Growing up in Lousiana also came with a fascination of spirits and voodoo queens, ghosts and apparitions, and an affinity with things that go bump in the night.
So of course they let me see The Haunting. Created from the novel The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson, it is still just as terrifying today as it was in 1963. And it's much more terrifying than the slash-and-gore horror movies of today.
Maybe it's the black-and-white film or the sounds. Or maybe it's the breathing doors and the sudden pounding footsteps in the hallways. For years afterwards, every nightmare I had featured horrible things behind doors that bulged, and doorknobs that slowly turned and clicked.
Or maybe the most horrifying realization was the implication that something was out there, making the choice whether or not to enter, toying with the characters (and the audience) just enough to take their breath away long after they leave the theatre.
I went through a long period of horror movies but I've never seen another one that scared me, and remained with me, as much as The Haunting. Maybe because there came a time when I discovered there really is something out there, and it's not at all dependent on my believing in it.
*This is an Italian trailer for the movie. Fortunately scary translates easily.
For more of The Haunting, try While Reading To The Dog