Looking for something to help get you in the mood for Halloween? Here are a few suggestions of things that have each taken a turn or two keeping me up at night.
“They’re heeeere…” A modern classic if you ask any fan of the genre. It was released in 1984 making me four years old and entirely too young to be watching it but that didn’t stop me. This movie alone is probably the reason that ghost stories both fascinate and frighten me still to this day. Also, being roughly the same age as little Carol-Anne probably didn’t help either.
Television: American Horror Story
A new series that premiered less than a month ago but has already made a huge impression on me. A multi-layered story filled with tragedy, secrets, tension, and sex all intermingled with a huge creep-factor and some pretty messed up murder scenes. If you’re into horror or ghost stories you will love it and with a two-part Halloween episode it’s perfect for this time of year.
Yes, I know this is a children’s book. But that didn’t stop it was giving me the chills. The movie, while fantastic, didn’t make my skin crawl quite like the book. The Dave McKean illustrations alone had me speed-reading just so I could turn the page. As soon as Coraline found herself in the other world with other-mother and her creepy button eyes I knew this was a different kind of kids’ story and I loved every minute of it.
Games: Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly (Playstation 2)
Japanese horror stories have a way of creeping me out that sticks with me. There are still random times after using the bathroom in the middle of the night that I think “long arms” from the original Fatal Frame may be lurking in my closet waiting for me. Your character is armed only a camera to defend herself against hostile ghosts like “broken neck woman”, “woman in box”, and “fallen woman.” All women, huh? Yeah, way to be sexist, Fatal Frame. The overt scares are great but it’s the subtleties that really make this game shine.
Screw your sparkling vampires. Steve Niles’ take on the vampire genre is the stuff of nightmares. Ruthless, ugly, and teeth like sharks– 30 Days of Night made vampires scary again. The added talents of Ben Templesmith almost make the gore-splashed pages beautiful. But there is no denying that these vampires will tear your throat out, as many of Barrow, Alaska’s residents can attest to.