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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The spooky, the mysterious...the bizarre! » » What do people fear (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Reg Rozee
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This topic came up in another forum recently, so there are a few more phobias that might help here.

-Reg {*}
Reality is what doesn't go away when you stop believing in it. -Phillip K. Dick



Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes? -Chico Marx
cogliostro
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Two movies that always spooked me are The Prince of Darkness and In the Mouth of Madness. Let me re-state that. These are the only two movies that ever spooked me. All of the others seem to boil down to some villain who needs to be stopped: simply literary conflict of man versus monster, psychotic, demon, or ghost. These two movies work hard to convince you that the universe is an inherently hostile place and the most you can hope for is indifference; classic H.P. Lovecraft, as are the two movies.

In order into bring this into a bizarre routine your effect would have to lead your audience to question their fundamental beliefs about the nature of the universe, or convince them that a source of pure evil was trying to find its way into the world. Of course following this line of logic... well, just keep the religion of your target audience in mind before investing too much effort.

The first routines that comes to mind for me are Stephen Minch’s "Lovecraftian Ceremonies" and Doc Hilford’s "Mountain of Madness." Both outright Lovecraft routines. What can we come up with that would be original?

"I’m a sensible man and understand that HP Lovecraft is an author, nothing more. His ideas were compelling and disturbing, but still they are stories, just works of fiction. Some people have found them so compelling that they have decided to fabricate the books and artifacts of his stories."

"What’s that you say? You’re not familiar with this author? We’ll, let me introduce you to a little of this author. This is a seal. (Show small silver circle with an etched symbol.) According to the stories written by Lovecraft, at the beginning of time the universe was populated with an endless parade of enormous monsters; each one evil and hideous to look upon. But they were captures and their prisons locked with magical seals. This is one of those seals; what I mean is that it's obviously a reproduction by some fan. Since we both agree these are just stories. But it does look very genuine doesn’t it? Here, feel the weight. Very solid piece of metal, isn’t it? Clearly someone went to a lot of work to create it. Well, according to Lovecraft the only way for these monsters to escape back into our world was if the seals were broken." (At this point the seal start to visible bend, and fold in half. Both magician and audience look astonished. Magician drops it to the table, and a previously blank sheet of paper, now displays a magic circle and a bit of an unreadable language.) "Mayhem ensues, or perhaps just a trickle of evil escaped into the world."

Just my ramblings,
Rob
Jonathan Townsend
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Regarding our buddy H.P....and the things his words have brought into our world....

Alan Moore has recently published a few modern and post-modern takes on classic Lovecraft ideas. One story, "The Courtyard" takes the mythos into the same places as "Snow Crash" and "Into the Mouth of Madness" and the classic science fiction tale about contact with an alien being whose existance is ideological. The publisher for this material is Avatar Press and you can find the books online via BN or Amazon.

Or is that these ideas themselves want something from us?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Red_Wing_II
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Is "triskaidekaphobia" the fear of crackers?

Or just 13 crackers?
Lee Darrow
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Lovecraft has had more of an impact on modern horror than anyone else, according to Stephen King and others (including Wes Craven).

Reading his stuff, as well as some of the other people who wrote in his universe, like August Dereleth, should be required reading for bizarrists who go the terrifying occultist route.

Truly scary stuff.

And a good proportion of the old series Night Gallery (which has shown up on Starz Mystery Channel lately) are either direct depictions of Lovecraft and Dereleth's stories, or good spins on them. Pickman's Model being a classic.

Also, believe it or not, Chaosium, the role playing game company, has published a role playing game titled The Call of Cthulu which has all sorts of useful information about the universe that he created, the critters in it and their abilities. Several supplements cover specifics, too. Good stuff from good people.

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
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<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
Jonathan Townsend
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Good to read that some here have read Lovecraft.

Here are a few of my favorite "other" stories

"Who Goes There?"
"All You Zombies"
"The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag"
"Beyond Lies the Wub"
"Ubik"

Feel free to search them out using GOOGLE to find the plots.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Peter Marucci
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The movie buffs in this thread have all overlooked the scariest movie of all time:

The Texas Chainsaw Vasectomy!
Smile
Turk
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Quote:
On 2003-11-06 19:30, Peter Marucci wrote:
JonTown is right in saying: "Our current film based exposure to the stories leaves much of the metaphor out and replaces it with attemtps to defy disbelief with artful special effects."

Real terror doesn't happen in a dark and forbidding old castle. Rather, it happens in a brightly lit mall!


Peter,

Actually, IMHO, it happens in the dark recesses of the mind. The fear can be rational, irrational, logical, illogical, real, imagined, etc. But it all happens in the mind.

Some of the greatest fear inducing movies were the old Alfred Hitchcock movies. And, I seem to recall that there was an Alfred Hitchcock magazine series that had short suspenseful stories. (Might still be published.)

Between Hitchcock and The Twilight Zone...ahh! Thoses were the days!! Just imagine how many bizarre plots could be plagiarized from--oops! I mean learned from--by re-reading or re-viewing the same.

Mike

P.S. My # 1 fear? Being buried alive.
My # 2 fear? Existing in a catatonic state where I can see and hear all that goes on around me but I cannot respond, move, talk, etc. To be "alive" but totally helpless. The Christopher Reeves Syndrome taken to the Nth level.
My # 3 fear? Getting Alzheimer’s and losing my mind and all sense of reality.
My # 4 fear? Being eaten alive by a swarm or horde of insects or spiders.
My #5 fear? Being criticized by others on the Magic Café forums.



Just kidding about #5. Gotcha!!
Magic is a vanishing Art.

This must not be Kansas anymore, Toto.

Eschew obfuscation.
Lee Darrow
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Turk, I learned a long time ago not to tell anyone of my fears as they tend to get used against you at some time in the future. See The Witches of Eastwick for an excellent example of that! Smile

So now we have to figure out how to render you a zombie and bury you alive. Sounds like we'd have to send you to sit through 12 viewings of "Terror Train" and then lock you in the US Military Archives in St. Louis as a data retrieval specialist.

It amounts to the same thing. Smile

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
http://www.leedarrow.com
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
shrink
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There was a program on TV in the UK about an illness where the sufferers went into a coma-like state that resembled death. So much so that two of the people on the program had woken up finding themselves on slab in the mortuary next to other corpses. The horrific part was they had been conscious all the time and were aware of every word when the doctors pronounced them dead etc. They wanted to shout out but couldn't do anything. One of the people, a middle aged lady, had it happen to her three times! She lived in terror of being buried alive.

I've worked with a lot of phobias: walking over bridges, fear of children's dolls, flying, I've even had one person terrified of toilettes! She planned her whole day around which public toilettes she could and couldn't use. Couldn't travel abroad go to a dinner party or restaraunt because she was terrified of the possibility of having to go to the toilette!!! Smile
Jonathan Townsend
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A few more fears;

When people who walk and/or push shopping carts around on the LEFT (American here) side of the isle/street, or those who stop and browse just at the narrowest part of the isle or street...who drive cars.

When people act as if the basics of education were reading, writing and arithmetic instead of reading, reasoning and rhetoric.

Appeals to social icons when used as thinly veiled threats of force.

The idea of a struggle for a "new something" that involves destroying the "old something" where the struggle gets more and more difficult until there should be nothing left of the "old something" and then...(as if by magic) the resources will be (sufficient and replenishable?) reorganized into the "new something" that will be better. Someone, Marx, really proposed such a struggle. Sounds like a worse than Pyric victory.

The lack of understanding that "magic" is an internal experience. An internal reaction to beliefs and perceptions. Not so much an external stimulus.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Caleb Strange
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Shrink reminds me of an elderly lady I met once in a residential home. She was lost in an awful miasma of grief.

I was introducing myself (prior to performing a "straight" magic show) when this lady sought me out and explained that she had just that morning received a letter informing her of terrible family news. She was clearly in a state of shock, and completely devastated. I comforted her as best I could.

After the show, I expressed my concern for this lady to some of the staff. "Oh," they said, "you musn't take any notice. She's like that everyday. Everyday she thinks she's got a letter, but what she remembers happened FORTY years ago."
"That's awful," I said. "How long has she been like that?"
"Oh, she's been like that for as long as I've worked here. And I've been here now for six years...."

Imagine that: locked into replaying the very worst moment of your life everyday, year on year. That same dreadful scene seeming fresh and raw with each mocking dawn...

Caleb Strange.
-- QCiC --
Jonathan Townsend
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Groundhog day, Caleb?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Caleb Strange
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JonTown wrote:

"Groundhog day, Caleb?"

Kind of, I suppose. But in that movie, the Bill Murray character has/develops the wherewithal to find complexity and satisfaction within the repeating pattern.

It's always "I Got You Babe" on the radio, but at least Murray's character is aware of this--at least he knows that he's in some sort of weird loop.

This lady's repeated pain seemed fresh everyday.

Regards,

Caleb Strange.
-- QCiC --
Kathryn Novak
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Quote:
On 2003-11-05 11:51, WR wrote:
I am working on a show where we Explore peoples fears.


Believe it or not, Penn & Teller have already done something very similar to what you are considering to do. They did a show called "Penn & Teller's Phobophilia," in which they played around with several fears AND included audience members to participate. The special was made in 1995 and played on Comedy Central for a while. I'll post later if I find it for you.

**************

I found it! You can order the special here.
If anyone sees my sanity, please return it to

me.
7th_Son
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Children fear that their toy dolls will become alive and try to hurt them.

I think this fear never really leaves us, even as adults. It just become unconscious. Witness the popularity of the "Chuck" horror movies or the eternal fascination of the Golem/Frankenstein/Scarecrow myth.

Never show a young child any of the "Voodoo Doll" type of effects.
"Here's to our wives and girlfriends...may they never meet!" - Groucho Marx
Jonathan Townsend
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I found the creature in "Who Goes There?" quite frightening.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
BradleyNott
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People fear death.

You can post all the elaborate answers you want...but it all boils down to death....

Most people crave financial security, posessions, exciting and sometimes fairytale-like love life, etc.

Everyone knows they will die. "Premature" death or in other words "death before your time" scares the tar out of most people.

But then again, if you don't really want to scare the audience, don't consider my ideas.

Smile
If you were a hotdog, and you were starving...would you eat yourself? I know I would!
kilgourpower
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I fear snapping my loops, the monkey men and the witch from Wizard of Oz.
My mum can be quite scary sometimes too.
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Jonathan Townsend
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I beg to differ regarding the "death" fear.

Death is a part of life.

It's the dying that can get really unpleasant.

It's like people who say they fear heights. It's the fear of the consequences of falling they are reacting to.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
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