Merrimack River Park in Haverhill was off limits to the public one day last week while filming took place for the Stephen King-inspired psychological horror series "Castle Rock."
The series is a Warner Brothers production available on Hulu, a streaming service.
Olive Avenue Productions took over the park on Tuesday of last week. The park was clogged with everything you might expect on a movie set — costumes, video and audio recording equipment, a boom, trucks and vans, and lots of workers and actors.
Just up the road, in the parking lot for Michael's Function Hall and the Phoenician Restaurant, tractor trailer trucks and mobile homes lined the lot along with other vehicles.
A spokeswoman for the production company, who did not want her name published, said she was only able to provide minimal information about the filming taking place.
She said the production company was there to film a second-season episode of "Castle Rock," but would not name the episode or say why the crew chose the park for filming.
"I can say the cast of season 2 is almost totally different than the cast of season 1," she said.
Rocky Morrison, president of the Methuen-based Clean River Project, said he was contacted early last Tuesday morning by the movie production company when it ran into a problem launching a small pontoon boat in the river. It was low tide at the time.
He told the crew exactly where to travel to avoid rocks that could damage the boat.
Morrison knows the river well, as he's traveled it multiple times — from the New Hampshire border to Newburyport.
"I know every rock in the river 'cause I've hit them all," he joked. "The Merrimack River is a treasure and it's great to think a movie crew was here filming it."
Haverhill native and author David Goudsward has published numerous books on filming locations, including locations in Massachusetts, focusing on horror films.
"Haverhill has a lot of potential as it has a castle, bodies of water, old graveyards, blue collar neighborhoods, scenic areas and more — all in a very small area," he said. "When you're paying for transportation, you can save money by filming in Haverhill.
"The city does not have a film office, yet I think it should," he said.
Goudsward said this wasn't the first time filming for "Castle Rock" happened in Haverhill.
"They were at the Crescent Yacht Club earlier this year, and they were in the Monument Square area as well," he said.
Another television show, "NOS4A2," an AMC drama based on a novel by Joe Hill, Stephen King's son, also has Haverhill ties.
"The first season is set in Haverhill, but was actually filmed in Rhode Island," Goudsward said. "A map of Haverhill, an image of the Rocks Bridge and a triple-decker on River Street shows up in the opening credits, which is the only place in the show where you'll see the real Haverhill."