The first year I did this, I watched Cape Fear (the remake with Robert DeNiro, not the original). I was a teenager at the time, huddled in the basement with a few friends as we munched on various Halloween candy.

The next year it was Fear. Again, friends and I huddled in the basement, but this time, we were too busy cracking Marky Mark jokes in between snacking on Butterfingers and Baby Ruths to be scared.

Somehow, Halloween scary movies became a tradition of sorts. Every year, I’d send out a list of movie titles and would take a vote. I included some classics, some new ones, and a few ridiculous suggestions (Sleepaway Camp, anyone?). Over the years, the size of the group got larger or smaller, and the beverages became more adult.

Over the years I have watched a bevy of movies that under normal circumstances I would have avoided. Case in point – never watch the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre when you have a headache. So. Much. Screaming.

On the other hand, I think I watched Suspiria with the volume all the way up, and I still couldn’t figure out what was going on.

However, perhaps one of my favorites was the Bette Davis/Joan Crawford vehicle, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

Most likely because of the camp factor and the well-documented animosity between the two stars, the movie has stuck with me. More recent years have included The Wax Museum, The Exorcist, and even Halloween. However, this year due to scheduling conflicts, etc., there will be no group convening for the annual stuffing our faces full of candy and making snide jokes at a scary movie. Friends have children, A. and I have travel plans, and somehow what was a nice little tradition has come to its logical conclusion. Which is probably just as well. I mean, I don’t like sharing too much of my candy.

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