An Interview with Donyae Coles

An Interview with Donyae Coles

Donyae Coles is a strong and unique voice in the horror writing community. Her life is fueled by art, writing, and her kids. (Not necessarily in that order.) She sits down with the Weird Little Worlds team and shares some of the creative outlets she uses to form a lyrical balance between real-life issues and powerful genre fiction.


Q: What is the question everyone seems to ask you about your writing process or published works that you dread the most? What do you wish they would ask instead?

A: I get asked some variation of how or why I got into writing and I’m just like, you know, the normal way. I wish more people would ask me about my plans outside of the genre, if I wanted to write more than horror? 


Q: Please answer the question you just told us to ask. 🙂

A: Everything is horror, darling. 

No, but I do plan to branch out into the other genres. I love horror, I love it so much but I want to write some epic fantasies and space operas. Maybe a thriller or two. And it’s not that horror is less than as some articles would have you think, it’s just because I have a lot of ideas and I want to explore. 

But I’ll never stop writing spooky stories because horror is my soulmate.  


Q: You do painting and writing. Do you usually just work on one or do you find yourself switching back and forth? What does that depend on?

A: I work on them at the same time! Well, not the exact same time, I only have two hands. I paint and draw throughout the day and write during longer stretches of time. I maintain a pretty stable art practice. The reasoning isn’t anything romantic or artistic, it’s just practical a lot of the time. I can do some art while I’m helping with lessons during the day whereas I can’t write when I’m supposed to be overseeing math. So writing is during those chunks of time where I don’t have those responsibilities. 

But also sometimes my brain just says, we painting today and I just gotta. 


Q: Anyone who follows your twitter knows you spend time with kids, your own and others. How does that shape/affect your artistic work?

A: The children, they are always around. In a practical sense, it determines the flow of my day because I do homeschool but like it’s fine mostly because I’m not really functional in the morning anyway. 

But it does bleed into the work because I spent a large chunk of my life working as a caregiver for children and I have children but honestly what it did was made me hyperaware of self and the factors around me because caregiver and mother are things that eat your identity. And the balancing act of being a good mother and not losing myself to motherhood really helped identify the kinds of stories I was interested in telling and the way that I wanted to tell them. 

My being a mother is why I’m still a writer and artist. I viciously pursued those things because I refuse to lose them. I have to prioritize my art, my work as important and vital or else it simply will not exist. If I had never had kids, I doubt I would have become what I am now, I certainly wouldn’t have written some of the work I’ve had published. 

Also, kids have the best horror ideas.  


Q: You’ve said your debut novel, Midnight Rooms, is in the publishing pipeline. How did you react when you got your deal? How do you feel about it now?

A: I didn’t even think it was real, I was just waiting for the other shoe to drop because it was just too fantastic. They want MY book?? LOL stop playin. I won publishing?? Which is to say, I was very excited

I’m still excited. Even with the delays and such (my book was affected by the HarperCollins strike) I’m still excited. I can’t wait for you all to get a chance to read it! It’s coming spring of 2024. 


Q: Are there any similarities between your visual art process and your writing process?

A: They are both driven by a sort of frenzied hyperfocus and follow the same sort of timeline. First, get idea, two, briefly plan idea, three execute. Obviously it takes me much longer to write something than to paint it. Well, that’s not true. Short stories exist and are valid. 

But most of my paintings are done in one or two sittings. The bulk of my work is written in hours long stretches deep into the night (nighttime is when no one bothers you). 


Q: You’ve said before that your first dream job was to be an artist, when did you start pursuing that and how?

A: Alright so, my oldest two kids’ dad had walked out and I was very sad, understandably so, I had two kids under the age of two and like, what now?? I was on MySpace and I met this woman in a parenting group, her name was Nataki and she was gassing me up talking to me about Octavia E. Butler and reminding me that I was a full human being. We didn’t even really talk after this single encounter. 

I was able to get my shit together and move to a new city in PA where I started working in a daycare my cousin owned. It was a job, my kids could attend while I worked, what I needed right then. Nataki came in one day to teach an art class. I had no idea we were living in the same city or that she even knew my cousin. Total chance meeting. At that point she invites me to a workshop she was holding. 

Changed my life. That’s when I really started buying art supplies, treating this dream I had since I was little like A REAL THING. See how integral being a mother and a caregiver is to my life’s story arc? 


Q: What story you’ve told has scared you the most?

A: “Lights” in Paranormal Contact from Cemetery Gates Media. That one scares the shit out of me. But the stories that are really the scariest to me I haven’t written yet. 


Q: If your art (writing and/or painting) had an ice cream flavor, what would it be?

A: Vanilla I think. What a lovely trick it’s played on the world to make everyone think it’s boring and simple. But vanilla is rich, complex, difficult and despite what you may think due to the presentation of ice cream, is black as hell. 


Q: What will you be creating next?

A: The next book! Always the next book. I’ve got some other things brewing though!  But I also do have my first YA venture coming out in the anthology All These Sunken Souls which is up for preorder. 

Donyae Coles is an artist and a writer whose work is speculative in nature. Her writing is lyrical and haunting and focuses on blending real life anxieties and issues with genre elements found in science fiction, fantasy, and horror.
New Art for MOTHER Anthology Released

New Art for MOTHER Anthology Released

While the MOTHER anthology is cast and the stories are in (and amazing), the artwork has just started being slow-released ahead of the worldwide publication date of Mother’s Day, 2023. The artists on board are phenomenal, and have been creating some of the most provocative illustrations to be featured in horror today. With the art of Sinan Kutlu Kuytuoglu and Bilge Demir gracing the pages of this more than 90k-word anthology, this will be a fantastic addition to any real horror short fiction fan’s library.

Sinan Kutlu KuytuĞlu is an artistic director and illustrator from Istanbul, Turkey. With a penchant for horror and several national commercial design projects under his belt, he marries a phenomenal artistic vision with an understanding of how to use images to invoke dread. For the MOTHER anthology, Sinan has been commissioned to create 10 new pieces of artwork to bring select stories to life. This includes “The Sire,” from Steve Rasnic Tem, a disturbing story about a woman who unwittingly becomes a mother to a strange group of children.

Additional artwork is being provided by Bilge Demir. A concept artist, illustrator, and graphic designer, Bilge is a student of art at Anadolu University in Eskişehir, Turkey. A highly-rated freelancer, she has also been able to work with the T.C. Ministry of National Education helping to develop the Anatolian Fairy Tales Project which was published in 2018. Bilge was just one of the artists that were nationally recognized with art in the 15-volume set.

Bilge is contributing three new illustrations for the MOTHER anthology, including this unusual image pulled from Hailey Piper’s disturbing story, “The Last Leaf of an Ursine Tree.” In a world where girl-children become women via a strange connection with animals, this story highlights the savagery of the process of growing up.

You can learn more about Sinan and Bilge by visiting their online work spaces. You can also see more of their art by preordering Mother: Tales of Love and Terror. All preorders made before Sept. 15th come with a free ebook: The Monster Manifesto!

*Featured Image is from “720ª” by Steve Toase, art by Sinan Kutlu KuytuĞlu


10 Fantasy Movies from the 80s That Messed Us Up

10 Fantasy Movies from the 80s That Messed Us Up

Okay, so maybe things are different in 2022, but back when we were kids, fantasy movies weren’t always 100% safe for children to watch. We’re not talking Game of Thrones or Witcher-level sex and gore, though. We’re talking “this movie is made for kids but it is WAY too scary and will probably scar them for life” kind of damage. The best decades for this? 1980-1999. For whatever reason, the censors just thought kids could handle a lot of very dark, very creepy imagery.

Guess what? We could not. But we told our parents we could, anyway.

Now we have become an army of “adults” that were scarred from a very young age to be into the weird, dark, and fantastical. We were the ones who grew up reading Stephen King because our parents didn’t know or care who he was. We were the kids who had Garbage Pail Kids cards and Gremlins lunch boxes. Do you want to know why? Because one (or all) of these movies paved the way for our little brains to be instantly and irrevocably addicted to dark fantasy. And we thank you.

10 Weird Fantasy Movies from the 80s That We Shouldn’t Have Watched as Children

1. The Watcher in the Woods

We have talked about this one before, namely on our list of 90 Scary Movies that Aren’t Rated R. This 1980 movie is touted as “A masterpiece of suspense,” which is true. But it’s also a masterpiece of Betty Davis’ eyes, backwards writing in mirrors, girls screaming into the void, aliens, and séances. Not really sure what Disney was thinking when they put this one together, and it seems from their retconning of basically all of it that they don’t know, either. A very cool fact is that this movie had a different original ending with a much scarier alien showing up. But we think that the one that they went with is still pretty messed up.

No Rating. Probably because they wanted it to vanish into the great in between after a rousing bout of witchiness…

2. The Dark Crystal

Okay, so here’s another entry in the deeply-terrifying-but-only-for-kids movie list that still haunts our dreams to this day. The Dark Crystal was 1982, featuring completely sympathetic puppets that reminded us of fairies. Beautiful beasts that are astronomers and sing to the moons. Oh yeah, AND ALSO SKEKSIES THAT DRINK YOUR BLOOD AND EAT YOUR SOUL JUICE. Totes normal. If that wasn’t enough, there were also the huge rolling spider beasts, the giant walking monsters that looked like AT-ATs (probably because they were all a part of the same design team), and then your favorite character gets murdered. I have never recovered.

Rated PG. But you probably didn’t watch it with your parents. They saw the one-eyed witch lady and noped out of there.

3. Dragonslayer

Not sure how many people watched this, but some of it is etched into our collective memory so deeply that we thought we’d made it up. Google, however, has proved us wrong. There was, indeed, a movie in 1981 that featured that weasely guy from Ghostbusters 2 playing a second-rate magician and blacksmith. The scene that haunts us is not the dragons or the explosions. It’s the scene where a very frightened girl in a white dress tries so hard to escape some lead manacles that she turns her hands to hamburger. Totally gross, totally cool, and totally not something that a young child should have watched.

Rated PG for “Peek Generously.” Because you’re going to watch a lot of this through your fingers.

4. The Last Unicorn

Talk about your existential crises machines; here’s one in tip-top shape! The Last Unicorn (1982) is a fantastic frolic based on Peter S. Beagle’s timeless fantasy novel of the same name. What’s troubling about the movie, however, is that it’s 100% in line with the novel, including the fear of death, aging, and the general sense of existential dread that pervades every line. Not only do we have to consider our heroine “feeling this body dying all around [her],” but we have to face Molly’s dissatisfaction with her wasted life, Hagrid’s empty search for happiness, and watch a tree grow boobs and try to kill someone with them. Extra points for harpies that dismember a witch.

Rated G for Gaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh! (The sound that a witch makes as a harpy disembowels her)

5. Rock and Rule

Okay. So not EVERYONE saw this, but it was completely insane. Featuring an all-star cast including Debbie Harry as the main female lead, this Canadian fever-dream released in 1983 and was seen by about 12 people. The premise? It’s post-apocalpytic America and the only thing that survived the nuclear holocaust were dogs and cats…who became irradiated and mutated very human forms. Extremely human forms. Okay. So we may or may not have developed an unhealthy crush on the Debbie Harry version of a cat. Anyway, there’s an evil villain about to take over the world and he needs the perfect voice to do it. Enter Angel (Harrie) who is “discovered” at a greasy lounge and then is forced to perform some kind of ritual to bring about the ultimate power to rule the world. Just watch it. So much rock and roll. So much crazy. So much dirty animation.

Rated PG. Because the censors didn’t care as long as you were home by dark.

6. Return to Oz

What list of terrifying 80s kids’ movies would be completed without this strange tale? With basically nothing in common with the original, this story takes place after Dorothy returns from Oz, convinced of its reality. After being saved at the last moment from a terrible psychiatric experiment, she finds herself in Oz again. This time, with new friends like TikTok the robot and Pumpkinhead, the…pumpkin head. By themselves, totally freaky enough, but we add another layer of complete hysteria to this movie. The villain is an evil queen who STEALS PEOPLE’S FACES. She strips them off and takes them back to her beauty closet full of faces which she exchanges out like shoes.

Rated PG. For “Please God, don’t make me think about all those faces when I’m trying to go to sleep.”

7. The Brave Little Toaster

On the surface, this isn’t a terrifying tale. I mean, Jon Lovitz as a cranky old radio? Totally fine. But there are a couple of scenes in this 1987 gem that are pretty dang dark. The premise? There’s a toaster who gets accidentally sent to the dumpster and has to work with a bunch of other discarded inanimate objects to get back home. Very Incredible Journey but with appliances. And yet…there’s kind of a dark scene where they end up in an appliance repair basement with a bunch of other objects that have been Frankensteined together, a la Sid’s house in Toy Story. Oh yeah. And an air conditioner (Phil Hartman voices this one) commits suicide. So, yeah. A little on the messed up side.

Rated G. Because you can never start kids too early on the finality of death.

8. Legend

Talk about your sexual awakenings at an early age, this was one of Tom Cruise’s first films (it was actually his second movie, ever) in 1985. Of course, that’s not really the issue. Tom plays a cute little wood-bred elf-boy who has a fairy entourage and a way with unicorns. His would-be girlfriend, Princess Lili (Mia Sara) is also pretty hot (read: hot mess), and uses her power for annoying to kind of destroy the world. But the real reason we shouldn’t have watched this? Tim Curry is at his peak, y’all. There is no sexier version of any devil in any version of the universe. When he turns Lily evil, all of us kind of thought, “So, being bad isn’t THAT bad, is it?” Also, there’s a swamp witch that makes our skin crawl.

Rated PG for “Princess Gyrations.” You know. Because the princess dances. You know what? Shut up.

9. Labyrinth

For some of us, this was the first foray that we really had into the incredible sexiness of tight leather pants and huge hair that is David Bowie circa 1986. Not only that, but it’s kind of every babysitter’s fantasy/nightmare. No one really wants the kid to turn into a goblin, but it’s pretty damn cool to travel a magical labyrinth, dance in a gigantic princess dress, fight the coolest bad guy who sings EVER, and then get paid for it at the end of the night. Unsettling points for a bad guy who is confusingly sexual, super gropey hand puppets, and heads flying off of random people.

Rated PG. Because when mom had the hots for the goblin king, you could watch it as many times as you wanted to.

10. The Neverending Story

When you take a nerdy, bullied kid and put him with a magic, stolen book, all kinds of shenanigans start happening. But in this 1984 masterpiece, most of those shenanigans are not shenanigans at all—they’re psychological torture devices designed to wring every last 80’s kid of every last therapy dollar we have to spend. Where do we start? Dead mom? Check. Killer sphinxes? Check. Being thrown in a dumpster? Check. LOSING YOUR ONLY FRIEND AND BEST HORSE EVER TO THE SADNESS???? CHEEEEEEEEEEECCCCCCCKKKKK. Also, the world disappears and nothing you can do will stop it. Except maybe screaming your dead mom’s name.

They look like such strong hands, don’t they? DAMN YOU, NEVERENDING STORY.

Rated PG for Pernicious Gmork. Do not ask me any more questions about this or I will start hyperventilating.

11. Who Framed Roger Rabbit

This is a bonus entry. The 1988 classic Who Framed Roger Rabbit wasn’t ONLY designed for kids, but it was mostly us who watched it. A lot of this is not really cool to show small brains, but here is a short list: gun violence, overly sexy lounge singers, people melting, someone’s eyes coming out of their head, a very weird game of patty cake. Of course, the producers knew what they were doing when they developed it, as it still retains a lot of entertainment value for both kids and parents. Still. There is so much weird stuff in this that we shouldn’t have seen. Just the thought of our favorite characters getting DIPPED was enough to send most of us crying to snuggle with our Donald Duck piggy banks.

Rated PG for Porn-adjacent Gem. Jessica Rabbit is the clear star of this life-ruining slice of awesome.

Did we miss any? Share your thoughts with us on social media!

Table of Contents for Mother Anthology Revealed

Table of Contents for Mother Anthology Revealed

Last week, those who backed the anthology Mother: Tales of Love and Terror got some awesome news: we have, in fact, chosen all the stories that will be in the final anthology which is now available to preorder through the Weird Little Worlds website.

This year, we projected more submission than the 420 we received last year, despite the fact that we only talked of adding 7 non-featured stories to fill out our star-studded book. Still, there were 670 submissions, which was quite an undertaking to complete in 6 weeks. Our incredible army of slush readers pulled together and provided over 1400 personalized reads and reviews of the stories submitted, allowing us to choose the very best of the best.

The Mother Anthology Additional Author List

In addition to the incredible featured authors that we have right now, we have also added a few well-loved and new voices to the mix.

(sub)Maternal Instincts (Poetry) – K.M. Veohongs

The Bone Child – Ryan Cole

Mother Made Cake – Nicoletta Giuseffi

Lida’s Beach – Stephanie Nelson

The Withering Depths – Gary Todd Powell

Passed (Poetry) – Elizabeth McClellan

The Wives of Tromisle – Dan Coxon

Unchild – Jonathan Louis Duckworth

Mother Trucker – Wailana Kalama

She’s Untouchable (Poetry) – Renee Cronley

Stone’s Blood – Nick Bouchard

Here in the Cellar – R. Leigh Hennig

Instruments of Bone and the Flesh Songs They Create – Nikki R. Leigh

Transformative Love (Poetry) – Tehnuka

Jacob’s Mother – Katie McIvor

Number One – Frances Lu-Pai Ippolito

The Motherless One – Bryson Richard

Cleaning Out Her House, As If She’ll Ever Be Gone (Poetry) – Victoria Nations

Preorder a copy of Mother: Tales of Love and Terror

You can get a copy of this limited edition printing by simply going to our bookstore and giving us money. We are not kidding—this is an incredibly limited run. Preordering guarantees you one of these gorgeous books and gives you one of the finest anthologies of horror, dark fantasy, and science fiction available today.

Grab a copy now!

Twitter for Writers: 10 Tricks For Getting Twitter Followers That ROCK

Twitter for Writers: 10 Tricks For Getting Twitter Followers That ROCK

People who are on Twitter are readers (and writers) by nature. The text-rich medium is perfect for those who don’t want to be annoyed with overwhelming numbers of images and videos and who want access to new information constantly. In addition, the average Twitter referral to a website stays 2-3 times longer and clicks on 2-3 times more pages per stay than both Pinterest and Facebook. Simply put, Twitter followers engage more often, for longer, and are more likely to come back to your website again and again.

As a writer, you MUST be on Twitter in order to connect with those thousands and thousands of readers who are your potential fans.

I know. You don’t get it. Hashtags scare you. You don’t think anyone cares about what cereal you had for breakfast. The truth is, you just need a little education in order to make this incredible tool work for you. These 10 hints will allow you to use Twitter in a way that shows off what you can do and allows you to connect with people who can help you move your writing career forward.

1. Follow

As with all social media, Twitter runs on a set of secret rules of reciprocity. It varies from person to person, but the bottom line is the same: you be good to mama, mama is good to you. When you follow someone, there is about a 30% chance that the person will follow you back automatically. Those are pretty good odds. Coupled with a few other little tricks, you can raise that percentage to 50%, and eventually 80%, every. single. time. It’s all about interacting and engaging with the audience.

2. Share Fresh Content

Tweeps love to read, and they love to read stuff that they haven’t seen before. It’s always a good idea to have some fresh content to share. As a writer, this can be your own work, but it doesn’t have to be. You can share quotes from writers you admire, links to other writers’ websites that you love, or even blog posts on your site that summarize books that you’ve read. Just make sure that the content you share is connecting you as a writer in peoples’ minds. Also, that you don’t ONLY share content from others.

3. Talk to People at Least Once a Day

When someone is deciding whether or not to follow you back, they will often go to your timeline and see the kinds of things you talk about and share. One of the most annoying things for them to see is nothing but links and promotion bullcrap. Every day, you should be making time to get online and talk to at least 3 different people. Read someone’s blog and tell them you liked it. Find someone who has a cool tattoo and give them a virtual high-5. This shows people that you’re not a robot and that you really are there to connect, not just schlep your crap.

4. Know and Find Your Potential Readers

Now, while you can talk to random strangers all day long (or other writers), what you really want to be doing is connecting with the people who are most likely to be interested in reading what you write. As a horror writer, I have done searches for people who like horror movies, connected over Tales From the Crypt, and met readers through conversations about These are my readers. These are my potential fans. Do some research to find out what your potential readers are into. Then, chat them up about the things you have in common.

5. Use Hashtags

When I first started Twitter, I was mortally terrified of hashtags. I had no idea what they did or how to use them. My advice? Don’t be afraid of the hashtag. Hashtags are a way for Twitter to organize certain kinds of tweets about certain subjects. For example, people who want to read romance novels can search the #romance feed. If you have put a one-line sample of your book, “Captain Sexy and the Breast-Monster from Planet Quirgz,” and included the #romance hashtag at the end, anyone looking at that feed will see your tweet. Even if they’re not following you. That means you get Captain Sexy in front of a lot more people and start building your loyal band of readers faster. If you are promoting a more adult book use more adult-focused hashtags.

Remember, though. Too many hashtags makes your tweets look spammy. Limit yourself to 3 at the most, per tweet. Also, check the timeline before you add it. You want to make sure that different people are contributing regularly, hopefully on an hourly basis at least. And, often hashtags have different flavors or rules that go along with them. Check on these before you post.

Some Good General #Writing Hashtags to Follow/Post On:


6. Use Lists

One of the best things that can ever happen to you is to get on a good list. When I was placed on my first one, I had no idea what to do, or how I even got on it. But, I thought, “Hey. Someone thinks I’m like these guys. I bet they’d kinda like me if they got to know me.” So, I followed all 300 people on the list. Voila. In about 18 hours, I had 30% of the list following me back. Amazing. I encourage you to do the same. Someone has included you with a group of amazing people. You might as well follow them and see if you have anything in common. Not having any luck being included on a list? Check out my 100 Tweeps to Follow. These people are incredible and a great place to start building real human connections.

7. Stalk the People You Love Best

After you’ve spent a little time on Twitter, you’ll begin to find people who think like you, have your sense of humor, and who are generally mind-explodingly awesome. When you find someone like that, click on the little number of people they are following and follow everyone. Then, follow everyone who follows them (if you can). You can be discerning if you want, but it’s likely that if you find someone THAT cool, you’re going to get along with a lot of the people who they run around on Twitter with. And vice versa.

8. Be Yourself

I was going to say, “Be funny,” but not everyone is funny. You can also be sexy, introspective, or just plain weird. Whatever you do, be what you are as hard as you can be. What you want to do is put out your own thoughts in a creative way that distinguishes you from the hundreds of thousands of people on Twitter. Say something funny, introspective, or sexy. Just say in a way that gets into peoples’ brains and makes them want to see what other crazy stuff you might say.

9. Time Your Tweets

One trick that is INCREDIBLY valuable is about timing your tweets, especially in relationship to your follows. So, you have decided that you’re going to follow 300 people that you found on a #reading #scifi hashtag search. Awesome. What you need to do is make sure you’ve left them a little calling card. That means you want to put out a tweet or two before you do your follows as a welcome to all the people who will be looking at your timeline to see if they want to follow you. Here’s what you should do:

  • Pick a high-traffic time on Twitter to do your follows (Tues-Thurs, 12pm – 4pm)
  • Write a really cool, funny, interesting, sexy, etc. tweet. That will stick to the top of your timeline, and will be the first thing your new potential followers will see when they check out your profile.
  • Do all your follows (based on a specified search, an AMAZING person’s followers, or a hashtag).

Doing this tiny bit of prep work actually increases the follower percentage significantly, increasing it from 30% to up to 80%. Also, if you’ve done a bunch of following and no one is following you back, reevaluate what you’re putting on your feed. No one wants to follow a robot or read a bunch of book promos.

10. Play the Games

Finally, the best way to build an online presence is to play the games. Whatever games you can find. Some of these games are really fun ways to show off your writing skills. Some of them are just fun to do. Games like the daily one from @midnight get your name in front of tens of thousands of people, plus it’s hilarious. Other games, like the weekly #FP (Friday Phrases), flash fiction game is a fantastic way to hone your writing skills and connect with other writers. Finding little communities like #orjay and #heartsoup (poetry), #sixwords (erotica, romance), and #MondayBlogs (writing craft), helps you have daily interactions with people who become your support system on Twitter.



90 Scary Movies That Aren’t Rated R

90 Scary Movies That Aren’t Rated R

I like scary movies. But I have a special fondness for movies that I can actually watch with my 13-year-old. This means I can relish the creepy while also corrupting her brain with good horror fare.

Because of this internal drive towards the creepy, I have amassed a library of actually scary, creepy and suspenseful movies that are relatively appropriate for anyone over the age of 13. And, in addition, most of these are incredibly disturbing and scary.

You’re welcome.

90 Scary Movies That Aren’t Rated R

1. Tommyknockers (1993)

In this miniseries adaptation of the Stephen King novel, a buried UFO begins to give a local town strange powers of creation.

The Dirty Down-Low: At 181 minutes, it’s a movie you want to watch over a couple of days. The alien scenes might be a tad intense for younger viewers. No real drugs, sex, nudity or language. It was the 80’s, for heaven’s sake!


2. Watcher in the Woods (1980)

When a family moves to a new town, they find their house is haunted by the presence of a missing girl. With the aid of a local old woman, the family’s daughter tries to put the girl’s soul to rest by recreating the arcane ritual that banished her.

The Dirty Down-Low: This is a pretty scary movie, especially for young kids. It’s Disney, so it is totally clean. It’ll still scare the pants off of you and is very intense in some parts.


3. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

This is a completely messed-up psychological thriller that is often overlooked by modern audiences. Yes, it is in black and white. Yes, it stars Betty Davis and Joan Crawford. Yes, it is one of the most disturbing movies you’ll ever see.

The Low-Down Dirty: Exceptionally clean, although there might be some light 1960’s swearing. No blood, no gore. Just good old-fashioned animal killings and pushing people in front of cars.


4. Cat’s Eye (1985)

In another wonderful 1980’s representation of Stephen King’s stories, these three tales will curdle your blood. From a disturbing smoking-cessation program to an evil elf under the bed, these are a great way to celebrate the scary holiday.

The Dirty Down-Low: There is a little language, blood and gore in these ones. Mainly, you’re talking about a severed head, a chopped up sprite and bloodless torture. Pretty tame, really.

5. Flowers in the Attic (1987)

Although some might not consider this a horror film, I surely do. And, full disclosure, I haven’t seen the reboot. But the original is whackadoo (and the book is even worse).

This extremely disturbing story is about a girl whose mother must hide her and her siblings from their wrathful grandmother in order for her mother to get back in good social standing. Awful things happen.

The Dirty Down-Low: Some pretty adult themes makes this one to watch when the kids go to bed. Some language and implied nudity.

6. Rear Window (1954)

Another great suspense film that some might not consider horror. Jimmy Stewart plays a man that can’t move a muscle and spends his time spying on his neighbors. When he suspects one of them to be a murdered, all heck breaks loose.

The Dirty Down-Low: Totally clean and Hitchcock approved. There is some kissing, but basically nothing to sweat. Although it starts a little slow, this is a classic suspense tale that should be seen in the dark.


7. The Haunting (1963)

This is the predecessor to the Catherine Zeta-Jones remake, and it’s TOTALLY worth watching. A woman is invited to spend the night in a strange psychology experiment. Things get creepy when she realizes that she feels at home in a very dangerous way.

The Dirty Down-Low: Totally harmless but has a good scare factor. Without the cheesy special effects of the remake, this is a darn scary story about what it means to be crazy and to belong somewhere.


8. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

If you haven’t seen this, you should be ashamed of yourself. George A. Romero’s quintessential zombie film is a perfect Halloween movie and is virtually squeaky by today’s standards.

The Dirty Down-Low: Since this one is unrated, it technically fits on this list. Plus, I promise you won’t hate yourself for watching it. There is some zombie intestine-eating and a naked butt. Other than that, all you have to worry about is seeing people shooting zombies in the head and a black guy who totally saves the day. Classic.


9. The Birds (1963)

Can you tell that I like Hitchcock? Welcome to northern California, where there is a strange problem with birds attacking and killing innocent bystanders. There are some pretty creepy scenes in this one, although it won’t give you bad dreams at night. Oh yeah. And also, this movie literally drove Tippie Hedron insane. Bad Hitchcock. Bad.

The Dirty Down-Low: Don’t worry. Basically everyone can watch this movie. There is a little blood (and some feathers), but generally the scariest thing is that this kind of bird infestation could actually really happen. In theory, that is.


10. Two On a Guillotine (1965)

Cassie Duquesne comes back to her dead father’s estate, hoping to receive a large inheritance. What she finds is that she can only claim it if she stays in a creepy old house for seven nights in a row – alone.

The Dirty Down-Low: A good, clean scare. Another black and white masterpiece, you don’t have to worry about blood, language or nudity and you still get a creepy twist at the end.


11. House on Haunted Hill (1959)

Vincent Price is amazing in the original version of this haunted house story. An eccentric haunted house owner invites guests to spend the night in his old house. What they don’t realize is that weapons will be involved and at least one of them will end up dead.

The Dirty Down-Low: A great, creepy story with old-school special effects. Vincent Price is always amazing and you’ll love the twist at the end – much different than the 1999 version.


12. Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983)

Bradbury is a master storyteller, and this interpretation of his book by the same name is sufficiently creepy. When a young boy finds the existence of an unusual night circus, he also notes that townspeople are being infected by a strange magical evil.

The Dirty Low-Down: This is another Disney before they stopped being cool. It is truly scary, maybe too much so for little ones. A time-lapsed aging scene, the dead rising and creepy carnies are just a few of the dangers in this one. Still a fun Halloween movie treat!


13. Arachnophobia (1990)

Jeff Daniels, when he wasn’t being a nerd! This is the story of a town that gets overrun by an invasive strand of incredibly deadly spiders.

The Dirty Low-Down: This is one of the best movies on this list for a few reasons: A) Totally family friendly and even funny in some parts. B) Little language, no nudity, no gore and no real violence happens at all. C) The good guys win. The only downside is if you have people in the fam with spider fears. Nightmare city.


14. The Ring (2002)

A young journalist investigates a series of mysterious deaths related to a haunted video tape. At the same time, she must keep her son and boyfriend from watching it, while she discovers a strange murder that is related.

The Dirty Low-Down: As one of the newer movies on this list, it is not as family-friendly as the others. There is a considerable amount of violence and blood in this one, especially in the first 20 minutes. Also, language may be offensive to some.


15. Poltergeist (1982)

This is another classic horror film that is surprisingly family-friendly. When a developer moves into one of the homes in his development project, he is shocked to hear his family telling stories of haunting. Unfortunately, getting rid of the ghosts ends up being a very difficult procedure.

The Dirty Low-Down: Except for a few bad words and some drug use, this one is pretty tame. There are some very intense scenes, though, and it is not intended for young audiences.


16. The Grudge (2004)

An American nurse living and working in Tokyo is exposed to a mysterious supernatural curse, one that locks a person in a powerful rage before claiming their life and spreading to another victim.

The Dirty Low-Down: Pretty creepy throat-noises and backwards heads make this an adult-only movie. At least, unless your teens are totally immune to scary things. You can watch it with them.

17. The Sixth Sense (1999)

Haley Joel Osment stars as the super-creepy kid who can talk to dead people. When therapist Bruce Willis tries to take the child under his wing, he is disturbed by the child’s susceptibility to seeing dangerous spirits and being affected by them.

The Dirty Low-Down: I know you’ve already seen this, but not all your kids have. It is a good one, but there are some very scary scenes – kids locked in small spaces, kids with holes in their heads, etc. Beware showing this one to little people. It will scare them.


18. The Woman in Black (2012)

Harry Potter in a scary movie?! Yes! Daniel Radcliffe plays a young lawyer at the turn of the century who must take care of an estate of a recently deceased man. What the townspeople won’t tell him is that the house is haunted by a malevolent ghost who loves to kill children.

The Dirty Low-Down: This movie was designed to scare moms and dads. It doesn’t have sex, drugs or language. On the other hand, a lot of kids die. So there’s that.


19. The Village (2004)

A rustic community of isolationists holds a tenuous truce with creatures that live in the woods beyond their valley. When one villager dares to break the truce, death and destruction force a blind girl to learn the terrible secrets that the woods hide.

The Dirty Low-Down: This is honestly one of my favorite movies of all time. It is a great, scary movie, but it also manages to be an incredible story about bravery, love and change. May be too intense for viewers under the age of 10.


20. The Uninvited (2009)

Anna Rydell returns home to her sister (and best friend) Alex after a stint in a mental hospital. Unfortunately, her recovery is jeopardized thanks to her cruel stepmother, aloof father, and the presence of a ghost in their home.

The Dirty Low-Down: Some sexual innuendo, blood and gore. Also, beware of possible language. This a scary one, and it’s probably good for parents to watch before sharing with teenager children.


50 More Movies That I Didn’t Have the Time to Write About:

21. The Messengers

22. The Others

23. The Skeleton Key

24. I Am Legend

25. White Noise

26. The Exorcism of Emily Rose

27. The Wicker Man (Remake)

28. What Lies Beneath

29. Storm of the Century

30. Signs

31. War of the Worlds

32. Dark Water

33. Killer Klowns from Outer Space

34. Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things

35. Gremlins

36. Tremors

37. Jaws

38. 1408

39. The Last Exorcism

40. Body Snatchers

41. Coraline

42. An American Haunting

43. The Baby

44. The Black Cat

45. Blood and Chocolate

46. Boogeyman

47. The Cave

48. Covenant

49. Creepy Crawlers

50. Cry-Wolf

51. Fire In The Sky

52. Darkness Falls

53. Duel

54. Evil Behind You

55. First Born

56. The Fog

57. Ring 2

58. Grudge 2

59. Haunting in Connecticut

60. Haunting of Molly Hartley

61. Horror 101

62. Invisible

63. Komodo

64. Lady in White

65. Let’s Scare Jessica to Death

66. The Messengers

67. Monster Squad

68. The Mothman Prophecies

69. The Off Season

70. One Missed Call

71. Other

72. Premonition

73. Presence of Mind

74. 11-11-11

75. Pulse

76. The Return

77. Salem’s Lot

78. Stay Alive

79. They

80. Thr3e

81. Van Helsing

82. Visitation

83. What Lies Beneath

84. Willard

85. Drag me to Hell

86. Disturbia

87. Red Eye

88. Devil

89. Invasion of the Body Snatchers

90. The Forgotten