Seven Films that Scared the Ghosts Out of Me

This week has been something else. I wash my hands of it.

When I have a week like this, I’ve learned to build in down time. And tonight, I do so by thinking about what I want to watch this weekend.

My goal is to go through any and all of these seven gems which–for one reason or another–scared the ghosts right out of me the first time I saw them. And then some.

#7: THE BOY. Discovered it when I recognized that girl from the zombie show. Holy fekking sheeeet. The only thing worse than a doll is a doll that may or may not be possessed.


#6. RETURN TO OZ. Oh, behold, the stuff of nightmares. My sister rented it with a buy 1/get 1 coupon from Blockbuster. I’d already chosen HOOK. Holy freaking freaks. The Wheelies? I feel like I don’t like inanimate objects coming to life because reasons, but something about the Wheelies put me over the edge and down into an abyss.



#5. MISERY. One night when I was about 13, I couldn’t sleep. I heard the TV on downstairs and found Dad watching a movie on AMC. He said, “Hey, this has Kathy Bates. You’ll like it.” So I watched the rest of it with him and WHAT. THE. HELL. DAD. But he was right. Well. Not that I liked it, but I couldn’t look away. Oh, was she ever a hot mess. I think I kept trying reconcile KB’s character in MISERY with KB’s character in FRIED GREEN TOMATOES. It wasn’t going to happen.


#4. PAN’S LABYRINTH. In college, I was closest with the same group of friends I met in middle school. We loved movies. We loved fantasy. Someone brought this over on DVD and we went for it. FML. Wow. I have never loved something so horrifying so much.

#3. THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT. In the summer of 1999 I was at college orientation at Edinboro University in Erie, PA. Jacked up on caffeine, I followed a small group of good nerds to the school’s planetarium. One of the orientation leaders who wasn’t much older than we were, set up a promotional reel of some footage his friends took. “[His] friends from high school put it together and it was going to head to theaters soon.” Basically, he positioned us as witnesses to actual footage. This was before THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT was THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT and oh Sweet Cheezits I may have pissed myself. Didn’t sleep the rest of the weekend.

#2. THE CARE BEARS MOVIE. Not on obvious choice, but I was only 4 when I saw it in theaters and the book from hell was there and I did not read for months after that.


#1. THE OTHERS. Freshman year of college, a bunch of us went off campus for a few hours. After dinner we decided to catch whatever was playing in the half-dollar theater. Whatever the first choice our driver wanted to see was sold out, so we went into THE OTHERS instead and OH. MY. GOD. The terror and joy this film gave me was like nothing I’d ever felt before. The inside-outness that I felt afterwards. The shock. The twist. It solidified my love of the horror genre. This psychological version of horror anyway. Best fifty cents I ever spent.



NOTE: I reserve the right to add to these seven in the coming days. But I also want to know: What are you seven? Let me know in the comments!

  • Krystal Jane
    September 9, 2016

    The Boy was awesome!!

    I wouldn’t watch Pan’s Labyrinth – the cover scared me too bad. LOL! I did have a nightmare after seeing the third Chucky movie. I don’t know why the third one gave me a nightmare after the first two didn’t, but that happened.

    I’m pretty hard to scare with movies, but The Amityville Horror and Texas Chainsaw Massacre remakes scared me a whole lot. I got over it pretty quick, but Idle Hands and I Am Legend, for whatever reason, are still the only movies to have truly scared me. After Idle Hands, I literally couldn’t sleep in the dark for weeks! And after I Am Legend, I looked out my window every night for almost a month to make sure nothing creepy was schlepping around outside.

    Still haven’t seen The Blair Witch Project. I think I watched ten minutes of it before turning it off – I just got impatient and the bumpy camera was driving me crazy.

  • Kathy Palm
    September 11, 2016

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE PAN’S LABYRINTH! I did like The Boy! Poltergeist was the one that got me as a kid. Clown. Dolls. Misery was just so good and disturbing…but good! I will not comment on the Care Bears Movie…

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