Fortnight of Fright: The Scary-Funny Sweet Spot by Heidi at Bunbury in the Stacks

Welcome to day two of Fortnight of Fright over here on Books Take You Places! Fortnight of Fright is an event hosted over two weeks, by myself and Brittany from The Book Addicts Guide, we will be featuring some fabulous posts on all things Halloween!

Today we are featuring a pretty awesome post from my dear friend and fellow blogger, Heidi from Bunbury in the Stacks! Run with it, girl!

I am not cut out for horror. I am so not cut out for horror, that I can’t even say it. When I first told my boyfriend “I don’t like horror movies,” his response was, “What? Like Pretty Woman?” Yep. Pretty much. (I have since worked very hard to pronounce horror as a two syllable word.)

When I was a teen I tried to pretend that I liked scary movies because it seemed like all of my friends did. I went to see The Blair Witch Project in theaters and stared at a spot on the wall just below the screen the entire time so that I didn’t have to actually see any of the movie. After I went to see The Ring, I had to drive home with my cab light on in my car and left my T.V. running through the night for about a month. That’s why I’ve seen Master and Commander more than any one person should–it was HBO’s favorite middle of the night selection at the time. By the end of watching Carrie at a friend’s house I collapsed into hysterical tears and had to be comforted by her little brother who rubbed me on the back while reading his Calvin and Hobbes books to me. After that I pretty much quit pretending and just swore off the genre.

Knowing this, it should come as no surprise to hear that Halloween is not my favorite holiday. Heck, I didn’t even like Trick-or-Treating growing up. It always snows on Halloween in Wyoming, and believe it or not there are only so many costumes that you can wear over a snowsuit. I was a pumpkin. At least twice. I learned pretty early that Easter is a much better candy holiday. There’s no gross peanut butter taffy, and it’s far less work to go through the house/yard (again, depending on level of snow) and find eggs than it is to walk from door to door in a state of humiliation.

These days, I’ve discovered that a slightly disturbing sense of humor has allowed me to embrace certain books and movies that are perfect for the Halloween season. I still shy away from strait up scary for the most part, but blend me a cocktail of scary, funny, and gory, and you have one satisfied Heidi. Heck, I’ve even learned that if the story’s good enough, I occasionally really like scary. I’ve found that magical balance, and so, I have come here today to share with you the awesomeness with some diagramming (inspired by the awesome Flannery). If you like to be a little (but not a lot) scared, enjoy some blood and guts (but not slasher porn), and like some good humor or snark thrown in, check out some of my favorite books and movies for the Halloween season and let me know what you think, and of course, let me know what I’m missing!:

Halloween venn diagram

I can’t tell you how thrilled I am about this post. I laughed so hard when you stated that you try very hard to say “horror” as a two syllable word. I LOVE the show American Horror Story (which we will get into on a later post) and my students make fun of me because I am always saying “HOR-ROR” with perfect enunciation!! I think you hold your own with the scary books and movies, and I am sure a lot of people agree that we need a certain balance to fully enjoy something out of our comfort zone! Thanks so much for being part of our Fortnight of Fright event, I will certainly be adding some of these books to my pile!

What do you guys think? Do you like having the pants scared off of you or do you prefer the lighter side of Halloween?

21 thoughts on “Fortnight of Fright: The Scary-Funny Sweet Spot by Heidi at Bunbury in the Stacks

  1. OMG I looove the Venn Diagram hahaha. Absolutey perfect. And I cracked up at the “horror” pronunciation lol.
    Great post, Heidi!! I’m with you – I just can’t do scary movies at all. I’ve tried and I hate them and then I spend the next few weeks afraid something’s going to get me or pop out at me.
    I saw Beetlejuice at a birthday party sleepover when I was 6 – The parents said it was a comedy – And I freaking lost my mind. In the very beginning, when they’re trying to scare people out of the house and they open the closet, there’s Gena Davis (hanging I think? Then scary transformation? I don’t know – I’ve only allowed myself to see it once in the past 19 years)? 6-year-old me lost her noodle and the girl’s mom had to stay awake the whole night to comfort me and I was afraid to open my closet for fear of seeing that for LITERALLY years. Probably until I was in my teens. So yeah. I can’t do horror haha. My closet doors still have to stay close every night when I go to bed. Not even open a crack.

    • I actually have a traumatic childhood experience to in regards to scary movies..I was FINALLY asked to sleep over this really popular girl’s house and they watched Freddy I think and I couldn’t do it…I sat upstairs the entire time with the parents. So awkward.

      • Yep, that’s pretty much how I was!!! It was terrible and I was so embarrassed. Thus started my extremely awkward childhood and people calling me a cry baby. For being Catholic school kids, they can be pretty mean! lol

  2. Pingback: Fortnight of Fright: The Scary-Funny Sweet Spot | Bunbury in the Stacks Fortnight of Fright: The Scary-Funny Sweet Spot | One has the right to Bunbury anywhere one chooses. Every serious Bunburyist knows that. ~ Oscar Wilde

  3. Thanks so much for having me, ladies! I did sink myself into a shame spiral last night for not including Poe and Hitchcock, both of whom I’ve legitimately loved since childhood.

    Brittany–my parents actually took me to see Hitchcock’s The Birds in 3D when I was 5 and thought that because they didn’t give me glasses it’d be FINE. It still amazes me that I don’t have a fear of birds. Actually, having older siblings (I’m youngest of 5) kind of got me used to a lot of that stuff. I’m cool with Beetlejuice (though dude, I do not blame you at all, there is some stuff in there that is scary for kids!), and I remember a particular baby sitting session when my older brother thought it’d be okay to put on Aracnaphobia…again, amazing I don’t have a fear of spiders.

    Alyssa–Last night the new season of American Horror Story started and I told C I’d watch it with him. I made it to the end of the credits to where the statue smiled and immediately sprung up, declared “I’m out!”, and left the room. Statues are one of my two big irrational fears. D:

    • My mom talks about how scary the Birds was when she saw it as a kid! (Not saying you’re my mom’s age. She saw it when it first came out, well before 3D!) I’ve never seen it but have no desire to based on her fear of it! Great guest post!

      • Bwahaha, yeah, I know a few people afraid of birds as a result of this movie. I honestly haven’t watched it since–I stick to Hitchcock’s thrillers more than the ones that can be deemed horror.

    • My mom is obsessed with The Birds and it just freaks me out even thinking about it. I’ve only seen it once and that was ENOUGH.

      I am SOOOOO excited for the new season of American Horror!! I LOVE BEING SCARED!! Also question…were you freaked out by the Doctor Who episode with the mannequins or is that a different thing for you than statues?

      • Oh nope! That didn’t bother me. Mannequins, dolls, ventriloquist dummies and stuff don’t bother me at all. The Doctor Who statue villain is pretty unarguably the scariest one–it’s my favorite, but one of only two that really creep me out.

  4. Heidi, I am totally there with you – I hateeee being terrified! I can’t stand scary movies, but I do love Halloween because of all the candy. I’m probably too old to trick-or-treat anymore, but that’s what younger siblings are for, right? 😉 I’ve seen my fair share of scary movies and I think I’ve been coerced into watching Hitchcock’s Birds TWICE which is why I will NEVER see anything else he makes. Ironically, my mother and grandmother, who I am both VERY close to, LOVE horror movies, so I’m the odd one out who gets nightmares from even hearing scary music. I think the only horror movie I liked was The Woman in Black because it was so ridiculous I laughed and my friend and I kept yelling at Harry – uhh, I mean Dan – to whip out his wand. Seriously, that’s not scary at all. Anything else? Run away. (The Omen is terrifying and A Haunting in Connecticut was SO scary…*shudders). Anyway, incredible guest post, dear! 😀

    • Haha, I’m glad I’m not the only chicken. I actually bucked up and read The Woman in Black earlier this year in preparation for the movie which I only wanted to watch because, you know, Harry Potter. Dude, I live near Amityville now, and I totally freak whenever I drive by–I remember having girlfriends OBSESSED with Amityville Horror in middle school.

      You SHOULD watch some other Hitchcock! A lot of his movies are more creepy thrillers than horror, and I love them. Try something like North By Northwest, Rear Window, Vertigo, or The Man Who Knew Too Much. I love all of these, but don’t tell–I’ve never watched Psycho. >.>

    • AHHH I live near where A Haunting in Connecticut was apparently from!! It was so scary but I loved it!! I want to read/watch The Woman in Black!

      Amityville is one of my obsessions too!

      I haven’t seen Psycho either but LOVE Rear Window and Vertigo!

  5. I am right with you! I do NOT like horror movies. I don’t mind thriller/creepy (love Hitchcock, which you mentioned above), but straight up scary with demon possession etc. is not for me.

    However, I have found that I can stand scary a bit more when it is in book form. I’m not sure I could handle Anna Dressed in Blood as a movie, but it was fine as a book.

    This post was funny! And I love the diagram. Have you ever read David Sedaris’ Halloween candy story? It’s in Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim. SO FUNNY. That’s my kind of halloween tale. Or Hocus Pocus. LOVE that one too.

  6. I’m not really a fan of horror either, most of what I’ve seen in that category was when I was in high school and was peer pressured into it. I more enjoy scaring myself with suspense or thrillers, which don’t really fit into your venn diagram, I suppose.

    Also, I grew up in upstate NY where it also snowed every Halloween, so I can totally relate to putting snowsuits under costumes!

  7. Eeek! I HATE horror/scary films! But strangely I am getting more brave with reading scary books now. I think because I can use my own imagination to picture how something is described in a book that makes it easier for me to accept. When something scary is shown on a tv/cinema screen I have that image stuck in my head and I can’t escape it.

    I went to see The Ring with someone (a stupid boy!) who told me that it wasn’t scary! I hadn’t heard of the film at that time so I had no idea! I had to turn my mirror in my bedroom to face the wall every night before bed and imagined the scary girl climbing out of my TV. Jeez, that was a scary time for me!

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