I Fear it’s Time

foggy day 1

October is fright fest movie month. Even though vampires, witches, zombies and ghosts don’t exist (Wait. I believe in ghosts!), many of us will sit on the edge of our seats, spellbound with pulses racing. We will be held tight by the tension created in these movies.

220px-The_Birds_original_posterForeshadowing is a literary device used also in film, to hint at a future event. The creak of a floorboard, the rustle of the wind, or the banging of a shutter is often followed by a shadowy figure inside the house.

In Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, Melanie Daniels (played by Tippy Hedron), enters a pet shop. The canaries go wild. It won’t be long before other cute little birds become predators with outstretched wings, talons, and pecking beaks.

Setting can contribute to foreshadowing as well: It’s a stormy night. The protagonist is alone. The power goes out. The phone is dead. That’s usually when the defenseless woman (sexist much?), decides to take a shower. In Psycho, we knew Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), was screwed as soon as she turned on the faucet.


In the premiere of the television series American Horror Story, backstory is used as foreshadowing. A young witch has been burned at the stake prompting a visit to the coven by a Supreme witch. She is there to teach the girls how to protect themselves. Soon we find out they have their own ways of exacting revenge on mere mortals.


While visiting Wisconsin, I took my parent’s collie for a walk. This particular still morning lay adrift in fog. After stepping out of the house, I returned for my cell phone. We strode to a nearby wooded park as usual. I stopped and photographed the gloomy lake.

foggy day 2

Instead of continuing our usual routine, I looped back a different way through the park. As I sauntered up the narrow road, a huge branch cracked and tumbled down. At first I thought it had fallen in the forest. After continuing up the road, the huge healthy limb lay across my path right ahead of me. Good thing I stopped to take some photos.

foggy day 4 If the fallen limb had occurred in an October movie, it would foreshadow some terrifying event.

It could be the precursor to an unusual storm that would level forests and entire neighborhoods. Its clouds could carry an evil virus which transforms people into zombies.

Or it could be the first indication that a new form of insect had evolved eventually devouring crops and then humans.

Or the protagonist could continue to elude death until death catches up with her. Then it would move on to its next victim. Hey. Wait a minute. That hits way too close to home.

Good thing foreshadowing doesn’t exist…

Do you watch scary movies and TV shows in October?

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Filed under Life, Photography

117 responses to “I Fear it’s Time

  1. filbio

    I love this time of year. Scary movies. Ghost stories. Candy. Boozy Halloween parties. One of my fav holidays!

  2. This is my very favorite month, and AMC will be supplying my scare fix starting tonight with “Walking Dead” (Can’t wait) and going straight through to Halloween night. My top five favorite October things…..
    5- Pumpkin pie
    4- Postseason baseball
    3- Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” going on heavy rotation
    2- Working at a haunted house in the area. So much fun to scare the bejeesus out of people
    1- Carving out a pumpkin as a I watch “Halloween”- the original.

    • Oh Wow! You will be working at a haunted house??? How did you get that gig? I’ll be right over for some pie.

      • My daughter’s teacher in elementary school owns a farm, and every fall they transform it into a scare-fest . . replete with hayrides and a haunted house. I’ve worked there a few times and it’s fun. I learned never to get too close to people when jumping out to scare them after I got punched a couple times. Good thing I boxed a little when I was in high school.

  3. I’ve never watched “American Horror Story”, but what really scares me is the fact the show was created by Ryan Murphy, the same guy who brought us “Glee”!!!
    Spoooooky post, Susie.
    Well done!

  4. Fog, falling trees… oh my.

  5. I just put American Horror story in my queue because of you. I do like a good psychological thriller, but the plain pop-up-and-kill-you thing does nothing for me. What are you going to be for halloween? I think I’m going to be either a spider or a crazy crow lady. For me, it’s more fun to be scary than see it.

    • I am so glad. At least the first one was amazing. I don’t know if they will amp up the horror in the rest. I hope they rely on the talented actresses for entertainment instead.
      I just asked Danny what we should be. I had been thinking about being zombies, but I think it would be fun to be a couple from Once Upon a Time or this year’s movies. I was Tippy Hedron from The Birds one year. Love crows! The spider would be fun too!

  6. I love American Horror Story and Grimm is coming back on soon too! I just came back from Bodega and Bodega Bay and The Birds was the theme. I have had nightmares or have slept with the light on after watching a few scary movies – ha! Great Post – Happy Weekend:)

    • I used to stare at the ceiling after watching anything Hitchcock. I do love Grimm. I missed a season somehow and don’t understand how the main character died….
      Thanks Renee!

  7. I am such a wimp! I can’t handle/ don’t like scary movies or TV shows. I don’t like to be scared. I spent too much time when I was growing up, steeped in fear in real life. But I do admire the craft of creating movies, or writing books, that bring the audience along.

    • My tolerance is getting better, but I hate slasher films. American Horror Story has some horror elements but the acting and the storyline is amazing so far….
      It sounds like you may have some real life material for a scary novel! Whoa!

  8. Great post … but I don’t like scary movies … not even good thrillers, like “7” – I was under my coat half the movie. “The Birds” I still haven’t been able to watch – and “Phyco” neither. I’m so wimpy. Love the photo with the tree across the path. Love the colors and the intense in it.

  9. October is a particularly scary month, especially the 31st – but that’s because it’s my birthday that day. Seriously! I was a Halloween baby. In our household it means we can usually go out for my birthday dinner and thus avoid the “trick or treaters” (I think in the interests of healthy eating they should be given broccoli, but my wife disagrees…)

    I am a bit of a fan of horror movies, I must admit – and any time rather than just October..

    • Do you get American Horror Story there? You would love it! It is on FX.
      How cool to have an Halloween birthday! Wow. One year I faked the kids out an tried to give them old carrots from the garden. You should have seen their faces! Ha! I should do that again this year. Thanks for the reminder. Of course I have real candy too….

  10. “Psycho” and “The Birds”: A great October double-feature.

  11. I don’t ever watch scary movies – my vivid imagination makes me way to susceptible. Maybe the falling branch is foreshadowing you having to get out and rake your lawn?

  12. Yuk! for the American Horror Story Coven poster.

  13. I’m not much of a horror film fan, but I do have an appreciation for the eerie. I’m inclined to think a fallen tree limb in the woods is just a fallen tree limb in the woods. But now that you’ve pointed out the Blair Witch-type possibilities, that could work. Glad you and the dog were not in its path when it decided to come crashing down. That would have certainly made me bark.

    • Hahaha! I gotta believe I would have gotten out of the way, but it was huge. I’m glad I’ll never know! The weird thing is I was the only one at the park. It was a really creepy morning. I love days like that!

  14. It’s funny, I don’t like watching horror movies at all, they freak me out way too much. But I will read a good Stephen King book any day.

    • I could never finish “It.” That book gave me nightmares for weeks! Now it wouldn’t probably bother me so much. The garbage disposal scene really creeped me out!!! I am pretty sure I watched the miniseries with Richard Thomas and Annette O’Toole.
      Have you picked up the new Stephen King novel?

  15. Not a fan of horror, but love suspense and thrillers. And I do get into movies like that around this time of year–Halloween is so much fun! Glad the limb missed you!!

    • ME TOO!!!!
      I love suspense and thrillers. I don’t think this season’s American Horror Story is going to rely on gross scenes for ratings with the amazing cast they have. Although after watching the first episode, I would imagine some poor unsuspecting men are going to lose their livers….
      Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Gabourey Sidibe – all Oscar winners!

  16. I agree with August and Coleen suspense thriller is better than horror. So glad you stopped for photos Susie. Imagine the headline ‘Breast Cancer survivor bopped on the head like scene from her book. Tragic waste of a wild rider. ‘
    Do share some holiday pics :0) Take care!

    • I love thrillers too! I have to trust that a film won’t cross the line into gross out factor before watching. That’s why I can’t watch Walking Dead.
      I should start wearing a hard hat Catherine! It was pretty crazy. Thank you!

  17. Nothing like a good spooky movie to make a person feel alive, eh, Susie? I’m a big fan of AHS. Favorite line in the first episode of Season 3: “Come on, Mary Todd Lincoln. Let’s go get a drink.” Scary with a sense of humor.

  18. fallen limb…hilarious!

  19. Where in Wisconsin were you?!

    Beautiful creepy photos. I love Halloween and the fall season. And you picked some great Hitchcock films to share. But I ALWAYS creep myself out after watching them. LOL

  20. It’s so easy to creep yourself out! I go for early-morning walks, and it’s often dark out, so walking past the woods gets a tad unnerving. One of my favorite creepy movies is “Nosferatu.” It’s a silent movie, the precursor to “Dracula.” Well worth a try if you’re looking for a silent spooker!

  21. I would like to wholeheartedly disagree with the opening lines of this blog post. All those things DO exist, and I write about them every day on my blog. You have made a lot of Mainers angry tonight, Susie!!! :P

  22. How about a letter from the IRS for a horror story !!! Arrived this a.m. Seems, because they lost my 1099s and w2 they want to charge me $1500 in unreported taxes and $75 in interest for an incomplete filing !!! Our government in action is the real horror story. Other than that, it’s great to see you back online.

  23. I love the old horror movies with the dramatic lighting and psychological tensions. American Horror story is borderline for me – can’t take slasher movies…but I can walk in dark woods. Daytime oddities can be pretty spooky though…especially to those who write and seem more sensitive to thing “not quite right/a half step off”

  24. If I watch anything like that Susie – I have to sleep with the light on. Jaws still traumatises me!

  25. Looking forward to the new series of American Horror Story. I love watching scary and not so scary (Hocus Pocus) films in October, especially near Halloween.

    • Hocus Pocus is one of my favorites. ***gasp*** I just figured out who’s voice that is on Super Fun Night. The British lawyer did the voice over for the cat in Hocus Pocus! Hahaha! I could not place his voice until just now.
      I love everything about being frightened and creeped out. I can’t wait to get my decorations up. We were gone the first week!
      Thanks Emma!

  26. Susie, watched AHS3 last night. Out-freakin’-standing moving to NOLA is perfect. I’ve been there as a weekend “project” when I was stationed in Mississippi. And Jessica Lange IYKWIM. Hey, I’m a man.

  27. I like suspense/thriller type movies, not horror. However, I am a BIG fan of The Walking Dead and I will be watching that this month!!

    • How can you watch Walking Dead if you can’t watch horror? I am so curious. I had to turn it off since it hit all of my gross out buttons. I tried twice and only lasted 20 minutes. I thought American Horror Story was tame in comparison…

  28. Foreshadowing is such an awesome technique! I learned about that last year at the writer’s convention.
    No scary movies or books for me! No matter what time of year!

    • It is getting easier for me to watch. I think it depends on how gory it is. I can’t handle slasher type movies at all! No chainsaw massacres for me.
      It is a great technique. Isn’t it cool how differently we see and interpret movies after learning how to write stories? I find holes in plots all the time…
      Thanks Denise!

  29. filbio

    Halloween is one of my favorite holidays! This whole month is a great time to watch scary movies. Plus, the Walking Dead is starting up again!

    Hey, It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown will be on tv too!

    • Halloween is my favorite too!
      I can’t watch Walking Dead. Something about people’s faces being chewed off, sets my nerves on edge. And they are so slow, but always show up right behind a group of people. I always think, “How did they not see that coming???”
      Love Charlie Brown!!!

  30. I love scary shows and movies! I’m much prefer suspense/thriller-type stuff to horror, though. That snake picture is too creepy! (I mean that in a good way. LOL)

    • I had to use the snake photo since I am a snake charmer myself. As an artist, it really “spoke to me,” in a forked tongue kind of way. :)
      Ha. Your book had quite a bit of horror in it! Isn’t it funny how writing it isn’t as hard as watching it? Loved your book by the way…

  31. Seeing i dress every single day like it is Halloween according to some of the townfolk I love halloween and love to be scared.. Sigh going to miss Coven and it looks fabulous..

    • It is on at 11:00 here, so I will have to record it. I woke up and watched it this morning so I could add it to my post. I loved the cast. Amazing!
      There is such an adrenaline rush to being scared. I love twisted thrillers.

  32. Melissa Lewicki

    I love that black and white photo of the lake. You are really a talented photographer.
    Re: scary stuff. Not for me. Thrillers, yes. Horror, no!

  33. October is probably my favorite month. I am so glad that it is finally here. Bring on the ghouls!

  34. Yes, October is the best, if not only time to watch some really out dated horror movies. I love it. The special effects are bad. The make up is bad but i still enjoy all te old ones. If I find an old B&W vampire or werewolf flic I am there all night.

    • So true about how the details don’t matter since the acting and the story is great!
      Back when my kids were little, I would sew their costumes while listening to old scary movies on TCM or AMC. Love this month!

  35. I wonder if foreshadowing happens in our own lives?

  36. I like the older ones which move at a subtle pace building atmosphere until it only needs the sound of something being knocked over to have one in far more of a panic than all the blood and gore splashed around today.

    • It seems synonymous with potty humor. Easy entertainment for some. I agree with the gasp factor. If it is done right, we will jump out of our skin at the slightest sound. I love that! Sometimes I have to watch a lame comedy afterward to come down from the adrenaline…

  37. I went down this morning to grab my breakfast and THEY WERE OUT OF MY USUAL SODA!!!!

    If my friday post doesn’t go up, something teeerrrriiiibbblllleee has happened. (Eek!).

  38. The classics may still be the best. Hitchcock knew how to freak you out. I love all the Vampire movies, Frankenstein and even the Exorcist type but I draw the line at the slasher flicks. No Freddy Krueger for me.

  39. That picture of the snake coming out of the women’s mouths got me! My husband LOVES October for this exact reason. He watches the Si-Fi channel which has a scary movie marathon all month. I can’t do it, I get so tense and stressed that my body feels even worse than it usually does. I need to watch happy calm movies. :)

    • I can’t watch slasher movies and American Horror Story is right on the edge of uncomfortable for me, but I just close my eyes…. I love the old classics with creepy actors like Vincent Price. It’s my favorite month!
      Happy October Maria!

  40. October is the month I break out my DVD collection of Buffy, The Vampire Slayer. That’s about as scary as it gets around here. *grin*

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