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DON'T LOOK IN THE MIRROR!
February 9, 2010 2:12 PM   Subscribe

HORROR MOVIE RULE #1: Don't look in the mirror. SLYT | 04:11.(via.)
posted by ericb (101 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
How many of the movies can you name from which the clips come?
posted by ericb at 2:12 PM on February 9, 2010


I find mirrors and windows creepy- I watched too many horror movies as a kid and even though I know it's all fantasy, there's something in the back of my head that, every time I look in a mirror, half-expects to see a rotting corpse creeping up behind me, or expects to see someone- something- looking in a window at me at night.

Yes, it's silly and stupid, but no amount of boldly looking in mirrors and throwing aside curtains or drawing blinds from windows at night has managed to cure me of it. And that is why, though I would, I cannot watch this video.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:15 PM on February 9, 2010 [10 favorites]


Pope Guilty, are you like me in that you check behind the shower curtain when you use the bathroom at someone else's house?
posted by brundlefly at 2:17 PM on February 9, 2010 [8 favorites]


This was pretty completely addressed on SNL.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:18 PM on February 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


This is the cause of my irrational fear of mirrors and windows! Arggh!
posted by Solon and Thanks at 2:18 PM on February 9, 2010


One day I'm going to get into a public bathroom, break all lamps except for one (which I'll switch for one that flickers randomly). Then I'll hide and play a loud chord every time someone looks in the mirror.
posted by qvantamon at 2:18 PM on February 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


Yay, fourfour!
posted by Mavri at 2:19 PM on February 9, 2010


Also rule number 1 for doing acid.
posted by empath at 2:21 PM on February 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I thought I was strong enough to watch it but I had to x out during the Shaun of the Dead one. I don't know who I was kidding, if they show the Donnie Darko bathroom scene I would have ran out of the room.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 2:22 PM on February 9, 2010


These videos are all too easy to make now you can use TVtropes to find your material.
posted by dunkadunc at 2:23 PM on February 9, 2010


I'd like to see one of these compiling every time on Lost when Character A says "I'm leaving to do something" and Character B says "I'm coming with you" and then Character A says 'No, you're not".
posted by Joe Beese at 2:25 PM on February 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Loved the bit in Secret Window where Johnny Depp smashed the golf club through mirror and the shower door like he was all Elin Woods and shit.
posted by Xoebe at 2:27 PM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I blame the fact I can't watch this on a slumber party I attended when I was 8. We played Bloody Mary and I got locked in the bathroom by my friend's older brother. I got to the Candy Man scene and had to stop watching.

And yes, I always check behind shower curtains and mine stays open unless somebody is actually showering.
posted by MaritaCov at 2:34 PM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also rule number 1 for doing acid.

I heard that a lot back in my day, but when I did it I either saw something out of an Alex Grey painting or something that resembled looking into the crystal collection in the china cabinet. Never was scary or grotesque, though.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:41 PM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


are you like me in that you check behind the shower curtain when you use the bathroom at someone else's house?

I thought I was the only one. Thank you for validating my neurosis.
posted by Vectorcon Systems at 2:42 PM on February 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


are you like me in that you check behind the shower curtain when you use the bathroom at someone else's house?

hell no! the monsters only live at *my* house!
posted by toodleydoodley at 2:44 PM on February 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Some of those scenes were very effective, and some of them were really cheesy.

Which I guess is a pretty good description of Hollywood.
posted by Caduceus at 2:45 PM on February 9, 2010


I liked the addition of the non-scares at the end. It's such a cliche these days that any character staring into a bathroom mirror causes the entire audience to tense up automatically. Having recently rewatched it, I'm pretty sure Haute Tension had a non-scare mirror scene at the beginning (though, in retrospect, the lack of a scare/boogieman reveal at that moment is rather symbolic in the context of that film).

I've not seen the film, but I'd imagine that Mirrors is basically this idea stretched over an entire movie. (I did see Kiefer Sutherland in the clips, but thought it was from 24... Not that Jack Bauer is ever startled.)
posted by slimepuppy at 2:53 PM on February 9, 2010


One of my greatest fears, seriously, is being in a well-lit house and looking out the window at night and naturally I can't see shit except for the reflection of the inside of the house behind me and so I'm peering out at the darkness and then suddenly an axe smashes through the window and into my face.
posted by turgid dahlia at 2:55 PM on February 9, 2010 [8 favorites]


I don't really watch horror movies but I enjoyed spotting the clips from movies in other genres, like V for Vendetta and the Wright/Pegg spoofs. Also, the unedited version of the SNL skit (Hulu link) AZ linked to with the original soundtrack is a lot more effective in my opinion.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 2:56 PM on February 9, 2010


Oh, if only this had included Twin Peaks.
posted by punchdrunkhistory at 2:57 PM on February 9, 2010


in that you check behind the shower curtain when you use the bathroom at someone else's house?

WHY THE HELL WOULD YOU PULL THE CURTAIN CLOSED ANYWAY UNLESS THERE IS SOMETHING HIDDEN BEHIND IT?! So of course one has to check.

I mean seriously, leave the damn curtain open when the shower's not in use. *shudder*
posted by ClarissaWAM at 2:58 PM on February 9, 2010 [12 favorites]


Was that the Japanese version of the Ring with Ryuji standing with a blanket over his head? Because damn, sometimes the strangest combinations are really creepy. Like that one.
posted by Brainy at 2:59 PM on February 9, 2010


I think a part of it comes from the natural relaxation/comfort that comes from looking at yourself. You can look at you and say, "Yes, I'm me. I exist," but then when you look away it might be different and you don't know and it's bad.

I've got it badly enough that sometimes I can't even close my eyes while IN the shower for fear that something might be on the OUTSIDE of the curtain. Shampoo doesn't sting as much once you get used to it, but boy can your eyes get bloodshot.
posted by Scattercat at 3:01 PM on February 9, 2010


I used to have an irrational fear of windows as a kid, but not necessarily because of reflections. From the man in the sombrero I was convinced would stand outside my bedroom window to the man with a bowling ball who lurked outside the kitchen window and would surely throw it at me if he saw me (so that I had to crawl under it to get to my brother's room and take the top bunk), it all culminated when we slept in the camper in the driveway one year for my birthday and some high school kids wandered up to look inside it. I think me and my friends' high-pitched screams terrified them far more than us.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 3:03 PM on February 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I've not seen the film, but I'd imagine that Mirrors is basically this idea stretched over an entire movie.

Stick with that not having seen it thing. It's fucking terrible. And I say this as someone who positively adores shitty horror movies, but Mirrors basically made me not want to look at anything for days for fear that the things I looked at--cats, bananas, sweaters--would all somehow turn out to be as shitty as Mirrors.
posted by Skot at 3:04 PM on February 9, 2010 [15 favorites]


HORROR MOVIE RULE #2: Don't go back in the house.

HORROR MOVIE RULE #3: Don't leave the house in the middle of the night, especially since you are out in the middle of nowhere.

HORROR MOVIE RULE #4: Don't answer the phone.

HORROR MOVIE RULE #5: Don't make out in a parked car in the middle of the woods.

...basically, my teen years were spent cowering in fright behind a sofa.
posted by jeanmari at 3:06 PM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


HORROR MOVIE RULE #6: Don't get within two feet of floor grates in the house because something nasty in there will grab you and drag you towards it.

Wow. This is really dragging a ton of stuff up from my forgotten memories that I wish had stayed forgotten.
posted by jeanmari at 3:09 PM on February 9, 2010


Which movie was the second-to-last clip from, the one of the woman looking at herself in the mirror with the cut above her eyebrow?
posted by infinitewindow at 3:12 PM on February 9, 2010


I love mirror shots. I think they used the trick like, three times in Orphan, and I enjoyed it every time. (Once it was nothing, once harmless, and once villain -- every time tense.) Two of them are in the video, actually.
posted by graventy at 3:16 PM on February 9, 2010


One of my greatest fears, seriously, is being in a well-lit house and looking out the window at night and naturally I can't see shit except for the reflection of the inside of the house behind me and so I'm peering out at the darkness and then suddenly an axe smashes through the window and into my face.

One of my greatest fears is being in a well-lit house and looking out the window at night and naturally I can't see shit except for the reflection of the inside of the house behind me so I can't even pretend I'm looking at the view and I have to turn around and politely talk to all the people in my house for the rest of the night.
posted by dng at 3:27 PM on February 9, 2010 [8 favorites]


I expected to see the "pulling your face apart" scene from Poltergeist. Or maybe the mirror scene from Duck Soup!
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 3:30 PM on February 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


There is a very good reason to fear windows at night, as anyone who ever saw the shlockumentary Mysterious Monsters can tell you (skip to about 1:35).

At least, anyone who was about eight when it came out.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:34 PM on February 9, 2010


Oh man....

Years and years ago, when I was in high school, I went on a date with a girl to see "Witchboard." About halfway through the movie, one of the characters (Tawny Kitaen?) wakes up in a hospital bed, pulls her IV needle from her arm and wanders out of her room and down a hall. As the creepy music builds, she notices someone moving in the corner of her eye, whirls around and sees that it's her own reflection in a window. Sheepishly, she grins to herself and turns around... and that's when the bad guy chops her head off with a Big Damned Knife.

It was at that precise moment that my date grabbed the back of my neck. My popcorn went flying and I screamed. Loudly. A high-pitched, terrified shriek that made everybody in the theater jump and turn around to stare in my direction. As it snowed popcorn all over us, I tried to sink into the floor.

Mirrors and Windows. You can't trust 'em.
posted by zarq at 3:41 PM on February 9, 2010 [9 favorites]


Okay, but seriously, the words "horror" and "mirror" are some of the worst in the English language. They are where it is most obvious that I'm working against almost three decades of living in Texas; I overpronounce them in an effort to avoid saying "whore" or "Mir." *flail*
posted by greekphilosophy at 3:43 PM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Here's the granddaddy of them all: The Blood of a Poet by Jean Cocteau.
posted by tighttrousers at 3:44 PM on February 9, 2010


I overpronounce them in an effort to avoid saying "whore" or "Mir." *flail*

As a native New Yorker, I can tell you that their proper pronunciation is "Mirra" and "Harra"

As in, "Yo, look at dat axe murdurah in da mirra."
posted by zarq at 3:46 PM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


On a vaguely related note:
My mom had never seen, nor heard of Blair Witch Project a couple years after it came out. Her tastes run to animated movies about penguins and the like. Well, my brother and I convinced her we should all watch it like one week after she had moved into a house inna woods. We promoted it as a "feel good movie" and she believed us.

She made not a sound during the movie, but when bro switched the lights on afterwards, I swear to God, the look of complete, unadulterated terror on her face was about as scary as the movie itself.

Sorry Mom!
posted by angrycat at 3:48 PM on February 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


One of my greatest fears, seriously, is being in a well-lit house and looking out the window at night and naturally I can't see shit except for the reflection of the inside of the house behind me and so I'm peering out at the darkness and then suddenly an axe smashes through the window and into my face.

fuck I never even *thought* of that, thanks for nothing TD
posted by toodleydoodley at 4:00 PM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


ClarissaWAM: "WHY THE HELL WOULD YOU PULL THE CURTAIN CLOSED ANYWAY UNLESS THERE IS SOMETHING HIDDEN BEHIND IT?! So of course one has to check. "

Stab first. Apologize to Laertes later.
posted by The White Hat at 4:03 PM on February 9, 2010 [28 favorites]


Horror Movie Rule #0: DON'T
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:22 PM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


In the fifth clip,about twenty seconds in, from the remake of "Prom Night," is that Liberal pundit Matt Taibbi smashing the girl's face into the mirror ? It sure looks like him.
posted by therealshell at 4:22 PM on February 9, 2010


are you like me in that you check behind the shower curtain when you use the bathroom at someone else's house?

Our tribe is numerous.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:32 PM on February 9, 2010


Perhaps my favorite one of these is this scene (@5:20) from The Mothman Prophecies, primarily for its subtlety. Sure, you've got the split-second ghostface in there, but just before that there's the much more creepy image of Gere's reflection not matching his movements. His character doesn't notice, and it's non-obvious enough that it's easily missed, but it and other understated effects like it pepper the movie and give it an eerie, otherworldly feel, even if you don't catch them.
posted by Rhaomi at 4:35 PM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Pity it does'nt include Repulsion which is supposed to be the first of the closing mirrored cabinet tricks (according to Edgar Wright on the commentary for Shaun Of The Dead saying he'd stole it/first seen in American Werewolf but later leant it goes back to Repulsion)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:41 PM on February 9, 2010


turgid dahlia - I had a friend who grew up on the East Coast - and had a babysitting gig in one of those modernist homes that is all glass and no curtains. It was situated in a forest - so in the daytime, it was like being in a beautiful treehouse. At night though - it was scary as all fucking hell. The black windows reflecting nothing but your own image.

She would hole up in the kids room - which was the only space in the house that was not completely sided with glass. She hated babysitting there. One night, the house alarm tripped off and she completely freaked - literally pissing her pants. The only thing that kept her from not going full on crazy was that she had to keep it together for the kid in the room with her.

Parents came home very shortly after, alarm was set off by something harmless - but she never took another babysitting gig at that house again, despite offers of doubling her fee. The parents had a very difficult time convincing any teenaged girl to babysit for them.
posted by helmutdog at 4:43 PM on February 9, 2010 [7 favorites]


#1 - Phantasm
#2 - The Frighteners (?)
#3 - Shaun of the Dead
#4 - An American Werewolf in London
#5 - Prom Night (apparently?)
#6 - ???
#7 - ???
#8 - Mirrors
#9 - Halloween H2O
#10 - ???
#11 - I don't know, but it cracked me up
#12 - ???
#13 - What Lies Beneath
#14 - The Ring 2
#15 - Black Christmas (I think?)
#16 - Ringu
#17 - V for Vendetta
#18 - ???
#19 - Candyman 2 (I think)
#20 - What Lies Beneath (again)
#21 - I Know What You Did Last Summer (probably)
#22 - I have an idea this is the One Missed Call remake, but I haven't seen it
#23 - The Grudge
#24 - ???
#25 - ???
#26 - The Eye (maybe?)
#27 - Nightmare on Elm Street 3
#28 - ???
#29 - ???
#30 - ???
#31 - Quantum of Solace
#32 - ???
#33 - ???
#34 - Phantasm (again)

...Why, yes, I AM snowed in. Why do you ask?
#27
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:47 PM on February 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


I began to fear mirrors at age 12 or so when I read Bram Stoker's Dracula. There's an early scene when Jonathan Harker is shaving and finds the count is present . . . gazing at his shaving nick. The idea of someone standing behind you that you can't see haunted me. In those days vampires weren't creatures with whom popular culture had a sexual obsession.

By the way, of these clips the one that really stays with me is Michelle Pfeiffer's misted mirror in What Lies Beneath. *shudders*

posted by bearwife at 4:50 PM on February 9, 2010


One of my favorite mirror bits is from Below. (Haunted submarine movie by David Twohy who did Pitch Black.)

You can see a bit of it in the trailer here.
posted by Naberius at 4:59 PM on February 9, 2010


You're not supposed to look into a mirror at night...you will see the devil, a superstition goes.
I know it's nonsense, but if I had never heard about it...OK, I don't cover all the mirrors at night, but I do find myself looking the oth....eeesh.
(Don't fall into the mirror, either: "Prince of Darkness")

Um, In the first clip, is that John McCain in the mirror?

sorry
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 5:07 PM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ah, bless you Angus Scrimm. Terrorist of adolescent boys, sex-changing murderer, owner of flying mirror balls of drilling deathly doom, master of mirror monsters.
posted by WolfDaddy at 5:08 PM on February 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is why we have a see-through shower curtain in my house.
posted by joannemerriam at 5:19 PM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


ClarissaWAM: "WHY THE HELL WOULD YOU PULL THE CURTAIN CLOSED ANYWAY UNLESS THERE IS SOMETHING HIDDEN BEHIND IT?! So of course one has to check. "

Cause the only thing worse than the imagined horror behind the curtain, is the real horror of the mildew monster created in the depths of a scrunched, wet open curtain. AAHHHH!
posted by Tavern at 5:25 PM on February 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


joannemerriam: "This is why we have a see-through shower curtain in my house."

This has the added benefit of creating nudity, a requirement for any horror film worth its salt.
posted by brundlefly at 5:26 PM on February 9, 2010


In Hong Kong, you pull back the shower curtain, not to see if there's a monster, but to check for the occasional large cockroach that somehow managed to crawl in there.

Or spider.
posted by bwg at 5:44 PM on February 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


is this the post where I say that after I watched the Sixth Sense as a twenty-something year old, I was too spooked to go to the bathroom any time between 10 PM and the next morning for about a year?

or is this the post where I say that after I watched The Exorcism of Emily Rose on my 34th birthday, for about 6 months afterwards, I would regularly wake up at around 3:30 AM according to my digital clock with it's satan-red LED digits, and I would be too scared to turn over because I knew that a posessed Emily Rose was lying right next to me, staring at me with her eyes wide open and her mouth agape?
posted by bitteroldman at 5:51 PM on February 9, 2010


Okay, but seriously, the words "horror" and "mirror" are some of the worst in the English language.

Try saying "Rural Juror."
posted by Saxon Kane at 5:53 PM on February 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


!OOB
posted by schyler523 at 6:46 PM on February 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


One of my greatest fears, seriously, is being in a well-lit house and looking out the window at night and naturally I can't see shit except for the reflection of the inside of the house behind me and so I'm peering out at the darkness and then suddenly an axe smashes through the window and into my face.

Or get shot by Wee-Bey.

tap tap tap ... tap tap tap ...
posted by bwg at 6:48 PM on February 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


So, during my teens I had a second floor bedroom with a window facing a cliff, where there'd often be some goats grazing. We're talking about Brazil here, so I'd also usually have my window open (the cliff wasn't immediately close, about 100 ft away).

Once upon a time, when I was 14 or so, I was alone at the house, sleepless, at 3 AM, watching A Nightmare on Elm Street on TV, and the power went out on my block around the second half of the movie.

So now I was alone in a pitch black room, with a cracked open window facing a moonlit cliff, with my curtains dancing around in the breeze, and the occasional "baaaaa" being heard.

Good times.
posted by qvantamon at 6:59 PM on February 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


My mom had never seen, nor heard of Blair Witch Project a couple years after it came out.

Oh my god. I spent a period of my life living in a tent in SE Alaska (long story.) When I came back to civilization Blair Witch was making its rounds through the local second run theaters. I knew it was a horror film, a pseudo-documentary one even, but I had no idea how scary watching a film about being alone in the woods would be after spending some time alone in the woods.
posted by elwoodwiles at 7:08 PM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


@turgid dahlia -- One word: Suspiria.
posted by zerobyproxy at 7:14 PM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


The plot of Through the Looking Glass didn't scare me when I was young, but the idea of an alternate universe accessible by mirror still scares the pants off me to this day. Sometimes when I look in a mirror I become, uh, 'worried' that if I look away and look back, the room behind me will be totally different, and I will have gone through the looking glass. And much like Pope Guilty, I know it is totally silly and no amount of deliberate mirror-looking has helped me at all!
posted by kittyloop at 7:24 PM on February 9, 2010


What about the Fridge Door Scare? You know, where they grab something out of the fridge and close the door and SOMEONE'S BEHIND THE DOOR WHO WASN'T BEFORE?
posted by gottabefunky at 7:25 PM on February 9, 2010


My fear is not that the thing that will show up in the mirror will hurt me or something. I know something showing up in the mirror is ridiculous. My fear is that I'll see something in the mirror, which would mean I went crazy, and I don't want to be crazy.
posted by qvantamon at 7:33 PM on February 9, 2010


#31 is Layer Cake, not Quantum of Solace. Ju-on is also in there -- I think it's #25 but can't be fussed to re-count.

Nice, Kronos. I thought Prince of Darkness, too.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:36 PM on February 9, 2010


kittyloop, it's funny you mention that because one of things that scared me most as a kid was the Jabberwocky from the PBS live-action version of Through the Looking Glass. And because there are 2 seconds of what looks to be a Jabberwocky monster in the trailer for the new Tim Burton adaptation, I will not be going to see that movie.
posted by sarahnade at 7:37 PM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is probably a good time to admit that I cannot take a shower without the door being securely closed, because if I left it open I would be attacked by an Orc. Yes, an Orc.
posted by facetious at 7:45 PM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Listen if you really want to scare the shit out of yourself, leave your front door unlocked, turn off all the lights, close all the windows, go upstairs to the bathroom, and with the lights still off, take a shower. When you are done, get out of the shower and stand in front of the mirror.

Naked.

In the darkness.

Lean closer.

Closer.

Hey, is that a
posted by Pastabagel at 7:57 PM on February 9, 2010 [8 favorites]


My best friend's mom often tells stories about going to visit her grandmother who lived near a mental hospital when she was a kid. Apparently, they were warned as children to be on the lookout for strangers who might come wandering over to the house. And one night she got up to go to the bathroom and saw the silhouette of a person standing at the end of the hall. Too afraid to call for help, she just stood there waiting for the other person to move. Of course, you see where this is going...
posted by albrecht at 7:58 PM on February 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


infinitewindow:

Which movie was the second-to-last clip from, the one of the woman looking at herself in the mirror with the cut above her eyebrow?

It looks like this one.
posted by jscalzi at 8:00 PM on February 9, 2010


I was very amused to hear that my nine-year-old neighbour and her friends totally believe in the existence of Bloody Mary, an urban legend which I remember from my childhood in the mid-1980s. It's kind of reassuring that despite being surrounded by stuff like Saw and Hostel, kids still believe if you turn off the lights in the school bathroom and chant "Bloody Mary" three times, you'll see a scary lady in the mirror!

are you like me in that you check behind the shower curtain when you use the bathroom at someone else's house?

See, that's why you get this shower curtain, so there's no need for your guests to pull it back to check if someone's there.

(This one is just super-creepy though.)
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 8:03 PM on February 9, 2010


Also, this is the perfect thread for me to share my three room theory.

My three room theory says that an adult living alone cannot tolerate sleeping in silence in a dwelling having more than three rooms between where he/she sleeps and the exit. Stairwells, halls, and foyers count as rooms.

Any more than three rooms and the person will be compelled to leave lights on in rooms they can't see from where they sleep or they will drink/take pills/stash a weapon near the bed/leave music on to help them sleep.

My opinion is that in the absence of other people, the mind can't help but add people to the rooms, because the geography of a house is defined more by the social relationships among the people living in it than the actual floor plan. Without any social relationships, the occupant becomes lost in their house.

Bonus: Take the total darkness shower challenge in a bathroom more than three rooms andone flight of stairs from the exit. After posting your address and photo on the internet.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:11 PM on February 9, 2010 [13 favorites]


the Jabberwocky

oh holy fuck why would you do that
posted by EarBucket at 8:13 PM on February 9, 2010


I woke up to this video being played on my local news this morning, and almost fell out of bed in fright.
posted by sallybrown at 8:27 PM on February 9, 2010


what percentage of these were sarah michelle gellar? it seemed awfully high
posted by angrycat at 9:00 PM on February 9, 2010


My three room theory says that an adult living alone cannot tolerate sleeping in silence in a dwelling having more than three rooms between where he/she sleeps and the exit. Stairwells, halls, and foyers count as rooms.

Any more than three rooms and the person will be compelled to leave lights on in rooms they can't see from where they sleep or they will drink/take pills/stash a weapon near the bed/leave music on to help them sleep.


There's only one (kinda large) room between my bedroom and the door -- actually, I could leave the bedroom through the glassed-in patio off one wall of the bedroom. But I still, in direct defiance of environmental concerns and what it does to my electric bill, leave a light on in the adjoining bathroom all night long. I go through a lot of lightbulbs. I know it's stupid, but it just gets too dark and somehow too still in the apartment otherwise.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:03 PM on February 9, 2010


It's kind of reassuring that despite being surrounded by stuff like Saw and Hostel, kids still believe if you turn off the lights in the school bathroom and chant "Bloody Mary" three times, you'll see a scary lady in the mirror!

Who will murder you I think you mean.

And I remember reading awhile back of a study where they had people sit in dim rooms and stare into mirrors without looking away. Given enough time, most people start hallucinating weird faces.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:16 PM on February 9, 2010


I'm going to bed right now, and that involves going into the bathroom, opening the mirrored medicine cabinet, closing the medicine cabinet, and...
why did I watch that video?
posted by betweenthebars at 11:05 PM on February 9, 2010


I love this Mefi scary campfire story time!

I have a fear that I wake up in the middle of the night, turning over to face a darkened window with the curtains opened. I slowly open and close my eyes, the window coming into focus. My vision clears, and the most terrifying, freakish madman's face is staring at me, grinning.
posted by rbf1138 at 11:59 PM on February 9, 2010


For rbf1138: A friend of mine spent part of his childhood in a refugee camp in Southeast Asia. This is a story he once told me:

The people in the camp used to talk about this demon woman who haunted the place. She looked like an old crone, she was evil, she could fly, etc., etc. My friend says even though he was a kid, he wasn't totally convinced this demon woman existed, but there were plenty of people who swore she had appeared to them.

Anyway, the room he slept in was on the second floor, and his bed was near the window. One night, he woke up and for some reason felt kind of uneasy, like he was being watched. So he felt compelled to check the window near his bed. Nothing there. Whew. Then--

BAM! He sees the face of an elderly woman, floating outside his window--at least 20 feet off the ground.

That's the story he told me, anyway.

*shivers, runs to bed without looking at any mirrors or windows*
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:35 AM on February 10, 2010


Fortunately most of these don't seem to apply to me as I'm not a sexy young woman.
posted by maxwelton at 4:09 AM on February 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Muahahahaha... (some might be NSFW, don't get stuck reading a creepypasta archive until it's dark outside, ask your primary care physician if symptoms persist)

And I agree with the hate for Mirrors, the movie. Without spoiling too much, the basic idea is that there is an entity living on the other side of the mirrors, and whatever it makes your reflection do happens to you; the result is a practically invulnerable, omnipotent villain. And that makes for bad horror, since all the scares in the movie are now quite unnecessary and stupid - the villain has already won from the get-go, and all those carefully constructed SFX are about as relevant as the BMX Bandit.
posted by PontifexPrimus at 4:42 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Honestly the people in the mirror are more afraid of you than you are of them. Geez.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 7:00 AM on February 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


I think you all should be a lot nicer to me.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 7:07 AM on February 10, 2010


Lacan would just like to point out that when a movie mirror shows the victim their own distorted image, the scene plays on the dissonance between our idealized self and reality.

When there is phantasm behind the victim, the scene is evoking the terror of the punitive superego.

He's telling me this from beyond the grave. Using your bathroom mirror.
posted by clarknova at 8:36 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


but is he behind you, or speaking for you?
posted by Fraxas at 9:12 AM on February 10, 2010


I have a lot of horrible nightmares. Recently I've been seeing this a lot.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 9:13 AM on February 10, 2010


ou know, where they grab something out of the fridge and close the door and SOMEONE'S BEHIND THE DOOR WHO WASN'T BEFORE?

Right!?

"Every time I come in the kitchen, you in the kitchen! In the God-damn refrigerator! Eating up all the food! All the chitlins! All the pigs feet! All the collard greens! All the hog maws! I wanna eat them chitlins! I like pigs feet! And before you went to bed last night, didn't I tell you to take the garbage out front?"
posted by toodleydoodley at 9:39 AM on February 10, 2010


Recently I've been seeing this a lot.

Christ. If I had looked at that at home and late at night instead of in mid-afternoon in my bright sunny office, I would not sleep from now until April.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:20 AM on February 10, 2010


And you may notice, Baby_Balrog, that if you open the picture, close, and reopen it several times in succession, the subject gets closer and closer to the viewer each time.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:21 AM on February 10, 2010 [5 favorites]


This is probably a good time to admit that I cannot take a shower without the door being securely closed, because if I left it open I would be attacked by an Orc. Yes, an Orc.

Man, I knew wandering encounter checks could get aggravating after a while, but it sounds like your DM downright traumatized you.

Now make me a listen check. 17? Nope, everything's fine. Don't worry about it.
posted by FatherDagon at 1:38 PM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have a lot of horrible nightmares. Recently I've been seeing this a lot.

ohhhh nooo why did I click that
posted by Solon and Thanks at 3:18 PM on February 10, 2010


And you may notice, Baby_Balrog, that if you open the picture, close, and reopen it several times in succession, the subject gets closer and closer to the viewer each time.

Sun Dog reference? My word, you don't see many of those about these days.
posted by hot soup girl at 7:46 PM on February 10, 2010


My word, you don't see many of those about these days.

Someone paying attention (to little-read twenty-year-old novellas).
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:54 PM on February 10, 2010


Sun Dog's weird because god, I KNOW I read it, but I haven't even the slightest idea of how it ended.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:13 AM on February 11, 2010


Likewise. I went to Wikipedia to make sure hot soup girl was talking about the same novella I was thinking of, and the plot summary included the ending, which I had totally forgotten. Then again, I find a lot of King/Bachman books are like that: high on atmosphere, set-pieces and gotchas, low on plotting. I read pretty much everything he did up until It, at least, and the only ending I can recall well is The Shining (and that because I am Kubrick fan).
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:07 AM on February 11, 2010


Yeah, I always forget the ending of The Sun Dog too, and I agree that's the case with most of the *mumble* forty odd *mumble* King books I've read. Most memorable endings: Shining, Shawshank, Carrie, and Thinner.

ricochet biscuit, you may recall that the ending of Kubrick's The Shining is very different to the novel. In the book, the hotel's defective boiler explodes, destroying the building and killing Jack Torrance; in the film, the hotel's still standing. In the film, Torrance freezes to death in the hedge maze; in the book, there is no hedge maze (there are creepy topiary animals instead).
posted by hot soup girl at 10:18 AM on February 11, 2010


I'm not a big fan of Kubrick, but that movie was worth it for the Simpsons parody.

"What do you think of my book, Marge? All I need is a title. I'm thinking along the lines of "No beer and no TV make Homer... something something"."
"Go Crazy?"
"DON'T MIND IF I DO!"
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:41 AM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


ricochet biscuit, you may recall that the ending of Kubrick's The Shining is very different to the novel.

I do indeed. King was famously cheesed at the liberties Kubrick took and many years later, gave the world a more faithful adaptation. The world responded with a shrug.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:13 PM on February 11, 2010


King's version would've been much better had they got somebody better than Steven Weber for Jack, and not been forced to sanitize certain things for TV.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:45 AM on February 12, 2010


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