Ghost stories are a rite of passage in every child’s life.
In fact I think the urban legends and myths that are shared among friends, huddled together at sleepovers or on long walks home, are probably just as influential in shaping who we grow up to be as any schoolroom lesson we absorb over the years is. More than just scaring the wits out of us, these stories often equal as cautionary tales and warnings to heed — like D.A.R.E., only effective. Continue reading STUFF THAT SCARED ME: The Ghost from THREE MEN AND A BABY!
Church is scary, man.
The musty smell of bibles, the bland and antiquated interiors, the old people, the chanting, the fear, the guilt, the penance, the seriousness of it all. The murder, the immolation. Well, at least I thought those last two were regular happenings at church. Continue reading STUFF THAT SCARED ME: ALICE, SWEET ALICE
It was the late-’80s, and we were smack dab in the middle of The Great VHS Boom. I believe it was Herbert Hoover who once promised, “a VCR in every home, and a membership to every mom & pop video store” – and that’s exactly what every family (including ours) had. And with the proliferation of VCRs came a wave of home recordings. No rental was safe from being recorded to a blank Kodak tape (or Polaroid, Sony, RCA, Fuji, et al.) You just had to make sure your recording speed was set to LP, and to put a little piece o’tape over that broken tab on the back, and you were in business. Sure, it was illegal. But it was the ’80s, and everyone was doing it. Continue reading STUFF THAT SCARED ME: A Home Recording of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3
Growing up in an excessively-permissive household – one where I was allowed to watch any movie or read any magazine I wanted without so much as a second glance – was a double-edged sword. On one hand, it was (obviously) totally unbelievably awesome: while my friends were stuck watching kiddie fluff, Disney flicks, and PG-rated fare with their parents (how embarrassing), here I was – the envy of all other first graders – reading FANGORIA Magazine and watching horrific movies and TV shows via early-’90s HBO, all on my own. (You KNOW I never missed my Saturday night showing of Tales from the Crypt.) Continue reading STUFF THAT SCARED ME: The Brood
I oftentimes find myself wondering, “How did I get this way?” How did I end up the gore-loving (and relatively normal) weirdo I am today? What things did I consume growing up – whether by television, movies, books, or otherwise – that helped shape and develop my love for the weird, horrific and obscure? I have a ton of fond memories of discovering horror as I got older, but it’s really the darker, weirder, scarier memories that stayed with me and I believe had the biggest impact.
There are a ton of micro-occurrences that probably did most of the shaping, I’m sure – but they’re so buried in my subconscious that I’ll (thankfully) never remember what they are. Instead, it’s a handful of big, clunky memories that stick out to me, ones that I often recall and attribute to conditioning my love for the horrorstuff. These vivid recollections are responsible for what you see before you today. Continue reading STUFF THAT SCARED ME: Little Chrissy and the Alphabeats