• Thu, Feb 21 2013

Yes, I Let My 9-Year-Old Watch Horror Movies

horror movies kidsI received a judgmental e-mail from a mother in my daughter’s school. Sometimes, even over e-mail, you can tell if someone is judging you, even in the smallest way. In this case, the mother’s simple question was, “Are you allowing your daughter to watch horror movies?”

My reaction was a mixture of, “Does she really care?” and “Why the hell is she asking me this question?”

I sent a reply, because I quite like this mother, with the simple word, “Yes.” She wrote back. Apparently my daughter has been going around the schoolyard at recess talking about demons and how they can take over your body to this mother’s daughter. Apparently, this girl is not as brave as my daughter when it comes to these types of gory details. But, yes, I allow my daughter, aged nine, to watch horror movies.

In fact, a couple of weekends ago, she watched all FOUR Paranormal Activity movies with her stepsisters who are 11 and 13. I haven’t seen the Paranormal Activity movies, because personally, I don’t like horror movies. But why should that stop my daughter from watching them?

The mother wrote me again (!) asking, “Doesn’t she get nightmares?” Again, I had an immediate mixed reaction: “Is she asking because she cares?” AND, “Does she actually think I’d LET my daughter watch horror movies if she DID get nightmares?”

Of course I couldn’t write the latter back, because that would sound and be rude. But I did write back, “No, she doesn’t get nightmares. She loves that stuff.”

It is true. My daughter loves to be scared. She loves roller coasters, getting up and singing on stage in front of hundreds of people, and she loves when I tell her horror stories — the type you would tell around an adult campfire. What can I say? My daughter is odd. But the best kind of odd, in my opinion. She loves magic, vampires, wizards, ghosts and…horror movies.

When I picked her up from school that day, after the e-mail exchange with her friend’s mother, I asked my daughter if she has been talking about demons to her friends. “Yes,” she told me.

Now, I can’t control what my daughter says during recess and I definitely can’t help it if another girl is scared of horror movies, but I did tell my daughter, “Girl, can you please keep the demon taking over human bodies to yourself when you are at school?”

My daughter answered, “Sure.”

End of story. It’s like how I explain swearing. You can swear in the house and in the car, but absolutely nowhere else. I say this not because she swears (she, in fact, hates swearing) but I sometimes swear in the house and car.

In any case, my daughter is mighty proud that she doesn’t get scared by any of the horror movies she watched. She finds them fascinating. And, like I said, I don’t watch them with her, because mommy doesn’t care for horror movies. I’m not scared. I just kind of find them a waste of time.

But I can’t help but laugh that this mother sent me an e-mail asking if I was “allowing” my daughter to watch horror movies. I mean, what’s next? Am I going to get an e-mail asking if I’m “allowing” my daughter to stay up past nine? Or an e-mail asking if I’m “allowing” my daughter to eat sugar cereal for breakfast?

Maybe it is awful of me to think it’s kind of funny that my daughter was going around telling people about demons. The truth is, I’d rather my daughter watch horror movies and talk about demons who can walk through walls and take over your body than have to listen to the other pre-teen movies about a girl having a crush on a boy just because he’s hot.

Yes, I allow my daughter to watch horror movies. BOO!

(photo: Jeff Thrower / Shutterstock)

You can reach this post's author, Rebecca Eckler, on twitter.
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  • http://sarahhollowell.com/ Sarah Hollowell

    Haaa, that’s exactly how my mother felt. I’ve loved horror movies since I was a little kid and she never had a problem letting me watch them. She loves them, too, so it was usually a mother/daughter thing to go to horror movies together or to watch them at home. I’m 22 now and I’m not exactly screwed up from it :P

    Good for you, though, really. I know way more mothers who would find it SCANDALOUS that you’d let a little girl watch horror movies. I think it’s awesome that you let her watch stuff she really enjoys.

    • StephKay

      That was me exactly. My dad is in the film industry, pretty much everything was on the table. We watched horror movies together nonstop. I went through a Hitchcock phase at 6. Psycho, the birds, etc. I was cautious about what to show my daughter, but go figure, she just turned three and will not sit through a movie unless it’s slightly scary. Hotel Transylvania is the only film she’s ever managed to sit through in a theatre, we had to remind her to blink she was so fascinated. She’s hooked on Tim Burton, I can’t even count how many times she’s watched frankenweenie over and over. She can recite the dialogue, and we had to build her a play mad scientist lab to bring stuffed animals back to life. Coraline is a big favorite, even edward scissorhands. She’s not ready for real horror, shes barely past two years old, but that whole genre of feel good pseudo horror is like catnip to her. Yes it might seem like a morbid fascination, but I love that she’s developing her own tastes in entertainment. Besides, it’s a lot more fun to have your toddler beg for a Tim Burton marathon than a Barney one :)

  • Sara

    Eh, as long as she doesn’t have nightmares, I don’t see what’s so wrong with letting your daughter watch horror movies–the things-that-go-bump-in-the-night kind. I wouldn’t let her watch the torture-porn type (Hostel and the like), but those are different than a lot of run-of-the-mill horror movies.

  • jsterling93

    I’m 32 and I have loved horror movies since I saw little. I also was an advance reader and starting reading Stephen King and Dean Koonz at 9. When I baby sat my nephew he and I would stay up watching Children of the Corn or Child’s Play movies. Neither of us have ever truly been afraid of these things and grew up perfectly normal. So I say go mom. Every child is different and likes or can handle different things.

  • loser_sneeze

    I was like your daughter. I used to watch any horror movie I could get my hands on as a kid ( and even now). My favorite movie at her age was Jaws. Kudos for letting your daughter like what she likes.

  • CG

    I have loved horror movie since I was about 6 years old. My mom didn’t let me watch them and it is one of the only things I remember going behind her back to do…I still can’t get enough of them.

  • Heather (Laptops to Lullabies)

    I find a lot of parents are SO paranoid about what their kids watch, and I think it’s dumb. My kids are too little for movies yet (they’re two and nine months), but I don’t plan on being obsessive about “pre-viewing” movies before they are allowed to watch it. If they wind up having nightmares from scary shows, I’ll just be more careful in the future.

    • http://www.facebook.com/blueeyedwolf1977 Susan Ellington Traceski

      the only thing I really pay attention to in what my kids watch is sexual content, which I don’t let them watch btw lol….other than that they’re good to go! :)

  • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

    Hey R! I wrote about this awhile ago too but I am on the opposite end, just because I’m kinda mean http://www.mommyish.com/2012/10/26/kids-watch-horror-movies-312/ I think it’s awesome you let her watch what she wants, and I am a huge horror fan so I love it when girls like horror, I think for me it comes down to so many horror movies these days just suck. stupid storylines, bad production, and a whole pile of misogyny thrown in for good measure. Koa and I were yammering about this in the swarm, I want my kids to appreciate GOOD horror movies, and not, as another reader said, like the Hostel franchise (even though the 1st one had its moments.) There are some movies I won’t even let my son watch yet, and he is 16, like Martyrs — it’s more when I feel a movie is seriously upsetting and I don’t feel like he needs to see it until he is MUCH much much older. I have watched Jaws with my 8 year old, and she loved it. So yeah, you are a good mom and your daughter sounds cool!

    • rebecca eckler

      Oh, I feel a “girl’s Jaw night” in the near future!

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      Yeah! Lemme know how it goes! <3 PS: I want to come!

    • Blueathena623

      Damn it, why did you have to bring up martyrs? Now I won’t be sleeping for a week.

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      When I watched it, I realized I was crying while watching- it’s a really amazing movie I never want to ever ever see again ever

  • Page

    I’m sure if your daughter wasn’t scaring her kid with stories of demons the other mom wouldn’t have taken the time to email you. If your actions are affecting someone’s child you should accept responsibility instead of complaining about it. Grow up!

    • Blooming_Babies

      You get that a lot of kids here these stories from older siblings? Long before I was nine all kinds of horror stories where common on the playground, it’s part of growing up. She responded politely and spoke to her daughter. I’d say she did accept responsibility, and she did act like a grown up.

    • goofyjj

      exactly. the older kids would try to scare us and tell us stories. then I’d go ask my mom and she’d say “they got that from a movie/story”. So I learned. Having 3 older brothers also helped.

    • http://www.facebook.com/helen.donovan.31 Helen Donovan

      If the mother was worried about her child then she should have said so instead of trying to make the problem about what the author’s kid is doing. What does it matter if it is from movies or reading it(says the woman who read the REAL fairly tails as a kid), or hearing it from older siblings/friends? The parent should simply have explained that the demon talk was scaring her child and could the author please talk to her daughter about keeping school conversations less gory (as she did).

  • http://www.facebook.com/paul.white.3532507 Paul White

    Horror rocks (though good horror is hard to find!). Tell her not to try to freak out other kids and make sure she knows they’re make believe, and let her watch away.

  • Julie

    You probably should have had that conversation with her before she started going to school and talking about it to the other kids. I had a good three month stint last year where my then six year old was absolutely terrified because some kid at school was going on about Bloody Mary in the bathroom and The Walking Dead all the time. I don’t give a hoot what other people let their kids watch at home but when my sex life suffers because I have a terrified six year old in my bed all the time it annoys me. ;) I’m not a super hard ass about what my kids watch. I don’t panic if they hear a swear or whatever. I watched horror movies at 9-10 years old and I turned out ok. I could handle them. Some kids can’t. So it’s up to the parents. But yea… tell your kids to keep their mouths shut about it at school because some kids like mine are a little more sensitive and easily freaked out. :)

    • rebecca eckler

      actually, the whole Bloody Mary thing, my daughter’s class went through last year. It kind of was a bonding experience!

  • chickadee

    I understand why the mother felt she had to contact you, since her child was upset, but if your daughter is fine with films, then let her watch them. I would be careful with the super-awful ones that rely primarily on gore like the Saw and Hostel franchises, and for the love of all that is sane, please ban Human Centipede..

  • Mary

    I don’t think the mother was out of line asking you this question. I would be curious too. My daughter used to be a friends with a little girl until I found out her mother lets her watch Dirty Dancing (not the TV version). I don’t let her over to her house anymore, I’m sorry, I don’t want my 4 year old to watch that!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=592188905 Bran Chesterton

      I am having a hard time thinking of what would be so objectionable about Dirty Dancing… it’s about as graphic as every single thing on network TV these days.

    • Abendwind

      This had 50% upvotes?!

  • Diana

    I had nightmares for two years when a friend described the plot of ” Gremlins” to me when I was 5. Other people’s kids may be more sensitive/ less desensitized.

  • cliff

    I let my 7 year old watch ” Schindlers List” with me the other night. It did upset her and she has had nightmares since. I’m thinking its still better than the schlock horror out there. At least its real. I mean if your going to be scared you may as well be scred for a good reason.

  • Diana

    Out of curiosity how horror is ” horror’? Are we talking ” Coroline” and ” The sixth Sense” or do you let her watch stuff like the Romero movies or things like Saw. Hostel etc? The Exorcist? How do you explain the rape scenes? My 12 year old nephew watched something called ” A Serbian Film.” At his fathers house recently. He was very upset by it. I think it was tantamount to child abuse to let him watch it actually. ( It involved graphic rape of babies and cannibalism of aforementioned babies.)

    • Annie

      Oh lord, poor kid. Yes, that definitely is tantamount to child abuse. No A Serbian Film, Cannibal Holocaust, or Faces of Death for children.

    • Marge

      I don’t see why not. If they know its pretend then they know its pretend.

    • Annie

      Because intense graphic violence is bad for children. Jump scares like Paranormal Activity are fine for older kids who aren’t especially sensitive, but Cannibal Holocaust, omg, no.

    • Dennis Mikkelsen

      I am assuming you haven’t seen a Serbian film and the way the scenes were fleshed out. Kids are not emotionally capable digesting concepts such as ‘baby-rape’ or hyper violence like in irreversible. Sure its all pretend in a Serbian film- guts, rubber doll and all. But the idea alone can mess a kid’s mind up so why subject them to it? It’s not age-appropriate. But I would highly recommend a Serbian Film to adult friends who like fringe cinema, but NOT to kids.

    • goofyjj

      OMG we watched “faces of death” over and over and over as kids. Never got upset about it and I knew 99% of it was re-creation, fiction, what have you.

    • RKBoogeyman

      I’ve not heard of Serbian Film or Cannibal Holocaust. However, just from what little I’ve heard from the above comments, I would be leery about letting a child watch Serbian Film. Sounds intense even for my well seasoned horror brain. You really have to use good judgement with children when exposing them to horror flicks. Know their limits.

      Faces of Death…was so boring. I wouldn’t recommend it for children, either because they are sensitive or because they’ll be bored senseless. Comapared to what they’d see today…FoD is pretty tame.

    • Sara

      Okay, I was curious about “A Serbian Film”, since I’d never heard of it. I’m a 31-year-old woman and all I did was read the plot synopsis on Wikipedia, and even that was upsetting enough. I can’t begin to fathom why anyone would think that subjecting a 12-year-old child to that would be acceptable. That is absolutely horrible.

    • LiteBrite

      I know about that movie, and even **I** don’t think I could handle it. I can’t imagine showing that to a child, even a 12-year-old.

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      Omfg. Please tell me you are joking.

    • http://www.facebook.com/blueeyedwolf1977 Susan Ellington Traceski

      I definitely would NOT let my kid watch that…and I am VERY down-to-earth and laid back about what they can and can’t watch…I introduced them to movies such as Christine, American Werewolf in Paris, Carrie (I and II), Cujo, IT…those were good horror :P

    • lasha tumbai

      I am a 30 year old woman who got duped into watching A Serbian Film. I have a strong stomach for disturbing imagery and by the end of it I was literally sobbing. I still feel damaged by that movie. Not ojay for anyone, let alone a young chikd.

    • Tusconian

      Read a summary of A Serbian Film….and that was more than enough for me. And this coming from someone who for the most part things horror/gore movies are funny at best, just kind of gross at worst. I don’t think A Serbian Film is on par with Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Saw, The Exorcist, Stephen King’s many books-turned-films, or most other horror movies that get widespread attention in the U.S. I could totally see letting a 12 year old with a strong stomach watch any of those movies with the lights on, but I agree with you on A Serbian Film being over the top even for most adults. It’s also supposed to be a commentary on Serbian history/culture, which I doubt most 12 year olds outside of Serbia would really “get.”

  • K.

    Oh for goodness sake. First of all, it’s ridiculous to try and police what your kid is exposed to at school. Resign yourself to the fact that some jerkoff kid will debunk Santa and relay the latest from “The Walking Dead.” That’s part of being a child. I’d personally respond to emails in some snarky way because I would find it so obnoxious.

    And for the record, I was TERRIFIED of horror movies as a kid, but I loved reading Edgar Allen Poe and looking at crucifixions. Those are pretty dang horrific.

  • Marge

    ” Apparently my daughter has been going around the schoolyard at recess talking about demons and how they can take over your body to this mother’s daughter.”
    I would worry about this. She is obviously having trouble differentiating between the fiction of the film and reality. If she knows its pretend then fine but she clearly doesn’t.

    • rebecca eckler

      Please. She knows the the difference.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=592188905 Bran Chesterton

      I believe you when you say that she does, but from the way it’s written, it sounds like she was trying to tell the girl that demons can take over one’s body. So it’s hard to know if she was saying it because she believes it is true, or she was trying to scare the other girl, or she was describing a scene from a movie. I could see how that would be frightening to another kid, especially one who hasn’t seen horror movies or maybe one who is religious (I grew up being told demons are very real and frankly that whole thing was much scarier to me than any horror movies, heh).

      Whatever decisions parents make about kids’ viewing habits, I think it’s really useful to let them know WHY they should keep it to themselves – because other kids could get really scared, or because mostly older kids watch these shows, or because being scared isn’t fun for everyone, so its not an every-friend topic. Obviously it if it’s never an issue again it doesn’t much matter, and I still agree that kids are going to hear stuff away from home and that’s the other parents’ business to deal with, but it never hurts to explain the consideration of others’ feelings.

    • goofyjj

      Probably trying to scare the bullies or mean girls.. i love that this kids does this. I think it’s hilarious

    • Streetcarp7

      Who’s to say its not reality? I’m bringing my son up with my beliefs that ghosts, spirits, poltergeists and demons do exist. .

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      Marge when I was a kid we ALL played horror games and spoke about weird stuff….in fact my class made up a ghost story about a girl who got eaten by a ghost in the bathroom, terrified us all- IN GOOD FUN.
      Kids will always push the boundaries with each other in terms of who can scare/freak out who. It’s when you over react that instills the fear.

      I caught my 13 year old stepson showing his 9 and 7 year old sisters the Michael Jackson Ghost screamer. Yes they got scared, but I sat them down, played the clip again and paused it on the “ghost” face.
      I pointed at it and started laughing, and told them- “Look, that’s not scary, that’s TERRIFYING make-up, I bet you guys could draw better monsters” (which led to a quiet half hour of vampire drawing, and two UNAFRAID girls)

      It’s the action of the thing jumping out that’s scary, that’s all, and I explained to them how even our cat has scared them at times from jumping out.

      If I had over-reacted, giving out and saying OH NO GOD DON’T SHOW THEM THAT, they would have read my reaction as something to justify being scared of it.

      Same as with a skinned knee- overreact, and the child will too. Brush it off- “O dear, your poor knee, O LOOK QUICK, YOUR BALL’S GETTING AWAY”, and the child will brush it off too.

  • Psych Student

    You know what was really scary for me when I was growing up (before I got into horror movies in my 20s – I now *love* the Saw movies – the more gore and guts the better)? A movie I saw at a friend’s youth group about the book of Revelations. With the fire and the brimstone and the demons and the death. That shit is scary! Burning the hell? Yikes. I’d take horror porn over scary bible stories (all of the Old Testment and Revelations) any day (says the lesbian atheist, so, you know, grain of salt). :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/RetiredSceneQueen Emmali Lucia

      I totally agree with you. I grew up in a very religious town, kids weren’t allowed to watch horror movies or even talk about Pokemon, but good GOD they’d talk your ear off about the bible and show you movies about hell and why you’re going there.

  • CrazyFor Kate

    For me, the issue isn’t so much “appropriate” as able to understand. Sex? So what. Violence? Okay, explain it and don’t go overboard. But some movies should be reserved for when kids are able to understand it and to get the best experience possible. This is how my parents raised me and how I will raise my future family. However, I understand that many other parents would not be so liberal and would try to keep it with kid-appropriate material when friends were visiting. Otherwise? It’s nobody’s business what I show my hypothetical kids.

  • Kristin

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t you just write a post about calling another mother to complain that because her daughter got an iPhone for her birthday, now yours wanted one? I’m afraid I don’t see much of a difference between your call to that mother, and this mother’s call to you, so it seems like you have a double standard going.

    • Gangles

      Ah, but don’t you see?! Rebecca has a selective memory. It isn’t a ‘mental deficiency’ as such, more of an entitled, self-absorbed thing. She only remembers the bits that suit her agenda. Kind of like a crooked politician.

    • rebecca eckler

      Saw this coming!

    • Gangles

      Didn’t take long to get under your skin. But yes, not long ago you DID think it was appropriate to contact another parent with the complaint that she bought her own daughter an iPone. Much like it is no-one elses business if you allow your daughter to watch horror flicks, it is absolutely NONE of yours if a parent decides to give her daughter an expensive gift. It is either one way or the other, sweetheart. You can’t pick and choose what is appropriate just to suit yourself.

    • rebecca eckler

      Actually, I agree. I did call MY FRIEND to complain in a JOKING way. And again, that post was more about “opening gifts a party,” just one this is more about letting kids watch horror movies. If i just wrote, “I let my daughter watch horror movies,” well, it would be a very SHORT post. And, no, why would you get under my skin? I enjoy reading the comments. Smooch Smooch!

    • Ale515

      Those are 2 different things, in my mind. If you made her and her friends watch a scary movie at a party, then it’s the same as the iPhone thing. At least to me it is…..

    • chickadee

      In her defense, it was her friend that she called, and she did make that clear in the article. She does often contradict herself blithely, so consistency is certainly never going to be her strong suit. And that is probably the only time I mount a defense…..

  • LiteBrite

    This past Halloween I let my almost five-year-old son watch “Eight Legged Freaks.” I realize on the scare scale it ranks pretty low (at least it does for me), but I still was a little worried given that he’s only 5 and still in that make-believe versus reality stage. Strangely enough, he was fine. He only asked one question (“Are giant spiders real?”) and two weeks later seemed to have forgotten all about it.

    Then, a couple of months later, we caught TBS’ 24-hour marathon of “A Christmas Story.” (Those of you in the States know what I’m talking about.) I mean, this is a good, wholesome family movie right? WRONG. That movie brought out so many questions and issues about bullies and “mean Santas” that weeks later, when I was STILL dealing with the fallout (he was expressing his concerns about mean Santas to his daycare teacher), I looked at my husband and said, “We are never watching that movie again. Ever.”

    As someone else said, it’s not about what’s appropriate for the child but what they’re able to understand. I realize now that my five-year-old had a hell of a lot better grasp on the non-reality of giant spiders than he did on bullies and crabby store Santas (those are way more real). So, I’m not going to judge the appropriateness of a nine-year-old watching horror films (although I’d probably steer clear of the more graphically intense ones like Hostel, at least for now.) If you think she’s fine with it, then okay.

    But I do think the other mother was way out of line e-mailing you about your movie selections. Who does that?

  • Daisy

    When I was a kid, I wasn’t allowed to watch that stuff, and didn’t want to, but the other kids talked about it on the playground all the time. No big deal. It was just some parents have some rules, and different parents have different rules, and all the different kids are different. I can see how it might bother some kids, but it was never a big deal for me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/RetiredSceneQueen Emmali Lucia

    All I have to say is don’t let her watch The Ring.

    Maybe she’s a ton braver than me, but I remember watching a ton of scary movies at her age and not being bothered by it, until I watched the Ring. I seriously cried myself to sleep that night, and to this day I’m still scared pant less of that movie.

  • goofyjj

    Who knows, she may grow up to be a writer or director or film critic. She won’t grow up afraid of fiction though….that’s for sure. I read and watched horror as a kid. My teacher’s reaction wasn’t “you let her read this?” but “Do YOU feel this book is too long for a book report?” When my mom said “well if she doesn’t, I don’t” and that was the end of it.

    I think horror movies are fun and interesting. The good ones though – Paranormal Activity kinda sucked. (see – critic)

  • Ale515

    I saw The Exorcist when I was 5! I begged and begged and as a punishment, my mom finally let me. I loved it and wanted more. 20 years later, I’m a horror blogger. I love that stuff and there’s nothing wrong with your child loving those movies. I think it’s great you “allow” her to!

  • C.J.

    I’m sure her daughter has heard worse things than that at school. My 10 year old always tells me the things the kids at school say. Kids talk about much worse things than horror movies .Kids hearing stuff at school that scares them or is inappropriate is not a new thing. I’m not going to call every parent that has a kid that tells my daughter something I find inappropriate. I’m just glad my daughter comes home and asks questions so I can explain what she hears at school.

  • Elaine

    I work in advertising and have studied psychology. You are aware, I presume, that the media and the imagery used in advertising has a massive effect on adults. This is a subconscious effect and, to a large extent, we are not aware of it. Yet effect us it does, it can have huge effect on our self image and prejudice us in many ways .

    Now, ignoring for a moment that most of these films are made for an adult audience and never intended for kids. What makes you think that they are not having an effect on her? Her personality is still being formed. Children are impressionable. You think nightmares are the only negative effect they could have?

    Here’s the crux of the matter. It is a good thing to be horrified by horrific , ugly things. Wether they are make believe of not. It has been shown time and time again that to be desensitized to violence ( Real or fake.) Makes kids care less about real violence when they see it.

    Aside from that, it is my personal observation ( Something I noticed abut myself) that being desensitized to ugliness makes one less perceptive and appreciative of beauty.

    I don’t think you’re doing her any favors.

    • mycatzdead

      I loved horror movies when I was young and I still do.
      They are bad for me though. Whilst I don’t get nightmares I do get frightened.
      Sometimes when I am in the dark I remember all these films and get really scared and I hate that feeling, but still I watch them.
      I actually regret watching them as a young girl because they have made me into a scaredy cat. I used to never get scared of anything until I watched horror films. I remember a time when I slept over at my cousins when I was about 8-9 (pre-horror films). I heard breathing in the room I was sleeping in alone. Loud heavy pedophile breathing.
      I had no idea where it was coming from, I looked under the bed, in the closet and all around, nothing. It was only in that room. I calmly went into the lounge room to get my uncle, he heard it and was also confused. He ended up saying it was probably just the possums on the roof. So I went back into the room and went to bed. Throughout that whole ordeal I was completely calm and not scared at all.
      If something like that happened to me today I would probably shit my pants.

      This is why I have decided not to let my future kids watch horror films. I think it might just make them more scared in the end.

  • http://twitter.com/that_darn_kat Kat

    Lol, I WAS your 9 year old. I’ve always loved horror movies, (with the exception of Chucky movies, long story there). My mom stopped trying to not let me watch them. She basically told me, if I was so dead set on watching them, not to come to her with any nightmares I had. Never had nightmares, so it wasn’t an issue. Even now, as an adult, I keep looking for movies that will give me that little jolt of fear (it’s very hard now to find one that does).

  • didyafindit

    I’m a little late to this party but why did that mother have to call YOU? Parents cannot always be responsible for their children’s actions. Kids are going to be subjected to things and situations where their mommies can’t just go and find the source. She should just explain to her daughter about the demon thing, whatever she believes about it, and ease her fears. End of story.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003329844037 Tammy Gaudreault

    my step daughter watched horror movies for as long as she could remember. My husband is obsessed with them. The key is to teach the kids that it’s not real. Heck, at the age of 3 my husband decided to be Freddy Krueger for Halloween and his Daughers reaction? Laughter and saying “look it’s daddy!” and she was all excited. Censorship is not in our blood in our family. We’d rather the kids be exposed to stuff with us then finding it out on their own without us there to explain. To those who judged you, the heck with them..you do your thing and they can do theirs. There’s nothing wrong with it :)

    • Abendwind

      Great answer! Even though it’s not the opinion of the Childhood Development Experts© and the esteemed psychological genius Dr. Phil®©.

  • RKBoogeyman

    Horror movies were so much more fun when I was a kid (at LEAST age 3+ in my case). I was practically raised on horror movies and cartoons. The more paranormal, the better for me. Boogeymen, demons, vampires, it was all awesome to me. I find myself highly desensitized to horror movies now and people invite me to watch them all the time because I have a habit of making jokes and laughing. I used to think this bothered people, but I’ve come to find out this is WHY people want me to watch with them. I make it not so scary for them.

    So long as a child of any age is properly introduced to them, and prove themselves able to handle it, I see no issue at all. Me and my cousins and sister and friends grew up with them as a regular entertainment. We knew it was all fake, we knew never to copy it, and we were able to enjoy movie monsters for what they were…entertaining.

    My mother hates horror movies and has turned to my sister and me for comfort after such scares as The Exorcist (which I don’t think is scary at ALL…but is nevertheless an AWESOME movie…I seem to be alone in not finding it scary) and Poltergeist or Nightmare on Elm Street (ah childhood nostalgia!). Heck, I grew up adoring cartoons like Beetlejuice and Real Ghostbusters which also provoked some scare tactics…and I enjoyed “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” and Goosebumps. Some kids just really enjoy the feeling of the spooky and macabre. It has really inspired a way of looking at things which has has moved me forward in my career as a writer.

  • DimensionalTides

    Personally, I do not see any problem with letting a child of any age watch horror movies/shows like the old 50′s and 60′s Twilight Zone-style or even things like Interview with the Vampire. I believe it would be essential for my children (for when I actually do have children in the future) to be taught at an early age about the practice of magick, alchemy, herbology, the ancient astronaut theory, all religious teachings, and the paranormal and the supernatural.
    Honestly I would be teaching my children everything that I know and well beyond. Although, I do find it a bit ridiculous when people blindly say that it’s wrong to have a child be in a highly religious/spiritual atmosphere. I can understand their point if the religion/spirituality actually involved physical, sexual, and/or mental/emotional abuse, nonetheless.
    However, it seems very unhealthy and near neglect if the children are brought up in an ultra materialistic, texting/shopping lifestyle that emphasizes piddly “real world” hogwash. This isn’t saying that the parents don’t love or care for their children, it’s that the children are heavily lacking some sort of religious/spiritual guidance and possibly any reason for keeping good morals. It varies family by family, I suppose.
    Eh, in general, I believe that too many people are focused on those piddly “real world” things. What ever happened to creativity and imagination?
    I suppose it goes out of fashion as a hot, new “celebrity” spins in on the media shepherd’s dance floor.
    Ha, I’m getting way off track, but I enjoy expressing my ramblings. ;)
    Back to the point of this article..I grew up watching countless horror movies, but nothing disturbing or intensely gory. I love watching a good, creepy, paranormal horror movie without any sex or disturbing gory violence. Although growing up watching Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Streets, Friday the 13th, etc., I’ve never those type have never really appealed to me. It seems too “simple” and doesn’t require a too much thinking. Eh, the psychological/paranormal ones I suppose are my type. In fact, Insidious, Children of the Corn, Interview with a Vampire, The Wicker Man, Silent Hill, and The Fourth Kind are my favorite horror movies of all time and I would allow my future children to watch all of them except for Insidious and The Fourth Kind because of the super scary aspects. However, that brings up a whole other topic.

    Starry Blessings!

  • Chris

    I understand it may be perceived as a good thing that your daughter doesn’t get nightmares, but wouldn’t you think it is a worse thing that she “loves the stuff”?

  • sanahjaved

    ho my god