I’ve been wanting to make a series where I talk about my life for a while. The reason for this is twofold: 1) It gives those curious about my life some interesting information, and 2) I have a particularly awful memory so writing this stuff down will help me remember it better later. Basically, it’s a journal of my life experiences and things that made me the person I am today. But what to write about first? Some topics that came to mind: My experiences with bullying, my life as a child of divorce, my thoughts on romance and such. But no, those are all too heavy for my first entry into my life story. No, instead, let’s talk about something simple. Since it’s September and everyone is already talking about Halloween, let’s talk about something I love. Let’s talk about horror and, specifically, how I came to love it.
My love of horror started out as a love for something different: Reading. When I was very young, my mom would read stories to me to put me to bed. Our favorite story was Green Eggs and Ham. My mom would put on voices for the characters and genuinely make it fun for me. She would read me all the classics: Cat in the Hat, One Fish Two Fish, and other non-Seuss stories like The Giving Tree. As I got older, she would help me read by myself until, finally, I was picking up more advanced chapter books. After that, I absolutely loved to read.
(Side note to this: My love of reading was actually kind of a problem. In school, I would often get in trouble for hiding a different book inside of my text books and reading when I was supposed to be paying attention in class. Yes, I am and always have been a huge nerd.)
Anyway, my love of reading eventually lead me to a strange looking book cover. On the cover was a boy standing in front of a mirror… with his body vanishing half way down. The cover intrigued me. I needed to know what was happening in this book. So, I picked it up and begged my mom to buy it for me. Eventually I sat down to read my very first Goosebumps book, Let’s Get Invisible!
This set off a chain reaction of needing to read Goosebumps books, going to the library and the Scholastic Book Fairs at my school and pouring over the covers until I found something that looked cool. So, the first seeds of my horror obsession were officially planted. Now, we just needed some visual media to let that seed blossom. For me, there were two catalysts to my introduction to visual horror: The Nickelodeon classic ‘Are You Afraid of the Dark?’ and a certain movie. But, let’s talk about this TV show first.
So, the show started before I was even born and ended when I was 5, so I obviously didn’t watch this show when it was on the first time around. However, I do remember watching it all the time on SNICK when I was old enough to see it. And I remember being terrified of it. I would watch it while peeking up around the back of my couch, scared but unwilling to change the channel. The episode I remember the best is the Tale of the Dangerous Soup, about a soup that makes you experience your worst fears. I don’t know why that episode in particular stands out to me, but it is the one freshest in my memory. The show had quite the effect on me as I remember it was my one MUST SEE Nick show every Saturday night. When the revival came around in 1999, I don’t think I missed a single episode. I even watched the (admittedly lackluster) finale that was about the “original” Midnight Society.
The movie I talked about before was Beetlejuice, aka my favorite movie of all time. Now, I don’t know exactly when or why I watched this movie in the first place. However, I do remember watching it every single day after school. It got to the point where my grandmother was concerned for my mental health. Luckily, my mother would assure her that I was fine, I just had a quirky sense of humor. I’m not sure what exactly fascinated me about this movie as a kid. As an adult, I can say that the visuals are fantastic, the story is original, and the writing is very quirky. It my not be a perfect movie or even the best horror comedy of all time, but it is my favorite.
Over the years, my taste in horror has changed and evolved with the times. I still absolutely love horror comedies and I have a great appreciation for good horror movies (though those are very scarce in today’s media). Horror books, however, aren’t a big part of my book collection. Sure, I have a lot of Urban Fantasy books with horror elements, but straight up Horror Novels aren’t on my list of things to read. I don’t know, maybe it’s because horror books have to do a lot to keep me interested and I simply haven’t one that’s right for me in a very long time.
Liking Horror media is a big part of my identity as a nerd as it’s my favorite genre to go to whenever I’m in the mood for a good story. I watch Horror Let’s Plays, I read Creepypastas, and I even have a show which analyzes Horror stuff for kids (new episode in the works!). Whenever my friends hear of some new Werewolf movie coming out, they know to come to me with the news. Laura (my fiancee) always notes that I get a gleam in my eye whenever I’m talking about some piece of horror media that I come to love. What can I say? I’m a very passionate horror nerd.
And now you know how I came to love this creepy genre. Hopefully that gives you some insight to me as a person. Let me know what you think about this first entry of this series in the comments. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go dig through my old book collection for an old bedtime story.