Thursday Thirteen -- 296 -- 13 Scenes From Film and TV That Have Scared Me Over the Years


Happy Halloween, my pretties.

It seems I've always been partial to the darker, gothic aspects of Halloween, as this childhood trick-or-treating picture of me will attest. No princesses or fairies for me. The year after this, I dressed up as a mummy.

Being the author of vampire tales and dark fantasy, it's no wonder that I have always been drawn to spooky stories, TV shows and films. On this spooktacular day, let's take a walk along memory lane to find out what scenes have truly scared me, or given me that delicious chill up my spine.

1 - Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

I first saw this film as a young child at the drive-in with my family. Every time the evil queen was onscreen I was deep into massive anxiety mode.

2 - The Wizard of Oz

This used to be broadcast every year at Halloween when I was little. As soon as the flying monkeys appeared I got that horrible dread feeling in my gut. Notice that I didn't attempt to stop watching the movie, though.

3 - Fiddler on the Roof

My family loved this musical so much, we used to borrow the soundtrack from the library over and over -- until we just went ahead and bought the double album at the store. Radical, I know. Just looking at this song's wide segment on the vinyl album used to give me the creeps. Yet, did that stop me from listening to it, anyway? Of course not.


4 - Count Dracula

I can pretty much trace my turning point -- from being uncomfortably frightened by scary scenes to embracing the spooky sweetness of a great production -- to this 1977 British television adaptation of Dracula.

5 - The Shining

Holy travel-back-through-time spookiness, Batman.

Love it.

6 - The Exorcist

To be honest, I can't really post my actual favorite scene from The Exorcist. It's too graphic and disturbing for The Popculture Divas. This scene is tame as far as this classic horror film goes, but it gives a sense of the doom hanging over this family. My favorite scene comes right at the end, when everything builds to a horrible crescendo.

7 - Twin Peaks

When my husband and I were slavishly watching this groundbreaking cult series in the 90s, I had no idea that Bob, the character shown in this brief clip, would become my all-time scariest character ever.

8 - Stephen King's It

Pennywise. If not for Dr. Frank-N-Furter, this would be Tim Curry's greatest creation.

9 - The Nightmare Before Christmas

This one has just the perfect blend of Tim Burton creepiness, dark humor and reveling in Halloween. For someone who used to have Monster Balls, and who used to have a pretend ghost couple who lived in her backyard under the picnic table, this is perfection.

10 - Riget / The Kingdom

This is a 90s Danish TV series about a haunted hospital by filmmaker Lars von Trier. Fantastically spooky, with amazingly unforgettable characters and extremely dark humor.

11 - Sleepy Hollow

More Tim Burton-y goodness. Johnny Depp's Ichabod Crane is priceless. The art direction couldn't be any more perfect. And Christopher Walken's horseman is a thing of chilling beauty.

12 - She Creature

I've always been into mermaids. The 70s animated version of The Little Mermaid, narrated by Richard Chamberlain, is one of my favorite memories of Christmas holiday programming when I was a kid. Of course, as you know, I've also always been into scary and spooky. She Creature is the best of both worlds. Plus, it features Rufus Sewell.

13 - Supernatural

For a general broadcast audience, this series manages to maintain a wonderfully spooky-to-frightening vibe, continuing into its 9th season. This scene -- the season ender for last year -- captures the very best of Supernatural.  


Do you like to be scared? What are your favorite scary movies or shows?

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  1. We share similar tastes, Julia. I loved Fiddler on the Roof. The dream sequence scared me and the end had me leaving the theatre in tears. Cruella de Ville was my scariest Disney villain, but then, I didn't see Snow White until I was older.

    I read KUJO and decided Stephen King was TOO scary and I've never seen the Exorcist all the way through. Tied for first place in scariest movies for me are Silence of the Lambs and The Birds.

    But... and this is how I know we are kindred spirits... I LOVE Supernatural. I've watched that scene with Sam and Dean more times than I can count and the way the angels fall is chilling.

  2. Oh, and some day remind me to show you my Morticia-like high school grad photo. :)


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