Welcome to the Horror Issue

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How a period of fearfulness movies reflects our existential fears, the surreal existent property marketplace for ghostly homes, and visiting a haunted location successful 2021.

By Vox Staff Oct 25, 2021, 10:00am EDT

A grey  outline of the United States sits successful  the halfway  of the representation  arsenic  drips of navy humor  descent  down   the nation. Doug Chayka for Vox

When the pandemic began successful March 2020, a federation unopen itself indoors, flipped connected the television, and began streaming scary movies. Bird Box and I Am Legend fto america unrecorded retired our survivalist nightmares; Contagion felt similar a prophecy. Unexpected planetary catastrophe had agelong been the worldly of fearfulness movies; suddenly, fearfulness was real. It was knocking connected our doors.

The question of what we person to fearfulness aft a pandemic has upended our mode of life, aft galore person dulled to the world of hundreds of thousands of chap Americans dead, haunted america arsenic we conceived this month’s contented of the Highlight. Should we fearfulness a fewer onscreen sociopaths anymore? Or the telltale fires and floods of clime change? Or lone our feral, unpredictable selves?

In our screen story, Aja Romano looks to the movies to basal retired American fear. Films person agelong served arsenic a reflector for our corporate anxieties astir the unfamiliar, powerlessness, and biology breakdown. From Godzilla and different monsters of our ain making to Psycho’s Norman Bates to Get Out’s unsuspecting fellow Chris, the villains and protagonists of our favourite fearfulness movies service arsenic a proxy for us, lumbering done a period of war, societal unrest, and tectonic change.

Housing newsman Jerusalem Demsas asks what it means that things that spell bump successful the nighttime person the powerfulness to impact lodging prices (even if they’re lone successful our heads), creating a cottage manufacture of businesses that “cleanse” homes of untoward spirits and pass homebuyers of a house’s unseemly past. And Luke Winkie went to different benignant of haunted house: New York’s Blood Manor, a seasonal scare-fest wherever helium sought to larn what it feels similar to task retired successful hunt of thrills erstwhile one’s twelvemonth has already been defined by fear.

Finally, Terry Nguyen traces the culture’s voyeuristic obsession with “botched” integrative country that punishes women for atrocious enactment adjacent arsenic it demands artificiality, and Chris Chafin relives the mainstreaming of scary thrills for kids successful the ’80s and ’90s.

This month’s contented is fun, funny, and tinged with the thought that fearfulness is an American obsession. We anticipation you bask it.


An archetypal   instrumentality     connected  the poster for the Bride of Frankenstein movie. Carlos Basabe for Vox

The fearfulness century

The scariest movies person ever been a acheronian reflector connected Americans’ deepest fears and anxieties.

By Aja Romano


Rows of houses lined up   connected  a acheronian  street. One location   is illuminated by a reddish  light. Zac Freeland/Vox

House isn’t selling? Blame the ghosts. (coming Tuesday)

Realtor? Check. Appraiser? Check. Ghostbuster? Check.

By Jerusalem Demsas


Man successful  a scary disguise  crawls towards the camera portion    bloods spatters connected  the level  and reddish  lighting illuminates his body. Michael Delrosso/Courtesy of Blood Manor

Can a haunted location adjacent scare america successful 2021? (coming Wednesday)

When a pandemic rages conscionable extracurricular our doors, possibly escapism is each we tin anticipation for.

By Luke Winkie


A photomontage of a idiosyncratic   getting injections successful  their look   and breasts, which person  been replaced with cherries. Beth Hoeckel for Vox

The morbid entreaty of “botched” integrative country (coming Thursday)

Cosmetic procedures are connected the rise. So is our voyeuristic fascination with however they spell wrong.

By Terry Nguyen


Illustration of a tiny  kid  sitting connected  a tiny  furniture  with a ample  tentacled monster hovering over. Getty Images/iStockphoto

The property of monsters (coming Friday)

In the ’80s and ’90s, kids’ media was afloat of execution and mayhem. What changed?

By Chris Chafin