Scary movies might be right

By A. Lynne Rush

Is there someone behind you? Someone hiding under your bed? Behind the shower curtain? In the movies, the things that go bump in the night are always trying to kill you. The next time you turn out the lights and think you see something out of the corner of your eye, is it paranoia? Did the movies get it right? Are you jumpy, or is someone really lying in wait?

There’s Someone Under Your Bed

When we’re kids we’re always concerned there’s something lurking under the bed — traditionally when we have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Typically we grow out of that fear or resign it to the place where we put all our childhood monsters. Every now and again it comes out of hiding, but we dismiss it. There’s no one lurking under our beds, right?

If you’re in an episode of Hannibal, someone is definitely under your bed. In episode ten of the first season of Hannibal, a teenage girl with an illness that prevents her from seeing faces lies in wait for a woman under her bed. As the woman approaches her bed an arm shoots out and pulls her under, followed by a violent spurt of blood.

So could this happen in real life? The answer is yes. Not everyone has enough space under their bed for someone to hide, but occasionally, intruders get caught under the bed with bad intentions (as was the case of this Washington DC stalker).

There’s Someone in the Back Seat of your Car

It’s an urban legend, but one that always inspires fear: it’s night, you’re in your car, and there’s someone hiding in the back seat. It’s one of the most helpless positions to be in, and there’s no getting out. In 1978’s Halloween, Michael Myers takes out a woman named Annie by lying in wait in her car. What’s more, a child notices Michael carrying off her body. So not only can someone murder you in your car, even if someone sees no one can help you.

While it’s a popular urban legend (it even appeared in the film Urban Legend), people have been abducted and assaulted by bad guys hiding in the car so it might not be a bad idea to check around before you get in.

There’s Someone In Your House

It starts with an odd noise, or maybe you feel like an object isn’t where you left it. Does your refrigerator always make that noise? Is there a door open somewhere, or is that the air conditioner? Are you alone? Is there someone in your house?

If you’re in the straight to Netflix film Open House, the answer is yes. A mother and son end up at odds with each other when weird things keep happening after the house they’re living in is opened up for prospective buyers. Tensions caused by weird events around the house lead the two to bicker, blaming each other and generally feeling uncomfortable. In the end, though, a faceless stranger was responsible for all the weirdness around the house, and neither mother nor son gets out alive.

Of course, home invasions happen all the time. Deadly home invasions are not as common as people think, but that’s not to mean every potential burglar is going to run away at the first sign of trouble. Maybe just be careful of the pizza guy.

There’s Some-THING in Your House

Did you see that movement out of the corner of your eye? Was that a sound? Did that object just move? If you’re in the Paranormal Activity movies, the answer is a resounding yes. We dismiss all kinds of weird things as being just our imaginations, but Paranormal Activity poses another theory — what if it wasn’t? What if there really is something going bump in the night? What if it’s not Casper the Friendly Ghost but an evil monster looking to possess and murder some people? Of course, in order for your home to be the resting place of a demon, your parents would have had to make some kind of pact with the devil. But honestly, how much do we really know about our parents?

Okay, so ghosts are notoriously hard to prosecute for obvious reasons. The belief in the supernatural can cause all kinds of problems, though. From exorcisms gone wrong to occult murder, it’s kind of The Walking Dead principle at work: the people around the zombies are way more dangerous than the zombies themselves.

The Kids Are Going To Kill You

Children are weird. Sometimes they’re adorable, and sometimes they do and say things straight out of a horror film. The little darlings are probably still just learning how to act around other people — or they’re going to murder you. Kids are an uncommon villain in film and TV, but when they are it’s especially creepy and reminds us just how alien they can be. Movies like The Omen and Pet Sematary show us killer kids who are actually something else, but The Good Son is a depiction of a child who murders just because he can. Henry seems perfectly nice and polite, but in the end, his fascination with death means a bunch of other people end up on the wrong side of his creepy behavior.

Unfortunately, children can be just as murder-y as adults. Maybe just adopt a cat.

The Call is Coming from Inside the House

Another urban legend brought to life in film, we all know the story of a person getting threatening phone calls from an intruder inside the house. That legend is the basis for When a Stranger Calls, where a babysitter is menaced by a man in the house. It’s such a seemingly silly story that Scream, notorious for making fun of horror tropes, playfully used it to open the first film in the series.

And yet, it happens. Apparently, some people hell-bent on murder don’t care too much about being a cliche.

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