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October 25, 2012


It's getting close to that time of year where we all love a good scare. It's become something of a ritual to scream on Halloween—the more bloodcurdling the better. Tales of terror have been passed down for millennia about ghouls, ghosts and goblins inhabiting the dark places, waiting and watching for the perfect opportunity to frighten the unsuspecting.

As kids who didn't sit around telling scary stories? Maybe it was around a campfire with other teens, darkness all about except for the flickering of the firelight and the deep, dark shadows surrounding you. Remember the one about the man with a hook? Tell me you didn't scream when it was being told and somebody tapped you on the shoulder. Maybe it was a slumber party, a sleep-over with your friends, sitting around in your PJ's, the lights dimmed and one person held the flashlight under their chin, telling a spooky ghost story.

We sit alone in the dark in a crowded movie theater and watch the Wolfman or the Mummy, or Dracula wreak havoc on a village of unsuspecting townsfolk. The blood would spill and screams echo throughout the pitch black theater. I have to admit I'm not much for the blood and gore of the current scary movies. I'd rather not see heads being chopped off and bodies being dismembered. Give me a good psychological scare; make me work up to the terror.

How about books? Do you remember the last scary story you read? I love to read (and write) paranormals. You can pack a lot of punch into a good paranormal haunting just by setting the mood and tone of the book. "It was a dark and stormy night" can set the imagination spiraling out of control with ideas.

Tell me about the last scare that had you screaming in fright. Was it a book, a movie, or maybe even real life. (For me—anything with snakes and I'm shrieking like a banshee—trust me it ain't pretty.)

Kathy Ivan works a day job but every night she can be found pounding away at her computer working on tales of romantic suspense and paranormal romances. Her Christmas novella, Second Chances, will be available soon.


Sylvia said...

Oh Kathy, I'm with you on the blood and gore. That doesn't scare me, it just makes me feel nauseous. My last good scarey movie was the original Paranormal Activity. No blood no gore, just a camera showing things moving. The sheet on the bed moving while they slept. The psychological and paranormal are so much scarier to me. I'm just going to hand out candy this year. No costume, no scary movie.

Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

I can't do scary movies. Blood, guts, gore, bring it on. But scary's tension drives me batty.

I don't get any trick or treaters. Oops! More candy for me!!

Liese said...

My husband used to tell scary stories to our kids and their cousins and friends as children. We learned much later, how they still remember them and the games of dare they would do afterwards--like calling out for a ghost or ghoul to come!

Kathleen Baldwin said...

Apparently many of us Princesses are not into gore. me either. I don't go to shows like SAW III. or 2. Or 1.

The last time I screamed was rather recent. Please excuse the graphic nature of this comment. But my son and I were watching a nature show on cobras. And they showed cobras mating. That was scarey enough, but then the nature guy grabbed the dang male snake and showed his wiggly bits (if you know what I mean) and...

Aaahhhh! Snake uglies are REALLY ugly. We both jumped up from the couch. I ran "Aaahhhing" from the room. My poor son was not quite as alarmed as I was, but still totally grossed out. I'm serious. I've been at the scene of terrible accidents. Been in a ER on an overcrowded Friday night. Watched surgeries. Viewed real crime scene photos.

Nothing scares me. Except, apparently, snake parts.

chris k said...

this is SO not my category- LOl - the last time I willingly went to a frightening movie was Carrie - when that hand reached out to grab him from the grave - I jumped from my seat into my friends lap who had already jumped from her seat into her boyfriend's lap.

yup- a two seat jump - and I have refused to do scary anything ever since!! lol.

Kathy Ivan said...

I never did see Paranormal Activity, Sylvia. Sheets moving on the bed, things like that, fascinating. I love watching Ghost Hunters, just to see if they will ever actually catch something really exception on film.

Kathy Ivan said...

No blood and gore for me either. I don't like to watch those kinds of movies at all.

No trick or treaters--we usually get loads of kids each year. That's the good part. The bad part--all that junk, oops, I mean candy left over that I have to get rid of. LOL

Kathy Ivan said...

I remember the stories i heard when I was little too. That was always so much fun, trying to "outsscare" everybody else.

Kathy Ivan said...

I have never seen and have no desire to see any of the Saw movies--very much not my thing.

You wouldn't ever, ever catch me voluntarily watching anything with snakes in it. And snake "bits". Ughhh!!!

Kathy Ivan said...

The original version of Carrie was really scary. I agree than hand reaching out of the grave . . . gives me the shivers.

I had a really good scream when watching Jaws the first time. When Roy Scheider had his back turned talking to the other guys on the boat, throwing the chum out, and the shark raised up out of the water . . . bloodcurdling yell!

Karilyn Bentley said...

I'm like you and the other princesses, I don't like the gore in scary movies. But a good ghost story...those things freak me out. I love them! Although most of them are too scary for me to watch. I'd never get to sleep! :)

Addison said...

I have to go with the general concensus of avoiding scary movies!! (I'm a big wimp!)

That said, there's nothing like an atmospheric thriller to really get the blood pumping. One of my favorite books - THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child - had me afraid to take the dog out at night for a week!


chris k said...

LOl- see now I have a german shepherd- very little leaves me afraid if he and I go out for a walk!! lol.

but the only two things I remember about JAWS is the scene when one of the characters turns around and says: I think we need a bigger boat - it was so deadpan and so funny-

the other thing is friend of mine woke me up when I'd fallen asleep on the sofa to ask me what I'd been dreaming - unfortunately I didn't remember, but apparently I kept mumbling in my sleep - "Jaws'll get you for that"

Liz Lipperman said...

Hands down -- When a Stranger Calls. Every time I hear the words, "Have you checked the children lately?" I get chills. The plot is that the babysitter keeps getting these phone calls and it's a crazy guy IN the house with her!!! OMG!!! And that's not all the scary stuff. The ending freaked me out. They made a newer version lately, but I love the old one.

Phyllis said...

Okay, I have to admit it - I really do not like scary or horror movies. I don't go to the theatres to see them, If they are on TV, I switch a channel.

Now, I seen some and I’m STILL bothered by them. One in particular is 'The Shining". It still gives me the creeps.

Now, with that said, I have been seen at haunted houses. I don’t go to them to be scared. I work at them and you go to one I’m working at, you best get your running shoes on!

Moo.aa.ha.ha ( or however you write that evil laugh)….lol

Patricia said...

I think the last time I got scared-ish was while watching Paranormal Activity - not the latest one but the one that came out last year. Maybe it's because those movies are filmed as if by a hand-held camera - makes it seem more realistic for me.

Janis Susan May said...

Since there is very little on this earth that scares me, I was always more of the scarer than scaree. I remember once at a jr hi slumber party telling ghost stories which had come down in my family with such relish that two girls called their parents and went home! Tee-hee-hee!

Like most of you I don't care for the chop-and-splatter kind of horror. They're boring and really rather tasteless. Much more thrilling are the stories that play with your mind. A wise old man once told me, Never show the monster. Let people create what is scariest to them.

Some of the best advice I ever got.

As for the scariest movie? Hands down, the 1963 version of THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE with Julie Harris. That can still send me diving under the covers and you never ever see anything!