Oh, the horrors: Movies most scary...to me

Happy Halloween!

In honor of the holiday, I thought I'd share with you the movies that have most scared me over the years (in approximate order of viewing):

The Birds (1963) — I remember watching this in the house we lived in when I was born, so I was likely under the age of 5. I recall it being around Christmas time, as there were homemade ornaments hanging in the pass-thru from kitchen to family room (or wherever the TV was) and without explanation, the ornaments fell during one of the more intense moments. I've been frightened of huge flocks of black birds and egg-carton ornaments ever since.

The Child Molester (1964) — This incredibly grisly "educational" film was shown at school during my early years and I will never, ever forget the bloody shoe floating down the stream. (And my girls wonder why I was such a paranoid mother.) I looked for the name of this movie for this post and found the whole scary thing posted HERE. Beware: You'll never again look at children's shoes the same way.

Chamber of Horrors (1966) — How could anyone, especially a youngster, not be afraid when the Fear Flasher and Horror Horn made it oh-so clear that it was the only appropriate response for what was to come?

House of Wax (1953) — My introduction to Vincent Price. Likely one of the "Creature Double Feature" flicks on Saturday nights spent with older cousins in Wisconsin.

Crowhaven Farm (1970) — I told you in this post how the sound of rocks being stacked scare the cuss out of me because they sound like the ones stacked by the coven of witches in Crowhaven Farm. I think of this one often, as we have lots of rocks on our property...and seem to stack them on a fairly regular basis, for some unknown reason.

Sisters (1973) — Siamese twins and Brian de Palma were forever linked in my head after this. Oh, along with putting on panty hose, just like the crazy sister in the barn loft. Gah...!

Picture Mommy Dead (1970) — For this post I finally figured out the name of a movie that has haunted me for years and years, especially every time I heard "the worms crawl in, the worms crawl out, in through your stomach and out your mouth." Imagine my surprise when I realized Zsa Zsa Gabor was part of the horror. Yep, it's true. And still scary to me.

The Exorcist (1973) — I was often sick as a child. I remember being quite ill with pneumonia at the time this movie came out. Up in my room in the old farm house, I'd be falling asleep to the sound of the radio when—AH!—the commercial for The Exorcist, with its chilling music, would come on and make me want to run downstairs or scream, but I couldn't do either because I was so freakin' sick. Years later I actually watched the movie...and had my fears validated.

Audrey Rose (1977) — Anthony Hopkins, reincarnation, burning alive. Need I say more? Okay, I'll say a little more. Not too long ago, I watched this with Jim and my then teen daughters. They've made fun of me ever since for recommending as "one of the scariest movies ever" this campy Exorcist rip-off. It really was scary the first time. Honest. At least when you're young...and a big chicken.

Carrie (1976) — Yes, it was truly scary. And I'm not the only one who thought so. And not just the first time you watch it. Honest. I still think of it often...and actually just last week told Jim as he was leaving for work one day, "They're all gonna laugh at you." (Yep, that's the kind of joy involved in being my spouse.)

The Shining (1980) — I have twin siblings, and the creepy twins at the end of the hallway were just a small part of it. Supposedly having happened in my home state was a big part of it. Funny thing, I've now been to the hotel that inspired the story—The Stanley Hotel—many times, including when they were remaking the film into a TV series and for two ghost tours.

The Entity (1982) — I was a brand-new mommy who spent a lot of time alone with my baby as Jim worked his butt off to support us and the idea that the story of a malevolent spirit beating and raping a woman was supposedly true was more horrific than my hormones could bear at the time. I used to bring Brianna, in her infant seat, into the bathroom with me while I showered just so I wasn't alone.

Blair Witch Project (1999) — I didn't watch that many scary movies between the one above and this as being a mother of three daughters was frightening enough. But the year this came out, I took my teen daughters to see it one afternoon during spring break. It was more nausea inducing than scary. Until a week or so later: I was out on our deck in the middle of the night watching for shooting stars when I scared myself by thinking of the movie. I set out to run back into the dining room through the open screen door...only the screen door wasn't open and I mangled it as I dashed through anyway, determined to escape whatever may have lurked in the dark.

There were other horror flicks throughout the years, but these have been the most memorably scary for me.

I do still enjoy watching scary movies. Scary ones, though, not disgustingly grisly and twisted ones like the "Saw" movies and such. For the most part, I don't get as scared by them as I used to.

I just no longer go out on the deck in the middle of the night by myself anymore.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Today's question:

What movies were most scary to you?