Back in the 1970s, women bought fat juicy novels to take with them to the beach. Those were the days of Jackie Suzanne. Because I was a kid then I remember so many of these books floating around and my sisters and I were read them, even grossly inappropriate ones like Valley of the Dolls. It was how we first saw the novel Jaws, that giant shark swimming up to catch the unaware swimmer. And it was how I first heard of the Exorcist. The book was the scariest thing I’d ever contemplated which was why I never read it. But my older sister did. I remember her telling us younger ones about how the little girl in the book carved out the words “help me” on her stomach. It was, of course, a big deal when The Exorcist came out. Back then, parents took their kids to movies, even movies like that one.  How else can I explain that I saw The Exorcist as a child? It was the scariest thing I’d ever seen and it just got more and more scary as the years wore on. As many times as I’ve seen it, and despite my being an atheist, it still scares the shit out of me.

Today, The Exorcist is every bit as scary as it was then. It’s a class act, top to bottom – great acting, writing and directing. And Linda Blair pushes the whole thing over the top by absolutely giving it her all.  But I can’t really watch it since becoming a mom.  Truth.

Most horror movies are actually fun to watch, my favorites being:

Halloween
Jaws
The Birds
Psycho
28 Days Later
The Silence of the Lambs
The Thing
Carrie
Don’t Look Now
Rosemary’s Baby
The Shining
Near Dark
Alien
Se7en
Let the Right One In

I’ve never been much into torture porn so much of today’s horror bores me to tears.  But when it comes to the scariest movie I’ve ever seen it’s The Exorcist, hands down.  And perhaps The Ring.  It takes a lot to scare me now. There is nothing more scary than a plane caught in a bad storm, for instance, or the thought of a car crashing into your house – you know, real life horror?

For this special Halloween giveaway please name your favorite horror movies and the that scared you the most! One entry per commenter. You may discuss the choices but we’ll only count one per user.

1st prize will be:

(or, if you’d rather, a gift certificate to Amazon of equal value)

We may have runners-up as well.

Happy Halloween!!