Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 002: Haunted Houses

HMP Sidebar HauntedWelcome to Episode 002 of Horror Movie Podcast, where we’re exploring Wolfman Josh’s theme of HAUNTED HOUSES. This is another 4-hour and 40-minute horror Monstercast! And though Dr. Walking Dead had to step down from his full-time hosting position, we have acquired the hosting talents of the legendary Dr. Shock.

I. Introduction
— Dr. Walking Dead has to step down
— Welcome new host Dr. Shock

II. Theme: Haunted Houses
— Wolfman Josh describes his theme
— The nature of ghost movies
— Our feelings about haunted house movies
— Dr. Shock’s real-life ghost stories!
— Distinguishing between hauntings, poltergeists, exorcisms, etc.
— The scare factor of supernatural movies
— Haunted house movie conventions and cliches
— The transformation of the haunted house sub-genre over time
— Found footage and haunted house movies
— Visiting alleged, real-life haunted attractions

III. Our Top 5 Favorite Haunted House Movies
— Our top 5 favorite haunted house movies
— Scary theater experiences
— A true confession of a horror podcaster

IV. Dr. Shock’s INDIE SLOG
Dark Remains (2005) = 4 ( Rental )

Jay of the Dead = 4 ( Avoid )
Wolfman Josh = 8 ( Buy it! )
Dr. Shock = 9 ( Buy it! )

VI. Jay of the Dead’s BEASTLY FREAKS
Hypothermia (2010) = 4.5 ( Rental )

Jay of the Dead = 5.5 ( Rental )
Wolfman Josh = 8 ( Buy it! )
Dr. Shock = 8 ( Buy it! )

She-Wolf of London (1946) = 1 ( Avoid )

IX. Dr. Shock’s Top 10 All-Time Favorite Horror Movies
— Dr. Shock’s honorable mentions
— Dr. Shock’s top 10

X. Listener Feedback
— Comment and request from @Galapogosian
— A few of our favorite Guilty Pleasure horror flicks
— An e-mail from Gary in St. Francis, Wisconsin
— An e-mail from The Unknown Murderer
— An e-mail from Susan

XI. Our Horror Hall of Fame

XII. What’s Coming Up
— A brief look at what you can expect in Episode 003 and the next few future episodes

XIII. Wrap-up | Ending

NEXT ON HMP — IN TWO WEEKS: Episode 003: Birth of the Living Dead, et al. on Friday, November 22, 2013. Don’t miss it!

NOTE FOR NEWCOMERS: If you love this podcast, there are 36 episodes of two other great podcasts that precede this one. Just scroll back through our archives, or use the links in the sidebar on the right.

Leave a comment or e-mail us here: HorrorMoviePodcast@gmail.com

Links for this episode:

Wolfman Josh recommends this book: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Check out our premium CUJO COMMENTARY for $1

Jay of the Dead and Horror Movie Podcast Official Twitter: @HorrorMovieCast

Wolfman on Twitter: @IcarusArts

Dr. Shock on Twitter: @DVDinfatuation

Dr. Walking Dead on Twitter: @DrWalkingDead

Jay of the Dead and Wolfman cover new releases in theaters on: Movie Podcast Weekly

Check out the Movie Podcast Weekly Halloween BONUS episode on: THE SHINING and ROOM 237

Wolfman covers movies streaming online on: Movie Stream Cast

Dr. Shock’s other horror podcast: Land of the Creeps

Dr. Shock’s daily movie review website: DVD Infatuation.com

Dr. Walking Dead’s books American Zombie Gothic and Triumph of The Walking Dead

You can always contact us by e-mailing HorrorMoviePodcast@gmail.com. Or you can call and leave us a voice mail at: (801) 382-8789. And you can leave us a comment in the show notes for this episode.

And if you’d like to e-mail Jay of the Dead with a good Beastly Freaks recommendation: BeastlyFreaks@gmail.com

You can always contact us by e-mailing HorrorMoviePodcast@gmail.com. Or you can call and leave us a voice mail at: (801) 382-8789. And you can leave us a comment in the show notes for this episode.

Special thanks goes out to singer-songwriter Frederick Ingram for the use of his music for Horror Movie Podcast.

Thank you for listening, and join us again in two weeks for another episode of HORROR MOVIE PODCAST!

Thanks for listening.
Jay of the Dead

18 thoughts on “Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 002: Haunted Houses

  1. Dr. Shock asked whether those who are not religious at all are as scared by haunted house films as the three of you. As Jay probably knows I consider myself someone who believes in God, but I don’t attend church regularly and I was basically raised that way, never attended church more than a few times as a child. I would say that I’m a believer in ghosts and I think I would agree that it’s the type that get’s under my skin the most. I agree with Josh, if it’s a man (which, because I don’t believe in super human murderers, I’ll consider Michael and Jason to be) I figure I have some sort of fighting chance even if it’s by luck. This might sound stupid because I don’t really believe ghosts can hurt you, although it might be possible 1% of the time. But the thing with ghosts are that I just think I’m more likely to encounter a situation where I’m walking through a house and have a ghostly encounter than encounter a knife-wielding maniac. Interestingly enough I don’t believe in possession and those films just seem silly to me, Exorcist included. I think perhaps I just think it’s a little sloppy for the great deceiver to be content to take over a child and just lie in a bed. I think maybe possession would be scarier and more accurate if the child acted normal 99% of the time but did horrible things on occasion, more like a body snatcher type thing maybe. I have a ghost story that maybe should scare me more than it does, it scared the daylights out of me when it happened though. When I was in high school I would have friends stay over on weekends and watch horror movies or whatever and they would crash on my floor on occasion. Well, one night I woke up and saw my friend Brandon sitting in the floor looking at me. I think I said “what” or something or maybe I just waited for him to speak and he never did so I laid back down. A little later I woke up and he had moved over to my computer chair. I thought “what are you doing?” It was then that it occurred to me that this was a school night which meant that I had taken Brandon home. Whatever this was that was looking at me wasn’t Brandon. I was terrified but had the presence of mind to tell myself that it was just a dream. I began working on this theory, I looked at the clock, it was sometime after 4 am. I kept looking at the figure which I had thought was Brandon (it was dark, I never actually saw Brandon, just a figure and had assumed it was him) then I’d look back at the clock. The figure was still there. I rubbed my eyes and sort of shook myself to try and snap out of it. Still there. I did everything I could possibly do to make myself wake up. Each time I looked at the clock it was no more than one minute later than the previous time.Each time I looked back at the figure it was still there. Finally I decided after minutes of this that I must be awake and yet, there the thing sat, looking at me. I decided that I would jump from bed, open the door and turn on the light and look. I was quite nearly scared to death at this point. I finally got up the nerve, I went for it, flipped the light on as I flung the door open. The thing was gone. I tell myself I must have been having a dream somehow, but the times line up, it was just minutes after I had initially looked at the clock. I have no explanation for this. This was the most compelling story I have but I did have times in my parents home where flashlights would turn on by themselves. I also had a friend who claimed the see a pink mist rising from my woods with a figure he had claimed was the devil standing in it. He seemed frightened for real but I’m 99% sure he was fabricating the whole thing. There was some strangeness after that though that I won’t bore you with unless you request it, I’m quite sure it was all a hoax. But back to what really did happen, I’ve also had those tap lamps turn on by themselves at my present home on the same land as my childhood home. Now if I’m searching for an answer, there’s a story that involves a child that lived on my land dying, one story says he accidentally hung himself in a swing, another goes that he was hit by a passing car. Which, if you ever see my home, isn’t hard to believe. Pet Semetary has nothing on this place. We have a major highway with trucks and all flying by 24/7 only our front door is probably 20 feet from the highway. Okay I’m scaring myself that’s enough. One of you mentioned watching horror movies with your back to the wall. I try not to bother my family with my horror movie (or any movie) viewing, but I hate watching on my laptop, so when I got my new tv, it had a place you could plug headphones into it. I had no extension cable or anything so I sat down to watch a Lance Henriksen film called It’s in the Blood and used only my 5 foot or whatever slack my headphones would give me, which had to go around the tv and all, so I was sitting on a footstool about 3 feet from my television. I kid you not, if you like being terrified, this will do it, particularly having noise cancelling headphones on. I was instantly like a 12 year old again. I couldn’t focus on the film cause I was just terrified, of what? I have no idea, the film wasn’t scary really, but I just found myself convinced that my daughter was going to suddenly come down the hall and suddenly show up in my peripheral vision or worse just show up standing right beside me or that she or my wife would suddenly put their hand on my shoulders. I know this isn’t being scared by the film but believe me it’s still scary and if you want that from a horror movie, I’m telling you, sit 5 feet from the screen, put 360 degrees of space around you. Just want to tell Josh that my only recurring nightmare involves Smurfs climbing under my door. For some reason I had the dream about once a year for many years as a child. No idea why, didn’t particularly like them but wasn’t afraid of them or anything either. I want to discuss M. Night Shyamalan for a moment. I don’t fully understand why he’s put down so much. Let’s take a look at his films he’s directed: The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs, The Village, Lady in the Water, The Happening, The Last Airbender and After Earth. Okay, now I know everyone has their own opinions on the first four films there but I don’t think many people would say that there’s a terrible film there. And I actually think are 4 are pretty strong. Signs is to me the weakest. Now the last 4, I like The Happening and The Last Airbender and actually don’t hate Lady in the Water, I haven’t seen After Earth, but have little trouble believing it’s terrible. But even if all those films are horrible, he’s still at 50% right? And if you consider he wrote Stuart Little and Devil, both decent films right? Or at least Devil is in my opinion. So compare that to say, Tobe Hooper, obviously he has Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Salem’s Lot and Poltergeist which people don’t really give him credit for anyway. Okay so obviously this is a horror director and fans of that genre like crap somtimes, but if you look at imdb, Spontaneous Combustion, Night Terrors, The Mangler, Crocodile and Mortuary aren’t particularly films that are thought of highly. He’s arguably more hit and miss than Shyamalan and nobody is ever going to put him down in that same way. I don’t get it, I think Shyamalan deserves to not be the goat. He gave us some good stuff. Accept him, embrace him. And I still maintain that The Happening was basically just a feature length Twilight Zone episode because those things are sometimes just as insane. The Legend of Hell House is actually a separate novel from The Haunting of Hill House, it’s by the late great Richard Matheson, of I Am Legend fame. I’m relieved that Josh and Dave liked The Conjuring so much, Jay and Ron both scared me off, but Little Miss Horror Nerd actually said it’s better than the original Amityville Horror. So I’ll be checking it out with Josh and Dave enjoying it. Jay, you sound pretty insane saying you’re taking off 4.5 because of two unintentionally funny scenes. Love ya buddy, but just sayin’. I would really be interested to hear what you all think of the documentary about Daniel Lutz called My Amityville Horror. It’s about his version of events and though he hates his stepfather, he says everything the man said was legit. His brother also has been interviewed and says the things happened and also backs Daniel’s claim that George might have brought it on because he had dabbled in the occult. I enjoyed it but Ron and LMHN thought he came off as too gripey about his stepfather. It’s on netflix streaming if you guys get a chance.

    • Hammer, thanks for your excellent comment. I didn’t respond earlier because Jay said we were going to respond during listener feedback on Episode 3, but we didn’t get to most of your comment, so I want to respond to a few more things here.

      You make great points in your comparison of M. Night Shyamalan and Tobe Hooper. I think there are a few factors at work here. First, both came out with home run on their first films, but Hooper’s was this gritty low-budget affair with no-name actors. And so, even though he made a very memorable film, I think he gets a lot of leeway going forward because he is seen as an underdog. In comparison, Night comes out with this sheen-looking movie, populated with movie stars, and people are comparing him to Hitchcock, right out of the gate. I think the expectations of cinematic perfection from Night are much higher on the audience’s part. And Night really held himself up as God’s gift to cinema, as well. I think that is the major difference between the two and a reason why people are so much harder on Night. Second, I think it has something to do with the way we consume and discuss movies these days. Hooper had the benefit of becoming a legend before the age of the internet troll. I think in the old days, a miss just faded into the background whereas now it lives forever in snarky geek forums. Look at Hitchcock. He was considered a hack by many critics of his day, his last several films are not nearly as highly regarded as the rest of his work, but nobody talks about that stuff because his legacy was cemented in the minds of the audience. Night had the misfortune of making his worst movies at the height of viewer talk-back and we won’t let him or anyone else forget his short-comings. Lastly, I don’t think THE SIXTH SENSE is even a fraction as highly-regarded as THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE among horror fans or film historians. Now, I’ll take the unpopular stance that, out of context, THE SIXTH SENSE is a better movie that THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE in every measurable way, but, in my opinion, context is everything when considering a film’s greatness. So, that’s my take.

      But, Hammer, I just wanted to mention that the part of your comment that freaked me out–even more than your ghost story–is the idea of watching scary movies in the dark with that 360 space around you, and wearing noise-canceling headphones, tethered to the screen … yikes. I can’t wait to try that!

      • Let me know how it works for you if you ever do it. Maybe I just psyched myself out but I was like a 12 year old watching Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

  2. I listened to both episodes of “Horror Movie Podcast” and loved them both.

    One haunted house movie you might check out is “The Evil” (1978). I saw it in an old movie palace and there were several scenes that were genuinely scary. I do remember the reveal being a bit cheesy, but all in all, I remember it being a good haunted house movie.

    I’ve heard you and your co-hosts mention embarrassing movies you saw with dates. I took a girl out on a first date in 1972 to see … “The Last House on the Left.” How embarrassing that was. Nobody could top that. We saw it at the drive-in and it was the uncut version.

    Your comments about being scared in the dark hit home. I used to watch “Shock Theater” (double feature on Friday nights) in what we called a Florida room. When it was over at 1:30 in the morning, I’d walk to the kitchen, turn on the light, walk back into the Florida room and turn out that light. I’d walk through the kitchen and turn on the light in the hallway, then back to the kitchen to turn out the light. I did that from one end of the house to the other because I didn’t want to enter any room that was dark.

    I’m surprised I haven’t heard anyone mention the great zombie mini-series “Dead Set.” I’d love to hear Dr. Walking Dead’s take on it. I’ve only watched the first episode, which was really good, but plan to watch the others soon.

    My wife grew up in the Nazarene church and their belief was people shouldn’t go to movies. The first movie I ever took her to see was “Halloween.” She’s seen a few horror movies with me, but doesn’t really like them that much, so I haven’t seen many horror films since the late ’70s. It’s safe to say that, in my youth, I saw every horror/sci-fi film ever made before 1976.

    Thanks for the great podcast. Just wish you’d do four hours every week.

    • Hear, Hear for Dead Set. I cannot recommend this enough to other horror movie fans. I will admit that the premise sounds corny, but the execution is fantastic. Good acting, intriguing plot lines, human conflict (ala the original NOTLD) and some pretty good gore effects. Not to be missed. You’ll thank us for it later (I promise)

  3. Hey guys I really enjoyed the show. Its unfortunate that dr walking dead had to bow out as I found many of his commentaries made me look at some of my favorite horror movies in a completely different light. But none the less Dr Shock is a great replacement. His mention of the underrated slasher “my bloody Valentine” was a film I’ve actually been anticipating to hear your opinions on. It has recently become one of my favorite slasher films after I had bought it on blu-ray completely uncut. If you’re not aware of the history of this film it had suffered a severe cuts due to the clampdown of the MMPA during the early 80s on horror films. Now that I’ve finally seen it in its original cut on blu-ray. It is easy to see why it suffered under the wrath of the MPAA at the time. Even by todays standards much of the film’s practical effects are quite amazing. I would really love to hear a show with some more time dedicated to a film that i believe is a slasher masterpiece!
    Jay, I also have a recommendation for your beastly freaks segement that you might enjoy that could also easily fall under the guilty pleasures category as well is 1983’s “the deadly spawn” while most of the movie suffers from bad acting the creature certainly makes up for its flaws.
    I can also genuinely say that this is one of the best horror movie podcasts that I’ve been fortunate to come across thus far. Keep up the great work!

  4. @ Hammer, Scott Teal and Mangloid:
    Thank you for your great comments! This is just a quick line to let you know we’ll be answering your comments above during Episode 003, which releases on Friday, Nov. 22.

    Typically, we’ll write back and answer here in the comments section, but we’d like to bring these discussions with you into the podcast itself, which enables us to answer you better and helps the rest of our listeners know that we love to interact with fellow horror fans. Thanks again for listening and for writing!

    Jay of the Dead

  5. Hey guys,

    Sad to see Dr. Walking Dead go, but Dr. Shock is always a welcome voice to hear. I’ve got just a couple comments to respond to your guys’ prompts.

    My favorite horrors have always been slashers. I got started on Halloween, 74’s Chainsaw, and so many others from the golden age (or, at least what I consider the golden age) of horror. However, I have never been scared during a slasher (at least since I hit puberty). I might get grossed out, or startled by a jump scare, but they don’t stick with me. Sure, if I were in that situation, I’d be losing my skin as my bones jump out, but that’s just not my everyday.

    When I want to get scared, my go-to is always a good supernatural haunted house or possession movie. The Conjuring was perfect for that, and movies that lead up to The Conjuring are what really get me searching for my safety blanket. Sure, there are a lot of flops in that sub-genre, but what sub-genre of horror doesn’t have its fair share of wasteland crap?

    Now, in response to Dr. Shock’s religious upbringing. I was NOT raised with religion. In fact, I would describe my childhood as being raised in the lack of religion. It wasn’t until I was eight or nine years old and a friend had mentioned he couldn’t come over that weekend because of Sunday School (and my confusion over why he would have to go to school on a Sunday) that I first learned about the idea of a God. I’m a fairly strong agnostic. A fence sitter, if you will. I’m also pretty skeptical toward the idea of ghosts, but, man, that’s something that can freak me out. I hate the idea of being watched when you don’t know it. When the door blows open and no one’s there, but the hairs on the back of your neck are trying to tell you that something is. That’s the stuff that I take home with me and keep me up at night.

    Anyway, I’ll cut myself off here before I ramble too much. Looking forward to the next ‘cast. You guys rock.


    • Great comments, C.T. Thanks. I agree with everything you said.

      Interesting about your non-religious upbringing. Personally, I don’t overtly connect the ghosts in ghost movies with any particular religious idea, but I think it is hard for all of us who were raised with religion to watch these movies with a clean slate, in that regard, without the religious connotations knocking around in our heads somewhere.

      Doc Shock is amazing and Dr. Walking Dead will definitely be back next Summer so there should be lots of great podcasting to come.

  6. Wow guys. Just watched The Conjuring. Have to say I think I liked it less than Jay. I hate to say that cause I was ready to jump on the Wolfman and Doc bandwagon… but no. And I didn’t even find those two moments unintentionally funny. It just seemed like such a hodgepodge of insanity at times. There was weird digital looking lapses going on, like some kind of digital drag if you will. To me all the times that something scary was supposed to happen, ie jump scenes were poorly done… I think two hit home and the others fell very flat like the loud sound was too late for the visual or something. I was disappointed. That said I did like all the stuff with the Warrens and all but I just think it went overboard with the ideas and honestly wasn’t the throwback to suspense building that I was expecting. I think Saw was better.

  7. Hello Gentlemen,
    I have recently stumbled across your podcasts and I just wanted to say Thank You.
    Just like Josh I grew up watching older B&W classics and still to this day LOVE my Universal Monsters (Wolfman being the best). As I grew up I expanded my horizons and have been a horror fan every since.
    With an hour drive to and from work everyday, this past week has been great as I have been able to get caught up on some of your casts. I don’t know why but I find them very engaging and although there haven’t been too many new movies that I have been exposed to, it has pulled me back to some movies that I haven’t viewed for a long time.

    I agree whole heartedly with Josh and Dave on The Haunting. This was a movie that I watched growing up and it creeped me out. The only other movie that had this effect on me was NOTLD. There was an old TVO (Television Ontario) show called Saturday Night at the Movie hosted by movie legend Elwy Yost and once a year they would show this in a double feature (possibly with Invasion of the Body Snatchers). What a viewing experience.

    One other quick note to build off of a comment by Hammer. The movie Legend of Hell House was based off of Richard Matheson’s book Hell House. Josh I highly recommend that you check it out if you liked Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House. Don’t expect a better book, but it is worth the read.

    Thanks again Gentlemen and keep up the great work…I get lonely on my drive to work :)

    • Further to this I just wrapped up the podcast last night and enjoyed the conversation about guilty pleasures. I thought that I would share some of mine that hadn’t been mentioned:
      – Twitch of the Death Nerve (AKA: Bay of Blood) (1971)
      – Demons (1985)
      – The Blob (1988)
      – Bad Taste (1987)
      – Flesh for Frankenstein (1973)
      – House (1986)
      – Island of Death (1976)
      – Phantasm (1979)
      – Re-Animator (1985)
      – Night of The Demons (1988)
      – The Beyond (1981)
      – House By The cemetery (1981)
      – Dementia 13 (1963)

  8. I found this a few weeks ago and I love this podcast. Thank you! Grave Encounters was phenomenal for a found footage movie is all I have to say, changed my mind about the sub genre

    • Peter,
      Jay of the Dead here. Thanks for your comment and for listening to the podcast. OK. You’ve broken me down. I need to re-visit “Grave Encounters” again, because I initially viewed it under unfair circumstances… Not to mention, I’m a found footage man!

  9. Hi everyone. As a newbie to the podcast I’ve been looking back at previous episodes and wanted to give a shout out to a film I saw back in the nineties, which as far as haunting go, really affected me in the same way the Entity and Amittyville did. Great show by the way. It has really reignited a strong love for horror I had before I got married and life got all serious. Thanks.

    The ‘tv’ film was called The Haunted (1991) and was the account of the Smurl family haunting. It’s done slightly documentary / story telling like but has some scenes in it that make my hair crawl. You can watch the entire film on youtube as it’s almost impossible to buy (last time I looked). Highly recommend it.

    There’s so much great content embedded in these past episodes and show notes and comments , that I’m going to be busy for a long time!

  10. Pingback: Universal Monsters Poll |

  11. So, I’m only just now getting back to the archived episodes of the show due to ridiculous schedules at work lately.

    First off:

    One hell of an episode folks. I thoroughly enjoyed the analysis of the tropes of the haunted house sub-genre and what makes them work as effective pieces of film, etc.

    One thing, though, Jay.. what the heck is that rating for “The Haunting”. I was driving home the other night listening to that segment and found myself cursing your name for such an assessment of an amazing movie. I’m not exactly young by any means but I don’t just view that film as “great for its time” but it is an all-time classic haunted house flick. Insult to injury with the higher rating on “Hypothermia”? I’ve seen it. Michael Rooker aside .. come on man. COME ON!

    As for the “The Conjuring”? I have a special place in my heart for that movie as it is one of the ways I was able to get my wife into horror at all. She viewed my collection of DVDs when we first met as “Well that weird stuff you’re into..” and when we she agreed to go see the film? Not only did it scare her but she absolutely adored it. I gotta say that I was a fan of James Wan before due to the first “Saw” film but I felt that he really took a step towards being a tremendous horror auteur with “Conjuring”. Not everything worked but as far as performances go? Wilson and Farmiga are such a perfect pair as the embattled Warrens and the two play off each other marvelously. The ramp up in tension and dread the entire film really worked for me in many ways but, most importantly, I felt like this is an actual modern classic. It was the first horror film in some time (I’ll admit I had grown a bit tired of it and hadn’t been following new releases as much at that point) that got me back into wanting to watch the genre I’ve always found my way back to.

    Speaking of.. the wifey now has sat and watched “Sleepaway Camp”, “Pieces”, “The Exorcist”, all of the “Friday the 13th” and “Halloween” flicks (including the Zombie helmed ones) along with his other flicks. She even went with me to watch “31”. Crazy. So, not everything in that film works all the time but damn if the “Conjuring” didn’t reinvigorate me and my love of the genre but it also, incidentally, brought two people closer together in love and gore. <3

    And thanks to Dr. Shock for getting his Top 10 horror flicks out there. I really appreciate the time taken by each host to list those out. Gives me a sense of who I'm listening to which only helps as you're all so damned easy to listen to. Episode 3 here I come!

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