October 12, 2014

31 Days of Creepy Scenes, #20: Scratching at the Window

They've given us nightmares, given us chills, made us cringe, made us laugh, made us gag, and made us stare at the screen in awe: these are the scenes that pop into our minds when we think of great Horror Films, and we love them all.

*We recommend that if you've never seen these scenes before, that you experience them for the first time unspoiled in the movies that they come from, if you can. With that in mind, we'll try to be as spoiler-free as possible while discussing them; try, being the key word here.

1979's Salem's Lot remains to this day one of the most effective vampire films of all time. Yes, it was a Made-for-TV mini-series, but The Master and his vampire minions were every bit as terrifying as any cinematic vampire had been up until that point, and just as good or better than most that have followed after.

There are many scenes in Salem's Lot that gave us the willies (Danny Glick in the casket, Mike Ryerson in the rocking chair, any scene involving Barlow... to name a few), but the one that has always creeped us out the most was Ralphie Glick scratching at that damn window.

After Ralphie has been bitten and turned by The Master, he returns home in a swirl of fog, to feed on his family. He scratches gently at the window of his sleeping brother, who gets up gets up out of bed to let him in. Like an idiot.

Tobe Hooper filmed the window scenes backwards to give them an otherworldly look and feel, and the trick worked perfectly. Everything about the scene was terrifying; the vampire makeup, the scratching, the swirling fog, the music, the way Danny is hypnotized into opening the window for his dead brother... and of course the way that the undead Ralphie smiles at his brother, right before he feeds on him.

35 years after it first aired, Salem's Lot and its vampires still pack one hell of a horrific punch. If you love vampire movies, and for some reason have never seen this classic gem, grab a copy now and thank us later. *Encore might still be running this throughout October, but don't quote us on that.



  1. The first Made-for-TV movie ( other than that "scary" Zuni Fetish Doll) to actually scare us...

  2. Oh yeah, Trilogy of Terror was great. Also, remember Don't Be Afraid of the Dark? Thoose little gremlins pulling Kim Darby into the darkness...

    Made-for-TV horror was pretty creepy in the 70's lol