I can so vividly remember the first time I viewed a Nightmare on Elm Street, I was five and my aunt was babysitting me. My aunt thought I was asleep but little did she know I was hiding behind the couch in the living room watching every horrifying minute of Freddy’s gleeful torturing of those poor teens. For the next few weeks, months, years I would remain terrified of Freddy. Freddy is no normal villain he comes at you when you are most vulnerable and when you are unable to escape, he stalks your dreams and I am shaking just writing these words. Freddy’s evil nature and gruesome look fucked me up for years. One year, I was asked to be a cute little Bo peep in a Halloween infomercial and ruined those little blue trousers when I saw a nine-year-old boy dressed as Freddy. By the time I reached rebellious teenage-hood I was brave enough to attempt the “Scary” section of the wax museum only to encounter Freddy and run out screaming like a baby. As terrified as I was, and honestly still am, of Freddy it was his evil that drove me to a love of horror.
Freddy and the Nightmare on Elm Street series made me eager for the next fright, I wanted more. I wanted to be so terrified that I had to sleep with all the lights on for weeks. I began my search for gore, jump scares and everything in between. I hunted through bins at Hollywood Video and Blockbuster Video for all the best in modern horror, I bought Vincent Price collections and was thrilled when Scream came to home video. My love for horror continues today as I subscribe to apps like Shudder and patiently await the release of reboots like Stephen King’s It.
Some people ask how I can be so in love with horror yet so terrified of it, the honest answer is horror provides me with an outlet unlike anything I’ve ever known before. Horror allows me to embrace my weird and solidifies bonds with those who are just as weird as I am. Horror as a genre has many facets, there are so many subgenres and talented writers and directors it can be hard to keep up with. Horror as a community offers a comforting place for all of the strange kids, or weirdos who were not always accepted by the norm. If I want to have a collection of taxidermy ducks in my house no one in the horror community will give it a second thought, and that is what I love about it.
As time goes on and I get older I find joy in sharing my love and knowledge of horror with my younger sisters and nephew. I recently played a terrifyingly beautiful prank on my sister and her boyfriend that was inspired by Annabelle: Creation and it brought us closer together. I cannot wait for the day my nephew asks to watch The Exorcist for the first time or the day when my sister finally decides she is ready to see Ju-On.
This article is part of our special October series, #horrorandme