Honestly, this took a while to figure out because, hey, I’m not easily scared. Not tooting the proverbial horn but, shit, I write horror. You wouldn’t believe the crap I think about, let alone write about. I wish it were easier to scare me but it is what it is.
That being said, I was able to drill down to five moments that hit me hard, mainly when I was younger.
Nightmare on Elm Street. The original. It came out when I was, shit, six. I didn’t see it then but I remember the commercials. In them, they would show Freddy starting to come out of the wall, stretching out like latex, over Nancy while she lay in bed. And then I would go to bed and look up at my wall, expecting Freddy to start stretching out over me. Yeah, that fucked me up for a while.
The Fly. The remake. When Jeff Goldblum goes all “regurgitate-dissolve-suck back up” for the video camera to show how Brundle fly eats…yeah, that one stuck with me.
The Thing. John Carpenter’s remake. The blood test scene. The tension in that scene is riveting. Then the shit hits the fan. And a freaking severed head sprouts legs and walks away.
Angel Heart. The scene where Robert DeNiro is talking to Mickey Rourke about eggs and how they’re symbols of the soul in some cultures. Then he offers Mickey an egg, to which Mickey says he doesn’t like chickens. And then we cut to a close of DeNiro taking a big ass bite out of a hardboiled egg.
The Blair Witch Project. Yep, I’m going here. Regardless of what you think, when this movie first came out, it scared the shit out of a lot of people. You see, it was original, the first to really use the found footage angle. I mean there were people that thought the damn thing was real. But that ending, in the house, with all those kids’ handprints on the walls…and then the basement, with that dude just standing in the corner…
Anyway, those are my five. What do you think? Feel free to throw out your own favorite scary moments.
Erik Williams is a former Naval Officer and current defense contractor (but he's not allowed to talk about it). He is also the author of the novel Demon and numerous other small press works and short stories. He currently lives in San Diego with his wife and three very young daughters. When he's not at his day job, he can usually be found changing diapers or coveting carbohydrates. At some point in his life, he was told by a few people he had potential. Recently, he told himself he's the bee's knees. Erik prefers to refer to himself in the third person but feels he's talked about himself enough and will grant your eyeballs the freedom they deserve.