The Vertigo Mission


Mission San Juan Bautista played a starring role in Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo as the place where Kim Novak's character supposedly jumped out of a tower plunging to her death. However one of the first things you notice when visiting the mission is that there's no tower. Hitchcock created one for the movie with special effects, he painted a tower on glass. There was a tower once, the rest of the story as told to me by a mission docent ... a tower, albeit a small one, was added to the mission in the 1890s. Hitchcock visited the mission with tower in the 1930s and made a note of the site. However shortly thereafter the tower became infested with termites and was torn down. When Hitchcock returned in the 1950s to film Vertigo the tower was gone, hence the one created on glass.