New episode on YouTube: Why are scary movies so scary?

In preparation for tomorrow night’s episode of Spiritus Walking with author Tracee Ford, I’m going to share with you why I personally can’t watch many horror movies anymore. Keep in mind, this is an autobiographical look at my life and how it relates to horror films. This isn’t related to any research.

As a child I was never allowed to watch horror movies. In fact, I was once sick and sleeping on the couch and happen to wake up while my dad was watching a horror movie. I can still see it in my head. A set of darkly lit stairs, someone walking down them, and then a creature grabbing the poor unsuspecting person’s ankle. Yes, it terrified me.

As I grew older, I still had a fear of horror movies. I hated The Lost Boys. I tried to watch it at my friend’s house during a sleep over. It gave me nightmares for a month. I hated creepy, scary, horrifying situations. I remember watching the Halloween series with a boyfriend and I truly was fascinated by the dynamics of those movies, but I can’t say that about any other movies during that time.

Then I hit my late teens and early twenties and began to realize the tricks of cinematography. I wasn’t so scared anymore. My favorite horror movie is probably Jaws. Of course, it didn’t involved demons or ghosts either. Poltergeist was pretty profound for me. I watched it, but wow, did it scare me! It took me until college to watch The Howling and to this day I can’t say I completely understood it.

When I got married and settled into my new life as a wife, things still made me a little jumpy, understandably so if you’ve kept up with the Bumps in the Night series. It wasn’t until I got divorced that the fear of horror moves fell by the wayside. I would say this is in part because my belief system changed. If you don’t believe in heaven and hell anymore, what does it matter? It’s all make-believe anyway, right?

I watched Saw and The American Werewolf in London and The American Werewolf in Paris along with many, many other movies in the horror genre. Then I saw Amityville Horror, the older version and the newer version. Both fascinated me, but both were terrifying. As much as I enjoyed watching Ryan Reynolds, knowing that the movie was based on actual events frightened me. I found as I began working my way through horror movies, the films depicting demonic activity or hauntings tended to put me on edge a little more.

Zombie movies, slasher movies, and those sorts of films didn’t bother me as much and to be honest, I’ve lost interest in those kinds of movies. In fact, I don’t waste my time watching those sorts of things anymore, but before I became enlightened, I guess, I remember watching the Final Destination movies and not even cringing. Then my chemistry changed. Movies that I could stomach before, I couldn’t expose myself to any longer. I tried to watch Hostile; I turned it off when the torture scenes began. I couldn’t stomach it; the anxiety was too much for me to deal with.

Here’s another funny tidbit. When I became aware of my abilities, I started watching television shows like Celebrity Ghost Stories and things along those lines. They fascinated me. I was probably just glad to know that I wasn’t alone or crazy, but after the first botched ghost hunt and the demonic entity in my home, my ability to watch those kinds of programs came to a halt. I tried to continue watching those shows, but I felt uneasy, had nightmares, and had funny feelings when watching, as if I was not alone in the room. I figured out that there might have been some truth to the fact that movies and programs with such heavy content very well might open a door of some sort. That is what most Christian doctrines say. They preach against not watching such things because it is felt that it opens the door to allow evil to enter. They also say that about anything containing sex or violence. In my case, however,  the door pretty much stays open to the other dimensions, but being hypersensitive to the paranormal and then watching those types of programs overloads my system.

To this day I have never watched The Exorcist and I don’t plan to. I watched The Rite and The Exorcism of Emily Rose and I did find them to scare me, but I handled it. Here’s why they scared me. I saw something in them that spoke to the reality of situations, just like I saw when I watched Amityville Horror. It brought to my mind too much realistic possibilities. Feelings I’d experienced as a child. The innate fear that all of us have to some degree of ghosts until there comes a time when we understand what ghosts are and what they do.

So are you wondering how I can write about haunted houses, demons, ghosts, and serial killers? To be honest with you I can’t quite explain to you how it’s possible. It’s just something I do. I won’t tell you it isn’t taxing because it is. Writing The Fine Line was a little less intense than Idolum, but both were very draining at times.

When I write, I see the book and the plot play in my head like a movie. When I write, I feel what the characters are feeling. I see what they see. I share their experiences. That can often drain my energy; this might be why I can only write in small doses, which is why it takes me so long to finish a project perhaps (besides the fact that all I seem to do is work outside of the home). So, my thought is that watching horror movies tends to do the same thing to me. I relate to the characters as I watch the movie. In my mind I say, “What would I do in a situation like that?” or “I have been in that situation before.” It is almost too personal for me. Again, I also think there is some truth to the fact that it opens a door between this world and the one beyond and not all of the travelers walking through that door is friendly.

So there you have it. That is why I now cannot watch horror movies as often as I used to. Yes, I can still watch some, but for the most part, I steer clear. I have enough dream activity at night and I don’t need to tap into nightmares because of things I watch. My dreams tend to be the inlet for my spirit guides and those that have passed on; not always, but sometimes. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see The Conjuring, but a part of me fears even exposing myself to it. When you open that door (for lack of a better analogy), sometimes you can’t necessarily close it as quickly as you’d like. And as I said, my door swings open and closed on a daily basis; the veil thins and sometimes I can see right into a world that many believe doesn’t even exist. I don’t need extra incentive to do this.

Thanks for following along. Enjoy your day wherever you are in this big world. Love & light to you. You can watch the episode on my YouTube channel tomorrow night airing at 8 p.m. EST.

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