This week, the Sundog Lit team reflected on the spookiest things that we’ve had to confront. Movies, books, etc, those things that made us stop in our tracks, made our hearts stop, made it so we were checking around corners in our own homes. Check it out below, and feel free to share your own spooky stories with us.
I read Life of Pi as a teenager. The thought of being alone on a raft with a wild animal scared me immensely, but I happened to read the part where Pi discovers the carnivorous island late at night, alone in my room. When I finished the final page in that chapter, I found myself frozen under my blankie and unable to turn my nightlight off for a little while.
I’m not one to be easily scared and even once worked at a haunted house, but something about the Thirteen Ghost movie terrified me more than any other horror movie as a child. I am now still afraid of unlabeled tanker trucks (Truck full of blood!). I’m also afraid of beautiful houses which are conspicuously empty or affordable, so when I buy a house in the future I’ll be annoying my real estate agents about previous tenants and histories.
It’s really hard for me to identify anything scarier than reality right now, but “spooky” seems to suggest something more benign, something we’re afraid of but realize there’s no legitimate rationale behind (unlike basically all current events now). Anyway, along those lines, reading The Handmaid’s Tale in high school actually gave me nightmares. If I didn’t have to finish it for my English class, I would not have done so – the fate of women in Gilead was just too horrifying for me to stomach even for the sake of good art. But that could never happen – right? Right? OK, maybe I slipped from spooky back to scary again. What can I say? I’m feeling haunted.
I truly think The Others and The Ring were super creepy. I also feel physically uncomfortable at the thought of Kafka’s The Metamorphosis.
Realistic horror is the most haunting, so you already know what it is with Final Destination.
The Conjuring 2 stuck around in my mind for a while. The dreariness of the London-like cloudy rain, or even the old man speaking from the tiny possessed child was so eerie. I don’t know why, but at the end, when Lorraine Wagner figures out the name of the demon is Valek, it’s compelling to me. I guess the realistic idea of naming your demons is pretty intense.
Watching The Handmaid’s Tale at night was the worst thing anybody could ever do. The realistic implications of getting my pinky cut off for speaking up, or having a bowling ball tied to my ankle and dropped into a 15-feet pool because I dated in high school is traumatizing. I actually used to get inebriated and wait until midnight for new episodes. I plopped into the living room in a daze, watching as Gilead abruptly ended people’s lives, which would have me staring at the front door for cops to just bust down the door. Police killing Black people abruptly, in their own homes. Realistic horror is the most haunting.