My Horror Roots

Thriller 25th anniversary

I remember the first horror-like thing I saw: Thriller.  I was young, but MTV was on in our house practically 24-7.  The first time I saw it, it scared me.  The second time, I loved it.

I remember seeing a commercial on TV for Child’s Play and telling my mom I wanted to see it.  She said no.

I was 7 when my mom and her boyfriend brought Pumpkinhead home from the video store’s new releases.  After arguing so much against Child’s Play, I still have no clue why they let me watch Pumpkinhead.  I loved it.

PoltergeistAround the same time, I also got to see Poltergeist.  I also loved it, especially since there was a little girl as a main character.  It’s probably still my favorite horror movie.

When my grandparents would take me for the weekend, we’d stop at the video store on the way to their house.  I started go straight to the horror section.  My grandma finally gave in and let me get horror movies for me, my grandpa, and my uncle to watch.  The first one I picked was Seven Doors of Death (which is actually The Beyond, but I remember renting the alternate version).

From there, I made the logical bridge to novels.  I put down my Ramona, Anne of Green Gables and Little House on the Prairie books.  After seeing Pet Sematary, and yet again, I loved it, I picked up my first “adult” novel: Misery by Stephen King.  I remember the book creeping me out in ways that a movie never could.

In the 4th grade, we read a “horror” book in school, at least as scary as a 4th grade school approved book can be.  I can’t remember the title, but there was something about a mummy.  (If anyone can enlighten me to what this book could be based on my vague description, that would be awesome.)  (We also read Bunnicula that year.)  I remember there being a scene where the mummy is trying to break into the kid’s room, either by scratching under his door or on the window (I can’t remember which).  Everyone thought it was so scary.  I thought they were all pussies. 😉

In middle school, my friends were reading Goosebumps.  To this day, I’ve only ever read one Goosebumps novel (I think it was Stay Out of the Basement), and I wasn’t all that impressed.  I did enjoy Are You Afraid of the Dark? tv show, and the Fear Street Cheerleaders novels.  But I also went to see Hellraiser: Bloodline and In the Mouth of Madness in the theater with my uncle.

So far, I’ve only written one true horror novel, Helpless, and I think it could use a lot of improvement.  But I aspire to get the groove someday and write a truly scary horror novel.

I still haven’t seen Child’s Play in its entirety.

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About Michelle_H

Michelle Hartz, Ph.Z., is the Graphic Designer at Baugh Enterprises, specializing in design for print and promotional products. She is also the Municipal Liaison for National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo) in Bloomington, Indiana. Michelle has published two of her NaNoWriMo books: Helpless, a horror story set on a wind farm; and Brains for the Zombie Soul, a parody containing nearly 101 heartwarming and inspirational stories celebrating the differently animated.

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