There are two kinds of people in the world, them that like scary movies and them that don’t. I’m a them that don’t.

I’ve never seen Halloween for example. Any scary movie lover worth their weight has seen Halloween. Halloween is the movie by which they compare all other scary movies, at least of the slasher variety. Never saw it. In fact, I never saw any of the movies where teenagers are being chased by men wearing masks and waving around chainsaws.

Somehow I didn’t pass along the scary movie dislike gene to my son Court. He likes scary movies. He’s seen every movie involving Freddy Krueger, some more than once. He’s seen Halloween 1 through 11. To him, a chainsaw is a murder weapon and not a building tool or something used to cut down a Christmas tree.

Here are the scary movies I’ve seen, or at least that I remember seeing: Play Misty for Me, House on Haunted Hill, Wait Until Dark, Misery, Psycho, Silence of the Lambs, The Shining, The Sixth Sense, Jaws, The Exorcist, and The Birds. Out of those I just listed, the two I would never see again are Wait Until Dark and The Exorcist. I saw both as a teenager. The Exorcist was terrifying, and scared the living hell out of me because DEVIL. Wait Until Dark was not a true horror film since it didn’t involve any kind of supernatural being. But the idea of being unable to see because of blindness and someone trying to kill you is extraordinarily frightening to me. There is a scene in which the bad guy (Alan Arkin) jumps out at the blind woman (Audrey Hepburn) that scared the daylights out of me. I must have jumped a foot in the air. I hated being scared like that, and still do.

My granddaughter Kaiya has inherited her father’s love for scary movies. Being only 11 years old, she is restricted from watching some of the scarier movies, though she would love to see them. She watched The Sixth Sense (a movie that scared the crap out of me) with her dad one day when her mother and Mylee were on a Girl Scout camping trip. Did it scare you, I asked her. Nope, she insisted, not that she would tell me if it had…..

This photo was taken the night Bill and I took her on a ghost tour, something that didn’t scare her a bit.

My 7-year-old grandson Micah also likes scary movies, or at least proclaims to do so. I’m not sure how many he’s seen, being only 7. While visiting there a few months ago, I was there when he was being picked up from school. He got in the car and announced that he wanted to see the movie It. Shockingly, his mom said it was a no-go. But there are no swears, he pointed out……

How could anyone as cute as this like scary movies?

I’m sure there are more horror movies that I have seen that I’m just not remembering. I’m not counting any Alfred Hitchcock movies except for Psycho, because they are more psychological thrillers than horror movies, or at least that’s what I think. I did rewatch The Birds the other day, a movie I haven’t seen for probably 40 years. I will admit that the gathering of the crows on the playground was disconcerting.

By the way, even Kaiya has her limits. “I don’t like scary movies that have dolls,” she told me.

Neither do I. Or devils.

I Scream, You Scream

I’m not a screamer. Oh, get your mind out of the gutter, I’m not talking about sex. It’s just that while I am admittedly afraid of almost everything, I don’t scream.

Nope. I’m not a screamer. I am more of a suck-in-my-breath-loudly-and-clutch-my-breast-and-let-out-a-sharp-yelper.

In horror movies, despite the fact that there is a serial murderer on the loose who wears long metal claws on his hands with which he tears out women’s throats before killing them, the young women go downstairs to check out a strange noise in the basement without turning on the lights. What’s up with that? Is their electric bill too high? And when they encounter the above-mentioned serial murderer, they stand completely frozen to the spot and SCREAM. And then they get their throats cut.

Not me. I would suck in my breath loudly and clutch my breast and let out a sharp yelp. Plus I would have turned on the light. Plus I would run like hell.

I don’t even scream on the rare occurrence when I lose my sanity and agree to go on a roller coaster. That has happened exactly twice in my life if I don’t count Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain, both of which are relatively tame (though Space Mountain does have the added disadvantage of being dark so you can’t see when you are about to plummet). California Adventure – part of Disneyland – has a roller coaster called California Screamin’. It’s called that because purportedly that’s what you do when you ride it – scream.

Fake photo with smiles photoshopped onto their faces. It has to be.

A couple of years ago when Bill and I went to Disneyland, he somehow convinced me to go on California Screamin’. I can’t imagine why I said yes, but it had something to do with the fact that he had gone on Small World with me. Not only is it a serious roller coaster, but it has one of those loopty loops. I still can’t believe I agreed to ride. Anyway, the ride begins with a recorded voice that says, five, four, three, two, one……scureeeeeeeeeeeeeem! And then the coaster takes off about a thousand miles an hour and stays at that speed for what feels like three hours. I was terrified. My eyes were tightly closed. But I didn’t scream – not one single time. Instead, I spent the entire ride with my eyes shut and praying the Hail Mary prayer over and over out loud, interspersed with an occasional Oh My God.

The other day, Bill and I were walking home from the neighborhood grocery store. Since I tell stories almost daily that involve walking home from the grocery store, you must think I spend my days at the local market. And you would be nearly right. I go at least once a day. But on this day, we stepped off the sidewalk to walk across the street to our neighborhood. I was looking for oncoming cars and not looking down. Just as I set my feet down on the street, Bill said, “SNAKE!”

I sucked in my breath loudly and clutched my breast and let out a sharp yelp. And jumped into the air about three feet.

“Well, it’s a dead snake,” Bill said somewhat sheepishly, understanding immediately that I might have had a heart attack.

And it was dead. And flat from being run over. But it was still a snake, a rattlesnake to boot. And to be fair to Bill, I’m not sure I would have reacted any differently if he had yelled out, “DEAD SNAKE!” A snake is a snake, my friends.

When I went back later after calming down, intending to take a photo of the snake to show my sister Jen just how close to deadly wildlife our house is, the snake was gone. As it had been as flat as a tortilla, there is no chance it slithered away on its own. My money is on a high school kid picking it up, and my heart goes out to the poor kid with the locker next to his who opened his locker door the next day to find a snake hanging from the top of the locker.

I’ll bet he screamed.

This post linked to Grammy’s Grid.