Hold Up, Is Lucia State Hospital From 'Ratched' a Real Place?

Alright, Ratched fans. If you’ve watched even one episode of the new Netflix Ryan Murphy show, you’ve probably got questions. Like, why does Hollywood keep casting hot dudes to play serial killers? And why do I suddenly want a car from the 1940s even though I’m currently living in 2020? But the even more urgent question you probably have is about the location, Lucia, California. Is it a real place? And does the spooky and very-corrupt Lucia State Hospital actually exist? Here’s what we know.

Lucia, California is very real.

You read that correctly! It’s a super small town close to Big Sur, California. So small, in fact, that mail doesn’t even technically get addressed to Lucia. It gets addressed to Big Sur. So we’re not trying to commit Lucia, California erasure or anything, but it’s a super small community. Like, only about 1,000 people live there.

There is no mental institution there.

And there never has been, apparently! Which means that while the overhead shots of the cliffs and scenery the show uses were actually shot in the Lucia area, the footage of the hospital was not. That was shot mostly in L.A. on a soundstage. Production designer Judy Becker was inspired for the look of the hospital by Arrowhead Springs Hotel in San Bernardino. The show couldn’t actually film at that location, so they recreated it.

That lovely seaside motel is real, though.

It’s called Lucia Lodge, and you can actually go stay there. “One of my favorite sets is the motel in Lucia, where Nurse Ratched stays,” Becker told Town & Country. “The exterior is a real place just south of Big Sur. It’s called the Lucia Lodge and it’s on a cliff over the ocean. It’s amazing looking and when we saw it, I thought about Psycho when she drives to the creepy motel in the middle of nowhere—I just knew we had to shoot there.”

I mean, can you blame her? Look at these views!

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Awaiting #sunrise

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BRB, booking my eventual post-COVID-19 vacation.

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