scream

A Trip Down Horror Lane

It’s that time of year.

The time when one has engorged oneself on countless bags of mini-snickers that one was able to procure regularly from the massive Halloween candy pile on display since early August.

The time when an avid TV viewer can turn on the channel, and see Michael Myers dough-boy face looking impassively back at her.

The time to watch horror movies.

This time of year takes me back to the days when a young Speaker7 put a steak knife under her mattress for “just-in-case” purposes.

I have no business watching scary movies. It is something I cannot handle yet I cannot help myself.

By day, I am a rational pragmatic person who makes decisions based on logic and reason. But at night, that person is gone, replaced by someone who is convinced that lump of dirty clothes in the corner is, in fact, the evil spawn of Jason and Chucky.

I’ve gotten better. I know there is no way in demonic-possession I’m going to watch any of the Paranormal Activity movies. I will never see The Exorcist and I sure as shit ain’t sitting through any movie about a haunted dibbuk box some jerk bought on eBay.

I’ve learned my lesson from a childhood spent sleeping on the floor of my parent’s bedroom. It would follow the usual pattern. I would stay up late by myself watching some horrible movie on HBO. I would go to my bedroom and start panicking the moment I turned out the lights. Five minutes later, I would run down the hall to my parent’s bedroom, and pull out the mattress they kindly stowed under their bed for this very purpose.

So what were the movies that caused me to lose my shit?

1. Salem’s Lot

I don’t even remember the plot of this movie. I just know at one point this blue-looking vampire fuck was flying outside someone’s window. I thought I could protect myself by placing all my stuffed animals on the window seat by the top of the stairs. Yeah, like they could do anything. And you thought Edward Cullen’s sparklyness was frightening.

Length of time on parent’s bedroom floor: one week.

2. Amityville Horror II: The Possession

Yes, okay, the house is filled with some demon spirit that possesses the older brother who then shoots his entire family to death. My house was not filled with evil spirits, but did have an older brother who once chased me around the house with a weed-whacker so–wait, why am I watching this?!?

Length of time on parent’s floor: a month (“More like a year.” — Speaker7’s mom).

3. Friday the 13th

I don’t remember the name of my kindergarten teacher, but I sure as shit remember a bald-headed Jason popping out of the water and grabbing the last remaining camp counselor by the neck and pulling her underwater.

Length of time on parent’s floor: a week

4. Rosemary’s Baby

I would still watch this movie. I think I might have even watched it while pregnant because I am a big genius. To this day I think tarragon is tannis root, and I’m always suspicious of it.

Length of time on parent’s floor: a week.

5. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

I know technically this is not a horror movie, but I just have two words for you: Oompa Loompa.

Length of time on parent’s floor: 0, but I wanted to, I really wanted to.

6. The Shining

The little boy with the talking finger, the elevator of blood, the deranged father–yes this is the stuff of nightmares, but they got nothing on those twins, man. Those creepy-as-shit twins. I would make out with a decaying old woman any day of the week over having a conversation with those twins.

Length of time on parent’s floor: six weeks

7. Nightmare on Elm Street

I thought I could handle this one by watching it with the volume turned completely off, a boom-box playing Duran Duran and multiple bags of salt-and-vinegar Wise potato chips, my number one comfort food. Didn’t work.

Length of time on parent’s floor: two months.

8. Scream

Okay, so technically I was not a child when Scream was released in theaters. I was more like in the 20-year-old range. I saw this when I was home for the Christmas holiday and it’s very likely that I snuck into my parent’s room and slept on their floor and snuck out in shame very early the next morning before they woke up.

Length of time on parent’s floor: one embarrassing night.

So what movies have caused you sleepless nights?

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