“Yeah, REALLY SCARY!”….

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(pic source)

I had been intrigued by The Conjuring since I read an article about the movie and Lorraine Warren in Entertainment Weekly. In the article, Lorraine stresses that of all the cases she and her husband Ed investigated, this is one of the most terrifying for her. To me, that means a lot. She and her husband have seen thousands of cases over the years. If you do not know about Lorraine and Ed Warren, they are a paranormal investigators. Ed was a demonologist (he passed away in 2006 ) and Lorraine is a clairvoyant. If you had a haunting, they were the people to have come and investigate (I would call a priest first, but you know that is just me). They also have a famous occult museum. They have kept many items from their investigations and they figure the items are best under their care then out in the world.  Click here to take a tour of the museum.

The Conjuring is based on a true story. The Perron family moves into an idyllic farm-house in Rhode Island. Little did they know is that there was a very dark history that came along with their dream home. You all can figure out the rest.  The trailer freaked me out from the beginning and when I heard from people who said the scariest parts were not even in the trailer I for sure had to go and check it out. I love a good genuine scare.

So this past Tuesday I gathered two brave souls (thanks for coming with me Meagan and Jen) and we went to the 7:40 pm showing. I asked the teenager selling concession if he had seen it. He was like, “Yeah it’s really scary.” I was like, “Really? “He said, “Yeah REALLY SCARY!” So now I was scared. The three of us walked to the theater, which was relatively empty, but thankfully it filled up by show time. We were nervously eating our popcorn, and once the movie started we were all huddled up in little balls. I can say I watched half the movie through my fingers and I screamed about 5 times (I wasn’t the only one screaming). At one point I had Jen’s knee in a death grip. The movie moves at a fast pace. The acting is good and the writing and direction is great. It’s not just one scare, it is  like five at once, and then you move on to the next scare and get 5 more! It’s a roller coaster of scary. There is no gore. This movie is scary because it conjures up things that we are all scared of. It messes with our feelings and our senses.  I could go more in detail, but I don’t want to give anything away. I will say one thing: being a mother I can see how Lorraine Warren (who was a mom herself at the point of this haunting) believes this is one of the more disturbing case they investigated.

Bottom line, if you like a good scare, go see this movie (It is up there now  in my top 5 scariest movies). It’s just a straight up terrifying ghost story. This story will stick with you, so be ready to sleep with your rosary and/or Bible and the lights on. Also, if you wake up in the middle of the night, don’t check the time!

Tough Mudder and Halloween Let Down

Thursday and today has kind of felt like that day after Christmas. Two events I have been so eagerly awaiting are over and I am sad about it. After Saturday’s Tough Mudder I am was seriously riding high on adrenaline until Monday night. On Sunday I had minimal muscle pain. I had some bruising, but if I kept moving the muscle pain was bearable. I even went for a mile jog with my older son. On Monday I felt like I was hit by a mac truck. I was able to get up and I even went to the gym. Once I started talking about my experience to my gym “family”, I found my mojo again. I even did a TRX and Kettle Bell class and felt awesome. That evening after the kids were put to bed and the kitchen was cleaned. I laid on the couch and fell asleep at like 8:30pm. Tuesday morning I had no desire to go to the gym, but I had to keep my training session. Thankfully my trainer took it easy. He suggested I lay low until Friday and I have been. Over the past few days more bruises have been popping up. The only 2 significant injuries I have are a HUGE bruise across my right rib area. It also was slightly swollen. My right deltoid and shoulder hurts, and with certain movements makes me actually wince in pain.

Instead of going to the gym I have been eating my way through a bag of fun size Snickers. Halloween wasn’t a good health day for me. I ate pizza and a burger all in one day, not to mention all the Halloween candy. I also had some wine pre trick or treating and a cupcake post trick-or-treating. My boys had a good Halloween. We had friends come over for dinner and trick or treating. My younger son had a parade and party at his pre-school. I dressed like a witch and went to help out at my older son’s class. I was especially happy to end the day with a family viewing of “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!”(Which I nodded off half way through….damn food and wine!). When Halloween was said and done my little guy said it best, “I don’t want Halloween to be over Mom! I want Halloween to be everyday!”. I couldn’t have said it best kid!

How do you get yourself out of the “day after Christmas feeling”?

I try to look forward to new things on the calendar. For example, we have a big family trip coming up for Christmas trip and I am going to visit my friend in Boston next weekend. As for the gym, I just need to get back there and work out with the intensity that I was. Even though the next Tough Mudder isn’t until September. I still need lose another 5 pounds. Always keep a goal in mind. I have a 4 mile race on New Year’s Eve, which I would love to run the entire thing. I also don’t want to undo what I have done. It took me a lot of hard work to get where I am.

I hope you all have a great weekend! xoxo

My Top 5 Most Terrifying Movies

I have always loved scary movies. In the spirit of the season I thought I would share the movies that terrified me the most. These are movies that have made me lose sleep, made me not like my bed, made me look at a breed of dog differently, made me think twice before playing with a Ouija board, and made me not like haunting piano music.

Madman

There is something about this horror b-movie that just stuck with me. I think it was the shadowy image of the crazed lunatic carrying an ax that did me in. I remember watching this as a preteen with my BFF at one of our countless sleepovers, and waking up in the middle of the night so terrified of the thought of that shadowy image. There is something truly unsettling about the crazy hair, overalls, and of course, the blood-stained ax.

Paranormal Activity

Sleep escaped me during the weeks following this movie. Most of this feature takes place in a bedroom, a place that is usually a safe haven.  However, this movie shows our vulnerabilities while we sleep. Even though it doesn’t retain a shred of truth, the story and the “home video” perspective painted a very believable picture. This movie succeeds without a big Hollywood budget or sophisticated effects. Plus, I credit this movie with my recently developed phobia toward attics.

Cujo

Only horror master Stephen King can turn man’s best friend (could he have thought of a scarier name?) into a man-eating monster. I saw this at a young age and it took me a while to warm up to a St. Bernard again. The image that stayed with me the most is the foaming beast charging a parked the car containing a mother and her young son. Still brings me chills when I think about it! Note to self:  keep family dog’s rabies vaccine up to date.

The Exorcist

I think this is everyone’s top-rated terrifying movie. The fact that it is based on a true story makes it even scarier. Again, don’t mess with the occult. I love hearing the stories of people who went to the theaters to see it. My Aunt and Uncle apparently slept in the living room for about a week. Too scared to sleep in their bedrooms.  I have only watched it a few times, and every time I watch it again, I am still terrified.

Halloween

This is the horror movie to which all others are compared. Very impressionable, as I saw it at a young age (not a good idea). It’s the first scary movie I remember watching.  The haunting score still leaves me unnerved (well, that and the white mask and enormous butcher knife). When that first note hits, you know you are in for something terrifying.  This is on my annual “must-see” list during Halloween season.

What some of your most terrifying movies? I hope you all have a great weekend! xoxo

Walking Dead and American Horror Are Back

Two of our favorite shows (yes we have a lot of favorite shows) premiere just in time for the Halloween season.  We have been watching the Walking Dead since it debuted 2 years ago. I find it very riveting and addicting. Even if you take away the zombie apocalypse aspect, I think what really holds the show together is the textured interaction between the characters. Every character is very complex and has had their own twist and turns that creates a great story. Only a few shows leave me with such emotion after an episode is over. I can’t tell you how many times I have said the following  phrases after an episode, i.e.:”What the hell is she thinking?” Or, “Why didn’t they look in there earlier,” and “Why aren’t they watching their son.”, It’s a zombie apocalypse for god’s sake!”  Further, “Why is she still leading him on?” And my favorite, “Why are you doing that? It’s the end of times!”

I am looking forward to see where this next season will take Rick and the gang.

I was mesmerized with the terrifying tale of the first season of American Horror Story. It went places I never thought it could go. It was a very well told story with great acting. When it comes to scary movies/tv shows, you must have a well crafted story. If you don’t, it just going to be bad no matter how many terrifying images are in it.  Ryan Murphy made this work, and I am so pleased that he turned the show into an anthology. I can’t wait to see what will happen in the Asylum.  By the look of the teasers it is seriously going to be twisted and petrifying.

Are you looking forward to these shows?  Hope you all have a great weekend! xoxo

Remember Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark?

Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark and More Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark both are retold by Alvin Schwartz and illustrated by Stephen Gammel. They were some of my favorite books when I was a kid. I totally forgot about these great anthologies of scary folklore tales until my older son recently asked me to tell him scary story.  I told him the story called “The Hook.” You might remember that one;  two teenagers riding around in the night, they stopped to park (I made it PG and in the book I believe it’s PG too), and on the radio they heard a news announcement stating that a hook handed inmate had escaped from the local prison. The reporter said to be careful and stay vigilant. Once the teenagers heard the report, the girl got scared and wanted to go home, but her boyfriend insisted they stay and “talk”. While they were “listening to music” they heard a scratching sound outside. They got freaked out and decided to go home. When the boyfriend dropped off his girlfriend at her house he screamed when he went to open the car door for her, because there was a hook in the keyhole!  An oldie but a goody right?!

There are some great scary stories in both these books. Who can forget “High Beams,” “The Girl Who Stood on a Grave” or “The Babysitter?” These were the stories we told at sleepovers and camp outs.  I was happy to find that both books had new editions. They were re-released for their 30th Anniversary. I bought them for my 4th grader. I was around his age when I started reading them, and he has really enjoyed them. If a story is too scary, he stops reading it. I find it nice that he is enjoying something I liked so much when I was his age. The new books have the same stories, but the illustrations (they are by Brett Helquist, the illustrator of “The Series of Unfortunate Events”) are different.

I volunteer at my 4th grader school library once a week. I help re-shelve books. When I was there this week I notice that the first book (original edition) was in the re-shelve cart. It made me happy to know that this book is still being read. It made me even happier when a 3rd grader asked me if I knew of any scary story books. I just handed her the book and said, “Try this one.” As the book passed from my hand to hers. I thought, “I really hope this doesn’t give you nightmares kid.”

If you want to buy your own click here. Or go to this website which has some of the stories.  If you are a parent and want to introduce this to your kids please use your judgement  I wouldn’t be reading this to my 5 year old, but my 9 year old seems to be enjoying them. He also doesn’t scare too easily.

What are some of your favorite stories or urban legends?  Have a great weekend! xoxo

Happy October!

I love October, and Halloween has a lot to do with it.  It’s not just the actual day, but the whole time leading up to it.  Ever since I was little, I just loved this time of year for it’s cooling temperature, the crispness in the air that, and of course all the fun fall activities (pumpkins patches, apple picking, fall festivals). The spooky atmosphere that also comes with time of year is something I have always loved. I anticipate any new scary movie (not the gore movies that have come to be labeled scary), and love watching classic horror films as they increase in TV broadcasts during this time. Nothing is better than curling up on a chilly night and watching the original Halloween.

This year I brought out the Halloween decoration out a week early. We had a few days of chillier weather and it just put me in the mood. Thought I would share them with you.

Welcome to our home.

The spooky votive tree I got a few years back at Pier 1. The haunted house lantern I got 75% off at Target last year. You can’t pass that up…right?

He is a new addition this year. I found him (on sale) at Kirkland Homes. He sits on our entryway table.

I got the cut-out bats from a craft store. I think they are from the Martha Stewart Home line. I display some Halloween pictures on our mantle every year. I am sure this will cause embarrassment to the boys when they are older. The middle picture features the boys in their costumes from last year, and then I have one of each boy in my favorite costumes. My older son’s picture displays him as a 2 year-old Harry Potter. My younger son’s picture has him as a 1 year-old baby Hulk.

I am a sucker for nutcrackers. You should see my Christmas collection. They sell these at Target. I got Mummy and Frank a few years ago. Bride of Frank and Skeleton were also purchased at the Target 75% sale last year. I think there is room for 2 more!

At 75% off you can’t just buy one! The “Goodies Given Here” sign was given to me by my BFF.

A friend of mine made me this sign. I love it! More importantly it makes me think of her and her lovely family.

I wish you all a hauntingly happy October! Do any of you have fun family traditions you do this time of year? Are there any scary movies you have to see this time of year? Have a great week! xoxo

PS: There is a new monster nutcracker on the block. Thanks to my hubby for picking him up yesterday.