Saturday, February 16, 2013
Is a haunted hotel scarier than a haunted house? I think it is. King has used the idea of a hotel, or a hotel room being haunted, but he does not seem to be so much of a fan of the haunted house idea. Bag of Bones had a haunted cabin -- kinda. But the old spooky house where someone moves in and then bad things start happening does not seem to be part of King's tool kit.
Are haunted houses scary? Maybe -- but a hotel is scarier. Here's why: If you live in a house, you now that house! But a hotel gets creepy when you don't know every turn.
Some haunted things in King stories:
1. Haunted House (Marsten House, Salem's Lot)
2. Haunted cars. (Christine)
3. Haunted hotel. (The Shining, 1408)
4. Haunted graveyard. (Pet Sematary)
5. Haunted writer. (Dark Half)
6. Haunted cabin. (Bag of Bones)
7. Haunted town. (Derry, IT)
. . . Cell ?
. . . I have not yet seen Rose Red.
Does the house in Salem's Lot classify as haunted? I think so. Ben did see some pretty scary stuff in there. But at its core, the haunted house is just a prop for the vampires to live in -- the story is really about the vampires, not the house.
Most often, what king gives us is haunted people. Evil is not so much found in a location, as it is in a person. King is big on the personification of evil, either directly from a man in black or from Mr. Gaunt.
I like the haunted house story quite a lot. My favorite is Poltergeist. And, Amityville Horror -- the novel -- can be scary. It can also be pretty funny. (Really, it was a ghost pig!) The Old Dark House was good stuff. There is a campy, but fun, movie called The House Of Long Shadows. I can't make it through HOUSE. I've tried many times, but it's so boring and ridiculous that I get depressed.
Disney's move Haunted Mansion was fun. I also like The House On Haunted Hill. I did not like The Haunting, mostly because nothing happens! They run from the noise, they run toward the noise. . .
My favorite haunted house movie: The Others. It was dark and creepy, had real ghosts and I was honestly surprised by the turns the movie made.
The closest I've been to a real haunted house is the Winchester House -- which is a lot of fun. That lady was nuts!
Is there a traditional haunted house story in the king canon?
What's your favorite Haunted House story?