10 Reasons Why

40 Important Life Lessons We’ve Learned from Horror Movies

1. If you have stupidly stored an important item in a basement where the light flickers, you just need to forget about it and buy a new one.

2. If the hotel clerk hands you the registration book for you to sign, and the page is dusty and blank, get back in the car.

3. Do not assume that a massive flock of birds flying overhead is simply natural migration.

4. If an apartment neighbor gifts you with a necklace that smells like tannis root, smile politely, escort them to the door, hurl the necklace into the fireplace, and start packing.

5. The last house on either side of the street is not a preferred destination.

6. Large groups of identical, blond-headed children are a warning sign, not a photo op.

7. If Jamie Lee Curtis shows up at a cocktail party, run.

8. If she shows up at the sequel, run faster.

9. Never investigate any noise that sounds like a chainsaw.

10. I don’t care how sexy he is, if his hands are cold, the deal is off. Move on.

11. If the furniture in your daughter’s room is levitating, don’t you think it’s time to get her out of that room? Stop asking people to come in to the room and poke at her, especially if they know Latin.

12. One questionable grisly death at the isolated resort is enough. Why would you sit around the next morning and try to figure things out over coffee? Go!

13. Pizza delivery guys can never be trusted. Have him leave the box on the porch and shove money under the locked door. Especially if you didn’t even order.

14. If the quaint little tourist town or a nearby lake has a really pretty, serene name, you need to change your vacation plans.

15. Do not grab a bucket and head to the ice machine after midnight whilst wearing a skimpy nighty and a whiff of vulnerability.

16. If the people you are looking for in the abandoned warehouse don’t answer the first time you call their names, just assume that things didn’t work out for them and you need to skedaddle. You’ll make new friends.

17. If you repeat any phrase multiple times in front of a mirror, you’re just asking for it.

18. The very first time you sense something odd in the restored Victorian home that you just had to have? That’s the time to leave. Don’t sit around for days in a frumpy sweater, looking sad, wondering if you’ve made the right decision to buy this place. You didn’t. Take the financial hit and start over.

19. If the babysitter you are contemplating hiring is wearing better lipstick than your own, terminate the interview and change the locks.

20. Hoarded food hidden under the bed means the relationship is over.

21. Socially-awkward girls with puritanical mothers should never be underestimated.

22. If you spy a want-ad for a winter caretaker at a Colorado hotel, throw the newspaper away before your husband sees it. And get rid of any axes that might be lying around.

23. Never eat almond cookies.

24. Don’t have wanton, promiscuous sex if you want to make it to the second half of the movie. (Cheerleaders usually go first, add that to your notes.)

25. Former child stars have a lot of bitterness.

26. If someone says to you “try and get some sleep now,” you’re next. Sorry.

27. Always keep a supply of lumber, nails and hammers in your car trunk, because you never know when you might be in a rural area where you suddenly need to reinforce a rickety farmhouse with the symbol of a goat over the front door.

28. Pancake makeup is a sign of depravity. Trust.

29. If you can’t get a signal on your phone, you shouldn’t be wherever you are.

30. If you happen upon children’s handprints on cellar walls, you have roughly one second to shake off the demonic spell affecting you or you’re toast. (But if you do manage to get away, make sure you backhand the hipster chick who is hollering “Josh? Josh!!” with annoying repetitiveness. That’s not helping things.)

31. There are a lot of delusional people who live in ancient, fog-bound English manor houses.

32. Best-selling authors need to pay more attention to their fans. Dirty birds.

33. Learn how to run without falling down at a really inappropriate time.

34. Neighbors who bring a house-warming gift of freshly-baked goods are often possessed by spirits from the ancient burial ground under their house. Don’t eat anything until you have reviewed old land records at the Town Hall.

35. There is absolutely no good reason why anyone should go camping. Ever.

36. People who wear striped sweaters should be avoided at all costs.

37. Try to make your neck as unattractive as possible.

38. Don’t ever say something along the lines of “Cemeteries don’t scare me. I find them peaceful.”

39. Don’t open the closet door.

40. Don’t. Go. To. Sleep.


Note: Some of these guidelines pertain to very specific movies, making a few of them a bit cryptic. Extra special bonus points go to the first person to identify the movie referenced in #23.

Originally published in “Bonnywood Manor” on 10/31/14.

Story behind the photo: Me, trying on Halloween masks. That’s one creepy bunny, eh?


50 replies »

  1. I’m sorry – not a Horror aficionado so cannot comment pertinently on any of this really – EXCEPT I probably have told my offspring 1, 9 and 12 multiple times. 33 and 35 just seem plain sensible to me, and god knows the world could do with more sensible. SLEEP WELL 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Some of these are familiar – I am not a fan of horror – too many nightmares for me. As for #23, I did a little Google search, but could not find anything specific. Great list and read Brian. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is fantastic and all true! I talk back to horror movies all the time. I say things like, don’t go in there you IDIOT! And, well what the HELL did you think was going to happen, you imbecile! And, i must add here that i LOVE almond cookies. Lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • And if I’ve had a beer or two, my “talking back” during a horror movie can reach a point where no one can understand what’s going on because I won’t shut up. Luckily for them, I’m quiet as a mouse during dramas and most other movie genres. It’s just the horror flicks, especially cheesy ones, that get me babbling…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. #23 – The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane. It’s considered a ‘suspense’ film, not horror, but I call bullshit. It’s creepy as hell. I sat through almost half an hour of it before I had to leave. I DO NOT ‘do’ horror any longer, not since Jamie Lee had to hide in the linen closet and that guy who had an overdose of Botox and then an attack (apparently) by someone with a Kabuki make-up fetish tried repeatedly to kill her. I worked the swing shift at the time and lived in an apartment with an unlit backyard, which was overgrown with various plant life…I think if Ed McMahon had shown up with a large check (literally) in his hand, I’d still have died of fright.

    Now as to things that were left out (and I’m not blaming you, you did FORTY – remarkable!!)
    41. Clowns are evil. Period. If you go to some defunct ‘amusement park’ and clowns with big pointy teeth start leaping out of the ether, you have only yourself to blame. I mean who the hell hangs around defunct amusement parks at NIGHT?
    42. If incredibly ugly and annoying beings show up wearing cheesy plastic bubble thingies on their heads, go to your nearest OLD (and they have to be ancient) relative and have them dust off their old Slim Whitman and Tom Jones records. And pray someone still has a working phonograph record player lying around waiting to be used. Else the world is doomed. I don’t think ol’ Slim translated to I-pod but I could be wrong. Still, it’s the SHARED music that is important…and those pod things are mostly a solo affair from what I’ve seen.
    43. If someone you meet has a weird thing for formal wear and insists on meeting only after midnight, is allergic to garlic and goes deathly pale (how you can tell is a mystery) at the mention of Jesus or God or Christianity and it’s ‘totems’ (crosses, holy water, maybe an icon of a saint or two), they may be a vampire. But they also could be one of those rabid members of Westborough or that kind of group. Check the teeth. If they’re perfect and extremely pointy, you may want to reconsider meeting them, even if they are drop dead (heheh) sexy and have a hypnotic effect on your libido. Pale thin women dressed in floaty garments appear to be in the most danger, although I know Jim Carrey got hit on by a confused older woman because he was the last living male virgin in the world. (Jim Carrey? Virgin?) Seriously people – better casting is sorely needed. I saw episodes of “In Living Color” and if he was ‘pure’ then so am I! Maybe it’s a miracle..

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! I cannot improve on your three additions to the Stone Tablets of Truth, so I will just let your sage wisdom stand, as is. But you do have my mind clicking about possibly doing a sequel… 😉


      • I’d LOVE to read the sequel and I have suggestions if you need them. Just because I don’t ‘do’ horror, doesn’t mean I don’t have an oddly encyclopedic trivia library taking up vital space in my brain…

        Liked by 1 person

  5. If something/someone terrifying is moving towards you don’t even attempt to run, just stand there and scream at the top of your lungs.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sometime I should send you an old family photo of mine, made up of dozens of identical looking blonde-haired children. You wouldn’t sleep for weeks.
    Also, I like almond cookies. But I’d never accept one from the little girl who lives down the lane.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Please don’t send the photo. I already take enough medication as it is. (Nothing against the fair-haired, mind you… just large groups of small ones.) Kudos on the sly but correct guess. (Unless you snagged the answer from Embeecee, which is still a sly move, but has a tinge of nefariousness… )


    • You should see the photo in the original color. It’s even more unsettling, especially with the yellow teeth. But I’m glad you survived “1408”. I don’t know what I would do if the lovely tales at Splendippity dried up…. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I fit far too well into number 21 and now I’m frightened for everyone I know.
    ….I just said number thirty eight several minutes ago.
    And I love the word skedaddle. Reminds me of a person I used to know.
    This was great, had me laughing

    Liked by 1 person

    • I also fit very well in to #21, for reasons that may or may not match your own. (Let’s just say that I’ve had to deal with some very interesting things, but at the end of the day, it has made me stronger, and I hope the same has been for you.) Now, “skedaddle”? I think it’s a fine word, indeed. I can almost envision an entire TV series with that title. Some ongoing mess where we get a nice wrap-up at the end of every episode, something that validates all the decent offspring out there who survived the puritanical parentage… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Made me stronger…. Im not sure. That’s an interesting statement to me because it’s something that’s gone round and round inside my head since I stepped out of my parents world and into mine. And truly I’ve wondered if I would have actually been stronger if I hadn’t experienced some or many things. But since I did, id like to at least focus on the good and positive things that were a direct or indirect result.
        🙂 I’m glad you’re a stronger man.
        You made me laugh with your sitcom idea. I think it’s perfect.

        Liked by 1 person

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