Reading Sandy’s Shocktober reviews got us talking about scary movies and scary scenes. We were trying to determine which was the scariest movie we’d ever seen.

Marion: The first movie scene I remember being scared by was the Flying Monkeys scene in The Wizard of Oz.(I think I’m not alone there.)

I was going to say that Aliens was the scariest movie I’d ever seen, and it is scary, but then I remembered 1963’s adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House (The Haunting). The black-and-white film relied heavily on its excellent cast to create a sense of growing dread. That scene in Eleanor’s and Theo’s bedroom, where something is crying, and the camera stays trained on Eleanor’s face… Eleanor is grateful that Theo is holding her hand, but Theo begins squeezing so hard it hurts… only it’s not Theo! That scene still gives me chills.

Bill: So many choices! I can definitely remember as a young kid being terrified by two TV shows of all things: the made-for-TV movie Don’t be Afraid of the Dark (the most vivid scene for me is the woman being dragged away by the little creatures) and the Trilogy of Terror episode with the living doll. But in terms of theatrical films, it’s a battle between The Exorcist (which I inexplicably saw with my sister in the theater at age 11) and Halloween. After watching that with the gang at a friend’s house, one of the girls refused (understandably) to walk home alone through a few backyards to her house. Nobody volunteered until I, playing all “no big deal” did, and I kept up that façade all the way to her house, past the swaying big pines, the looming above-ground pools, etc. Soon as she was in the house and I turned back, I sprinted back as fast as humanly possible — perhaps the fastest I’ve ever run in my life. I waited to go back down the basement until my breath came back to me of course — I had an image to uphold after all.


So readers, what scene freaked you out the most in a movie? What is the scariest movie you’ve seen? Please share below. One random commenter with a USA address will get a book from our Stacks.


  • Marion Deeds

    Marion Deeds, with us since March, 2011, is the author of the fantasy novella ALUMINUM LEAVES. Her short fiction has appeared in the anthologies BEYOND THE STARS, THE WAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE, STRANGE CALIFORNIA, and in Podcastle, The Noyo River Review, Daily Science Fiction and Flash Fiction Online. She’s retired from 35 years in county government, and spends some of her free time volunteering at a second-hand bookstore in her home town.

  • Bill Capossere

    BILL CAPOSSERE, who's been with us since June 2007, lives in Rochester NY, where he is an English adjunct by day and a writer by night. His essays and stories have appeared in Colorado Review, Rosebud, Alaska Quarterly, and other literary journals, along with a few anthologies, and been recognized in the "Notable Essays" section of Best American Essays. His children's work has appeared in several magazines, while his plays have been given stage readings at GEVA Theatre and Bristol Valley Playhouse. When he's not writing, reading, reviewing, or teaching, he can usually be found with his wife and son on the frisbee golf course or the ultimate frisbee field.