Voices of the Syndicate Halloween Special: What is scariest thing you have watched, played or read?

The-Ring-tv-sceneThe Geek Syndicate team delve into their deepest, darkest fears for this latest Voices of the Syndicate. Join them as they reveal some of the things that have scared the crap out of them over the years.

Don’t read with the lights off!

 L-J: The scariest thing I have ever seen has to be the TV adaptation of Stephen King’s ‘IT’.  I had already read the book but watched the show at a friends house when we were in our early teens.  I had never before thought to be scared of clowns but watching Tim Curry has instilled a life long phobia in me now.  Just the memory of him growling ‘Hello Georgie’ makes me shudder…..  For me, the definitive characteristic of a scary movie is something that stays with you long after you have watched it…and this did!


Clowns…why did it have to be clowns?

Wendy:I don’t get scared by films, but some books really get to me.

I got into horror books around the age of 12/13 much to my dads distaste. He tried to ban me reading them, when that didn’t work he gave me a book to read, saying ‘Here, read a proper horror story’. The book was The Devil Rides Out by Dennis Wheatley. I was totally enthralled and read the whole thing in one go.

I was just reading about a huge demonic onslaught with the Angel of Death about to appear, when Dad tapped me on my shoulder. I jumped and nearly soiled myself, much to my Dad’s amusement. I remember thinking about that book for weeks after, and not liking the dark much.

Even now still one of my favourite books, that can still creep me out.

Matt: Oddly Movies don’t see to have too much of an effect on me – i get jumpy, or chilled, but it rarely lasts beyond the experience of viewing it. Games, however, are a different matter – System Shock 2 is showing its age now but really freaked me out for days after playing it. Still does, a little bit. Book-wise the only one that really got to me was Shirley Jacksons “The Haunting of Hill House”, that in the end I could only read in daylight hours.


Luke: The scariest thing I’ve played was halo. When I first got that it scared me like no other game.

The most scary thing I’ve watched is Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame. Scared me like no other thing when I was wee

James: The film that scares me the most is one from my childhood and is a bit of a funny one – The Wizard of Oz.  It isn’t the flying monkeys that get most people but the Wicked Witch of the West melting at the end that I remember scary the pants off me.  I know if I was to watch it now it wouldn’t bother me but this is also the exact reason why I haven’t watched it since being a child. I like to know there is one film out there that has this affect on me as no other film has ever made me scared (I always know it’s a film)

Dean: I read World War Z during the height of the Swine Flu scare/epidemic. A novel about the spread of a disease that raises the dead chilled me because of the time I was reading it. I remember reading a particularly chilling chapter on a near empty carriage on the London Underground and someone coughed. I wished I had a face mask at that moment. These days I still carry a bottle of hand sanitizer in my bag just in case we get another disease outbreak – dead raising or not.


Christophe: When I was 14 I remember sneaking into a midnight showing of The Exorcist at my local cinema. There was only about 20 people in there and I had never seen the film but had heard lots of stories about it so my heart rate was already pounding. People said it was the scariest film ever made and I wanted to know why.
As I was watching the film I was trying not to have a heart attack not because it was scary but because of what I knew must be coming. Would it be the one scene that would tip me over the edge? I sat so still and dared not to move in case I missed something because at 14 I could still hold my bladder.
As the film progressed so did my heart rate until I was quite literally trying to remember to breathe. The film ended and I was relieved to have not suffered a heart attack. Was it scary? Yes because of the devil you cannot see and the stories about previous screenings but I also knew that I could watch it again and not be scared. I had survived, I was now a man.

Laura K: It may sound strange to be terrified of a beloved childhood movie, but The Neverending Story traumatized me. I hated it so much, that I once had to leave the room when it was played during a class trip when I was in grade one. It was that wolf – even watching it now, that thing is *horrifying*. I used to be afraid to go down into the basement because I thought it would be waiting for me under the stairs.

As for books – I remember staying up and reading “The House on Hackman’s Hill” under the covers when I was supposed to be sleeping. Not my best decision ever, because I remember being absolutely terrified! To this day, I still remember it as the scariest thing I’ve ever read, though if I were to pick it up today it would likely seem very tame.

Ian: I’m a huge fan of horror films but as a rule I don’t find them scary. The scariest things I have seen on screen are poles apart. The only film that has given me the creeps is Robert Wise’s The Haunting. There’s a scene where Nell (Julie Harris), is lying in bed, afraid of the dark. We hear her fearful thoughts and her relief that her friend Theo (Claire Bloom) is close by and holding her hand. The camera pulls back to reveal Theo is asleep in a bed on the other side of the room. She hasn’t been holding her hand. Even thinking about it raises my hackles.
The other one is Hammer’s The House that Bled to Death. When the cat dies. And blood comes from the pipes. But then I was only 9.

Dion: The scariest thing – no check that – the most unnerving thing I ever saw was the Ring trilogy. Forget the American remakes, the Japanese originals remain the benchmark for sheer crawling-up-the-back-of-your-sofa creepiness.

Years ago, I remember being freaked out by a PC game called Nightmare Creatures which make great use of sound and darkness. Play-wise you’d call it a first person shooter, but you didn’t have a gun. It was more of a… stick. I never got past the first level. On reflection I probably shouldn’t have played it in the dark.

Jess: I saw The Ring at a friends for Halloween when I was about 11. I went home the next morning to an empty house to find that we had no electricity and the phone line had gone dead. I then ran to my friend’s house round the corner I was so scared. It creeped me out for a while afterwards!

Barry: Given that I get scared when some turns off a light I could be here all day. I think for me the Exorcist (which I saw in my thirties) just about did me in..didn’t sleep right for a few nights after that. In fact anything where the devil is involved is usually my queue to get the hell out of dodge. On the gaming front I played about five minutes of the Fear demo before turning it off and pouring myself a stiff drink. Taking the elements of the Ring and sticking them into the video…I don’t even know why I bothered to download the demo.

Leo: I’m a big sci-fi nerd and particularly love the stuff with aliens in it, but the one thing that creeps me out most is aliens in movies/tv. Not all aliens creep me out though. Like the aliens from District 9 are fine, but the ones from Signs are absolutely terrifying to me and I actually have to watch certain scenes of that movie through my barely open fingers.


Steven: Fear is a strange thing. Evolutionary based but completely irrational. I was never a horror fan as it were but have seen my fair share and even scare myself by reading countless creepy pastas and looking at creepy pictures on the net and then hate it when it plays on my mind. This comes from a guy who wrote a horror graphic novel mind.

When I was kid I was scared of Chuckie but when I was older I found the films funny & entertaining. I don’t find many films scary but the first Paranormal Activity got to me because it was a couple, in bed at night and I watched it in bed, at night with my then gf. We both agreed to sleep with the lights on that night!

Ron: Three recent moments spring to mind:i) Zombies freak me out – they are relentless, can’t be frightened or warded off, and could be the closest member of your family; that first scene in the ‘Dawn of the Dead’ remake, when the little girl zombie sprung to her feet, signalling that they’d changed the rules, made me go back and rethink my zombie apocalypse survival guide.

ii) Human bleakness, leading to cannibalism… The Road still makes for difficult viewing.
iii) Sitting next to Montoya in the cinema watching Pandorum – I got up to use the bathroom, and when I came back, he looked like he’d already been… to this day I still don’t know exactly what I missed!

Vichus : My scariest film experience was as a child at my cousin’s house. I had seen Gremlins for the first time, and those creepy little monsters frightened me so much that I leapt for cover, away from the screen. Unfortunately, I was holding an empty glass at the time. That innocent cup was nobly sacrificed. To this day, I still think that anything that can comfortably sit under your bed is more frightening than anything that can loom over it.

Wedgedoc: When I was a young child there were two things that really freaked me the hell out and I shall share one of them with you. The first happened in the cinema. I’d been taken to see Ghostbusters and was happily munching through my jelly babies when Venkmen and Stanz enter the New York Library near the beginning of the film.

“Ooh books! I like books!”

Thought my naïve young self. Then the strange, ghostly librarian lady showed up and began shushing our heroes as they posed question after question. Finally, she grew annoyed at their incessant nattering … and did the whole “RAAAAARGH!” and as the two paranormal investigators left the library, I think my jelly babies decorated the cinema.

For years afterwards, I closed my eyes for that bit of the film whenever it was aired on television – it had that much of an effect. Mind you, I think it also had a positive effect as I did my work experience in a library and went on to study Information and Library Management at university.


Let us know your scary picks in the comments below!

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One comment

  1. Ain’t no doubt about it but the scene in Salems Lot where the brother (actual blood brother as opposed to street bro) floats outside the window meant I always closed my curtains and made sure the windows was locked well into my twenties.

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