Don’t Look Under the Bed: How I wound up loving horror


How I went from being too terrified to even entertain the idea of enjoying a scary movie to loving horror so much it has become my favorite genre.  

While I may be an avid horror fan now, that certainly wasn’t always the case.

I grew up with a mother who was obsessed with horror and she is a big reason why I’m so invested in the genre today But when I was younger, I absolutely hated all things scary. My journey was a slow and arduous one.


More from Horror News

When I say I was terrified of everything, I mean I would cry when we went to the stores and the Halloween decorations were out. Nothing terrified me more than walking down an aisle lined with gory, creepy masks. The smell of latex and syrupy fake blood in the air was like a trigger warning: beware of the assortment of creepy clown masks ahead.

But then I would see my mom going all out for Halloween in her Wicked Witch costume (nose, warts, green skin and all) and me in my Angelica Pickles costume or a Meg from Hercules (safe, tame, not scary). I felt like I was missing out on the fun. Loving horror seemed like a rite of passage in my family and I wanted to figure out what everyone found so special about it.

So I decided I needed to at least try to get in on the scary excitement of the holiday. I mustered up the courage to watch a “scary” movie. It was the premiere of Don’t Look Under the Bed on Disney Channel.

Erin Chambers in Don’t Look Under the Bed (1999) Courtesy of IMDb and Disney

Needless to say, I couldn’t even finish the movie. Plus, from that moment on I developed a habit of jumping on to my bed from a few feet away just to avoid the ominous gap between my floor and the bed — afraid the boogeyman was going to reach out his scaly fingers and tug me into some shadowy abyss beneath.

There were similar incidents as I grew up. I tried watching Ghostbusters at my friends house and started crying during the infamous armchair scene with Sigourney Weaver. Then had nightmares after I witnessed Gremlins and the inoculation incident.

Sigourney Weaver in Ghostbusters (1984) Courtesy of IMDb and Columbia Pictures

I can’t pinpoint the exact moment that I began to change because there wasn’t one. Instead it was a gradual descent. In the words of John Green: I fell in love slowly: then all at once.


I started branching out inch by inch.

I’ve always been a voracious reader, even as a kid. The easiest step for me was to read horror before trying to watch it again. I’d read the Wikipedia pages for horror films that interested but that I was too scared to see. I devoured R.L. Stine books and stories about monsters and cryptozoology.

Before watching anything that might be even the littlest bit bloody I would read the parental guide on IMDb just to make sure I knew every single bad thing before it happened to brace myself.

Image courtesy of Touchstone Pictures

The first “real” horror film I watched was The Village by M. Night Shyamalan, and even that scared me to death. I had nightmares for weeks afterwards. But still, I’d made it through a movie. Then I was able to watch scary movies with friends at sleepovers, stuff like Darkness Falls and even the infamous cult film – Teeth.

In high school my mom took me to see the Friday the 13th remake, and while I was still a little shocked by it (probably wouldn’t have been allowed to go if she realized the amount of sex scenes), it was progress!

Friday the 13th (2009) – Courtesy of New Line Cinema, Platinum Dunes

It’s actually kind of funny how different my mindset is about horror now. Sometimes I even miss the way I felt back then as I’ve seen so much content now I’m fairly desensitized to all things horror. Not much surprises me or truly scares me anymore. It’d be nice to have a little of that fear back from time to time when checking into a new film or series.

Also a fun fact about my family, when I say my mom is a horror fanatic I truly mean it. Both she and my sister have dabbled in ghost-hunting, complete with EVP’s and everything. Typically when we all get together, we go find the latest haunts in the area.

If past me were to see where current me, in terms of loving horror —  actively going into haunted houses and ghost sites, she’d probably be shocked but what can I say? There’s nothing quite like a spooky good time.

Next. Bruce Campbell and the roles that got away. dark

Love the horror genre? When did you fall in love with being afraid? Let the other horror heads know what you think in the comment section below.