I remember bats swirling before me in the darkened theater. I remember a snarling mouth full of sharp canine teeth. I remember 3D glasses. I remember Vincent Price. I remember Daniel Cohen and Alvin Schwartz, and Stephen Gammell’s drawings of the eyeless, ethereal dead. I remember a basement and its cornucopia of horror movies on VHS. I remember the board and the planchette. I remember chainsaw chase-outs and Joe Bob Briggs. I remember a long drive home on an empty tree-lined backroad. I remember amusement parks shrouded in artificial fog. I remember propping the baby up to burp her when the lights went red and the gymnasium doors slammed shut.
Those are stories I like to recall, days I wish I could relive. They’re long gone now.
Or maybe they aren’t. There are new stories all the time, every year, and they’re all linked. Watching, reading, and even playing horror is a thread woven through every stage of my life, binding nearly all of the people, places, and events to the main fabric.
Roberts’ Rules of Horror will begin, then, with an attempt to restore flesh to the bones of memory. In the coming posts, I will recount my life as a horror fan through scores of movies, books, games, TV shows, and haunted attractions, from my earliest memories to now.