Musings in the Dark: Horror 101: An Appreciation (1/?)


Horror 101: An Appreciation (1/?)

For the past five or six years, I’ve been extremely lazy with my October postings.  You might argue that I’ve been lazy with any and all postings unrelated to my Shorties, and I would not disagree.  I’ve reposted my Halloween appreciation post regularly, but now in 2019, I need to do something different.  Also it’s nice to actually blog about something else instead of a Shortie update (which I don’t mind at all; I’m having a blast writing “Switchblade Romance” and I hope that you, Dark Dilettantes, are having a ball reading it).

So this year, I want to get back to my blogging roots.  I’m a horror head, and have been for most of my life.  When I was a child, I watched all the classic scary movies and most of them scared the shit out of me.  You would think I’d put as much distance between horror movies and myself after that, but naaaah!  Something about those movies (and eventually books) spoke to me on a primal level and ever since then, I’ve been nose wide open when it comes to any and all things horror.

Stephen King is my favorite author and his behemoth novel IT is my favorite book.  I got hipped to King’s work when I was 12 or 13; Misery was his latest novel at the time.  I had never before read a book that was so visceral in its descriptions and plot elements (when Annie drove a riding lawn mower over the state trooper’s head, I felt like I saw the face of God).  I loved Misery so much that I immediately went to the public library and checked out every single book King had published.  I am proud to say that I own every single one of his books in hardcover.  Stephen King introduced me to a whole new world and no other author has ever affected me nearly as much.

So I am dedicating the marvelous month of October 2019 to my most favorite genre.  While I won’t be blogging every single day, I do hope to post an appreciation every two or three days.  I’m going to randomly select and discuss some of my favorite horror movies, horror television, horror novels and short stories, and favorite novels written by (the) King.  

Spoilers ahead.

I’ll begin with a movie. 

Dark Night of the Scarecrow was a made for TV movie that aired in 1981.  It’s about a mentally deficient man named Bubba and his friendship with a little girl, Marylee.  Bubba is regularly bullied by local citizens, including a malevolent mailman named Hazelrigg (who never changes clothes throughout the movie).  One day, Marylee is attacked by a dog and Bubba—who saves her—is accused of hurting the girl.  Hazelrigg and his cronies decide to take the law into their own hands and end up executing Bubba, who was hiding inside a scarecrow.  When the perpetrators are found not guilty and allowed to go free, Bubba’s mother announces that “there is other justice in this world.”  Shortly afterwards, Hazelrigg and his friends are stalked and murdered by a scarecrow, possessed with the spirit of Bubba.

This movie is fantastic, especially for its time.   The last scene of the film scared the holy shit out of me and I couldn’t sleep that night.  I haven’t fucked with scarecrows since. 

Dark Night of the Scarecrow is available on YouTube and I’ve watched it many times.  Even as a whole-ass grown-ass woman, I stop the movie right before that last scene.  I still can’t bear to lay eyes on that damn scarecrow.  I get the collywobbles.

For me, that's horror done right.


  1. Nice you on the blogging fever this month. I have never read anything by Stephen King.


Thanks for commenting. Please be sure to leave a name; I like to know who I am talking to.