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Horror Movie Titles That Almost Were



What’s a name anyway? Well for starters, people are going to remember it. The idea behind the title of a movie is to grab people’s attention. Think of some of your favorite horror movies and what the title is. Pretty catchy, right? Some are bold and right to the point, while others are just plain catchy. Titles like Halloween or Friday the 13th stick to the name of the day they are celebrating, since they are well known, giving it a special kind of ring and get you in the mood to view them come the holiday.

But not all titles are, well, very good. Some of the most cherished and beloved horror films out there were originally supposed to be named under a different title, but fortunately due to a last minute decision by a marketing person or producer, the title was changed to what you know and love. Let’s take a look at some of them, shall we?

The Babysitter Murders (Halloween)

It’s hard to imagine a series so iconic as Halloween being called something else. Of course, this was before a franchise was in mind. The first, and originally thought to be a stand alone, film was originally supposed to be called The Babysitter Murders, which to me sounds like a Lifetime movie loosely based on real events. Supposedly the events of the film were to take place over the span of several days, but due to budget reasons, the film ends up taking place over the same evening and what better evening than the scariest night of them all than Halloween? I heard John Carpenter was influenced by Bob Clark’s shocking slasher Black Christmas and wanted to do a sequel based on that wherein the killer would be escaping an asylum and wreaking havoc on Halloween. In any case, I’m sure we are all glad the title was switched, giving us a reason to marathon the series every October.

evil dead
The Book of the Dead (The Evil Dead)

Producer Irvin Shapiro said it best to director Sam Raimi when he said, “Nobody will want to see a movie if they think they have to read!” Fearing that the younger audience might be turned off at literally interpreting the title, Raimi ended up changing the name to The Evil Dead. Sounds much better, don’t you think? While the title is pretty catchy, it goes without saying that The Evil Dead is by far more eye catching and more alarming. Good Call, Irvin.

friday the 13th
Long Night at Camp Blood (Friday the 13th)

Here’s another that sounds like it would have belonged somewhere else. I’m picturing a drama/comedy centered around camp counselors telling ghost stories while trying to hook up. This was never the shooting title, however, but Victor Miller’s working title for the script (Jason was also called Josh at this point), but his partner in crime, Sean S. Cunningham, believed that a catchier title, say Friday the 13th, was much more interesting and rushed out (he had previously been wanting a movie with this title, but had no idea what it would be until he read Victor’s script) to place an ad in Variety. The rest is history. Can you imagine if the original title stuck? I don’t know about you, but A Long Night at Camp Blood Part VI: Josh Lives doesn’t sound nearly as frightening. Sounds like Josh pulled through that operation who were hoping he would.

Scary Movie (Scream)

Well, isn’t this a coincidence? Although the parody film Scary Movie would later use that same title, riffing Scream, believe it or not, that was its working title. It’s fitting all the same, Scream being a meta-flick on all the scary films of the 80’s, poking at the tropes, but a single word representing what you do when you are most terrified certainly fits the bill much better. Of course now we can’t imagine the original title being nothing more than a series of parody flicks recycling the same jokes.

Star Beast (Alien)

I actually love the original title for this. Star Beast sounds like one of the dozen Star Wars/Alien clones that Roger Corman would later shovel out or perhaps something Troma would distribute alongside Nightbeast. As much as I do love that title, it wasn’t fitting for the realism and world Dan O’Bannon and Ridley Scott created, so to O’Bannon’s distaste for the title, he changed it to Alien after noting how many times the word appeared in the script. It’s the perfect example of how impactful one word can be, as it’s both a noun and an adjective. Also I can’t picture James Cameron’s sequel Star Beasts or the later Star Beast: Resurrection  and Star Beast Vs. Predator once the crossover happened.

childs play
Batteries Not Included (Child’s Play)

You mean that cute film about apartment tenants seeking the aid of a mechanical alien so their building won’t get destroyed? Nope, I’m talking about the film where a serial killer possesses a doll. Unbeknownst to Tom Holland and crew that Steven Spielberg was already in production with a movie under that same title, it was changed to Blood Buddy, which doesn’t sound that good when you think about girls becoming women… (ok, that’s lude and I apologize), so another change was made to the memorable Child’s Play. Although, the Batteries Not Included title does play a part in the scene where Andy’s mother discovers that her son’s doll was operating the whole time without batteries in a very memorable scene.

Wimpy (Psycho)

Psycho only went under the production title of Wimpy, but was never truly intended to be named that. It was rather a nod to second-unit camera man Rex Wimpy who appeared on clapboards and production sheets, as well as some stills. If they had actually gone with that name, I can’t imagine a film called Wimpy scaring the pants off of people for the past 55 years.

Head Cheese (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre)

That title sounds like it should be a teen sex-romp in the vein of Porky’s or Meatballs, but it’s a reference to a meat jelly (my new band shall be called Meat Jelly) made from the flesh of the head of calf or pig. Mmm, meat jelly sure does sound appetizing. Sure, if you know what head cheese is, it fits the content in the movie, but doesn’t quite have a ring to it. Before Head Cheese, the film was to be named Leatherface, which was used later for a sequel, but the creators landed on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Why? Because it puts a picture in your head before you’ve even seen the movie. It’s visceral, it’s mean and it gives the image that the film is much more bloody than it actually is.

Rabbits (Night of the Lepus)

MGM was right in thinking that a movie called Rabbits wouldn’t suit a horror film. Your friends would make fun of you for being scared of a movie called that. Instead, they opted for the latin term lepus, meaning hare, and figured a ‘night of’ would be wildly successful since it worked for Night of the Living Dead. Well, they were halfway right.

Here Comes the Boogeyman (Jeepers Creepers)

Hmm, that title is okay, but it sounds like something from the 80’s that nobody remembers. So let’s change that title to something else, like maybe after the name of a familiar and catchy jingle? I don’t know if that was how the decision actually went down, but for whatever reason, the title was changed to Jeepers Creepers and nobody has made a loveable tune seem so dark and creepy since Halloween II using ‘Mr. Sandman.’

Did I miss one? Let me know in the comments below!

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America’s Most Haunted House Isn’t in Amityville




There is a haunted house in Bridgeport, Connecticut that doesn’t get the attention the one in Amityville does, but in 1974 it caused a media stir that captivated the country, and nobody ever talks about it, not even genre movie folks.

By the end of this story, you–like the many witnesses in 1974–will wonder what’s real and what isn’t.

What did happened inside this tiny house in the middle of the block on Lindley Street?

The Conjuring

Before we get to that, let’s talk about the recent upswing in ghost story cinema and celebrity paranormal investigations, starting with James Wan’s Conjuring universe (a fourth film is currently in the works).

The Conjuring franchise has given us some great scares over the last decade. These “based-on-a-true-story” earmarks on haunted America, and across the pond, have re-invigorated the poltergeist pop culture phenomena that was so popular in the 70s.

Based on the real-life case files of Ed and Lorraine Warren, The Conjuring cinematic universe started with the Perron family in Rhode Island.

Entertainment Weekly

Lorraine Warren & Vera Farmiga. Photo by Michael Tackett

Although Mr. Warren died in 2006, Lorraine served as a consultant to The Conjuring. She maintained before her death in 2019 that she didn’t allow the filmmakers to take too much creative license. She asserted everything you see on screen is actually how it happened.

The sequel, Conjuring 2 moved to Britain and documented the famous Enfield haunting. That case involved two young sisters who were tormented by a ghost that threw things, spoke by way of possession and was just an overall supernatural baddie. Cops, priests and social workers went on record to confirm the reports. Lorraine also helped with that case.

Meanwhile, back in the U.S., the Lutz family was battling their own demons on a now-famous lot in Amityville. Again, the Warrens were on hand to assist.

966 Lindley Street

But there is another chilling tale that the Warrens were involved in that nobody talks about. It took place in Bridgeport at 966 Lindley Street in 1974 and it caused such a media circus the neighborhood would go on lock-down.

Reporters, witnesses, and other professionals would go on record saying they saw furniture move without provocation, hovering refrigerators, and physical attacks.

In the book “The World’s Most Haunted House,” writer Bill Hall takes a deep-dive into this case. What’s staggering is not only the bizarre happenings that took place, but they were so well documented by so many trusted sources.

Respected Witnesses Document Their Experiences

Firefighters and law enforcement agents have gone on record to say they witnessed everything from chairs moving on their own, crucifixes being ejected from their wall anchors, and knives being thrown by an invisible force. The activity seemed to center around a little girl.

Gerard and Laura Goodin lived in the small bungalow when they adopted their young daughter Marcia in 1968. It wasn’t long before strange things began to happen in the house–little things that people usually ignore. Still, the activity was strong enough to captivate the family.

People said when Marcia was around the events would intensify but even when she was gone things could get crazy.

The Goodin’s were subject to a loud rhythmic pounding in their walls, the source could never be located. Items would disappear from where they were left, only to be found in another spot in the house. Doors would slam. Police investigated the incidents but even they were perplexed after finding nothing.

The Media Frenzy

In 1974 the property was a hotbed of activity not only from the poltergeist but media attention. The Warrens were called in as was the American Society for Psychical Research and the Psychical Research Foundation.

Police were on hand 24 hours a day and interviewed the family. At that time there were reports of TVs being pushed from their stands, window blinds snapping up and down and shelves falling off the walls.

The public frenzy had started too. Onlookers would crowd the street in front of the haunted house to see if they could witness something for themselves. One citizen even tried to burn the house down. The entire street had to eventually be cordoned off.

At this time the entity reportedly showed itself. According to Hall’s book, it “resembled a large, cohesive assemblage of smoky yellowish-white ‘gauzy’ mist.”

The Cat Talks

Not only were there physical manipulations there were also audio phenomena. People reported hearing Sam the family cat say weird things like “Jingle Bells,” and “Bye Bye.” Outside plastic garden swans reportedly made frightening noises too.

The website Damned Connecticut also wrote about this story. In their comments section one person, Nelson P., claims to have worked in City Hall in 1974 in the records room of the Bridgepoint Police Department. They had this to say:

“…we gained a copy of a written report by an officer who was present when the paranormal s*it hit the fan on Lindley St. The most chilling account was when in his writing ‘and the cat said to the officer “How’s your brother Bill doing?, and the officer looked down and replied “My brother’s dead.” The cat then scowled “I know” swearing repeatedly at the officer then ran off. Other visual events in the report include a levitating refrigerator and an armchair that flipped over and could not be lifted back into place by the officers. One officer who witnessed it all took an immediate leave of absence having been that shaken by the experience. I today firmly believe these events took place in the home.”

Newspaper clipping of haunted house in Connecticut

A Hoax?

Levitating Frigidaires and creepy cats aside, the whole thing came to an abrupt halt when a police officer allegedly saw Marcia try to tip over a television set with her foot when she thought no one was looking.

After questioning, Marcia eventually admitted to doing everything in the house on her own and the case was closed; deemed a hoax. Or was it?

Although her parents disputed the claim, Marcia was quick to admit her part in the “haunting.” But questions remained about how she could be in two places at once.

How respected witnesses saw things happen when Marcia wasn’t even in the house and why things continued to happen even after her confession.

The case was eventually forgotten and regarded as fraud.

Bill Hall’s book “The World’s Most Haunted House,” is the quintessential story about the Lindley haunting. His book includes unprecedented interviews from firefighters and other reputable witnesses who were there. They speak about their experiences and what they saw.

It’s been reported that Marcia, the girl behind the haunting, died in 2015 at the age of 51.

Still Standing

The house still stands in the same spot it did over 40 years ago and looks the same as it did back then. You can visit it personally. You can also type it into Google Maps.

But instead of bothering the current residents keep a safe distance away if you decide to go.

Haunted house in Connecticut?

Whatever you believe, this haunted house case was definitely one for the history books if only for the attention it got from the public and the details professional eyewitnesses documented as it happened.

This story has been updated. It was originally posted in March 2020. 

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Paranormal Games: Red Door, Yellow Door



Red Door Yellow Door

Let’s play a game: Red Door, Yellow Door

Also Known As Doors Of The Mind

Spooky games that border on the paranormal are a mainstay at slumber parties around the world. From light as a feather, stiff as a board… Doors of the Mind

to the classic Ouija board, we’ve all played at least one, but there are others out there, perhaps less well known, and one of the spookiest is Red Door, Yellow Door. Doors of the Mind

What is Red Door Yellow Door?

Sometimes this paranormal game is called Doors of the Mind or Black Door, White Door, and well, any other combination of colors, you can think of.

Red Door, Yellow Door takes two to play.  However, it’s perfect for a late-night audience of scared teens, so it’s no surprise that it’s made a resurgence in recent years.

The Game Rules

The rules are simple, but the outcome could be dire, or so the urban legends claim.

One player is the guide, and the other is the subject.

  • The guide sits on the floor, cross-legged with a pillow in their lap.
  • The subject will then lie on the ground with their head in the guide’s lap and their hands raised in the air.
  • The guide should, at this point, begin to massage the subject’s temples in a circular motion chanting, “Red Door, Yellow Door, any other color door” over and over again, joined by any witnesses to the game. Doors of the Mind
  • As the subject slips into the trance, they will find themselves in a room in their mind and at that point, they should lower their arms to the floor signaling the guide and any witnesses to stop chanting.

The game has officially begun.

At this point, the person acting as the guide will begin to ask questions to the subject in order to get them to describe the room.

Any witnesses should be silent so that there is no sound except for the voice of the guide and the voice of the subject answering the guide’s question.

red door yellow door game

The instructor might ask what colors the doors to the room are, how they feel about the doors, and instruct them to go through varying doors into other rooms.

The subject is encouraged to answer all questions honestly until the guide decides to end the game, but there are some warnings and signs of danger to keep in mind.

Dangers To Keep In Mind Doors of the Mind

According to Scary for Kids:

  1. If you encounter people in the room, it may be best not to interact with them. They may be evil and try to trick you.
  2. If you find yourself in a room full of clocks, leave immediately. Clocks can trap you.
  3. You can go wherever you want, but it is safer to go up than down.
  4. Light things and light colors tend to be better than dark things and dark colors.
  5. If you should find yourself trapped in a room, you must try to wake up. If you don’t, you might be trapped forever.
  6. If you die in the game, you will supposedly die in real life.
  7. If you encounter a man in a suit who makes you uncomfortable, end the game immediately.
  8. If the guide is having a hard time waking the subject from the trance, they should shake them roughly to bring them into wakefulness.

Sounds creepy, right?!

The whole point of the Red Door, Yellow Door, seemingly, is to explore the inner workings of your own mind and to also understand that there are also dark sides to everyone.

Some of the things you might encounter inside the game may be those very things about yourself that you don’t wish to face.

Have you ever played Red Door, Yellow Door or any variation of this spooky game? Let us know in the comments!


This article has been updated. it was originally posted in February 2020.

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Jean-Claude Van Damme Rumored to Appear as a Ghost in ‘Beetlejuice 2’




During The Hot Mic Podcast, the crew spoke about Jenna Ortega in talks to play Lydia’s daughter. Well, it turns out that the guys on Hot Mic also heard that an aging action star is set to play a ghost in the sequel as well. Over on Arrow in the Head, the direction of the aging action star immediately took the shape of Jean-Claude Van Damme. However, there are options out there that may point to other action stars like Sylvester Stallone. To be honest we would be totally fine with either of these guys coming to the world of Beetlejuice and playing a ghost.

The synopsis for Beetlejuice went like this:

After Barbara (Geena Davis) and Adam Maitland (Alec Baldwin) die in a car accident, they find themselves stuck haunting their country residence, unable to leave the house. When the unbearable Deetzes (Catherine O’Hara, Jeffrey Jones) and teen daughter Lydia (Winona Ryder) buy the home, the Maitlands attempt to scare them away without success. Their efforts attract Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton), a rambunctious spirit whose “help” quickly becomes dangerous for the Maitlands and innocent Lydia.

We can’t wait to find out if this bit of info is true. So far, we know that Jenna Ortega has been in talks to play Lydia’s daughter in the Tim Burton directd sequel. It will also see a return of Michael Keaton.

We will be sure to keep you updated on future Beetlejuice sequel updates.

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