That moment of silence: punctuated by a scream

First thing that you have to understand about me is that I'm easily traumatized by my imagination. Back in junior high, one of my English teachers loved the Hammer horror films and used them to "teach" the classics. Scared me into a week of nightmares and almost permanent insomnia through high school. Probably these days, kids are protected from things like Vincent Price in The Pit and the Pendulum.

There was also a recording of Dracula played by a different teacher at Halloween. Fifth grade, as I recall. The bit where he is crawling up the wall....ugh! I wouldn't look out my bedroom window for a month!

So when it comes to the real horror movies of the last twenty years: I most likely haven't seen them. Blood, guts, people being hacked to bits, no thank you! Every now and then, however, I'm talked into a ghost story. I love ghost stories. I find them fascinating after spending part of my childhood in Scotland, a land populated by ghosts (at least according to our neighbors). Whether or not ghosts exist, I've certainly walked through places that felt haunted.

My favorite recent ghost story of the movie variety was The Others. I saw it with my friend Michael, a true horror aficionado who writes essays on slasher films. Guess which one of us screamed like a banshee when a door slowly swung empty room.

After I removed my fingernails from the ceiling tiles and checked to make sure that Michael hadn't passed out due to lack of oxygen after his shriek, it got me thinking about the scariness of silence. Of how nothing can be so much more frightening than body parts and blood. So when Wizards asked about the scariest scene seen, it was that moment in The Others that immediately came to mind. You will have to supply your own scream.


Michael Hacker said…
In my own defense, the door slammed open - it didn't slowly swing. And the piano was playing on the other side--so something was there right before the door opened. But you are correct, the room was empty.--Michael
Michael said…
The Others is one of my favorite movies. It still scares me, even though I've seen it many times. Like how I still laugh at Clue, even though I have it memorized.

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