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October 30 2008

The Five Scariest Halloween Episodes. This list of episodes includes the only episode of Buffy that really spooked me...It says Halloween episodes, but none of them actually take place on Halloween. Which is odd, or just bad writing.

Also: their list of Suckiest Vampires Ever includes a BtVS mention as well.

(Just bad writing.)

That being said, I approve of any list that includes "Hush" and "Home" (by far my favorite X-Files episode; I've even taught it).
I was never a fan of "Home" and I'm a huge X-Phile (it's my favorite show, Buffy's second). It's not the content or anything. I mean, I wouldn't be a fan of the series if I was squeemish or something. But I will admit that the subject is rather frightening and it's probably the scariest episode of the series.

And by gods does it feel good to see those Twilight posers on that vampire list.

[ edited by The Xan Man on 2008-10-30 01:33 ]
Well, the article did say Official Halloween episodes or not, we've got our picks of five gut-numbingly scary episodes of classic shows that just demand a late night viewing., so I'm willing to let it slide.

"Hush" doesn't really scare me, actually. The one Buffy episode that does is "Killed By Death." That episode gave me nightmares when it first aired and still creeps me out to this day. That's the one I would have picked, though I can understand why "Hush" scares a lot of viewers. The premise is pretty creepy.
I think the Buffy episodes that unsettled me the most generally had nothing to do with scariness, at least not in the traditional sense. The ones that bother me the most are things like "The Body" or "Seeing Red" (both of which I would have trouble watching again). I think the content of those episodes is much more disturbing than the ones that are deliberately going for a scare.

[ edited by deepgirl187 on 2008-10-30 02:50 ]
The Twilight Zone pick is kind of weak. I always thought the episode with the lady receiving calls from her long dead boyfriend was a lot creepier.
My pick from the Zone would have been Living Doll.
I would agree with HowlingLupe... I think Killed by Death was definitely scarier than Hush.
I'm siding with b!x on this one. "Living Doll" is fantastically creepy. Also, an Are You Afraid of the Dark episode? Are you kidding me? Yes, that show once scared me. But it's not really all that difficult to scare a third-grader. I have since had the opportunity to revisit that particular episode, which (admittedly) once gave me the jibblies. Not so much now.

"Hush," on the other hand, is still marvelously creepy. But the episode of Buffy that freaked me out the most? "Conversations with Dead People." And it still has the same power now that it did then. Unfortunately, so much of its power is derived from things that only hold real significance if you've been a long-time viewer...so "Hush" is probably the better choice overall.
Ah... "Home." I love that episode. One of those few films/tv episodes that's just as disturbing now as it was then. And if you're trying to convince someone to start watching 'The X-Files,' that's as good an episode as any to show him/her.

And that 'Afraid of the Dark' episode sounds vaguely familiar...
The Gentlemen of “Hush” are, for me, the most frightening villains of BtVS and the Weeping Angels in the Doctor Who episode “Blink” have forever changed the way I look at statues - very scary, indeed! Clever writing, wonderful acting, terrifying stories: perfect for Halloween.
I'm re-watching the series (this makes it the third time since discovering the Buffy this spring) with my 10 year olds. So far (mid-second season) I've discovered that they are fine with most any vampire or demon but if the big bad is or looks human then it's nightmare time. So, probably not appearing on anybody else's scary episode list are "Inca Mummy Girl" and "Out of Mind, Out of Sight".
I'm a little ashamed of my "scariest" pick...

... "Bad Eggs."

I have no trouble with vampires and large, imposing demons because Buffy can kick their asses. But little spider-like creatures that'll take over your brain if they grab you? That can scuttle quite fast and can hide? Seriously, the scene in Buffy's bedroom freaked me out no end. The Slayer can only kill things that aren't lurking behind the dresser.

I agree that Joyce's body appearing on the couch in "Conversations" is truly unsettling, though, and also "The Wish" still makes me twitch.
Very few episodes of Buffy scare me. Ones that do include the aforementioned "Hush" and "Conversations with Dead People," and then there's "Same Time, Same Place"...good God, does that monster give me the wiggins.
Thank God for Whedonesque. A couple years back this site clued me back into Doctor Who and the 'Blink' episode in particular. Hadn't seen an episode of Doctor Who in like ten or fifteen years and 'Blink' was one hell of a reintroduction. Brilliant show, fantastic episode. 'Blink' most definitely deserves to be on that list.

[ edited by mangydog on 2008-10-30 08:45 ]
Uggh, can't watch the X-files episode again (EVER).
The plot of "Home" would freak out people even more from creepy silent guys who take hearts and your voices. Hey, even the Gentlemen would be wary about seeing "Home", but "Blink" was also a good choice on that list.
The ironic thing about "Buffy" is that in that universe, the vampires and other monsters prefer to take the day off on Halloween. Other monsters, like a fear demon who's less scary in his real form or a guy whose costumes are too real, will still take advantage.
I have not seen ‘Are You Afraid Of The Dark?’, but the others are classic episodes. ‘Nightmare at 20,000 Feet’ is a brilliant piece of television, even now, 47 years after it was first broadcast. I don’t find them particularly scary. ‘Home’ is icky and rather unpleasant – and ‘Blink’, an episode that I think fully justifies the widespread acclaim for the new Doctor Who, is creepy and a little bit unsettling.

I would go along with HowlingLupe and fortunateizzi and name ‘Killed By Death’ as a notable ‘Buffy’ episode.
Dr Who's Blink from Season 3 is amazing. If you haven't seen it I highly recommend it. When it first aired I was watching it over a friends house and we were tipsy and at first we were talking, but then half way though we stopped talking and then 10 minutes before the end I said, "Dude are you getting freaked out? I'm getting freaked out." and he confirmed that it was freaking him out. I've watched it since then while sober and it still manages to give me chills towards the end the way most horror movies can only dream of doing.
I never had been scaried by Buffy. Some good shows that give me creeps were "Twilight Zone" and "Night Visions". There was some good episode of "Are you Afraid of The Dark" and "So Weird", but recently the episode Jerry Was a Man by "Masters of science Fiction" made me tense.

Some very Off Topic question: There are years that I'm trying to find out the name of a show from the 80's, where there is a professor (I remeber him having a resemblance of Pierce Brosnan) and a woman (maybe a jornalist) who solve mysteries arounsd SciFi maters. In one episode there is a poison made to affect just one person, via DNA, and in other were some subliminary messages in sounds. Anyone see this thing?
The only episode on this list I haven't seen, is the number 1. But I know it's a classic and I really must watch it some time. Hush, like many here, never scared me. None of the Buffy episodes really did, though 'Killed by Death' came closer and the monster from 'Same Time, Same Place' came closest. Bwegh.

As for Dr. Who, I'd agree that 'Blink' is probably the best pick, though "Midnight" and "The Impossible Planet"/"The Satan Pit" would also have been great picks.

And 'Are you affraid of the Dark' used to totally creep me out. I remember being scared by this particular episode when young as well. Though the series that scared me most, I can't seem to remember much about. I have very vivid memories of a show that featured mud monsters that killed people (including one of the protagonists or possibly, the brother/sister of one of the protagonists) and possibly lived in a basement in a scary old house and were able to drip through floors or somesuch. Anyone know what I'm talking about? No? :).

And finally, "Home", truly one of the most scary episodes of television I've ever seen. Very, very disturbing to be sure.

ETA: heh, Brasilian Chaos Man is also asking about old shows. Sorry to say I can't help you. I've been thinking of turning in my question to SFX for a while now, maybe that's an option for you as well?

[ edited by GVH on 2008-10-30 15:22 ]
I actually find 'Midnight' scarier than 'Blink', even though 'Blink' is probably a better episode in other ways. As Russell Davies said, in 'Midnight' we see everything The Doctor is turned against him, all his usual "tricks" and get-outs don't work against an angry, unreasoning mob - that sort of mindlessness is already all around us, take away the sci-fi trappings and the central idea is all too plausible (whereas the central idea of 'Blink' is more poignant than scary to me - it's the feeling of time running through your fingers, of missed opportunities and "too short a season").

'Nightmare at 20,000 Feet' maybe has an element of the same sort of existential horror as 'Midnight' in fact, the idea that you're utterly alone, isolated, helpless, unbelieved. 'Invasion of the Bodysnatchers' or even Fred fleeing in Angel season 4 have a similar feel (as do most zombie movies, that sort of crushing inevitability, the idea that it might take days or weeks or months but eventually, they're coming to get you. Barbara ;).

Buffy never really scared me much, some of the monsters were a bit creepy I guess and the 'Same Time, Same Place' monster was pretty 'ewwwww'.
See, what scared me about Blink wasn't "too short a season" it was "things what aren't supposed to move are moving whenever you don't look!" That spoke to my inner seven year-old, and he was suitably freaked by it.

To be fair, the point in Hush when I got spooked wasn't the show itself necessarily, it was when my mom came in and asked me a question when I didn't realize she was there, and I had been focused on dialogue-less-ness for a good chunk of time...
Agreed, hence my "the central idea of 'Blink' is more poignant than scary to me" ;).

"things what aren't supposed to move are moving whenever you don't look!"

Yeah, that's what's meant to be scary about it and when it's scary that's why. But that's not the central idea of the episode IMO, just as the central idea of 'Hush' isn't "everyone loses their voices and some creepy bad guys come to kill them". That's just the premise.
The Gentlemen and their creepy creepy henchmen are probably the scariest monsters to appear on Buffy for me, followed by the Gnarl and then the "Killed by Death" thing...Kindersodd or something, I don't feel like looking up the proper spelling.

Though I was watching "Bad Girls" last night, and while I don't remember feeling like this the first time I watched it, Caleb really freaked me out. I was all quake-y and such...though that could have been that it was below zero out and we haven't turned on the heating yet.
I actually find 'Midnight' scarier than 'Blink'

I'm always amazed to find there are people with opinions diametrically opposed to mine, which was that Midnight was one of the worst-written Who episodes ever. Heh.
Really ? I reckon it might be Russell Davies' best script for Who. Course, you may think that's not saying much ;).
GVH said:

I've been thinking of turning in my question to SFX for a while now, maybe that's an option for you as well?


Thanks GVH, but what's SFX?
Ahh, what a trip down memory lane. I was only four when I first saw that "Twilight Zone" episode, but I still remember it - vividly. I was perched on my heels, about five feet from the TV set. When Shatner finally can't stand it any more, and flips open the shades, I suddenly found myself on the other side of the living room. I had rolled backward as if shoved by the telly... hard. Good times.

"Hush" is brilliantly produced, and deeply creepy. I saw "Blink" for the first time earlier this year, based on recommendations I read both here and elsewhere (and thanks for that - it's a stunner).

"Home," however, should be #1. I still can't believe that was allowed to appear on network television. Everything about it feels like some truly awful nightmare you can't escape.
"Home," however, should be #1. I still can't believe that was allowed to appear on network television.

Well, if you recall, it was a long time (three years?) before FOX would air it again.
Thanks GVH, but what's SFX?

It's a UK sci-fi magazine Brasilian Chaos Man. If memory serves it features a column wherein people ask about TV shows (or books or other stuff IIRC) that they half remember and then the columnist tries to figure out what they mean.
Thank you, Saje.
I'll try to find it and write to them.

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