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By: Marian Fragola

What gives goosebumps to our faculty members? In celebration of Halloween, we asked faculty members to share the stories, movies, books, plays and television shows that give them chills. Halloween is a great time to explore the NCSU Libraries collection and check out chilling tales that will make the holiday that much scarier! NCSU Libraries has many of the faculty’s recommendations in our collection – note the hyperlinks to the catalog holdings.

Oct 24 2011

From Meghan Manfra

By: Marian Fragola

I grew up in western North Carolina. My beloved fourth grade teacher used to read us stories from The Jack Tales: Folk Tales from the Southern Appalachians collected and retold by Richard Chase. These stories were filled with scary characters – giants with multiple heads, cunning robbers, and spooky spirits. My classmates and I would hang on every word as our teacher read the story, waiting to see how Jack would out-fox his nemesis. I still can recall the tingling anxiety of those story times!

Meghan McGlinn Manfra, Assistant Professor, Curriculum, Instruction & Counselor Education

Oct 20 2011

From Shannon Yates

By: Marian Fragola

I’ve always enjoyed The Hannibal Lecter series by Thomas Harris (which includes Red Dragon, The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal, and Hannibal Rising).  All of the books/movies are psychological thrillers, where much is left to the imagination of the reader/viewer. If I was not working in athletics today, I would most likely be a psychological profiler – much like Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs, since I was an undergraduate psychology major myself.  Therefore, it is of no surprise to anyone that knows me that Harris’s novels are at the top of my list of most harrowing suspense thrillers.

Dr. Shannon M. Yates, Assistant Athletic Director for Operations, NC State Athletics

Oct 20 2011

From Chris Gould

By: Marian Fragola

In movies that stay with you, I’d put Tod Browning’s black and white Freaks from the 1930’s.  I saw it over 30 years ago. A chilling scene that has stayed with me is the circus caravan pulling out at the end in the pouring rain late at night.

A recent read for me – Henning Mankel’s The Troubled Man – resonates a little too much as his protagonist, Kurt Wallander, ponders his waning intellectual prowess – hmm!

Mankel is a terrific writer, for me definitely more perceptive and insightful than Larsson, the current “Nordic Noir” favorite.

Chris Gould, Associate Dean for Administration, College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences

Oct 20 2011

From Stacey Cochran

By: Marian Fragola

I have literally worn out my paperback copy of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2007. For those who haven’t read it, I say give it a shot. The Road is a post-apocalyptic nightmare of a story centered on a father and his young son wandering south in search of a better life, free of the savage brutality that has become their world. McCarthy creates such a sympathetic pair in this father and son that the tension and suspense are extreme when they are threatened by marauders. A few of the scenes in the middle of the novel are shocking for their brutality and horror; you’ve been warned. Happy Halloween, everyone!

Stacey Cochran, Lecturer, Department of English and author of Claws and The Colorado Sequence

Oct 20 2011

From Jessica Jameson

By: Marian Fragola

The most frightening book I ever read was Red Dragon by Thomas Harris. It was written in 1981, prior to The Silence of the Lambs, but also includes the character Hannibal Lecter. This may be the only book I have ever read that I had to put down at times because it was so horrifying. I’m not even sure I was able to finish it – it was 20 years ago and there are still segments of the book that haunt me. I think what makes it so chilling is that it portrays a serial killer and reminds us of the unspeakable horror humans are capable of inflicting on one another. According to a Wikipedia entry on Harris, Stephen King is quoted as saying that for Harris “the very act of writing is a kind of torment.” If you read the book, you will see why.

Jessica Katz Jameson, Associate Professor, Department of Communication

Oct 19 2011

From Tom Dow

By: Marian Fragola

Rosemary’s Baby, which I read a long time ago, scared the hell out of me. Books are more frightening than movies — you have all these images jumping around in your head.

Dr. Thomas A Dow, Duncan Distinguished University Prof in ME & Director, PEC, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

By: Marian Fragola

This is one of my favorite subjects; in fact a little too favorite since it is hard for me to pin down just a few titles.

Some of my favorite horror creators are David Cronenberg, John Carpenter, David Lynch, Lucky Mckee, Ken Russell, and Roman Polanski in film; and Richard Matheson, H.P. Lovecraft, Thomas Harris, and Stephen King in print. I’ve been digging horror on television since the 1960s and now on and DVD (I don’t have cable) from such shows as: Dark Shadows, The Night Stalker, The X Files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Fringe, Walking Dead, and True Blood .

And, a list of favorites, in no particular order:

Film (usual suspects)

Prince of Darkness, Carpenter (1987)
The Thing, Carpenter (1982)
Halloween, Carpenter (1978)
Psycho, Hitchcock (1960)
Silence of the Lambs, Demme (1991)
Jaws, Spielberg (1975)
Alien, Scott (1979)
The Exorcist, Friedkin, (1973)
Night of the Living Dead, Romero (1968)
Dawn of the Dead, Romero (1978)
Rosemary’s Baby, Polanski (1968)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Kaufman (1978)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Siegal (1956)
The Fly, Cronenberg (1986)
The Fly, Neumann (1958)
Poltergeist, Hooper (1982)
Ringu, Nakata (1998)

Film (not so usual suspects)

May, McKee (2002)
Sick Girl, McKee (2006)
The Woods, McKee (2006)
Blue Velvet, Lynch (1986)
Mulholland Dr., Lynch (2001) (it *is* a ghost story)
Eraserhead, Lynch (1977)
The Hunger, Scott (1983)
Vampiros Lesbos, Franco (1971)
A Clockwork Orange, Kubrick (1971)
Videodrome, Cronenberg (1983)
Rollerball, Jewison (1975)
Donnie Darko, Kelly (2001)
Deliverance, Boorman (1972)
Ginger Snaps, Fawcett (2000)
Dog Soldiers, Marshall (2002)
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, Aldrich (1962)
Play Misty for Me, Eastwood (1974)
Peeping Tom, Powell (1960)
Repulsion, Polanski (1965)
Children of the Damned, Leader (1964)
Walkabout, Roeg (1971)
The Last House on the Left, Craven (1972)
Splinter, Wilkins (2008)
Irreversible, Noé (2002)
Caligula, Brass/Guccione/Lui (1979)
Dressed to Kill, De Palma (1980)
Carrie, De Palma (1976)
Straightheads, Reed (2007)
The Devils, Russell (1971)
Crimes of Passion, Russell (1984)
Lair Of The White Worm, Russell (1988)
The Omega Man, Sagal (1971)
No Such Thing, Hartley (2001)
Otis, Krantz (2008)
The Piano Teacher, Haneke (2001)
[Rec], Balagueró/Plaza (2007)


Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Whedon (1997-2003)
Angel, Whedon (1999-2004)
The X Files, Carter (1993-2002)
Fringe, Abrams (2008- )
Walking Dead, Darabont (2010- )
True Blood, Ball (2008- )
Dark Shadows, Curtis (1966-1971)
Kolchak: The Night Stalker, Rice (1974-1975)
Supernatural, Kripke (2005- ) except for all the angel/demon jibber-jabber


The Call of Cthulhu, H. P. Lovecraft
The Thing on the Doorstep, H. P. Lovecraft
The Dunwich Horror, H. P. Lovecraft
From Beyond, H. P. Lovecraft
The Night Stalker, Richard Matheson
I am Legend, Richard Matheson
Duel, Richard Matheson
Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, Richard Matheson
Red Dragon, Thomas Harris
Silence of the Lambs, Thomas Harris
The Exorcist, Peter Blatty
‘Salem’s Lot, Stephen King
The Shining, Stephen King

Timothy Buie, Associate Professor, Design

Oct 19 2011

From Diane Beckman

By: Marian Fragola

Psycho: I can play the soundtrack from this film in my head and after two notes, I’m already scared! The Birds is another favorite Hitchcock thriller. Hitch combines the ordinary and the inexplicable in a perfectly frightening blend!

Guy de Maupassant

Guy de Maupassant: My own students helped me rediscover this great French short story writer. Among my favorites: “Le Horla” (about a spirit that comes from across the sea) and “L’Auberge” which inspired great Stanley Kubrick film, The Shining. I also love any story where a character makes a deal with the devil, such as Maupassant’s “Parisian Adventure.”

After seeing advertisements for Sarah Waters’ books all over Europe a few years ago, I thought I’d try one out. Fingersmith was so good and chilling that I thought I’d better wait a while before scaring myself again with another of her books! Her plot twists are the stuff nightmares are made of.

And in a rare case of the film being better than the book, I recently enjoyed the film version of Sarah’s Key. The scariest thing about this story is all the truth at the heart of it. The German occupation of Paris is frightening enough without thinking about the way that the French people themselves collaborated in the deportation of Jewish families. History can be more horrifying than fiction!

Dr. Diane Susan Beckman, Teaching Assistant Professor, Foreign Languages And Literatures

Oct 18 2011

From Douglas Reeves

By: Marian Fragola

Three things come immediately to mind when I think about scary stories:

When I was a kid I saw part of an episode of Yancy Derringer (I wasn’t supposed to be watching), in which a villain was looking through a window at his unsuspecting victims. The villain was a grinning, leering clown which I found completely frightening. I know some people have a fear of clowns — I understand why.

Wait Until Dark, starring Audrey Hepburn as the blind protagonist, is very scary. It has one particular scene that took me entirely by surprise.

Finally, I read The Exorcist in one sitting while I was doing errands with my mother one day. It’s a good thing I read it in the middle of the day because at night would have been so much worse. That book is scary as all get out.

Dr. Douglas Reeves, Professor and Director of Graduate Programs, Department of Computer Science

Oct 18 2011

From Allison Bergman

By: Marian Fragola

Sweeny Todd is the first to come to mind. Not just for the obvious gory scenes of bloody murder, and meat pies, but for the horrific ability we humans have to adapt to our circumstances, whatever the cost.

For what’s the sound of the world out there?
Those crunching noises pervading the air!

It’s man devouring man, my dear!
And who are we to deny it in here?

Happy Halloween!

Allison Bergman, Assistant Director of University Theatre