I’m not really into Halloween, but I do appreciate fear. It’s something that we all experience, and the reasons for it vary. There are small fears, or surprises, that make your breath quick and your heart jump. Then, there are deep fears that live within us and that only surface from time to time. Those fears are always there, but they are not always awake.
Since it’s Halloween, I want to talk about seasonal fears. I want to know which one makes you the most uncomfortable, and which just doesn’t do it for you. There are millions of movies, books, and TV shows out there based on different supernatural fears, but not all of them actually scare all of us. So, which one scares you?
1) Vampires. Whether we are talking elegant vampires, such as Anne Rice created, or monstrous creatures like Stoker created or those portrayed in The Strain (which I believe is also based on a book), vampires are still interesting. They live forever, they drink human blood, and they usually have special powers, such as speed, night visions, or strength. I don’t find them particularly frightful myself. They are so close to being human that they lose a bit of terror and gain a bit of romanticism, don’t you think?
2) Zombies. Walking Dead, World War Z, Z Nation, and many others have been taking advantage of our current obsession with zombies. The undead. These, to me, are just like low-class vampires. They live for a long time, they used to be human, and they survive by eating our flesh. When humans are bitten, they turn. Yes, these are quite similar to vampires, but much more rotten and lacking intelligence. The only zombies I have ever found to be actually frightening were those in I Am Legend. They had intelligence, malice, and the ability to seek revenge. These “zombies” were quite well done and really held their own in the world of the undead.
3) Ghosts. I must say that in my real life, I don’t believe in ghosts. I see and understand the intrigue in them, and though I think it would be highly exciting to learn that they were real, I do not think that they are. In movies, and in books, the ghosts usually have a back story that eventually becomes resolved and then they go away or continue their reign of terror. To me, knowing that there is an end in sight, an inevitable conclusion, sort of ruins it for me. I will admit that the first Paranormal Activity movie did scare me a little, but the ones after that did not. The unseen and the unknown make me jumpy. Such as The Mothman Prophecies. Creepy.
4) Werewolves. I do not like these things. They have a similar story to vampires and zombies: once was human, become infected, turned into a monster creature. I watched the movie Ginger Snaps when I was very young at a friend’s house. This friend lived in the middle of nowhere surrounded by trees and coyotes. I never quite recovered, even though I will admit that they are not all that scary in reality.
5) Aliens. Beings from another planet that come to abduct humans or invade Earth. They are usually funny looking and altogether too human-like (consider how intricately we evolved as humans and then how likely it would be for beings to be so similar to ourselves from another world. The chances are quite small). The logical side of me (about 90% of my brain) always reminds me of how unlikely it would be for aliens to come to Earth to take over our planet. Why would they want this place to begin with? These are not generally something that will make me want to sleep with a light on, but I was afraid of them as a child.
So, what scares you? Are you more afraid when reading about something or when viewing something? What was the single most frightening thing that you ever read or watched?
I would have to say that mine was, irrationally and ashamedly, Ginger Snaps. Oh, and creepy dark woods at night. Happy Halloween!