Wednesday, October 20, 2010

DON'T Haunt Me. Please...

Call me a wuss if you like, but creepy things creep me out. I have never read a Stephen King novel, though I have seen one movie, Secret Window. Johnny Depp was the obvious draw for that one, otherwise I'd never have watched it.

Towards the end when people were being murdered, I kept waiting for the last minute rescue by the police or the Mounties or the National Guard. It never happened. Then I remembered what I was watching. Needless to say, the perpetrator got away with his crime.

I don't like that idea, nor do I particularly like crime shows in general. I don't like to be reminded of the horrible things people are capable of doing to one another. You will never catch me watching a slasher movie or any other kind of horror flick. It still amazes me that I actually sat through Alien (on the front row of the theater, no less), though it was, technically, science fiction. I don't like gore, and I don't like evil zombie vampire stuff, either.

That being said, I do, however, read the Harry Potter books over and over, and enjoy the occasional ghost story, especially those that are comedies.

I got a big kick out of Ghostbusters and one of my all-time favorite movies is the Ghost and Mrs. Muir--the 1947 original with Gene Tierney and (be still my heart!) Rex Harrison. The ghostly aspect of it might have been what made it unique, but the basic appeal was the romance.

Romance is, and always will be, my genre of choice. Romantic comedies are best; even Ghostbusters contained an element of romance. I find it difficult to read, let alone watch or write, horror for horror's sake. Being scared to death doesn't do a thing for me. I'd much rather be swept off my feet by my hero, as opposed to having him slay vampires to save me from certain death.

Yeah, I know. This is coming from a paranormal author. But if you look closely at my body of work, you'll see that magic and the supernatural usually don't enter into it. My aliens are what they are: they don't shapeshift. Even Tisana, the witch in Warrior, came by her abilities as a result of her alien ancestry. Those "powers" were normal for her and the others of that race.

In real life, I have never met a ghost, though I know others who have. My mother had several stories she liked to tell--particularly the one about the ghosts in the old house that was once the Louisville School of Art, where she taught metalsmithing. There were reportedly two ghosts there, and if you'd ever seen the building, which, last time I saw it had been absorbed into the U of L campus, you'd understand the reasons for the stories. The house was a dark, two storied structure with ivy covered brick walls and a creaky stairway at each end. Late at night, if you happened to be there alone, you might hear footsteps coming down one staircase. When you went to investigate, the footsteps would then be heard coming down the other.

Never having been there alone late at night, I never had this experience, nor have I seen ghosts anywhere else. Apparently I'm another of those who, like Joanne, must be so based in the real world that I scare the ghosts away, which is fine with me.

Unless it's the ghost of Rex Harrison.

He can haunt me anytime.


  1. I liked the movies you liked, too, Cheryl. I agree that I like movies that have a HEA ending. I don't care for stories that show no plot, just tons of murders. I did like The Secret Window because of the twists and turns to the story. Plus that he was an author. I watched The Shining with my mother, talk about a scary Stephen King movie! Jack Nicolson makes the perfect devil.

    And once when I was living in Glen Burnie while I was stationed at Fort Meade, my electricity went out while I was taking a shower. Immediately I thought of Psycho and was certain someone had gotten into the apt and had shut off my electricity. I opened my eyes at once, got soap in them and with burning, blurry eyes, and a towel wrapped around me, checked out the apt to make sure no one had gotten in. Seeing the whole complex in the dark, I finished my shower, but my heart was beating a million miles a minute and I couldn't shake loose of the image of the movie. (I actually used my experience in Wolf Fever, except it was tailored to fit the story.)

    So scary movies can have a lasting effect!

  2. I'm with you Cheryl: entertain me, do not scare me. Rex and Johnny aren't even enough to make me cross that line. Not now how, not no way.

  3. I remember Ghost Busters! And I have never seen that second movie but I'm interested now. LOL.

    As for horror movies I can't stand them. I don't like being scared at all. On the other hand I do like playing some horror games because I get to control what happens in them (If I don't die lol). But only some. I get too scared easily.

  4. I'd forgotten about The Secret Window. I loved that movie. Now I want to see it again. I love spooky but hate horror. I've never had any ghostly encounters, and while I love reading about others' experiences, I hope I never have any.

  5. Yeah, the creepy, horrible stuff stays with me forever too, Terry. Why IS that????

    I was borderline with Johnny on that one, Grace. Still, as Terry pointed out, it WAS a good movie....

    You've got to see Ghostbusters, Ana. It's a hoot!

  6. Not at all a horror movie fan here--no gore ever is appropriate for me and Grace, I too, want to be entertained, not scared out of my wits. But Cheryl, yes, yes, yes to Ghost and Mrs. Muir--heck, yes, yes, yes to Rex Harrison in anything at all! He's so sexy! And actually, pretty much the same for Johnny Depp--Secret Window was a fascinating character study...but my favorite Johnny Depp has to be Chocolate...delicious in so many ways!!

  7. I'm with you, Cheryl, give me a comedy or a romance. I avoid all things that might be scary. I loved the old TV Show The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, I never saw the movie. I have to check it out. I have all the Ghost Busters Movies - Love them!

  8. Wow, someone who knows (and loves) the original Ghost and Mrs. Muir. I LOVED that movie, even when I wasn't into romance so much. It's weird the things (books/movies/people) that stick with you.

  9. I agree with you Cheryl. I find that the "real" world has more than enough horror and tragedy to suit me. I don't have to look for it; it's in every history book, every newspaper, every TV newscast and TV magazine.

    In a TV interview, Tom Hanks was asked if all the violence and gore in Saving Private Ryan wasn't, in fact, pandering. "Oh no," Tom replied with a straight face. "The violence and gore isn't intended for entertainment. This is a movie with a message that war is horrible."

    Sorry Tom. I already knew that.

    Me, I like the message of romance which is that people with fundamentally good intentions, empowered by love can overcome their differences and surmount challenges.

    When I've paid good money for entertainment, instead of being wrung out and emotionally exhausted I want feel uplifted and refreshed.

  10. I didn't know there was an original Ghost and Mrs. Muir movie! I remember watching the tv show as a kid. I liked Secret Window, though I admit I initially only rented it because of Johnny Depp. I ended up liking it. It had a great twist and I don't remember it being super spooky.

    I don't like to be scared either. In fact, I don't do haunted houses or anything like that. Even when I know it's staged and fake, I can't do it.

  11. Rex Harrison had me at Dr. Doolittle. Humor, music, talking animals, a trip in a Great Pink Sea Snail, and Rex Harrison. Imagine my disappointment later on in life when I found out he didn't bat for "my" team. Sigh...

    I'm with you, Cheryl - I hate to be scared in movies. I'm not a fan of Mike Myers though a boyfriend did promise me I'd enjoy it. This, after I let him talk me into An American Werewolf in London for a first date... Young love; it's stupid. LOL.

  12. Judi--why did you have to tell us that Rex Harrison swung the other way??!? I could have lived the rest of my life not knowing that! I'm almost as heartbroken as I was when I found Richard Chamberlain played for the other team... *sniff, sniff*

  13. I don't like scary movies, either. I am okay with scary books because I'm in control there. But you won't find me watching Saw or any movies like that.

  14. LOL on Rex Harrison haunting you, Cheryl. I could sit and listen to Richard Burton even read the phone book. Just the voice. Hm, same with Rex, but I'll keep my hands off.

  15. Great post, Cheryl. I loved Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady. But now you got me to thinking... If I was going to be haunted, who would I want to haunt me?

    Sticking with the old actor theme, I'd probably have to say Laurence Olivier. I adore him. Or maybe James Dean. :)

  16. Oh, Judi! Say it isn't so! But after Richard Chamberlain and Rock Hudson, it figures.

    I agree, Anita. Spooky is okay, but horror horrifies me!

    I watched the old TV show too, Robin. That guy was cool, but he wasn't Rex. Oh, well...

    I'm guessing my mother introduced me to the 1947 version, Tory. She was a movie fan from way back. Even had a scrapbook of movie star pics, which I wish I still had! She made the mistake of letting her three kids play with it...

    I loved Chocolat too, Nan! In fact, I have the DVD. Wonderful movie!

    Saving Private Ryan is another one I'll never watch, MM. I don't need a movie to show me that war is hell. I figured that out long ago too.

    I think I've only been to one haunted house, Lisa. It didn't do a thing for me.

  17. I don't even like to walk through the room when my DH is watching CSI, Shana. Even if you don't see it, you can still hear the grisly details. Ugh!

    I'd forgotten about RB's voice, Linda. Yeah, VERY sexy! And Oliver is a good one too, Lydia!

  18. I like creepy. Scary is okay. I don't do gory though. Killing for the sake of killing is too disturbing. I don't have to have a HEA, but I do need a satisfying resolution. Also if you keep killing off the killer at the end of the move, but he comes back in sequels, what's the point of killing him?

    I think we need a slasher film, where the killer is a female. Women's lib and all. Are there any slasher flicks with female leads? I don't watch them enough to know.

  19. Olivia,
    I read a book called the Tuesday Blade that had a female slasher, but it was more suspenseful than creepy. Not sure it's ever been done in a movie.

  20. I'm with you. I don't like to be freaked out. I can't stand anything with Knives or Chainsaws. I was scared out of my mind by Secret Window. The Attack of Fried Green Tomato gave me night mares for weeks.
    We had a ghost upstairs until we changed the Attic insulation. He must have been living in the old stuff LOL!!!

  21. I never forget those things, either, Donna. Notice how I remembered the name of that slasher book? I must've read it at least fifteen to twenty years ago.

  22. I only like movie ghosts that are funny or romantic. Yeah, I don't watch too many movies with ghosts!

  23. Ooo, Amanda! I just remembered Ghost, which is probably the most romantic ghost movie ever. Of course, it's doubly sad to watch it now that Patrick Swayze is gone.

  24. Ghostbusters is as far as horror films go for me ... oh, and RED DAWN ... that thing gave me nightmares because it was so real in its day! Great post, Cheryl!

  25. Hi Cheryl! I'm with you, I don't like scary books or movies, but I picked up a Stephen King novel, and he sucked me in, and darn if I couldn't put it down. Good writers do that to me every time. :}