Horror and Halloween

Little children wandering alone/Trick or Treat and I will be gone

Halloween.

In spite of having lived my entire life in Brazil, I always enjoyed this date.

To see all those costumes, the orange color everywhere, the lit pumpkins and all the horror and monster movies is something that has always inspired my imagination.

Not very long ago I played some horror games that made me remember why I like this particular theme and how much I have experienced it in my life. The terror, suspense and fear have always fascinated me. That disquieting silence, the anticipation of something, the unknown, the darkness. When I was a child, I was afraid of the dark. I lived in a gloomy house where strange things happened, surrounded by thick woods where every once in a while suspicious hobos shambled by. Add to it the habit my father used to have of being awaken till late watching horror movies and you have a young man with a good familiarity with terror/suspense/mystery. Ever since that I have watched movies, read books, played games and lived experiences within this theme I so thoroughly enjoy that it made me want to share some moments that have marked/influenced me.

I have put some links in the descriptions, some of them contain spoilers to the stories. Some scenes are strong, not recommended to sensitive people. Not advised to watch during work. As usual, click at your own risk.

To stay alone in an old house at night

Not recommended to the ones with a big imagination or belief in ghosts. All those sounds from that old house were similar to moans or clues that someone (or something) was lurking somewhere.

Visit the site abandonedplaces.com and read some stories all the while listening to suspenseful musics

I always liked abandoned and ruined places. This site has excellent photos of the most varied of such places, including stories with the images. The ones I like the most: the school and mental asylum. Recommended to read alone, at night, hearing this kind of music.

The beginning of the “Silent Hill” game

One of the first horror gaming experiences I had. Everything is surrounded by a fog while you search for your daughter in the middle of an unknown city. Untill…

Read stories

To read terror and suspense requires night and silence or a good storm. I recommend The Black Cat, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Pit and the Pendulum and The Casket of Amontillado, from Allan Poe, The Lurking Fear, The Moon-Bog, The Color out of Space, The Tomb, The Shunned House and The Whisperer in the Darkness, from Lovecraft, The Willows, The Occupant of the Room and The Doll, from Algernon Blackwood and It, from Stephen King. I have always a book or short story at hand with these themes.

Search for cryptozoology (specially unknown sea animals) with a sinister whale song in the background

I really like sound effects and soundscapes and one day I found a site that had whale songs available to download. One of the songs was some sort of moaning, more like a garbled sound very deep and sinister. And out of innocence and curiosity I left these sounds playing while I searched, at 2am, for unknown marine animals. The playlist changed for the said moaning in the middle of my search for globsters when I stumbled upon an extremely odd shark photo. Not recommended for the faint of heart.

The first zombie scene from the original “Resident Evil” game

I’ll never forget this scene. The zombie eating Kenneth’s head still resonates as scary as hell.

The Space Jockey and egg scene from the movie “Alien”

One of my favorite movies till this very day, was one of my main influences in many senses. What was that fossilized being? What had happened there? What was that egg? Be careful while  investigating alien ruins. And, uh, forget that certain movie called “Prometheus”.

The beginning of the “Half-Life” game

Everything is going smooth at Black Mesa when Gordon Freeman “accidentally” starts a process that becomes an alien invasion. The dark hallways on fire, those alarms in the background, you  running without weapons and surrounded by zombies and weird creatures. Tense stuff. Fans recently made a remake of the game that ended in many ways better than the original.

The closet scene from “The Ring” movie and the eye scene from the original “Ringu”

This first scene I won’t forget. The movie was at a slow suspenseful pace when at the funeral the main character asks why the coffin was closed. I spent the rest of the movie scared, prepared for this kind of scene to happen again. The Ringu scene took me by surprise too. Probably the most evil eye I’ve ever seen. Scenes not recommended to those with heart problems and sensitive people.

The game “Clive Barker’s Undying”

A classic influence that mixed Lovecraft, Allan Poe and Indiana Jones with suspense. Special attention to the howls of the Howlers, the Aaron encounter scene and the mansion exploration.

The final scene from the movie “The Blair Witch Project”

Without spoiling the story, the final climax with all those sounds made me come out of the theatre very frightened.

The “Blair Witch” games

Besides being an excellent and much needed complement to the story of the first movie, these games are filled with strange scenes. I have fond memories of the charred house of the first game and the moaning wind sounds from the second.

The game “Silent Hill 2”

Despite the fact that I have not advanced much in this game, it has left profound markings of terror, apprehension and fear. The soundtrack and audio ambience are amongst the most disturbed I have ever listened to.

The Half-Life mod called “They Hunger”

Zombies in the 60’s. You start at a graveyard where the dead start to rise and moan that they are hungry while shambling towards you. The narrow corridors of some levels combined with the total lack of ammunition gave me lots of scares.

The movie “Paranormal Activity”

I’ve had some weird experiences with what people call ghosts. This movie brought back from memory some scenes of my life, leaving me, again, scared.

The game “The Path”

All the audio work, opening to interpretation and the heavy themes left me frightened to arrive at Grandma’s.

Tell sinister stories at night among a group of friends

Extremely healthy to know you are not the only person to have bizarre stories. Complicated is to sleep after hearing all of them.

Some scenes from the games of the “Thief” series

Being a hired thief to steal relics from haunted places is no easy task. Special attention to the ruined cathedral of the first game and the haunted orphanage/asylum of the third game. The audio is top notch.

The movie [REC]

One of the best zombie movies I’ve seen. With the right amount of gore, the story becomes more and more tense. The final scene, reminiscent from “The Blair Witch”, is pure terror.

The game “Amnesia: The Dark Descent”

You are alone in a victorian 18th century castle being chased by a supernatural being. Add to that the fact that the main character is unarmed and afraid of the dark. And in order to escape the shambling howlers that you will find you have to hide in darkness.. Truly a success recipe in the world of terror.

The Half-Life mod called “Cry of Fear”

My most recent experience, one of the most intense I’ve had. You don’t know exactly what’s going on till you hallucinates. The audio ambience is truly frightening.

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