Halloween traditions on the silver screen

Marisa Hildebrand

Halloween traditions go beyond costumes and candy; many students look to the silver screen to get in the Halloween spirit.

Hallow’s Eve spooks and gore have become staples in American culture. Cult movies increase our heart rate, make our palms sweat and give some of viewers nightmares for weeks.

It seems like a peculiar necessity, the need for fear, but many count-on movies from Stephen King and M. Night Shyamalan to help celebrate the season.

Today Show contributor Robi Ludwig said in the article “Why We Like to be Scared: The Science Behind the Scream”, viewers can crave fear from scary movies because it allows them to experience intensified feelings otherwise difficult to achieve safely in everyday life.

“The hormonal reaction we get when we are exposed to a threat or crisis can motivate this love of being scared,” Ludwig said. “The moment we feel threatened, we feel increasingly more strong and powerful physically, and more intuitive emotionally.”

Tyler McCarville is a junior graphic design student who appreciates newer screenings of older Halloween classics.

“My favorite is the “Amityville Horror”—the new one,” he said. “Horror films can be super cliché, but that one is awesome.”

Alee Litvinchuk is a senior liberal studies student who was born in Russia. Although Halloween is not celebrated in her home country, she still enjoys some of the seasonal events.

She said it’s been years since she last dressed up or visited a haunted house, but Halloween stories are a yearly staple.

“I like the whole creepy atmosphere and spooky stories,” she said. “That kind of stuff is fun.”

Despite the draw to ghouls and ghosts, she said the whole demonic horror genre is not appealing. In her mind, old thrillers trump new horror films.

“The really old one I like is ‘Misery,’” Litvinchuk said. “It makes you think.”

But not every student is a fan of scary movies and some find seasonal entertainment in nostalgic Halloween films.

Skye Johnson is a senior public relations major and said Halloween is her favorite holiday, but she passes on the scary movie scene.

“I love the little kid movies,” she said laughing. “Like ‘Hocus Pocus,’ that’s my favorite.”

Taking Apple Hill over a haunted house any day, Johnson said movies like “Amityville Horror” are too grotesque to be enjoyable.

Halloween movies have a reserved spot on many students’ television and laptop screens during the holiday- whether it’s horror, thriller or just fun, students celebrate the season any way they can.