One of my fondest memories was Friday nights when my army of sisters would have friends sleep over. Someone would make popcorn in a large pot on the stove, and in my mind it was the best tasting popcorn I ever had. We would watch scary movies until the wee hours.

My dad, after sneaking out the back door, would scratch on the window at just the right moment. Or sometimes make some growling sound or other. It scared the holy bejesus out of us.

We knew it was him, at least I’m sure I did, but it didn’t matter it was intense and frightening.

I grew up amidst the Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Texas Chainsaw Massacre era of horror films. Parents were afraid to let us watch things like The Amityville Horror, or The Exorcist.

Anything overly supernatural, specifically with religious denotation/connotation seemed forbidden, but regular gore was close to acceptable.

Poltergeist, Evil Dead, and Phantasm scared me so bad/good. I was under 10 years old, but I can still summon the fear without difficulty. On a side note, Evil Dead went on to become a parody of itself. Disappointing.

And I turned out fine, right? I hold a job, take care of my familial obligations, and even find time to write children’s books when I’m between projects.

Sadly the horror genre of today is unrecognizable to the horror films of the golden age. I’m no parenting expert, still learning as I go, but a little exposure to the dark side may not affect the younger crowd the way parents of my generation feared it would.

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See you around the asylum.