Host Character Intro

Hello everyone. My name is Eve Winters and I am Lana Winters’ daughter. For those of you who don’t know, Lana was once a patient at Briarcliff Manor, an insane asylum. While she was there, Oliver Thredson was her psychiatrist. Little did anyone know he was also the mass murderer Bloody Face. My mother was kidnapped from Briarcliff, by Dr. Thredson, and was locked in his basement. During this time, he revealed his true identity and raped her. She eventually escaped and killed Dr. Thredson, in self-defense. She had the baby and his name is Johnny. He is my older brother and has taken his father’s place as Bloody Face. I don’t typically have friends because my family history scares everyone away.

The Shape of Stories

I like Vonnegut’s method because it shows very clearly the happenings of a story. It demonstrates the depth of a story and what happens in it. I decided to apply Vonnegut’s method to Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” and came up with:

Chart

As you can see the story starts out pretty good. Everyone in town is gathering and conversing as if nothing bad is going to happen. Even the children are enjoying themselves while collecting stones. This is why I decided to start the line in the good-fortune section. Then the lottery begins and the tension sets in amongst the crowd. This sends the line into the ill-fortune section of the graph because deep down, everyone in the gathering is feeling bad about what is about to happen. However, the line quickly jumps up into the good-fortune section when Tessie Hutchinson enters the crowd. The mood among the entire crowd is lightened because Tessie brings a pleasant atmosphere to the people gathered together. The line then settles back down into the ill-fortune section and just keeps going down from there, as the Hutchinson family gets picked and then Tessie herself gets chosen to be stoned to death.

Don’t Get Too Emotional Now

Even though horror themed works are supposed to scare and thrill, they can stir up emotions deep inside you, under all of those scared emotions. After reading “Last Respects” from Tales from the Crypt I was sad that Anna died and that Tony, her husband, couldn’t go to his wife’s funeral and that he ended up dying, but was terrified that Tony killed Anna’s uncle and ate her when he was trapped in the mausoleum. The story created these emotions in me because the author showed us the love between Anna and Tony and, therefore, made me want to root for them and enjoy their relationship. However, I was also very emotional while reading “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, even though there was no clear relationship described. In this story, Jackson created emotions in her audience by bringing a special characteristic to Tessie Hutchinson, she gave her a relatable personality. Because she was introduced individually to the audience, and in a manner relatable to most of us, running late and then joking about it, the audience immediately relates to her and enjoys her character more than the rest of the characters in the story. Therefore, when she is chosen to be stoned by the lottery at the end of the story, Jackson’s audience is astonished and sad that she is the character that has to die. These emotions add to the horror element of the story by blind-siding the audience and killing off the character(s) that the audience has connected with the most.

Has Storytelling Changed Over Time?

I always believed that storytelling has stayed the same over time but the way that it is shared has changed dramatically, from word-of-mouth to the written word it certainly has developed. However, now-a-days we have advances in technology that allow us to communicate with people around the world, instantly. This changes the way that a story affects a body of people.

In reading Bryan Alexander’s “Web 2.0 Storytelling” I have learned that storytelling has changed over time but not in a way that I expected. Through the different platforms that the internet has to offer, people can create stories in different ways than ever before. One can write a story that takes place over a year and have one entry per day. One can write a mini-story on Twitter that is 140 characters or less. This changes the way that a person writes a story which, in turn, can change the way that a story is told.

After reading Shira Chess’ “Open-Sourcing Horror” I realized that the Slender Man came from a forum of multiple users creating a horror villain. The Slender has reached such high acclaim as being scary because we have the ability to create images online to go along with the story and it reaches so many people that it created a wide fan-base over the course of a day. The main difference in storytelling now is that there is the possibility of having a “digital” component to accompany the story itself. In the past there was only the use of words or words accompanied by images but now we can use sound clips, videos, moving pictures (GIFs), etc. to help us tell a story or to solely tell a story. Another advantage to “digital” storytelling is the potential to have immediate feedback and a global reach. You can post your story and seconds later have a person from half-way across the world responding to it. The limits are endless for means of storytelling and communication about the story itself now that we are in the digital age.

Pediophobia Films

I enjoyed watching The Twilight Zone’s “Living Doll”, Night Gallery’s “The Doll”, and Trilogy of Terror’s “Amelia”. I have a great appreciation for older horror films, even though they usually don’t scare me, because they helped the horror genre grow and develop into what it is now. However, the basic elements that make them scary are still there, such as making the dolls so hideous that just their appearance scares you. This works because our brains automatically scare when seeing something scary, therefor, the scarier looking the doll is, the more likely it is to scare the watcher. There is also the use of scary background music that intensifies the mood and creeps you out. The reasons why they play music like that in the background is to bombard the watcher’s senses in order to catch them by surprise. What doesn’t work for me, and the main reason why older horror films don’t scare me, is the length of anticipation and development of the story. These older films are perfect examples of how long it takes to reveal the scary parts. The anticipation is so long that I end up losing interest, guessing what is going to happen, or the effect of anticipation just wears off. I also like horror movies to have a little bit of drama or mystery in them as well as horror and I don’t typically find those elements in older horror films. However, I still love watching them, just not when I want to be scared.

While we are on the topic of phobias, I wanted to share with you guys my favorite phobia. I do not actually have this phobia it was just the first phobia I ever really knew. I found out about it from Charlie Brown Christmas, which my family watches every year on Christmas Eve. My favorite phobia is pantophobia, which is the fear of everything. I really only like this phobia because of the way Charlie Brown reacts to it when Lucy asks if he has it. Here is the clip if you haven’t seen it before:

“Bloody Fingers”

I originally read “Bloody Fingers” when I was in elementary school from the book Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and loved it. This book, along with the other books, More Tales to Chill Your Bones and Even More Scary Stories, is a collection of short scary stories directed towards children that lead me to fall in love with horror.

Without further ado, here is the wonderful story of “Bloody Fingers”:

Bloody Fingers

A man walked into a hotel late one night and asked for a room. The hotel manager told him the hotel was all booked up. “We’ve only got one room left,” he said. “It’s on the 13th floor, but we don’t rent that one because it’s haunted.” “I’ll take it,” said the businessman “I don’t believe in all that nonsense about ghosts.” The man took the key and went up to the room to get some sleep. As soon as he turned off the lights and got into bed, he heard the closet door squeak open. A pale, ghostly figure emerged from the closet and staggered forth, its fingers dripping with blood. “Bloody fingers! Bloody fingers!”, it moaned. When the man laid eyes on this horrible sight, he grabbed his suitcase and ran out of the room, still wearing his pajamas, and left the hotel that very night. The next night an old woman arrived at the hotel very late at night. The manager told her the same thing. “We’ve only got one room left, but it’s on the 13th floor and we don’t rent it because the room is haunted.” “Sonny, I’ve seen a lot in my day,” she told him. “Trust me, nothing could possibly bother me.” As soon as she switched off the lights and got into bed, the closet door creaked open and a ghostly figure stepped out. Its fingers were still dripping blood all over the floor. “Bloody fingers! Bloody fingers!”, it moaned. The old woman shrieked and ran as fast as her legs could carry her. A week later a teenage boy arrived at the hotel very late. He also took the haunted room despite the manager’s warning. He paid for his room, got the key and headed upstairs. After he had unpacked, he took out his guitar and began to strum some tunes. Soon, the closet door creaked open and the ghost appeared. As before, its fingers were bleeding, soaking the carpet with blood and it was moaning, “Bloody fingers! Bloody fingers!” The boy didn’t pay any attention to the ghostly figure. He just kept strumming his guitar. The ghost kept moaning, and its fingers kept bleeding. “Bloody fingers! Bloody fingers!”, it moaned. Finally, the boy stopped playing the guitar. He looked straight at the hideous apparition and said, “Shut up and get yourself a Band-Aid.”

Text for “Bloody Fingers” found at: http://www.scaryforkids.com/bloody-fingers/

So…the ending isn’t exactly what you thought but it is a good first step towards horror.

Embedding Media

This is my American Horror Story Asylum Title picture from Flickr.

American Horror Story Asylum Title

This is my favorite Bloody Face scene, when Oliver reveals to Lana that he is Bloody Face.

I love Jim Groom’s tweet about my blog. You can follow him on Twitter @jimgroom and my other professor for this class Paul Bond @phb256. However, don’t forget to follow yours truly @bloodyface106.

Here is the intro music for every season of American Horror Story.

Pretty creepy huh?! I can’t wait to share with you more about Bloody Face and other serial killers like him.