Having confessed my vacation spooks in direct reference to Paranormal Activity in a previous piece, a few of you came forward and mentioned some of your horror movie scary stories. Before I leave you all to it, I have to also mention those damn wheelers in Return to Oz. Where they supposed to be that scary? This fear comes from childhood, even now looking back I can see why I was spooked, but not able to quite put my finger on it – their movement, their sinister exterior, that I could not as a young child quite comprehend the freaky fuckers. Shivers. Anyway, we’re outside the tent at night, the fire is dimming, I’m cradling a hot chocolate, amidst the eerie noises of the woods I’m listening.
Clarence Moye (@chmoye):
My earliest sustained memories of horror films involve the basic evil of every child’s life – unfiltered pay cable television. Before that, my school bus driver used to regale the entire bus of Very Young School Children with summaries of Halloween and Friday the 13th over which we would “ooh” and “aah.” But no, my earliest first-hand experience with horror came on Saturday afternoons, of all times, on the USA Network’s Commander USA’s Groovie Movies, an Elvira-like marathon led by Commander USA. Commander USA was a cigar-smoking pun master who introduced such gems as Friday the 13th and I Walked with a Zombie.
Harmless enough on the surface, but, to an impressionable 8-year-old boy home alone, it was a life-altering experience. After witnessing countless beheadings, impalings, and other creative mechanisms of death, I began to hear sounds throughout the house. Terrified, I would throw open the side door to the house and shout into the nearby woods my bold statements of strength and courage. Following that, I would hide in closets or blanket chests and wait until my parents came home. I would spend countless nights buried under sheets thinking they could protect me from Jason Voorhees. And perhaps they did. I’m still here now, aren’t I?
Jazz Tangcay (@jazzt):
I really don’t like horror films. Honest to God, I don’t. I’m one of those people who watches a scary film and I will lose sleep for days, even if it’s a ridiculous scary film. Having said that, I often find myself getting sucked into the hype, watching the latest horror film. My earliest memory of watching horror films was when I was 11. I remember watching A Nightmare on Elm Street with Jason, who was a year younger than me. He was obsessed with Freddy and that was it. We watched each Nightmare film. I wasn’t scared when I was that young. Often it’s the imagery from horror films that last and stick with you. Or me.
I also recall watching Candyman. I often find myself in parking lots and believe me, I always think Candyman is going to jump out at me. Or when I look in a mirror. To this day, it haunts me. The hallway scene in The Shining also sticks me with and haunts me whenever I’m outside my room, waiting to get in. Paranormal Activity got a bit silly, but I’m not going to lie, on those nights when I’ve rolled around in my bed and wake up to find my foot sticking out, I’ll often think Toby will come along and drag me out of bed by my foot. Psycho isn’t particularly a horror film in the blood and gore sense, but make no mistake about it, that shower scene, the seconds before anything happens to unsuspecting Marion is terrifying. Hitchcock focusing on the shower curtain and you know something is about to happen. It’s a terrific scene, but scary. It’s also so very artistic as before that we see shots of the house. The cheap tricks just as the jump scares and shrill musical scores all work on me.
Having been exposed to blood and gore from a young age, I can sit there and watch blood spill, often without flinching. So, what scares me in film? Everything. I’m a scaredy cat. I’ll watch the next Paranormal installment. I’ll watch Annabelle. Then I’ll sleep with the sheets over my head. I don’t know what the attraction is, maybe it’s fear of missing out? Maybe I just like to scare myself and submit myself to terror? Maybe I like seeing my fears played out? Or maybe, I just like the entertainment and appreciate the art of a good horror movie.
Hendrikje McClymont (@GingerHenny):
Yes, my first ever “scary” movie was The Fearless Vampire Killers. As I was 5 I got a tent and begged my parents to sleep outside by myself over night.My parents not thrilled with that idea and to shut me up, let me watch that vampire movie, which now that I’m older seems not scary at all. Though then I thought it was the best thrill ever, got me hooked for life. Anyway, needless to say I didn’t sleep that night in my tent. Or any other night for the next few years.
Tim J. Krieg (@FiveStarFlicks):
I love scary movies. Growing up in a rather sheltered Christian family I didn’t watch too many hardcore horror flicks when I was younger. My parents loved watching movies though, and Steven Spielberg has always been one of their favorites. One of Spielberg’s calling cards is putting his child characters in harm’s way, something that left a huge impact on me during my early childhood watching movies. I remember getting the crap scared out of me by the T-Rex attack in The Land Before Time, which Spielberg produced and that I saw in theaters. As a small kid the beast seemed like it was going to jump right off the screen and chomp me up in one bite! A few years later I once again got the crap scared out of me by a T-Rex, this time in Spielberg’s monster movie Jurassic Park.
One particular sound that has haunted me most of my life is John Williams’ iconic score for Jaws, which I saw in bits in pieces when it aired on TV at various points in my childhood. Growing up in Minnesota, “The Land of 10,000 Lakes”, I was convinced that every time I jumped into the water somewhere surely Jaws was waiting to get me, even if I was just in my backyard swimming pool. The government agents chasing after the kids in E.T. is another Spielberg image that creeped me out as a kid, though it didn’t prevent me from watching it about a million times on VHS. Looking back on it now, when I think of most of the moments that really stayed with me from being frightened by a movie as a child, Steven Spielberg almost always played a part in those nightmares.
Feel free to fill the comments section with your own scary stories from horror movies.
Coming Up: Some old classic horror movie with Desirae Embree.