Fiction, Horror, Movies, Writing

Paranormal activity?

Yesterday, I went to see the movie Paranormal Activity. I had the best time possible while being terrorized—and eating Junior Mints! I have never experienced such tension. It took me ten minutes, after the movie ended, to get my breathing back to normal and longer than that before my muscles completely relaxed. (For you movie critics out there, yes, I could have done without the last thirty or so seconds of Hollywood cheese.)

Obviously, I love a good horror movie. And by good, I don’t mean the movies that are just an excuse to show a thousand gruesome ways to kill someone, I like the ones that play with your mind. The ones that maybe … just might … could possibly … really happen. Last year’s The Strangers was another movie I loved though, again, I think it ended two scenes too late.

A psychological element to the horror is far more interesting to me. I love walking a “what if” thought into the darkness. I have that kink in my mind. Every time I stand at the ocean’s edge feeling the wind and sun or mist, gazing out over the endless sea, I always have this thought: what if something HUGE rose up before me?

tule fog
Sometimes on winter nights, we have fog so thick you can’t see the front of your car as you’re driving. On those nights, I’m never quite sure my car won’t drive right into another dimension. When, in rare moments, I realize I hear no sounds at all, I fear time has frozen and I quickly look out the window to make sure I can see something moving. Once, while hiding in the dark bathroom, moaning like a cartoon ghost to fun-scare the kids, I frightened myself so, with the sense that something stood behind me, that I had to turn on the light and stop the game.

I’m telling you this because I’ve been thinking about writing horror again. Cold and dreary winter is almost as good as dark and stormy nights for writing dark tales. There’s an art to probing into that visceral layer where blackness rages, then pulling back into the light at just the right second. The dark half in me knows she will never master that art, but she needs to purge her thoughts about what really goes bump in the night.

33 thoughts on “Paranormal activity?”

  1. I love to be scared too so I fully support your idea to write horror. I’m with you, though, I don’t like the graphic bloody, horror stuff, I like the stuff that plays with my mind.


    1. Oh my, I fear I’ve gotten myself into something now. If I’m not careful, I’ll be writing three different books at once like you … only mine will be in different genres! 🙂


  2. Did you see The Orphelinat?'orphelinat/1

    As always, I was really affraid… I just don’t know why I beacame a kid again when I read astory or see a movie like that…

    I keep see the protaganist all over the place (into my bed) for almost one day… This must be a very good horror movie. Blair movie was also a scary one. When the story play whit the simply reel thing (lost in a trip) and ghosts…

    I am so immature for this kind of story. May be I am a perfect readers for your new horror novel. I will be affraid of anything!

    Thank for this post.


    1. Mireille, as I said earlier I couldn’t think of a movie I saw recently that was truly scary. I did think of this one you mentioned; I just couldn’t remember the name of it. Here in the U.S it’s called The Orphan, I think. Except there was a really bad movie this year by the same name so I’m not sure what the U.S title is.


      1. Tricia, the movie Mireille named is called The Orphanage, it’s a Spanish movie. Was the “really bad movie” you mentioned Orphan (with the little girl wearing a black velvet band around her neck)? My sister keeps trying to get me to watch that one.


        1. Yes! The Orphanage. See that.

          Though I haven’t seen The Orphan, all the critics can’t be wrong and they all agree that it was one of the worst movies ever made and those I know that have seen it hated it. After reading the synopsis, I’d have to agree. Did your sister see it? And like it?


          1. I just went to look this up on Netflix and Rotten Tomatoes, and it seems the public opinion varies greatly from the paid critics on this movie. The critics panned it, but the majority of ordinary people gave it above average marks.

            And I guess it’s appropriate that we’re discussing horror movies on Friday 13th.


    2. Mireille, no I have not seen that movie, but those of us who are prone to being scared all become like little children. It makes no sense that we adults let movie images become real enough to scare us (or move us to cry, for that matter), but that’s the magic of it all.

      And I admit that since I saw Paranormal Activity, I’ve had to have music or TV on for background noise if I’m alone, and both nights since the cat has freaked me out in the middle of the night by jumping on the bed.


  3. I love a psychological thriller but not the hack-em-ups as you mentioned. Even “Paranormal” sounds more over the top than I can handle. I walk a tightrope because if it’s juuuust over the edge, it’ll haunt my dreams and my mind. But I’m so intrigued! I would love to track your writing of a horror story. I can’t imagine writing one. I would find it fascinating.


  4. sweet blog! I’m personally a big chicken of horror movies…saw all the wrong ones way too young. But I’m so glad yo enjoyed Paranormal, I’ve been told to NOT watch it because it will scare me beyond sense.

    : D


    1. Don’t you think they should have cut the last 30 seconds or so?

      I think leaving something to the imagination is always scarier. Like the scene in Shirley Jackson’s “The Haunting of Hill House” you never see what horrible thing is on the other side of that bedroom door, but that’s far more frightening than if you did.


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