Make your own free website on Tripod.com

THE OLD MOVIE MAVEN . . . The Website

HORROR - SCI FI: Stephen King

Home
CONTACT US
A TRIBUTE TO OUR MILITARY
A CAST OF CHARACTERS
A CALENDER OF MOVIES: What to Watch When
A CALENDAR OF MOVIES: Christmas - "The King of Kings" (1927)
A CHRISTMAS CAROL
ABBOTT & COSTELLO
AMERICAN CLASSIC MOVIES INTRODUCTIONS
ANIMALS AND THE MOVIES
ARCHITECTURE IN HOLLYWOOD
ARCHITECTURE IN HOLLYWOOD: Sets
ARCITECTURE: Ancient Egypt
ARCHITECTURE IN HOLLYWOOD: Bernheimer Residence
ARCHITECTURE IN HOLLYWOOD: The Ennis-Brown House
ARCHITECTURE IN HOLLYWOOD: Evan Thompson's Bottle House
ARCHITECTURE IN HOLLYWOOD: Greystone Manor
ARCHITECTURE IN HOLLYWOOD: The Hearst Castle
ARCHITECTURE IN HOLLYWOOD: The Hollywood Sign
ARCHITECTURE IN HOLLYWOOD: Homes of the Stars
ARCHITECTURE IN HOLLYWOOD: Jean Harlow
ARCHITECTURE IN HOLLYWOOD: Maps and Floor Plans
ARCHITECTURE IN HOLLYWOOD: Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch
ARCHITECTURE IN HOLLYWOOD: Pickfair
ARCHITECTURE IN HOLLYWOOD: The Rispin Mansion
ARCHITECTURE IN HOLLYWOOD: Royal Hawaiian Hotel
ARCHITECTURE IN HOLLYWOOD: Scotty's Castle
ARCHITECTURE IN HOLLYWOOD: Shelby House
ARCHITECTURE IN HOLLYWOOD: West Hollywood Historical Association
ARCHITECTURE IN HOLLYWOOD: Whimsy
ARCHIVES: VOLUME 1
ARCHIVES: VOLUME 2
ARCHIVES: VOLUME 3
ASSORTED SHORT CLIPS
"B" MOVIES
B - MOVIES: Serials
B - MOVIES: Series
B - MOVIES: Television Series
THE BARRYMORE FAMILY
BIOGRAPHIES
BLOOPERS
BOBBY "BORIS" PICKETT
BUSTER KEATON
CARLA LAEMMLE
CARTOONS
CHARLIE CHAN ANNEX
CHARLIE CHAN: Asian Actors in Hollywood
CHARLIE CHAN: Bloopers & Bonus Questions
CHARLIE CHAN: The Books and Their Movies!
CHARLIE CHAN: Chang Apana
CHARLIE CHAN: Charlie's Sons
CHARLIE CHAN: Chemicals
CHARLIE CHAN: Chronology
CHARLIE CHAN: Criminal?!?!*
CHARLIE CHAN: Extras
CHARLIE CHAN: Gilbert Martines and Chang Apana
CHARLIE CHAN: Hawaii Steve
CHARLIE CHAN: Maps
CHARLIE CHAN: Maven and Rush Glick's Interview in . . . "Monster Bash"!
CHARLIE CHAN: Movie Eras
CHARLIE CHAN: Movie Notes
CHARLIE CHAN: Murder Rate
CHARLIE CHAN: On The Town
CHARLIE CHAN: Puzzles and Quizzes
CHARLIE CHAN: Quiz and Puzzle Answers
CHARLIE CHAN: Radio Shows
CHARLIE CHAN: Spookies
CHARLIE CHAN: Transportation
CHARLIE CHAN: Weather
CHILDREN'S CORNER
CHILDREN'S CORNER: Holiday Crafts
CHILDREN'S CORNER: Boats and Planes and More
CHILDREN'S CORNER: Paper Dolls
CHILDREN'S CORNER: Fun Stuff to Read
CHILDREN'S CORNER: Boys' Town
CHILDREN'S CORNER: Colleen Moore's Castle
CHILDREN'S CORNER: Judy Bolton
CHILDREN'S CORNER: Nancy Drew
CHILDREN'S CORNER: Nancy Drew (For Older Fans!)
CHILDREN'S CORNER: Shirley Temple
COMEDIANS
COPPER CAPERS: FBI's and CIA's!
COSTUME DESIGNERS
DASHIELL HAMMETT
ETTA KIT
FASHIONS IN FILM
FILM NOIR
FOOD CENTRAL
FOREIGN FILMS
GENRES
GINGER ROGERS
HALLOWEEN FUN!
HALLOWEEN 2011: Movies to Watch
HALLOWEEN RECIPES
HAROLD LLOYD
HAUNTS: Hollywood and Elsewhere
HAUNTS: Winchester House
HISTORY: Hollywood and Elsewhere
HOLLYWOOD'S SCANDALS AND CRIMES
HOLLYWOOD'S . . . CRIME: Greystone Mansion Murder
HOLLYWOOD'S . . . Crime: Jean Harlow and Paul Bern's Muder?
HOLLYWOOD'S . . . CRIME: Tate/LaBianca Murders
HOLLYWOOD'S . . .CRIME: William Desmond Taylor Murder
HOLLYWOOD'S MARRY-GO-ROUNDS
HORROR - SCIENCE FICTION
HORROR - SCI FI: Annex
HORROR - SCI FI: The Atomic Submarine (1959)
HORROR - SCI FI: Bela Lugosi
HORROR - SCI FI: Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi
HORROR - SCI FI: Boris Karloff
HORROR - SCI FI: Dracula (1931)
HORROR - SCI FI: Frankenstein (1931)
HORROR - SCI FI: Gojira (1954) & Godzilla (1957)
HORROR - SCI FI: Invaders from Mars (1954)
HORROR - SCI FI: King Kong
HORROR - SCI FI: Lon Chaney
HORROR - SCI FI: Nifty Fifty's Creature Features
HORROR - SCI FI: Nightmare Theatre with Gorgon
HORROR - SCI FI: Ray Harryhausen
HORROR - SCI FI: Stephen King
HORROR - SCI FI: Universal Studios
HORROR - SCI FI: Universal Monster Genealogy
HORROR - SCI FI: Wes Davis
HORROR - SCI FI: The Witch's Dungeon
HOLLYWOOD SQUARES
HUSTON FAMILY
I LOVE LUCY
INTERVIEWS
JOHN WAYNE
JONATHAN GEFFNER
JOSEPHINE BAKER
KAY LINAKER
LEI MAKING
LOCATIONS
MDs - RNs - RNBs - OH MY!
M.D.S . . . - The Crime Doctor Series
MAGIC IN MOVIES
MAKEUP ARTISTS
MAKEUP ARTISTS: The Westmore Family
MARX BROTHERS
MARY ASTOR
MARY PICKFORD AND DOUGLAS FAIRBANKS
MAVEN'S LIBRARY
MAVEN'S WEBSITES TO CHECK OUT
MUSIC
MUSIC: Dancers
MUSIC: The Lyrics
MYSTERIES
MYSTERIES: A Warning For Those Who Give Away The Endings!
MYSTERIES: Alfred Hitchcock
MYSTERIES: The Bat
MYSTERIES: D. W. Griffith vs. Mary Roberts Rinehart
MYSTERIES: Gum Shoes
MYSTERIES: Old Dark Houses
MYSTERIES: S.S. Van Dine
MYSTERIES: S.S. Van Dine - The Kidnap Murder Case
ORSON WELLES
PERRY MASON
QUIZZES AND PUZZLES
QUIZ ANSWERS
QUOTES From Hollywood
QUOTES From Hollywood Movies
QUOTES From Dorothy Parker
QUOTES Dorothy Parkers' "The Waltz"
RADIO SHOWS: Vintage Series
RECIPES OF THE WEEK
RECIPES OF THE WEEK: More about the Recipes
RECIPES OF THE WEEK: A Rejuvenating Diet
REVIEWS
REVIEWS - Mini Mavens
RONALD REAGAN
RUDOLPH VALENTINO
SEX IN THE CINEMA
SHIRLEY TEMPLE
SILENT MOVIES
TAYLOR SCHULTZ: Hollywood Sculptor
TRANSPORTATION IN THE MOVIES: Aviation
VINCENT PRICE
VINCENT PRICE: Connoisseur
WHAT'S MY LINE?
THE WHISTLER
THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939)

This is from Murderess Ink:  The Better Half of the Mystery*, and by none other than Stephen King!
It's a great read but . . . use with discretion!

Stephen King
stephenking.jpg
King of Horror

HOW TO SCARE A
WOMAN TO DEATH
 
by Stephen King
 
Who would want to scare a nice lady half to death, keep her up most of the night, make her race to shut doors, close windows, and then lie awake shivering, perspiring even in her lightest nightgown?  Well, me for one.  Just the thought raises a grin that, though I cannot see it since I have no mirror, feels wonderfully sadistic.  As the little street urchin in Oliver Twist says, I only wants to make yer flesh creep . . . and it's been my experience that ladies like a good scare as well as anyone.  So if you're an apprentice flesh-creeper (or even if you aren't), let me offer some hints on throwing a jolt into what some of us still refer to as the fairer sex.
     Who's minding the kids? It would be sexist to say that only ladies care about their children -- in fact, it would be a downright lie -- but there does seem to be such a thing as "maternal instinct," and I go for it instinctively.  Thought the idea of children in jeopardy is sometimes looked upon by critics with a disapproving eye, it's as old as Hansel and Gretel and as new as the books of Mary Higgins Clark.  Except, in my case, who's minding the kids is apt to be something green and scally that just stepped out of the closet.
     Pretty dark out here, isn't it, Maude?  You're a woman, maybe young, maybe pretty.  You don't spend all day and all night aware of the fact that you're a target, but you take the usual precaustions:  you don't talk to strange men, don't wear a see-through blouse on the first date, don't pick up hitchhikers on back-country roads.  And then, one night, while you're driving  on a deserted highway, you look up into your rear-view mirror and see a face . . . and suddenly there's warm breath on your neck . . . and hands wround your throat.  All of which says that women see themselves as uniquely vulnerable, and in a way or ways that men are not.  Despite unique physical advantages (increased lung capacity in the female makes it possible for her to hold her breath longer underwater, for instance . . . remember it if your husband or lover decides he wants to drown you in the bathtub), most women are lighter and shorter than their men, often less well-muscled, sometimes less well coordinated -- in many cases because of the sexual molds they've been forced into.  I've never consciously made any of the women in my books into shrinking violets, helpless screamers waiting for the knight in shining armor to rescue them, or know-nothing twits, but I like to play on that unique sense of vulnerablility.  It terrifies.
     I must pause here and say that after racking my brain for at least two minutes, I've decided that all the following other techniques work equally well on men.  So, take a deep breath and try these on:
     My, it's getting close in here.  When you came, you thought it would be just another dull cocktail party, but now all the doors are locked . . . and there's a funny rumbling in the walls . . . and speaking of the walls, aren't they moving?  This is that delicious feeling of claustrophobia, fear of tight places, and I play on it with great joy at every opportunity.  It's the feeling you get when there are twelve people in the elevator and it suddenly stops between floors . . . and someone starts to scream.
    Oh, dear, I don't know what that is, but it's not chopped liver!  You drop your damn compact, the one your mother-in-law gave you, and it rolls into that funny little hole in the baseboard.  You reach in to get it, and your hand closes on something there in that musty darkness between the walls . . . and then the something starts to squirm in your hand . . . and sting. . .  and you can't get your fingers out.  This is a highly usable combination of fears, centering perhaps on the phobia -- the fear of the horribly slimy or squirmy something that you just can't see.  It works well on women, who traditionally scream about mice, gag over spiders, and faint at the sight of a snake slithering ut from under the bed, but it works just as well on men, who do all the same things . . . inside.
     What happened to the lights, Jane?  No doubt about it, this is the greatest fear of all -- fear of the dark and what might be there. Turn out the lights in a lady's own peaceful living room (or even better, have a blackout at the height of a screaming thunderstorm), and that peaceful room becomes a jungle.  You forget where things are; you're apt to stumble over the hassock, lose your sense of direction and run into the bookcase thinking it's the door to the hall, and end up feeling your way with your hands groping the air in front of you.  Absurd imaginings no longer seem quite so absurd, do they?  You could almost scream, couldn't you?  And when an inhuman voice begins whispering your name over and over again in the dark, perhaps you do . . .
     The dead.  They don't come back.  I know it and you know it.  There are no such things as ghosts, except in the stories told around the campfire.  Vault doors do not creak open at mdnight.  And then, three days after you bury Uncle Harry (and no one even suspected the rat poison you fed him, you clever girl), the telephone rings . . . and it's Uncle Harry . . .  and he says you and he have something to talk about . . . and twenty minutes later the door knocker begins to rise and fall in a slow and horrible rhythm . . . and you think you'll just go to the peephole and make sure it's only the paperboy . . .  and that's when the moldering hand pokes through the letter slot and clutches your wrist.  What fun.
     These are five of the ways I go about my task of scaring ladies.  There are others I'll not mention (I can't give away all of my trade secrets), but let me add one more -- a very quiet scare that perhaps works best on women because women are slightly more imaginative than men, slightly better tuned to the nuances of terror.  So:  What's missing from this picture?  In some ways, this is the most wicked thrust of all, aiming directly to a woman's need for pattern and order.  This is the terror of coming home and finding that the furniture has been subtly changed about; that the slip you'd folded so neatly into the third drawer is now in the second, that the book you put on the dresser is lying open on your favorite chair; that the radio you left tuned to AM-91 is tuned to FM-106.
    This is coming home and finding that the dog your husband left to protect you is mysteriously mising -- and one knife, the longest and sharpest, is gone from the rack over the sink.  And . . . just perhaps . . . at that point you hear breathing in the next room.
     For me, scaring women is all part of the job, but in this case I admit with no shame at all that my business is also my pleasure.  And it might not be unfitting to close with the words of Shakespeare, another writer not above throwing a scare into the fairer sex when the chance came.  "Good night, ladies, good night," said Ophelia, who was drivin mad by her own fears."  "Sweet ladies, good night, good night . . . "
     And sleep tight.

*Murderess Ink:  The Better Half of the Mystery, "perpetuated by" Dilys Winn; Workman Publishing Co., Inc.; New York, New York; 1979; pages 173 - 175.