Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I was sitting alone earlier this evening wondering what to blog about, and the things that gave me chills over the years starting coming to mind. I shall tell you about them here so you can share in the nightmares I may be setting up for later this night.

My grandparents lived in what was once a Colonial home. At he top of the central stairway was a door which used to be the outside door on the north side of the house. It had a single panel on the bottom and 20 panes of glass. One of the glass panes was broken. It had a large, wicked hole a person could put their hand through. I hated that hole, and had nightmares about it when I was young. My grandpa was not fond of me, so the glass went year after year unrepaired. Many years later, my grandmother disclosed that my father had broken it when he was a child, and it had remained that way for half a century! I replaced the glass and never had the nightmare again.

I can’t explain exactly why a broken window should be so scary, but it was. How do I know I’m not just crazy? Because filmmakers use these kinds of “scary” images to give us the creeps in their films—even though it would be hard to define why certain things make our spines tingle. I present some examples:

Anna Mobley, in the movie “Ghost Story,” when she is standing on the deck facing the ocean and says “I want to see the life run out of you.”

The ordinary Honeywell thermostat in “The Sixth Sense” which drops fifteen degrees just before the ghosts appear.

Jack Nicholson in “The Shining,” leering at the model of the hedge maze in the Overlook Hotel… and seeing his wife and child running around in the model.

The bleeding walls of “The Amityville Horror.”

The bullet holes in the swimming pool of the “Ghost Ship.”

Carrie White’s hand reaching up from the pit where her house once stood, which is part of the sole survivor’s dream at the end of the film, “Carrie.”

The 1930s electrical fixtures in the Dark Castle remake of “The House on Haunted Hill.” Even the intro to the movie is a creep-out.

The images collected in the deadly videotape, central to “The Ring.”

Are there oddball things like this that give you chills?

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