Scary Things & Halloween

There’s no doubt, I’ve always been a big chicken. But I’m one of those chickens that loves to scare the crap out of myself. I purposely endure scary things just because I live for the thrill. I push myself to the extreme at times to overcome my fear and while my efforts don’t always work, they do weaken the effects scary things have on me, or at least the longevity of such things scaring me.

When I was a child I couldn’t even watch a scary movie without it haunting me for nights on end. I’d sleep with my light on and make my sister go to the bathroom with me, sometimes I’d even make my mom or sister sleep with me. But even as a kid knowing all of this would happen, I still wanted to watch scary movies, especially in October when I could also go to haunted houses (the ultimate scare factor back then).

As an adult, I still live for this ritual. Every October I devote the month to scary things and testing my fear. This year is the first time I’ve included reading “scary” books to my routine, but like every year before I’ve spent a great deal of time watching horror flicks (new and old) and seeing what the effects of such acts have on me.

In truth, I still act like the child I once was with some scary things. Like, when I get in bed (no matter how hot I am) I cover my head or at least my ear as if the covers somehow protect me from the unknown while I sleep. I prefer to not watch scary movies at night because there’s always that idea that ‘nothing bad can happen in daylight,’ and sometimes I have to make Heath come to bed with me because I just can’t do it alone. In truth, I’m still as big of a chicken as I’ve always been, but the fear doesn’t last nearly as long as it once did. And instead of letting the fear linger, I can appreciate the quality of creating such films now to get past the fear they cause.

Most of my favorite horror movies have been remade in my adulthood, like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Nightmare on Elm Street, or Halloween. While I love the originals I have been overly pleased with the remakes, but then again we live in a time where technology and special effects are so realistic it seems impossible to not appreciate the remakes. Another thing I love about the remakes though is the additions to the old stories, the history that’s often revealed in the remake that wasn’t part of the original story.

For instance, in Rob Zombie’s Halloween I almost felt sorry for Michael. The poor kid was mentally abused and ignored and despite his built up evil intentions he still loved his baby sister, he just wanted revenge on all those who did him wrong. Now sure, he’s still a creepy f’ed up dude, but I liked seeing both sides of the killer.

Another great example of this extra history was the latest Nightmare on Elm Street. While I wasn’t pleased with the new Freddy (old Freddy was far scarier), I really enjoyed the kids figuring out the past, and how Freddy came to be the nightmare murderer that he is. Does it make his actions understandable? No. But do I like seeing how a twisted guy could go from crazy to murderer? Heck yeah! It was really well done and even managed to leave me with nightmares later that night, despite knowing the movie and having seen the original a million times.

VS
OLD Freddy Wins hands down for me!

For the most part there isn’t a scary movie I won’t watch, even if it’s not for the quality of the film or the story and just to see how badly it scares me. But there is one that I will absolutely never watch again.

– The Exorcism of Emily Rose –

The first exorcist didn’t scare me (much). The film quality compared to that of today made it seem less real and therefore wasn’t as hard for me to swallow (even if it was supposedly based on true events). But exorcism movies in general affect me differently than your average unbelievable scary character flicks because I believe in demons and so the idea that someone could be possessed (that I could possibly be possessed) scares the living daylights out of me. And Emily Rose’s exorcism was so horrific I could barely even watch the screen, even just listening to it terrified me. I can’t even watch a trailer for the movie it’s so bothersome to me. And now they’ve got some new exorcism movie out called The Last Exorcism. This is not a film I will test myself with. It’s just not something I want to attempt. The Exorcism of Emily Rose scared me so much I couldn’t sleep for almost a week. While I might be able to say from a film aspect that it was done really well, it was actually done too well and imprinted fear in me unlike any film before it and probably any film after it.

So LJ friends, what scares you? What exactly is it about Halloween that makes you enjoy it (if you do)?

Peace – Sarah

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8 Responses to "Scary Things & Halloween"

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  1. alice_vd

    October 27, 2010 at 2:49 am

    My friend, Alice (Yes, I have a friend with the same name as me. It got slightly confusing in High School at first until I noted the tone of fear most people uttered the other Alice’s name in), was the person to force the Horror movie genre on me. I am a complete wimp (I was terrified of Goosebumps TV show as I kid and once got trapped in the kitchen for an hour in order to avoid the horror of it). However, due to having all Nightmare of Elm Street videos forced on me one night I became a little less terrified. How? I look for the comedy. It’s the only reason I survived my friend Alice’s and my Horror movie sleep overs. I find the comedy and cling to it like it was life itself. That and drown myself in coca cola and popcorn (which can, if drunken or chewed right, drown out the screams of the idiots who just wouldn’t damn listen to me when I told them the damn murderer was right fricken behind then and it was all their fricken fault their dead so there. Yeah, I was a very active movie watcher. My friend Alice found it very amusing). So, that’s my Horror movie story.

    Also OLD Freddy FTW!

    • SarahWhisted

      October 27, 2010 at 8:42 pm

      Isn’t it always fun to have a friend with your same name? It can be difficult at times, but still fun.

      Goosebumps was a really good creepy kid’s show. The books (the ones I read at least) weren’t bad either. Don’t feel bad, they scared me too back then.

      I also tend to look for the comedy in horror films, because it’s almost always the case where you’re thinking there’s no way you’d be as dumb as the actors, like running upstairs when something is after you. Seriously, where will you go once they follow you? Duh. But people do it all of the time. Still, the quality of scary movies is so well done now (even with the bits of humor) that sometimes they can still get me with the fear factor.

  2. edgyauthor

    October 27, 2010 at 6:18 am

    I LOVE HORROR MOVIES!!!

    Um, yeah. XD

    Funnily enough, despite how much I adore horror movies, I’ve only seen one of the movies you mentioned in this post. (NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, to be exact. I remember seeing that late at night when I was little and thought it was SO cool. Haven’t seen it since, though. Bad me!) I think this is because many of the horror movies I see come from those discount movie bins at Wal-Mart and such. (Lesser-known films FTW!)

    Your daylight theory amuses me, because that’s exactly why I NEVER watch scary films during the day. The nighttime enhances the creepiness for me, and I love it!

    Human villains freak me out the most in horror movies. While I do believe that unexplainable things can exist in our world, the fact that we don’t know for sure makes it easier for me to distance myself from a supernatural horror. Plus, those human villains are just too real. I can’t help but think I or someone I love could become a victim of that kind of cruelty someday. And knowing that others have been…yii. Makes me want to cry if I think too much about it.

    However, there ARE some aspects to supernatural horror that’ll freak me out. Like closets. I still get fearful around mine, and will never, ever leave it open. EVER. (I blame that FACT OR FICTION show. Scarred me for life when that creepy closet ep was true!)

    Also, anything that messes with a person’s identity in a supernatural horror creeps me out a lot. I’m oddly fascinated by it, though (probably ’cause I fear it so much), which is why I not only enjoy watching stories like that, but writing ’em, too.

    (Speaking of writing…some of my book ideas involve possession in some way, including a WIP I want to rewrite next year. Maybe my heavy dose of humor won’t make it a problem for you, if you ever happen to read those stories? Or the fact that they don’t just focus on possession? Maybe? Um. *runs*)

    • SarahWhisted

      October 27, 2010 at 8:41 pm

      Heather, not seeing all of the classics is like a sin. I’m all for the B-rated movies in the Walmart bin, but come on! You have to see the classics, you just have too! They’re cheap as dirt now too and at minimum rent them from somewhere. You don’t understand what you’ve missed if you LOVE horror movies the way you obviously do.

      The daylight theory doesn’t actually work. It’s more of a mental game. And besides, even though I try to avoid watching them at night, that’s when I’m usually watching them (which does in fact creep me out even more).

      Human villains are scary to me too, but something about the fact that they aren’t supernatural makes me think they can be defeated. Like, if one was really after you, you could go straight crazy on them unexpectedly and suddenly gain the upper hand. Demonic possession though, you kind of can’t escape that. Or at least there’s a lot more cases of people dying trying than actually surviving through an exorcism. That just creeps me out.

      As far as your WIP (or future WIP)’s having possession in them… I will still want to read them, even if they do scare me. I think reading it might be different than the visual and the sound. At least reading it I can create the image I want to see in my mind instead of the terrifying images Emily Rose left me with. Plus, despite being scared of such things I still enjoy pushing myself with fear. I love the adrenaline rush of it! So no worries, I will still want to read whatever you write, no matter how scary the concept is. :)

      • edgyauthor

        October 27, 2010 at 9:10 pm

        I know, I really need to see the classics! (And I do plan to someday. Honest!) I just have this bad habit of gravitating toward movies that I have never, ever heard of. No expectations!

        And I’m so glad to hear that you’re still willing to read those WIPs! I tend to handle possessions differently than movies do (depending on what mythology I’m adapting), so hopefully my versions won’t wig you out too much. 😉

  3. poseiwriting

    October 29, 2010 at 1:58 am

    I won’t lie to you Sarah.

    The pictures in this post were freaking me out so much that I almost couldn’t read it!

    Clearly, I’m the whimpy kid of the group. :)

    Also, someone told me (as in VERBALLY) the basic story of IT by Stephen King in the third grade (it was a girl named Margo, she was horrid) and I made my sisters come to the bathroom with me and open the fridge for me for like a week. That’s ONE thing little sister’s are good for… anti-boogy-monster-shield! :)

    • SarahWhisted

      October 29, 2010 at 2:12 am

      Aw, I love your whimpyness. There always has to be one in a group so don’t feel bad. I’m the mushy one, it could be a lot worse. I’ll be that one crushing you all with ‘love.’

      Isn’t it funny though how when you’re scared you can’t even go to the bathroom alone? When any other time the idea of going to the bathroom (something very private) with other people is unheard of? I was the same way though. Unfortunately, my little sister was even more of a chicken then me so she was no real protection. She was even scared of Raggedy Ann and Andy.

  4. heathharris

    October 30, 2010 at 1:36 am

    ‘The only thing to fear is, fear itself’ – FDR

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