Horror and chill
September 29, 2015 8:11 PM   Subscribe

For the first time in forever, Halloween will be filled with scary movies.* And while you're here...

Here are more scary things to keep you busy during horror month.

21 Wikipedia Pages That Will Make It Impossible For You To Sleep
The most horrifying Wikipedia articles ever
Wikipedia's creepiest pages
Wikipedia Entries to Read in the Dark
136 Creepy Wiki Articles

Some of the pages that are mentioned multiple times:
Taman Shud Case
Overtoun Bridge
Spring-heeled Jack
Dyatlov Pass incident
Mellified Man
Pope-Lick Monster
Unit 731
Goiânia accident
Faces of Belmez
List of unsolved deaths

Bonus: AskMe of Weird Wikipedia

Other internet things:
r/nosleep
r/creepy
creepypasta
Historical Crime Detective: A research site dedicated to forgotten crimes and forgotten criminals
Nightmare Fuel

Scary podcasts:
Lore
Astonishing Legends
The Last Podcast on the Left
Anything Ghost
Steve Warner's Dark City
We're Alive
Knifepoint Horror
Criminal

Bonus: Old-timey radio program Quiet, please

Things to watch:
Most people who like horror movies know all the classics. Here's a non-exhaustive list of notable modern (last 15 years or so) horror movies:
It Follows
Frailty
Lake Mungo
My Little Eye
Session 9
Splinter
The Guest
Backcountry
Honeymoon
You're Next
The Babadook
A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
The Cabin In The Woods
The House of The Devil
The Awakening
The Children
Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon
Black Death
The Loved Ones
Kill List
Orphan
You're Next
Berberian Sound Studio
We Are What We Are
The Mist
The Devil’s Backbone
The Descent
Pulse (Kairo)
The Orphanage
The Nightmare
Let The Right One In and Let Me In
Pontypool
Triangle
The Innkeepers
A Tale of Two Sisters
The Conjuring
Eden Lake
Mama
Grave Encounters
Sinister
Wolf Creek
Spring
Ginger Snaps
Martyrs
Goodnight Mommy

Bonus: Mefi Horror Club
Bonus #2: The 31 horror films you can stream on Nextflix this October
TV Bonus: Fall TV Shows That Channel the Chills

Things to read:
AskMe history of all posts tagged with horror and books

Listicles:
The scariest haunted houses in America:
1. Spookywoods in Archdale, N.C.
2. The Haunted Hotel in San Diego
3. Spookyworld – Nightmare New England in Litchfield, N.H.
4. The Dent Schoolhouse in Cincinnati
5. Cutting Edge Haunted House in Fort Worth, Texas
6. Bennett's Curse on Baltimore
7. The Beast in Kansas City, Mo.
8. The House of Torment in Austin, Texas
9. Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses in Ulster Park, N.Y.
10. 13th Floor Haunted House in Chicago
11. The Asylum in Denver
12. Nightmare On The Bayou in Houston
13. Erebus in Pontiac, Mich.


5 Scariest Cults in Modern History
Matamoros human sacrifice cult
Order of the Solar Temple
Heaven's Gate
Aum Shinrikyo
Russian Doomsday Cult


The 13 scariest music videos of all time (video links in article):
Bat for Lashes, "What's a Girl to Do"
Michael Jackson, "Thriller"
The Prodigy, "Breathe"
Metallica, "Enter Sandman"
Nine Inch Nails, "Closer"
Aphex Twin, "Rubber Johnny"
Marilyn Manson, "Born Villain"
Mr. Bungle, "Quote Unquote"
Skinny Puppy, "Worlock"
Dir En Grey, "Obscure"
Health, "We Are Water"
Depeche Mode, "Wrong"
Aphex Twin, "Come to Daddy"


Misc.
Horror Legends Describe the Scariest Things That Have Ever Happened to Them

Conviction of Things Not Seen: The Uniquely American Myth of Satanic Cults

All the gross Halloween food recipes you need

Contenders for the two scariest Halloween stories so far are this and this.

Need more? Head over to Metafilter post: The Whole Run of Crime (best American Crime Writing 2002-2010)

*Halloween movie releases from the link in the FPP: Eli Roth's Green Inferno
Guillermo del Toro's Crimson Peak
Vin Diesel's The Last Witch Hunter
The final installment in the Paranormal Activity franchise
Scout's Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse
And for kids: Goosebumps
posted by triggerfinger (89 comments total) 175 users marked this as a favorite
 
Surprised to see no mention of the Lead Masks Case.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:33 PM on September 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


Can I also suggest some scary OTR, like Lights Out, particularly a freaky episode called The Little People ?

Great post btw!
posted by Calzephyr at 8:51 PM on September 29, 2015


A. great, great post

B. re: All the gross Halloween food recipes you need

you only need one really, a tomato and ground beef based spaghetti sauce to which you add a tablespoon or two of green food coloring, which for some reason really adheres to the beef. Still tastes good though.
posted by philip-random at 9:16 PM on September 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


Why did I click on this after turning out the light?
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 9:17 PM on September 29, 2015


With Halloween on a Saturday Night, it will probably be very eventful, for a lot of right reasons and a LOT of wrong reasons.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:30 PM on September 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


My Halloween nightmare is when I unexpectedly come across the phrase "For the first time in forever" and doom myself to having this awful banality stuck in my head for the rest of the day.
posted by Wantok at 9:56 PM on September 29, 2015


Trivia about It Follows: the score was written by Disasterpeace of Fez fame!
posted by en forme de poire at 10:11 PM on September 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'd like to add some audio vérité to the fray...

The Conet Project: Recordings of Shortwave Numbers Stations (...of course)
The Ghost Orchid: An Introduction to EVP (Spotify)
Okkulte Stimmen / Mediale Music: Recordings of Unseen Intelligences (YT: see user videos)
posted by mykescipark at 10:21 PM on September 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


Great Post! I would also love any OTR horror leads y'all might have. (Other than CBSRMT)
posted by lkc at 10:47 PM on September 29, 2015


where are the extremely important SPOOPY and CREPPY tags
posted by poffin boffin at 10:47 PM on September 29, 2015 [10 favorites]


Didn't see this anywhere: Death of Elisa Lam
posted by proneSMK at 11:05 PM on September 29, 2015


en forme de poire, that is literally how I found out about the movie (which turned out to be pretty good overall)
posted by DoctorFedora at 11:19 PM on September 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I know this isn't reddit and it'd be chatfilter, but I wouldn't mind a MeFi ghost story thread...
posted by peripathetic at 11:59 PM on September 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Excellent movie list. I'm always searching for hidden gems in the genre (alas! they seem to be few and far between these days) and I gotta say that's pretty comprehensive, at least for English language stuff.

If I were to curate it down to a top five based purely on scare-the-living-shit-out-of-you-ness, I'd say
The Descent
Session 9
The Babadook
It Follows
The Conjuring*
*personally I'd replace it with the 3rd Paranormal Activity due to a weak second act, but the first ~40 min. of The Conjuring was the best all-out creepfest since the 80s

(I'm leaving Cabin in the Woods + Pontypool off even though they're probably the best films overall; they kind of exist in their own worlds doing something entirely different).
posted by mannequito at 12:11 AM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


mannequito: "Session 9"

I keep hearing how terrifying that is and I have yet to feel it.
posted by Samizdata at 1:10 AM on September 30, 2015


I know this isn't reddit and it'd be chatfilter, but I wouldn't mind a MeFi ghost story thread...

want want want 👻
posted by thetortoise at 1:11 AM on September 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I can't recommend The Nightmare in good conscience since it's unsatisfying as both a creepy movie and as a doc about sleep paralysis, but the "we've signed you up for the Bug of the Month Club!" scene made me laugh harder than anything.

Phenomenal post, btw!
posted by thetortoise at 1:20 AM on September 30, 2015


Awesome post! And as soon as it turns October, I'm starting the Halloween movies. Thanks for the list!
posted by persona au gratin at 1:20 AM on September 30, 2015


Welp, I got started early and checked out Starry Eyes (from the Buzzfeed link) as the title interested me. I shan't say more unless requested to avoid spoilers.

PONY REQUEST - Spoiler tags?
posted by Samizdata at 1:35 AM on September 30, 2015


YES.

I just started listening to Lore, and I am delighted that it exists. I kept on going "I want something like 99% Invisible and Criminal and The Memory Palace, but for spoooooky ridiculous stuff." And then I found Lore, and everything was appropriately spooky.

Now I will bury myself in more spooky stuff because YAY
posted by Katemonkey at 2:18 AM on September 30, 2015


Did I miss it? Or was there no mention of the SCP Foundation?
posted by Splunge at 3:27 AM on September 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


One of the best parts of my job is that every year I get turned loose to make a Halloween book display.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:49 AM on September 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


I don't know how many times we used to drive out to Pope Lick Road on Halloween (and other nights) when I was a kid growing up in Louisville. The train trestle does kinda all of sudden loom up out of the darkness, but everytime we went on Halloween, there would be a bunch of older kids out there with a bonfire, drinking and smoking. Never saw the monster though.
posted by valkane at 3:55 AM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Conjuring isn't such a scary movie to me as much as it's a great movie in general. I love the cinematography and audio in the movie, the sound engineering in particular.

Signs is the only movie to really give me nightmares, even though its storyline is lacking. The sound in it is awesome, especially the beginning when the alien is running on their roof. Whenever I hear something on the roof of a house I immediately flashback to that scene, and the scene where the baby monitors start picking up noises is really well done. Some of the visuals in it are haunting, such as when they're reading a book about aliens and it shows a picture that looks like their farmhouse with 4 bodies out front. There are some jump scares, but a lot of it is subtle. I really like the part where Mel Gibson is in their cornfield and drops his flashlight and you see the alien's leg disappear into the maze.

One of the scariest movies for me as well is The Blair Witch Project, but maybe because my dad and I followed it online and thought it was real. The last scene of that movie is so intense!

Most horror movies don't bother me, but those two have a special place for me. I ran out of the theater during Signs, after sustaining one of the biggest panic attacks ever. I didn't sleep for months.
posted by gucci mane at 4:16 AM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Great post! For all horror movie fans out there looking for solid recommendations for the month's viewing, let me put in a plug for 1000 Misspent Hours. The proprietor, Scott Ashlin (aka "El Santo"), is a far better film critic than most folks who get paid to do it full-time under their own names. Smart, well-informed stuff that anyone with an interest in the genre should be reading.
posted by informavore at 4:27 AM on September 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


There have only been 2 or 3 movies that ever shook me up so much that i felt randomly creeped out for a couple of weeks after watching. It Follows was one of them. Was not thrilled about going across the hall to the bathroom late at night because what if the weird tall guy was like standing in the shower?
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 4:37 AM on September 30, 2015


Hah! I used to shelve books with Scott Ashlin at my local library back in high school. He's always been a well-thinking, verbose, and sarcastic person. One evening he lectured me at length about the creation of the Polish state (which he was studying in college) and I pretty much swiped the entire speech for my AP Modern European History essay.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:39 AM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


The Visit, by M. Night S., is very good given the director. One of my cats has dementia and has started to yell her demented head off in the middle of the night, so we talk about how she's "sundowning" (shudder).
posted by angrycat at 4:40 AM on September 30, 2015


I still love The Sixth Sense and nobody can convince me otherwise.
posted by thetortoise at 4:44 AM on September 30, 2015


Proposed addition to the scariest music videos section: Sonic Youth's Death Valley '69.
posted by NoMich at 5:10 AM on September 30, 2015


The House of the Devil ranks as one of my favorite horror films of all time. I loved that the set-up took up a bit more than half the film and when the horror action does start, it's a fantastic pay-off. The Innkeepers, by comparison, was a bit of a let down, but to me that just speaks to how great The House of the Devil is.

The Babadook is another one that had me stewing on it for a few weeks after watching it. What I enjoyed the most about it was that I couldn't decide on whether there was actually a haunting/possession that was happening or if it was just a decent into insanity. And I still can't decide which would actually be scarier in real life if it happened to me.
posted by NoMich at 5:20 AM on September 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Suspiria is missing from both the scary movie list, and the scary music list.


Also, the scary video list should probably include either Sober or Prison Sex by Tool (or perhaps one of the videos that the Quay Brothers did for His Name Is Alive, although I'd call those eerie more than scary).
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:30 AM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


TheWhiteSkull -- I haven't seen that video for "Are We Still Married" in 17 years and I've never forgotten it.

Don't read the Wikipedia articles if you were planning to sleep, aargh.
posted by thetortoise at 5:44 AM on September 30, 2015


In a pretty absurd way, I become completely consumed by a desire to watch scary movies as Fall approaches. This year was no exception, and I think it started ever earlier for me.
It Follows was really masterful, in my opinion. To the point where I got irritated with Quentin Tarantino's criticism because I think he didn't watch it closely enough.
My favorites of all time are probably The Descent and the Blair Witch Project. I may have mentioned it on the Blue before, but I saw the latter with my sister and brother in law the night it opened. The next morning we drove to Burkittsville, MD just for kicks (and because we were already an hour or so away). Much ado about nothing. The next day we dropped by brother in law off at a camp where he was working, and after he ran off, we snuck into his room and built a small pile of rocks and some stick figures. Unfortunately we weren't there for the reaction, but I heard it was spectacular, particularly for a 24 year old man.
Then I went on a ten day backpacking trip in the deep woods of W. Virginia. Maybe should have thought that through beforehand.

I watched the Babadook last week and was alternately really impressed and bored by it. Loved the ending, though. The Conjuring fell pretty flat for me, which was a bummer. Pontypool was just so incredibly well executed.

I'm going to scour the recommendations above, although I've seen most of them. If anyone else has any recs I'm always open to them. I prefer supernatural, love love love occult and religious-based horror, and meta-genre films like Cabin in the Woods. Strong preference for suspense to gore (but not bothered by gore); I like a good jump scare as well.

Lastly, this is a really well crafted post. Thanks triggerfinger!


PS: I watched Unfriended last week, because I was hard up for something to watch. I won't say much about it, except that I think the filmmaker nailed whatever it was they were trying to do. Better than I expected, and some really nice attention to detail.
posted by staccato signals of constant information at 5:48 AM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm playing Amnesia: Dark Descent. Wooooo!
posted by Trochanter at 5:50 AM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


...prisoners of war were subjected to lethal human experimentation, most notably live vivisection...
Thrill to the horrors of redundant adjectives!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:08 AM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's the MOST wonderful time of the year!!!!!!!!
posted by Sophie1 at 6:14 AM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't know if I ever told this story, but I first saw Blair Witch Project as a pre-release screener. There was just the beginning of some mention in the media about it, so I went in almost cold. That made it *much* creepier.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:19 AM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty disappointed that the Pope Lick Monster isn't some kind of ghoul that haunts the Vatican, perpetually hoping for a chance to eat the Pope, but never getting more than a lick before being scared off by papal security. I thought perhaps that was the real reason Francis turned down Benedict's ornate old quarters.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 6:29 AM on September 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


I started this post for two reasons:

1. My discovery of, and subsequent obsession with Lore (which is not for the faint of heart - I said OH MY GOD not one, not two, but THREE times out loud to myself when I was listening to the lobotomy story).
2. All the listicles of scary wikipedia articles I'd been saving, I wanted to consolidate them somehow.

From there I thought it would be fun to do a "scary things" post for October, so obviously movies are a necessity. However, things like old time radio shows, videos and music aren't things I know enough about to craft good posts around, so I was definitely hoping that people who have more knowledge than me on these things would drop some suggestions in here. Scary books and short stories are extensive enough to almost deserve their own FPP. A few other random things I liked but didn't really fit anywhere else - haunted houses! cults! subreddits! - I just dropped in. Anyway, PLEASE feel free to mention or add things that I didn't put in here. It's Halloween in my heart all year round so I would definitely love the recommendations.

I've seen a majority, but not all of the movies I listed; though if I haven't seen one, I know about it - there are very few horror movies I haven't heard of. Of all of them, far and away the scariest one for me is The Orphanage. I watched it at home one night not long after it came out and I had to turn it off and watch the rest of it the following day - it was just too scary for me to continue at nighttime.

Didn't see this anywhere: Death of Elisa Lam

My friend was just telling me about this last weekend. I was surprised I hadn't heard about it, considering it was only a few years ago. Super creepy. And I also read that the new American Horror Story: Hotel is loosely based on it (which is why my friend was telling me about it).
posted by triggerfinger at 6:30 AM on September 30, 2015


So we bought a house earlier this year from a well-known local vegan soap/cosmetics maker and while we put in a not inconsiderable amount of work into turning the house's interior colours from gloomy slightly New Agey goth to bright and funky, it's still a 112 year old that needs a new kitchen. That said, our house feels comfortable and markedly different from when we purchased it in March.

Well.

We were out at dinner last night at a monthly vegan/vegetarian gathering--this is the first time we have been able to attend all summer--when one of the members goes, "Oh, did the *former owner* of the house tell you about the extra person you have living there?" "What are you talking about?" "Oh, she didn't tell you? You have a spirit in your house. Don't worry, whoever it is, they're completely friendly and harmless. I assumed you knew!"

LADY WE ARE NOT FRIENDS WITH THE FORMER OWNERS AND IT'S NOT LIKE THAT GOES IN THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF OUR PURCHASE AGREEMENT

Also, another acquaintance apparently agrees our house has a ghost and says my home office feels creepy to her. (The home office was originally the former owner's kid's bedroom so okay, whatevs.)

Sigh, sometimes I really hate it when veganism and New Age/homeopathy intersect.
posted by Kitteh at 6:32 AM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I saw the Blair Witch Project the opening night - we had to get tickets days in advance and people were offering us $20 apiece for them. The story was so-so and I was kind of meh on the whole thing overall (plus I hate shaky-cam movies as they give me motion sickness), BUT the final scene is for sure one of the scariest things I've every seen. My blood ran cold.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:33 AM on September 30, 2015


Oh, and one more shout-out to Cabin in the Woods, which apart from being a great story would get a shout-out from me based on the monster scene alone. Because if there's anything I love, it's monsters. As a little girl, I spent so much time drawing pictures of monsters that I made them into a book, which I titled "Book of Monsters". I can't get enough of them and that scene in the movie where all the movie monsters escape is one of my favorite things of all time.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:41 AM on September 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


Oh god, when the monsters escape it's like The Muppet Show with gore.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 6:44 AM on September 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


Oh, one more movie that may have been the scariest I've seen; The Strangers.
My wife won't even talk about it. I thought it was completely terrifying.
posted by staccato signals of constant information at 6:46 AM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Heh. We've had a few occasions where we turned on the DVD/streaming box, and the splash screen for a Bros. Quay DVD has appeared, whereupon my partner is all "OH HELL NO. Stop. PRESS STOP NOW PLEASE. EJECT. DUDE."
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 6:50 AM on September 30, 2015


I WEEP WITH JOY FOR THIS THANK YOU SO MUCH.
posted by pretentious illiterate at 6:54 AM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


The only hyperlink on your list that I'd previously visited was the Mellified Man. Thanks for this list.
posted by GrapeApiary at 7:01 AM on September 30, 2015


Blair Witch scared the crap out of me. I knew very little about it going in, though we arrived at the theater late and missed the setup, so my understanding of the context was very limited. IIRC, about half the people I asked about it thought it was terrible, and the other half were affected pretty strongly.

I think some horror movies are triggering to me in a way that's not enjoyable at all. I was very impressed with Blair Witch in how effective it was using such a limited budget, but at the time it also stirred up some stuff I didn't yet understand that made me not want to see it again. I was numb leaving the theater.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:10 AM on September 30, 2015


So, I had this friend in high school, he was from upstate New York. The family homestead (several generations) was near Woodstock. Anyway, his grandmother passed away of natural causes in the house, in her own bed, with family present. Nothing sinister.

However, her last words to her daughter were “Check the baby Barbara! Something’s wrong with the baby! I can hear the baby crying!”

Long story short, my friend had a little brother with Down’s Syndrome. He took really great care of this kid; he used to hang out with us all the time. He was great, loved professional wrestling and followed all the big players.

Anyway, as the story goes, the first time they visited the old family homestead, and went into grandma’s old room, my friends little brother pointed up at the ceiling and said, "Hear that? Baby crying.”
posted by valkane at 7:29 AM on September 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


The Babadook was really scary, but for some reason it didn't lodge in my head the way some other scary movies do (I am scared getting up to pee at night if it's around 3:30 because of the Ryan Reynolds version of Amityville Horror). It was probably a poor decision to take our kid to a magic show the day after watching the Babadook, though. He got really into and wanted a magician wand after, a request my husband gleefully compiled with because 1) our son is adorable when he's putting on shows, and 2) messing with me about scary movies is hilarious. I have a feeling a lot of these movies are going on our to-watch list.

I think I am the only person who was scarred for life by Jeepers Creepers. I still get horror chills thinking about it, it pings on my protective older sister nerves like nothing else.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 7:35 AM on September 30, 2015


computech_apolloniajames: Why did I click on this after turning out the light?

Because you realized the best way to freak out your sleeping significant other, relatives, pets is with a horrified scream in the dark, ideally when they're on the border of being awake and asleep.


My wife was recently complaining about someone on Facebook who is sharing a ton of "top 10 haunted houses" articles, because they're all so fluffy. Watch enough shows that debunk ghostly apparitions (look for car lights reflecting off of windows and mirrors) and sudden feelings unexplainable dread (beware of ... super low frequencies!).

If you are like my wife and prefer some research into spooky things, Killer Legends is a neat documentary on the search for the truth behind the urban legends of poisoned Halloween candy, the killer calling from inside the house, the man with a hook for a hand, and killer clowns.

If you want more science to debunk ghostly occurrences, here's Cracked's collection of The Creepy Scientific Explanation Behind Ghost Sightings and Blastr's slideshow of 10 spooky curses that were debunked with really simple science. See also: TAPS vs. SAPS - The Atlantic Paranormal Society meets the
Skeptical Analysis of the Paranormal Society
.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:38 AM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm playing Amnesia: Dark Descent. Wooooo!

The original Resident Evil was great as a group freak-out back in the day. Those dogs ...

And if you're really looking for a nostalgic kick, you can (virtually) boot up some old VHS games with the Nightmare/Atmosfear series.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:45 AM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Session 9 is not scary. It is hilarious.

They cut out a subplot that made the movie make sense.

Hank out.
posted by giraffe at 8:34 AM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think Blair Witch is one of the few American examples of folk horror, although the forthcoming The Witch looks like it will be as well.
posted by maxsparber at 8:35 AM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


No Shining anywhere in the links or the discussion. I guess it's a little too exposed already. Except the version everyone needs to see is the one on a scrambled pay TV channel sometime in the 1980s, while you're tripping on LSD, with occasional musical interruptions from Bauhaus' The Sky's Gone Out, watched from the vacant suite of a friend-of-a-friend who's in jail for killing someone by mistake. Good times.
posted by philip-random at 8:58 AM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Can I just say how much I loved You're Next? It just nailed the perfect combination of home-invasion terror, female ass-kickery (the best kind) and fucked up family dynamics with just the right frisson of humor. Plus the music.
posted by gottabefunky at 9:07 AM on September 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


And there's a special room in hell waiting for whoever decided to go with that ending to The Mist (spoiler alert).
posted by gottabefunky at 9:09 AM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Eden Lake: unusually disturbing and lingers more than most.
posted by gottabefunky at 9:15 AM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


messing with me about scary movies is hilarious. I have a feeling a lot of these movies are going on our to-watch list.

If you insist, honeyboo. Also, let's add good ole Fire In The Sky to that list.

More context: Banjo is a huge fan of The Americans and really wants to share the show with me. I have an aversion to what I call "Hassle Shows" - so most modern cable prestige dramas where people glower at each other and things go wronger and wronger until the finale then everyone gets an Emmy. As a bargain, I offered her equal time - a scary movie for two episodes of The Americans. I think we made it through The Babadook only because Miss Fisher is in it. Rather than face down It Follows, Banjo has opted to let my life suffer for lack of quality glowering over the Top Hits of the '80s that is further Americans viewing.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:35 AM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


My wife was recently complaining about someone on Facebook who is sharing a ton of "top 10 haunted houses" articles, because they're all so fluffy.

One of the biggest spoopy disappointments has got to be the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose. I first read about it as a kid, and was so thrilled when I finally got to visit as an adult, especially since the sign depicted a skull. It's a unique tourist attraction for sure, but not at all creepy for a house supposedly built to placate the spirits of people killed by guns, and completely undeserving of the skull on their logo.
posted by peripathetic at 10:03 AM on September 30, 2015


I know this isn't reddit and it'd be chatfilter, but I wouldn't mind a MeFi ghost story thread...

Chatfilter is for the green, not the blue, so I'm going to drop my story on y'all anyway. It's not too freaky or scary, but it's definitely stuck with me.

Okay, so:

My parents believe in every kind of woo you can believe in. Bigfoot, psychics, the Loch Ness Monster, ghosts--everything. Their DVR is basically filled with every two-bit paranormal reality show available on basic cable. For as long as I can remember, I rejected all of that stuff. I think some of it is fun to read if you consider it a kind of creepy fiction disguised as nonfiction, but I've never taken it seriously. We've had numerous conversations over the years about their belief in ghosts and my ongoing skepticism.

They've been in their current house about 12 years, I think, and with it they have about eight acres of land and a barn. The house was only a few years old when they bought it, and the barn was built the year after they moved in. Soon they started talking about "the barn ghost." "We were in the barn working and heard someone knocking on the wall! We went out to check, and there was no one there!" Hypothesis: the barn ghost. "We went to town and when we came back, we found one book off the shelf and in the middle of the living room floor--a picture book of old barns!" Another visit from the barn ghost. "During the night, something turned one of your dad's model tractors around in the locked display case, so it faces the wrong direction." Si, es el fantasma del granero.

I gave these stories just as much credence as they deserved, which was zero, in my estimation. Not that my parents are lying, necessarily, but they wouldn't be the first people in the world to be somewhat forgetful and have an overactive imagination--especially given the nonstop woo they watch and read.

So: six years back, in a period of joblessness and destitution, my wife and I, along with our two kids, took shelter with my parents while we job-hunted and figured out what came next. We were hoping to be there for weeks, but weeks stretched to months while we sent out job applications and tried to get something that would pay the bills. I picked up some classes as an adjunct, which didn't do much to lift us out of poverty. My wife got a middle school teaching position, but we had taken such a financial hit that we still needed more time to save up some so we could move out. The whole time we were there I saw absolutely nothing out of the ordinary. Evidence for the barn ghost: zero.

Eventually, I got this nifty full-time community college teaching gig and we happily moved away. We had been keeping all our things in storage, and when moving day came I couldn't quite squeeze everything into the moving van. I left a few things in my parents' garage, and came back to get them a few weeks later.

My parents were out of town at a family reunion with my hillbilly cousins in the Ozarks, so the house was empty when I got there. I let myself in and immediately noticed a loud POP POP POP sound from the living room. It sounded like a speaker system with a loose connection, which is what I assumed it was, since my parents have built-in surround sound. I walked into the living room to check it out, but my attention was diverted by a clock on the wall. It’s a simple, battery powered analog clock—nothing fancy. What caught my notice was the incredible speed with which the hands were moving. They looked like airplane propellers, they were spinning so fast. I pulled out my phone to try to grab a video, but as soon as I pressed record, the hands dropped back to normal speed, at the correct time: 2:13.

The popping also stopped, so I abandoned my investigation and gathered my stuff. Nothing else unusual happened in the few minutes I was there, so I started driving back to my new home. A few hours down the road, I got a call from my mother. After the usual greetings and small talk, she said this: “I have a question for you: While you were at the house today, did anything weird happen?”

So I described the pops and the weirdness with the clock and asked if those things had happened around them. She said no.

“Then,” I asked, “why did you ask me if anything weird had happened?”

She told me that they had recently invited PINTX (Paranormal Investigations of North Texas) to conduct an investigation on their property. PINTX conducted EVP interviews, doing their best to make contact with the barn ghost. After reviewing the recordings, PINTX determined that they had not one but two ghosts on their property. One was an adult man named John; the other a young girl named Anne, about age five or six. And here’s where things get a little freaky. Anne, they said, really enjoyed it when we were staying there, because she liked having other kids in the house to play with. Since we had moved out, she really missed my son and daughter. The PINTX folks told my parents that Anne was doing her best to communicate how much she wanted to be able to see the kids again. Mom told them I would be coming back soon to get some things, and PINTX told her that Anne would definitely recognize me as the father of her little friends and would do something to get my attention if she could.

So…huh. I wouldn't necessarily put too much significance on random pops and clock weirdness, but if someone actually predicted it ahead of time, that changes things a bit. And I have to admit, I cannot figure out why an ordinary battery powered clock would shift into quintuple speed on its own. It should either be at normal speed or, if anything, slow down as the batteries lose power.

The epilogue to this is that I did bring my kids back to my parents’ house a couple of months later, for Thanksgiving. I was standing in the living room, telling my brother this story. As I was finishing my tale, he said “Hey, look over there” and gestured with his head toward the wall. The clock was doing the propeller routine again. This time he pulled out his phone to grab a video, and, once more, it stopped before he could start recording.

Anne, I suppose, saying "hello, yes, it’s me, thanks for playdate."
posted by Pater Aletheias at 10:05 AM on September 30, 2015 [12 favorites]


Forgive me if someone else beat me to it, but I came in here to recommend "Resolution". The AV Club calls it "an indie analog to 'Cabin in the Woods'", which I can sort of see. Like "Honeymoon", "It Follows", "You're Next", and "The Babadook" -- among others on the list up top -- it features a couple of great performances, and will make you deeply uncomfortable.
posted by silnlo at 10:12 AM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I got half-way through It Follows then nope, nope, nope, turned it off. It was when someone unexpectedly walked into the room. I'm pretty sure those who've seen it know what I'm talking about. I can't imagine how wrecked I'd be if I'd had to watch it in a theatre.
posted by straight at 10:32 AM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have a couple of stories about movies that a lot of people don’t find particularly scary, but I did because of the circumstances under which I first saw them.

I saw The Others all alone in a shabby old barn of a cinema that was soon to be torn down and replaced, and a time when I was recovering from a long illness that had left me a virtual shut-in for months. So, I was there, all alone in the dark in a run-down old building, seeing what happens to this family of shut-ins in a run-down old building.

Black Christmas is your basic 1970’s sorority-house murderfest. But the night I saw it, I was living in the family compound in the middle of the woods. Most of my relatives/neighbors were away for the weekend, and it was that time of year when it’s not snowing yet and you don’t need the heater on during the sunny hours, but it gets freezing cold at night. So, I’ve got no company dropping in, all alone on the hill, and I start to get really absorbed in the movie. I’m tired from a long Friday at work, so I can’t be bothered to get up and turn on the heat or the lights. It’s getting darker and colder, darker and colder, and I just pull an afghan over myself, then my coat; I pull my arms inside my sweater, and I keep watching. All of a sudden, just as the telephone operator in the movie is telling Margot Kidder that THE CALL IS COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE there’s a huge “GRRRRRWWWRRRRRAAAAGGGHHHHHRRRR” from my kitchen, like the sound of a four-horsepower chainsaw. As soon as I felt like I could stand up without having a heart attack, I ran out to the kitchen, and there was Mr. Whiskers up on the counter, idly poking at the “on” button on the blender I’d forgotten to unplug.

There's another famous horror movie that I find absolutely cathartic because so much of it mirrors abusive situations in my own childhood. It's absofuckinglutely uncanny; it even takes place in a setting that eerily resembles one of my childhood homes, and the lead actor could be my father's twin brother. Great swaths of it could have been filmed by hidden cameras in our house. You would think that it would be doubly terrifying for me to watch, but it actually helps me process those things in a safe place with the fourth wall between us. The only time it was traumatic was when I went to see it with an audience at our local movie-palace-turned-concert-hall when they were doing a classic film series. This is a movie that relies on a sustained sense of atmospheric dread and disorientation, but from the audience’s reaction you would have thought it was a two-hour nonstop Stooges pie-throwing routine. Apparently modern viewers think that the evil and horror that lies just beneath the polite veneer of human society is pretty damn funny. Having the stand-in for my childhood trauma mocked and ridiculed by the community I live in was one of the most upsetting experiences of recent memory.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:41 AM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


The original Rutger Hauer The Hitcher is one of my top ten all time creepy/disturbing movies, though it's beyond the 15 year horizon from the post.

I agree wholeheartedly about It Follows and You're Next. Great movies.

I cannot quite agree above that Session 9 was ridiculous but it could not hold my interest past the opening 45 minutes. I might have stuck around longer if not for a certain red-headed actor who I find kind of tiresome.
posted by phearlez at 10:49 AM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


silnlo: "Resolution"

Starts a little slow, and misleadingly, but ends wonderfully.
posted by Samizdata at 10:53 AM on September 30, 2015


I think Blair Witch is one of the few American examples of folk horror, although the forthcoming The Witch looks like it will be as well.

I'd put the 1969 short of "The Lottery" on the list, as well as "Let's Scare Jessica to Death". There have to be others I'm not thinking of -
posted by ryanshepard at 11:36 AM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's not properly scary at all, more of a horror-deconstruction comedy, but I adore Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil.
posted by Spathe Cadet at 11:36 AM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


And I have to admit, I cannot figure out why an ordinary battery powered clock would shift into quintuple speed on its own. It should either be at normal speed or, if anything, slow down as the batteries lose power.

I'm just going to float this as a possibility - do you think the paranormal investigators could have maybe planted some kind of simple motor on the clock that causes the hands to speed up like that for a few seconds, timed to go off at specific or random intervals? Kind of like how a palm reader will take a person's purse or wallet and then "read" their palm? I feel like a lot of chicanery happens in the world of psychics all the time and I'm wondering if it's similar in the world of paranormal investigators.

When I try to poke holes in supernatural theories, it's only because I want someone to be able to debunk my debunking. I want to believe.
posted by triggerfinger at 11:50 AM on September 30, 2015


Oh, one more movie that may have been the scariest I've seen; The Strangers.

OH THAT MOVIE it made me so mad. and so very very determined to immediately murder any intruders in my home, especially if creepy masks are involved.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:37 PM on September 30, 2015


Does anyone remember reading about a haunted hotel experience where you have to try and spend the night alone in a hotel room? there is a troupe of actors outside the walls trying to mess with you, and IIRC you had to sign a waiver that you might be touched by them as well?
posted by Theta States at 12:40 PM on September 30, 2015


do they have to sign a waiver that they accept the fact that my grabby startle reflex is immediate hannibal lecter levels of violence or do they just resign themselves to savage face biting as part of the job
posted by poffin boffin at 12:43 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Lovely post, Trigger. Many thanks.

For scary podcasts, I'd add Pseudopod and Tales To Terrify.
Also 19 Nocturne Blvd and Drabblecast, depending on the episode.
posted by doctornemo at 4:21 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


A good rule of thumb for Wikipedia pages is: if the page title ends in "Incident", it is going to be creepy.
posted by Chrysostom at 4:50 PM on September 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


These links are ace, by the way, and the timing is fantastic. Thanks for posting, triggerfinger! I think Crimson Peak will be the first horror movie that I will not have to be bribed to watch.

Does anyone remember reading about a haunted hotel experience where you have to try and spend the night alone in a hotel room? there is a troupe of actors outside the walls trying to mess with you, and IIRC you had to sign a waiver that you might be touched by them as well?

NO THANK YOU. I find that infinitely more disturbing than legit haunted hotels.

Speaking of haunted hotels, even though I grew up without religion, without superstition, without any paranormal tingling, I have been taught by spooked friends to knock on hotel doors before entering for the first time. Just in case.
posted by peripathetic at 4:55 PM on September 30, 2015


You're Next was so fuckin' good and the creators' failure to release the soundtrack in mp3 or on CD is a fucking crime.

Also,

As a little girl, I spent so much time drawing pictures of monsters that I made them into a book, which I titled "Book of Monsters".

Please tell me you scanned and uploaded this, because it sounds totes adorbs.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:00 PM on September 30, 2015


An excellent post! I'd add 'Inside' to the 'Things to watch' list. Particularly if you're expecting. 'Absentia' is also quite good.

Oh. Er, trigger warning for both of these...
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 6:31 PM on September 30, 2015


I'm pretty disappointed that the Pope Lick Monster isn't some kind of ghoul that haunts the Vatican, perpetually hoping for a chance to eat the Pope, but never getting more than a lick before being scared off by papal security. I thought perhaps that was the real reason Francis turned down Benedict's ornate old quarters.

I thought it was going to be Kim Davis.
posted by homunculus at 6:53 PM on September 30, 2015


I've told this story before, but my mother's movie tastes sort of run to animated happy animal singing movies. She also had somehow not heard of The Blair Witch Project by the time it was on video She ALSO had just moved to a Oregon home that was in like an acre of woods.

So my brother and I, horribly, wanted to avoid the singing penguins or whatever the crap, so we rented Blair Witch and told my mom that Blair Witch was "a feel good story"

And as you recall, the beginning is pretty relaxed. I don't know when my mother lapsed into a silent, fear-paralyzed state that was almost feral, but after my brother turned on the lights, I looked at the couch and my mother had her hands to her mouth and her eyes were bulging.

She was terrified of being in her house in the all the woods for a month.

All of this sounds extremely evil, and it is, but I clearly have issues because I'm giggling about it, just writing it down. Don't write a review of me on Yelp, please, mother.
posted by angrycat at 5:57 AM on October 1, 2015 [7 favorites]


I might have stuck around longer if not for a certain red-headed actor who I find kind of tiresome.

Oh man. There's this particularly tense scene where Gordon (the new father guy who forgets which leg has the limp) and Phil (David Caruso, pre-CSI ironic appreciation) are arguing and Gordon says something like, "fuck you!" and the camera switches to Phil's face and zooms in the most unsubtle way as David Caruso points and goes, "no, fuck YOU." It's great to watch in slow-mo.

Then soon after you get a great scene of the mullet kid running down the hall screaming pathetically as the lights go out.

Brad Anderson, call me. My friends and I are in love with your movie in the worst way possible.
posted by giraffe at 6:17 AM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


On the Blair Witch tip, I really enjoyed Willow Creek, a similar movie about a couple who go into the woods to find Bigfoot. It's directed by Bobcat Goldthwait, who you probably know either as a goofy Sam Kinison-esque '80s comic or a modern maker of just incredibly dark comedies, and neither entirely prepares you for the movie you're going to see. The film is very funny in its first half, capitalizing on real life local color folks who have made a weird industry out of Bigfoot tourism, and then...shifts.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:02 AM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I started reading up on the Dyatlov Pass incident again, because it's been awhile since I read about it the first time and I'd forgotten a lot of it. And omg have I gone down the rabbit hole today. I've listed to three podcasts about it so far. Discussed it with a group of friends at work and I still need more info. It's pretty much the only thing I want to talk about right now.
posted by triggerfinger at 2:13 PM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I like to think I speak for all of us when I say that the failure of the Pope-Lick link to involve actual Papal tonguing is more than made up for by the content thereof.
posted by comealongpole at 8:10 PM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Actually, I should have CTRL-F'd before posting, since it seems like half the thread chipped on that one already.
posted by comealongpole at 8:13 PM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I became obsessed with the Dyatlov Pass incident after reading about it here. I found last year's book Dead Mountain to be a really interesting investigation of the incident.

Thanks for this fantastic post! This is reading/viewing material for the whole month.
posted by whistle pig at 7:27 PM on October 3, 2015




"Tom Hiddleston’s Naked Butt Fights" should be a sport.
posted by evilcupcakes at 5:27 PM on October 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Pater Alethias: I cannot figure out why an ordinary battery powered clock would shift into quintuple speed on its own.

That sounds an awful lot like one of these. It could be adjusting itself for daylight savings time, or perhaps because of a failing battery or other malfunction. Since they only set themselves once a day, it can happen up to 24 hours after an interruption. Open it up and see what sort of mechanism it has!
posted by alexei at 5:18 PM on October 7, 2015


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