Updated 10/15/2021 for content warnings: The Houses That Built October 1 and 2 both have flashing and strobing lights at a couple of points, and are not suitable, possibly, for people with coulrophobia.Uploaded to Patreon: script/transcript for this episode in .pdf format and ad-free version of this episode, both for all patrons starting at 1 dollar a month. If you need help with adding your Patreon podcast feed to your podcatcher app, please let me know and I will be happy to help you set it up.
Every version of the trailers in the episode were edited by me to remove loud music stings and screams, to keep from knocking you out of your chairs, or from driving off of the road; also for brevity and tightness, and to remove spoilers. I had great fun doing so, and was reminded of listening to my best friend Joshua’s Skinny Puppy tapes in high school, because I felt like a music remixer DJ. For those of you who don’t know, Skinny Puppy is a Canadian band that uses really interesting soundbites remixed into their music, usually from horror movies. Well, apropos of this, our junior year of high school, I misstepped going down a flight of stairs, stepping out into space and plummeting three or so steps, and dislocated my ankle, badly. Truly, madly, deeply.
I was in a wheelchair for a while–practice for now–then crutches, then a moon boot. I couldn’t drive, to my great chagrin as a newly minted driving teen, because it was my right ankle. Josh chauffered me around, and one day when I clunked into his car after school, Vlad the Impala (whom I named, thank you very much), Josh grinned his Christian Slater grin at me and popped in a cassette tape. Over wailing, throbbing music, a woman called “Are you okay?” and a man answered, in a disgusted tone, “I just fell down the damn stairs.” Josh was so beyond pleased with himself. It still makes me laugh.
This comes full circle, because this sample, in the song “Stairs and Flowers”, from Skinny Puppy’s album Mind: The Perpetual Intercourse, came from the 1984 serialized radio drama “The Cabinet of Dr. Fritz”. It was produced by NPR, which was originally inspired in part by “Sticks”, a short story by Karl Edward Wagner, set inside an abandoned house. Does this sound familiar—sticks in the woods, a spooky house? That’s right, “Sticks” also inspired the creation of the Blair Witch mythos. Everything’s connected, as I have always said.
More about “Dr. Fritz”, and “Sticks”, after I talk about this episode…
List of movies in episode 72:
Types: Immersion and Plot Point
Immersion: in which the entire movie is found footage or takes place on the internet.
Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows (2000), director Joe Berlinger
Blair Witch (2016), director Adam Wingard.
These movies are to be watched in this order.
Themes in the movies in this series: Identity, Seeing what should not be seen, Trespass, Obsession, Urban legends, Paranormal, Religion
+ Curse of the Blair Witch (1999) (dir. again by Myrick and Sánchez) and Shadow of the Blair Witch (2000) (dir. Ben Rock) These can be watched before and or after the first or second movies, in my opinion. If you want to go in completely spoiler-free, don’t watch them first. I saw them first, and honestly they helped me enjoy The Blair Witch more fully, because
they give information about the role of time in the mythos of Ellie Kedward’s curse
Not mentioned in the episode: Two more mockumentaries: The Burkittsville 7 (2000), (dir. again by Ben Rock), which looks at the Rustin Parr murder case; and Sticks and Stones: Investigating the Blair Witch (1999), (dir. again by Myrick and Sánchez), which investigates the evidence left behind in the disappearance of Heather, Joshua, and Michael.
Paranormal Activity: Tokyo Night (パラノーマル・アクティビティ 第2章 ) (2010), directed by Toshikazu Nagae—Japanese spinoff, directly related spinoff
Themes in the movies in this series: Identity, Trespass, Paranormal, Religion
News on Next of Kin, thanks to Bloody Disgusting’s John Squires: It’s coming to Paramount Plus on October 29, 2021!
Themes in the movies in this series: Identity, Trespass, Paranormal, Religion, and Seeing what should not be seen
Themes in the movies in this series: Identity, Trespass (the second one), Obsession
There’s a Creep 3, starring the incredible Mark Duplass and directed by Patrick Brice, in Letterboxd, with no further information. It’s marked as “in development” on IMDb. I’m in like Flynn! Just like the Hell House LLC series (below), I can get spooked thinking about this series, and can easily bring up evocative images from these movies.
Themes in this movie: Identity, Seeing what should not be seen, Trespass, Obsession, Urban legends, Paranormal, Religion
17. The Houses October Built (2014) and The Houses October Built 2 (2017), director of both Bobby Roe
Themes in the movies in this series:Seeing what should not be seen, Obsession, Urban legends
Content warning: As for the Hell House LLC movies, these movies may not be suitable for people that are afraid of clowns. Also, upon rewatch, I realized that both movies have some strobing lights, which may cause problems for some people with seizure disorders.
“You smell different when you’re awake.” –The Houses That Built October 2
Themes in the movies in this series: Identity, Seeing what should not be seen, Privacy and the right to information, Urban legends (the second one), Paranormal (the first one)
Note: Dark Web is LGBTQ friendly, having a healthy lesbian couple as main characters.
Themes in the movies in this series: Seeing what should not be seen, Trespass, Paranormal, Religion (the third one)
Note: remember, these movies are not for anyone with coulrophobia, aka the fear of clowns. The clowns in these movies are dummies, used as props, but they are huge plot points, and are horrific looking. I am not afraid of clowns, and still had a nightmare featuring one of them.
The third one uses a theatrical version of Faust in a most interesting way.
In which found footage and/or the internet is utilized as part of the movie but not the whole.
Themes in this movie: Seeing what should not be seen, Paranormal
Themes in this movie: Seeing what should not be seen (the most extreme example on this list), Obsession
As I talked about in this episode, this is one of the gnarliest, most intense, most graphic horror movies I have ever watched. The others would be High Tension (French Extremity, read Alexandra West’s book (Faculty of Horror podcast) on the topic), Terrifier (more killer clowns), and half of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (I couldn’t finish it, but I am going to read this book about its making.)
Themes in this movie: Identity, Paranormal, Religion
This film is a haunting and original exploration of grief. Horror is probably the best vehicle for grief.
Themes in this movie: Seeing what should not be seen, Privacy and the right to information, Trespass
Themes in this movie: Seeing what should not be seen, Trespass, Urban legends, Paranormal
Recommended books about the actual incident:
Themes in this movie: Seeing what should not be seen, Trespass, Urban legends
Themes in this movie: Trespass, Privacy and the right to information, Obsession, Paranormal
Themes in this movie: Identity, Privacy and the right to information
This movie haunted me, and is one on this list that made me yell out loud. Also, as a former counselor, I applaud the family dynamics shown in this movie—the push and pull between the mother and daughter taking up physical and emotional space in the mother’s home as the mother needs care.
Themes in this movie: Identity, Privacy and the right to information, Seeing what should not be seen, Trespass
Another movie where family dynamics themselves are frightening, and other people’s homes can be scary.
Themes in this movie: Trespass, Obsession
Themes in this movie: Identity, Seeing what should not be seen, Trespass, Privacy and the right to information
Themes in this movie: Identity, Seeing what should not be seen, Trespass, Privacy and the right to information, Paranormal
Themes in this movie: Seeing what should be seen, Paranormal, Obsession, Trespass
Themes in this movie: Identity, Seeing what should not be seen, Trespass, Obsession
My Letterboxd My Letterboxd “internet horror” tag My Letterboxd “found footage” tag My Letterboxd There Might Be Cupcakes Movie List: contains (or will) every movie mentioned in every episode--I'm working on it
Remember Skinny Puppy and “Sticks”? Back to The Cabinet of Dr. Fritz (1984), and its 13 episodes:
- Episodes 1-3 were a dramatization of Stephen King’s short story “The Mist”, adapted by horror author Dennis Etchison and produced and narrated by Thomas Lopez.
- Episodes 4 and 5 were “Aura”, adapted from Carlos Fuentes’ novel of the same name.
- Episode 6: An adaptation of two stories from Cherokee author Craig Strete: “The Bleeding Man”, and “Saturday Night at the White Woman Watching Hole” (which is one of the very best short story titles ever.
- Episode 7 was “Sticks” by Karl Edward Wagner, also narrated by Thomas Lopez.
- The remainder of the 13 episodes are “Mumbo Jumbo”, based upon Ishmael Reed’s novel of the same name, again produced and narrated by Thomas Lopez.
Books mentioned in the episode and suggested:
- Behind the Horror: True Stories That Inspired Horror Movies by Dr. Lee Mellor (get it for free on Audible and try Audible for a month, and help the podcast out)
- Books of Blood volume 5, aka In the Flesh by Clive Barker
- The Blair Witch Project by D. A. Stern (fiction that continues the mythos)
- Blair Witch: Book of Shadows by D. A. Stern (fiction that continues the myth
- Blair Witch: The Secret Confessions of Rustin Parr by D. A. Stern (fiction that continues the mythos)
- Growgirl: The Blossoming of an Unlikely Outlaw by Heather Donahue (the story of how filming The Blair Witch completely stressed Heather out, put her off filmmaking, and turned her on to pot growing. Yes, really.)
- The Horror Genre: From Beelzebub to Blair Witch by Paul Wells
- Digital Horror: Haunted Technologies, Network Panic and the Found Footage Phenomenon by Xavier Aldana Reyes
- Recycled Images: The Art And Politics Of Found Footage Films by William C. Wees
- Found Footage Horror Films: Fear and the Appearance of Reality by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas
The official Creepypasta wiki, on which can be found “Ted the Caver” and “Slenderman”. Slenderman, as I mentioned, was created originally from two photographs. Those photos, of children playing in one, and seemingly in distress in the other, with a looming Slenderman figure in the background, were created for a Photoshop contest for the Something Awful website in 2009. Here’s more about it, along with those two images, at the Know Your Meme website.
Don’t forget to follow the There Might Be Cupcakes subreddit.Listen to “What’s Your Motivation, Heather?: 72” on Spreaker.
Remember how I always say everything’s connected? One of the lyrics of “Stairs and Flowers” is “wheelchair virtue so to speak”. Your favorite wheelchair-using podcaster loves you. And stays away from stairs nowadays. Skinny Puppy * Stairs and Flowers * Spotify and Apple Music