The time of spooks and specters is almost upon us. Halloween was always a favorite of mine, not only because I always loved dressing up and going Trick-or-Treating, but because even during the time of my life when I was a godawful wuss, it was always a little bit fun to be scared.
In honor of our favorite frightful holiday, this week I’m going to be talking about my favorite moments of horror…in the form of various kinds of media.
To start off, today I’m going to talk about TV shows of the spooky variety.
Let’s start off with some shows of the past. When I was a kid I was a lot easier to frighten, but even considering that, some of the shows I used to watch late on Friday nights were pretty creepy, in my opinion. Are You Afraid of the Dark? was one of my very favorites, something I watched every weekend without fail. It’s pretty damn tame by today’s standards, and the special effects leave something to be desired when compared with what television can do these days, but at the time it was an amazing show that gave me no end of shivers.
The show centered around a group of youngsters who called themselves the “Midnight Society” and would take turns telling each other scary stories around a campfire. Each episode was one scary story brought to life. Most of the stories were based on common folk tales and urban legends, with the majority of them designed specifically to be frightening to children. I recall the episode that freaked me out the most was one in which a girl gets sucked into a mystical dollhouse and begins to turn into a doll herself. There was just something about watching the girl’s limbs become porcelain that creeped me right the hell out!
As I got a little older, I began to get into the “reality” ghost shows. I couldn’t name one in particular, but you know the type: a group of people with cameras and really crappy flashlights venture into a haunted house, or an old asylum, or a creepy abandoned graveyard, and records the results. The funny thing is that I never really believed in ghosts myself, but when one of these shows was actually done well…yeah, it could really give me a spook! Even to this day, if the show is well-done (which is asking a little much, apparently) I can still get a chill from the antics that are experienced in the world’s creepiest places.
These days I don’t find there are a lot of TV shows out there that are able to genuinely frighten me. Maybe it’s because there aren’t many TV shows that have the budgets of big Hollywood horrors, or maybe there’s just not a lot of genuinely scary stuff out there on TV right now. Or maybe it’s just me. I don’t know. But that doesn’t stop me from loving shows that are meant to be scary. Supernatural has been one of my favorite shows for ages (even though recent seasons haven’t been that great) because I love all the different monsters, creatures, and beings that regularly popped up on the show. It was never really all that scary of a show, because that’s just not the kind of show it is, but all the paranormal stuff, monsters eating people, and super-strange occurrences gave me that good tingly feeling; the kind you get when snuggled up in bed with a good ghost story.
American Horror Story (the first season) raised the bar a bit, throwing all manner of weird, crazy, and creepy at you all at once. The show about a family living in a(n extremely) haunted house focused mostly on the mental insanity and anguish, but there were definitely moments when I got the shivers because of a creepy side-plot or two.
But I can’t finish this post off without giving a shout-out to some of the classics. Not your weekly kind of TV show, but the TV specials that are made specifically for Halloween. Some are old, some are newer, and lots of them are tons of fun. Every year my family and I are sure to watch Garfield’s Halloween special, and my daughter is a big fan of the spooky Spongebob episodes. Want to bump up your enjoyment of the holiday? You should totally go on the hunt for some Halloween specials. They’re fun for the whole family and a great way to get into the Halloween-y mood. ^_~