"The commemoration of the exorcist steps have been a grassroots effort with many DC residents and organizations," said Huff. He added they now have "the designation they long deserved."