(My) Top 10 List of the Best Horror Movies Ever

It’s Halloween, and to celebrate the holiday, I would like to share my favorite horror flicks of all time!

10. Salem’s Lot

This is where all the vampire movies stemmed from, I’m pretty sure. Don’t get me wrong.  The original black and white “Dracula” movie was pretty awesome, but adding color and a plot really helped get the vampire movie motif moving.

9. Nightmare on Elm Street

So many sequels….but still so scary.

8. Friday the 13th

What can I say? It’s a classic. But only the original. The sequels and the constant machete scenes kind of “killed” it. (lol)

7. Halloween

The music still creeps me out.

6. Poltergeist

I had nightmares for months after watching this.

5. Carrie

In my opinion, Stephen King is one of the best story tellers of all time. And while his stories may not always adapt well to the big screen, I’d say they do pretty well (Think It, Cujo, The Silver Bullet, Thinner, The Dark Tower and countless others.) For those who don’t know, “Carrie” was Stephen’s first book made into a movie.  I didn’t get to see it when it came out at the Iowa Theater downtown. (It was rated R, no one under 17 allowed and they carded everyone!) And I can see why. The prom scene was one of the best horror scenes of all-time. It’s right up there with the Poseidon Adventure’s New Year’s Eve scene, when the ship turned over. Scary stuff…

4. Child’s Play

An evil doll that comes to life and kills people who get in his way? What could be scarier? Bride of Chuckie was pretty good, too.

3. Dolls

More evil dolls come to life ….

2. Dolly Dearest

Beginning to see a pattern? I wonder if other people have nightmares about their dolls or toys coming alive ….

1. American Gothic

Rod Steiger and Yvonne DeCarlo at their scary best! I think what was so scary about this movie was that I had some neighbors just like them.

And there you have it; just a few of my favorite horror films, and certainly ones that made an impression on me.

Have a frightful Halloween!






The Witchless Kitten

Illustration by Scott Dolash









This past weekend, I was feeling a little creative and wrote a short story for my grandchildren in honor of one of my favorite holidays. The above illustration was done by my friend, and local artist, Scott Dolash.

The Witcheless Kitten

Once there was a kitten, who lived with his mother and brothers and sisters in a witch’s house. He was a very nice kitten and could catch mice better than any other cats around.

He had many, many brothers and sisters, who all grew up to become witch cats.
When the kittens were old enough to leave home, the witch’s friends came by to visit and to pick out a kitten. Soon, all of his brothers and sisters found homes with all the witch’s friends, except for him.

“He’s a funny color,” he heard one of the witches say.

“And he’s so tiny,” said another.

It was true; he was more brown, than black (all the witches wanted black cats), and he was the runt of the litter. But he was fast! He wished he could tell them that, but all he could do was meow quietly, as they walked by.

He was very sad. His mother and his mistress witch tried to cheer him up by telling him to be patient. “Someone will come by soon. You’ll see.”

But days passed, and the kitten began to give up hope of ever finding a witch of his own.

Then one day while he was outside playing in the yard, a little girl walked by. She stopped to pet him. “What a nice kitty you are!” she exclaimed.

The kitten liked that! He started purring and rubbing up against her leg. And when she bent down to pick him up, he didn’t try to get away like the other kittens did. He liked being held.

When the witch came outside to see what he was doing, the little girl became frightened and started to run away, but the witch smiled and called out for her to stay and chat.

“You don’t have to be afraid. I am a good witch,” she told her.

The little girl stayed and told the witch she lived on the other side of the hill. “Can I please come back and play with the kitten?”

“Of course, come anytime,” she told her. The little girl gave the kitten a hug and waved goodbye as she walked over the hill.

That night, the kitten told his mother all about how the little girl held him and how much he liked it.

“But she is not a witch, and we are witch cats,” he said sadly. “How I wish she was a witch, then I could go home with her!”

His mother smiled. “You really liked her, didn’t you? Well, it doesn’t matter to me if she is a witch or not. All that matters is that you are happy. If she comes back tomorrow, and you still want to go home with her, I won’t mind. I will miss you, but it will mean more to me that you are happy.”

The kitten was very excited and waited all day for the little girl to come by. It became late and the little girl didn’t come. He became very sad.

All of a sudden, he heard the little girl singing. He ran to the edge of the yard and saw her come over the hill. She smiled and ran to the kitten when she saw him sitting in the yard. She scooped him up in her arms and hugged him. He purred happily.

The witch looked out her window and saw the little girl holding the kitten. She went outside and told her, “The kitten likes you. You can take him home if you promise to take good care of him.”

“Oh yes, I will! Thank you!” she told the witch as she held the kitten close and skipped home.

That night, as the little girl snuggled with the kitten, he thought about his brothers and sisters and hoped they were happy with their witches. Because he was just as happy without one.



There’s no doubt that when we change the way we look at something, we see it in a whole new light; a different perspective, if you will.

For example, if we get stuck in the loop of believing that nothing good ever happens to us – that the only luck we have is bad luck, and the world would be better off without us – we are going to see the world as gray and meaningless.

But once we find that spark of hope that tells us that we have the power to change the way we think, our lives become better. We become empowered to want to do more, be more. 

All we need is a little nudge; something or someone to show us that it is possible.

Let me tell you a little story:

“Once upon a time there lived a little girl who came from a large family. The members of the family were  much too busy with other things to care much about the needs of the little girl. This unhappy little girl decided if no one cared about her, she wasn’t going to care, either. Her once lively spirit diminished, until all that was left was a shell.

As she grew into an adult, she found herself searching for something that would fill the emptiness inside her. But no matter what she did, happiness was always just out of her reach. She looked for it in relationships, her work, and her children, but nothing ever seemed to fill the hole inside her.

One day, she realized she couldn’t go on living that way. The way she saw it, she only had two options; end it all, or do something about it. Fortunately, she choose the latter.

She quit drinking and smoking and joined a 12-Step group. She started hanging around positive people , good examples of who she wanted to be. She  faced her demons and her fears. She began to accept life on life’s terms. And after years of being what everyone wanted her to be, she learned who she really was; a wonderful, caring, generous, socially-awkward basket case. And she learned to love every aspect of who she was.

She learned to let go of her resentments and was finally able to forgive those who had hurt her.  She took chances on love and life, and learned that every little success brought her closer to where she wanted to be. And every setback made her even more determined  to become the person she was meant to be.

Years passed before she was able to look back and understand that the suffering, the pain, and all the heartache she had gone through, had a purpose.  She had to go through the bad to appreciate the good. She learned to look at obstacles, not as something trying to defeat her, but as lessons to learn from, so she could grow as a human being.

And as she contemplated her life, she realized for the very first time she was truly happy. Oh, she’s had happy moments throughout her life, but they were fleeting.  Now she was happy, truly happy, just because. And that is how she lived her life.

And she lived happily-ever-after.”

As you might have guess, this is a true story. This is my story. But it’s not the only one. It’s the one that catapulted me from my simple existence, to become an active participant in life. Not only did my attitude change as a result of my ‘Self’ work, but so did my life. I became more positive, and ambitious. I had more energy and drive to help others.

There was a time when I hated my life. But hard work and determination paid off; somewhere along the way, I learned to love myself, and my life.

Today, I may be a better version of myself, but it doesn’t mean I don’t have problems. I face new challenges every day; whether it is health, work, relationship-related; but I can go to bed with peace of mind and thank God for the opportunity to learn and grow.

I know; it sounds too good to be true. But I am living proof that it can be done.  When I think about where I was, and where I am now, all I can say is that it is truly a miracle.

But it’s not magic. It’s a lot of work, it takes time to unlearn bad habits and develop new, healthier habits. You will have to challenge your beliefs and let go of everything you thought was real. You will have to reach deep inside you and pull out your most painful memories so you can finally resolve them, instead of just pushing them away.

You will cry so much you think you might never ever stop. But then one day, you will wake up and realize how great your life is. You will feel like shouting it to the world and you will want to share it with everyone. And then you will know you have changed the way you look at life.

In My Father’s Footsteps