As if the world didn’t have enough to scare the skeleton out of your skin, we can always thank horror movies for the excess nightmare fuel to keep our anxiety levels through the roof. It’s no secret that being a fan of these films means there is a part of you that enjoys the fear, but what happens when that fear cuts too deep? Well, many of those beloved characters from the horror world tend to creep their way into our dreams. Not in a fun or charismatic Freddy kind of way either. Think more along the lines of waking up in a cold sweat whilst trying to decipher your own existence in the real world versus a permanent land of sadistic slumber. Thats just what the following ten horror villains did to my own psyche, and have since been making their presence known in my nightmares at some point over the years.

Pazuzu

Pazuzu
Watching The Exorcist as a kid wasn’t as frightening as it was when I watched it as an adult. Perhaps that’s a testament to a childhood imagination that saw beyond the fake vomit and spinning head, but once I reached adulthood, the demonic themes hit much harder. More specifically, that shot. You know the one. The face flashing its way into your nightmares. Yeah, there’s a reason this movie sent so many people home from the theaters with terror spread so far and wide the Vatican changed the way they approach exorcisms.

The Babadook

The Babadook

This is one of those characters that was introduced into my subconscious long before the movie was even released. The marketing for The Bababdook was so well executed, that it didn’t matter after seeing the film and realizing this creepy figure wasn’t going to pop up as much as you expected. While thematically it deals with more psychological trauma, the design for this creature, and its ability to bend and shift with the shadows, made it all the more terrifying.

Pennywise

Pennywise

The original TV miniseries was what started the avalanche of bad dreams this stupid clown gave me over the years. From being trapped in the sewers with IT, to having a good dream suddenly infiltrated by red balloons, Pennywise the dancing bastard is the bane of my unconscious existence. How fitting to have them recreate the character with even more disturbing detail later in my adult years, just as the members of the losers club are tormented in the story.

Candyman

Candyman

To this very day I cannot shake the bone shattering fear that finds its way into my dreams courtesy of this hook handed, soft spoken ghoul. I’m not positive, but I’m willing to bet it has something to do with watching this movie in the early 90s, and soon after being shoved into a bathroom where my brother-in-law uttered Candyman five times into the mirror before locking the door and turning off the lights. An act that forever cemented this character into my nightmares, where I’m sure he will live happily ever after. Scaring the living shit out of me.

Bruce the Shark

Bruce the Shark

Who says goofy looking creatures can’t give you a good scare here and there? This insanely dumb looking shark was so frightening, that it caused me to do such stupid things as avoid swimming in a pool by myself. Where logic went out the window, and I remained convinced that if I was alone, somehow, this giant shark would find its way into the same pool as me, and bite my legs off. Now, I’ve since been in a pool by myself, and the days when this irrational fear swallowed my confidence are long gone, but the thought still lingers in the back of my mind any time I enter a body of water. Even a bath.

Leatherface

Leatherface

Many of these horror villains find their way into my dreams via some random thought or object that conjures them, but not Leatherface. He always gets his own dedicated nightmare. It’s usually after I stumble onto an old abandoned farm somewhere in the middle of nowhere. I hear the sound of a generator running in the distance, and I’m immediately embraced by thoughts of a saw clenching its teeth into my flesh. Sooner or later Im caught after a long enough chase, but thankfully I haven’t woke up with any loss of limbs. Yet.

Dracula

Dracula

Now we’re going back, deep into some serious childhood trauma. More specifically when my father used to dress up as Dracula for Halloween. An image I was never able to shake from my skull, and one that tormented my sleep schedule long into my teenage years. Granted, the gimmick lost its potency once I turned into a moody teenager who started talking back to his parents, but that didn’t take away from the irreparable damage done by years of nightmares where my father would haunt our very own home.

Godzilla

Godzilla

Speaking of childhood trauma, I could never seem to shake those random dreams I’d have as a kid where I’d be playing outside with friends and suddenly feel the ground shake. Massive stomps were heard across the distance, as I looked to the sky only to find this scaly monster destroying everything in its path. Of course it not only made me cower with fear, but also made me seek out more Godzilla movies to watch, and boy did I watch the ever living shit out of them as a kid. The more destruction, the more nightmares came as a result, and I loved every bit of it.

Samara

Samara

If there was ever a movie I’d recommend you not watch while stoned, it’s The Ring. I cannot tell you how many times my friends and I watched this movie while under the influence of the devils lettuce, and every single time we’d get irrationally terrified. Even to the point where certain friends didn’t want to walk out to their cars by themselves. Not to mention we would find ways to fuck with each other by setting off the alarm clock or turning the TV on from the other room. All horribly childish behavior that was oddly appropriate for such an intense movie.

Large Marge

Large Marge

I don’t speak much about her, as it took years of bottling up my fear and choking it down to a place I’d never let see the light of day, but alas, here we are. The original scare that made me a fan of horror the second I saw those veiny eyes bug out of her creepy clay shaped face. I felt so betrayed by Tim Burton, who made Pee Wee such a lovable character, only to have him meet one of the most terrifying faces you could show an innocent little kid at the time. It freaked me out so much, that Burton became one of my favorite creative people ever to grace this Earth. One of the few people that actually inspired me to start Autumns Eyes as well!

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