My husband John and I were watching tv the other day and the trailer for the horror thriller, “Don’t Breathe” came on.  I hate to admit it but I was mildly intrigued by the premise.  John, on the other hand, was not even remotely interested. “The guy is blind.  What is he going to do to me?  I can run.  He can’t see me.”  I replied, “Yes, but his other senses have probably become more acute out of compensation.”  Rolling his eyes, John said, “It isn’t logical.”  Before I launched into a counter argument I suddenly remembered that I was married to Mr. Spock so debating this topic would be futile.  However, it did give me an idea.

For as long as I can remember I have been an avid fan of the horror genre.  Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Peter Straub, and Clive Barker were some of my constant companions during my youth.  Hmm.  That makes me sound as if I looked like the girl from “The Ring.”  I can tell you I had a way better hairstyle.  It was the 80’s after all.  And no, I didn’t look like a renegade from a Cure concert either.  I have just always been attracted to the darker side of things. As a teenager I could not get enough of “Halloween”, “Friday the 13th”, and “Nightmare on Elm Street.”

Unfortunately, I did see some really crappy horror movies as well but they were always good for a laugh.  Maybe subconsciously my love of this genre actually prepared me for life.  After pondering this idea over a cup of Tim Horton’s (shameless plug), I decided to compile a list of life hacks that I have learned over the years from viewing scary films.

  1. Always wear appropriate shoes – because I am a woman, the fashion gurus automatically assume that I will want to wear stiletto heels 24 hours a day while wearing a midriff top and skinny jeans that make me feel as if I have asthma. This is just not practical.  You should tailor your shoes to whatever activity or activities you will be participating in. Believe me, if you ever find yourself having to run in the woods from a guy in a hockey mask (and who hasn’t?!), you will want to be wearing a pair of Nikes.
  2. Don’t settle for Mr. Right Now or Ms. Right Now- it is always a bad idea to hook up with someone because you don’t want to end up alone with a ton of cats. Try to have some standards and find a person that you have something in common with instead of just getting with a guy because he looks like Zac Efron or she looks like Kate Upton. If you don’t believe me, just see what happens to Kevin Bacon in the original “Friday the 13th. “
  3.  Be curious – be adventurous and get all the life experience you can.  If you want to try a new cuisine or listen to a different kind of music, go for it! However, I wouldn’t recommend conversing with your friend Captain Howdy via an Ouija board.  It didn’t turn out so well for Regan MacNeil in “The Exorcist.”
  4. Be careful what you post on social media – I think this hack is pretty self-explanatory. Remember the office Christmas party from last year?  It probably isn’t a good idea to post that drunken selfie of you and your boss getting busy in the copier room to your Facebook wall, just saying. If you don’t believe me, check out the flick, “Unfriended.” It will make you think twice.
  5. Do research – in today’s business climate it is just common sense to do your homework before you buy a house or make any other significant investment. Be wise about how you spend your hard earned cash. Don’t try to buy a filet mignon when you are dealing with a McDonald’s budget. Case in point, the Lutz purchase of a certain abode in Amityville, NY.  Need I say anything more?

I guess if you are open to it, you can learn something from just about any experience in this world even if you aren’t a horror movie fan. 

Have any movies, television shows, songs, or books affected your life in any way? I would love to hear your opinions on the subject!  Please feel free to post your comments or contact me at

Published by Susan Leighton Woman on the Ledge