SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska
Column: Humor

Boo Who? Boo You!



October 31, 2017
Tuesday PM

Ketchikan, Alaska -
It's that scary time of the year!

jpg  Dave Kiffer

No, it's not tax time.

Although the scariest Halloween costume I ever wore was as "Someone Who Could Raise Your Taxes (elected official)!"

No, it's that "wonderful" time of the year when - because life in general isn't scary enough - we make of up things to be worried about.  And no, I am not talking about private email servers or Russian election interference. I am talking about Halloween.

Seems logical enough. Let's all dress up in creepy costumes and run around seeing who can collect the most atomic sugar bombs!

Speaking of which, when did wearing costumes become such an "adult" thing to do?

I sure don't remember my parents getting all decked out. 

Oh yeah, there was always one family on every block that went a little overboard with the decorations and maybe the Dad put on a Frankenstein (more likely Herman Munster) mask to scare the kiddies at the door.

So far this year, I have turned down about half a dozen invites to "grownup" costume parties. Fine, I get the idea that grownups should have some fun too.

Although the only "grownup" costume that I really want to be wearing is the "retired grownup" outfit complete with a "get off my lawn" sign on my chest.

Most of the "grown up" costumes I see advertised are wildly inappropriate to wear outside of one's own house and maybe that's the "scary" part of them. What you wear in the privacy of your bedroom is one thing that should not be shared with the rest of us on Dock Street.

And if I see one more cheep-o blood and makeup smeared zombie outfit, I am going to come back from the (un)dead and haunt the beejeezus out of the wearer. At least put in a little effort, people!

So it is Halloween once again and we have to decide what is really scary. 

Natch, someone has done it for us. 

Recently there was an internet survey - as if there is any other kind anymore - about what movie the people in each state think is the scariest.  And the results were somewhat surprising.

No movies about Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton made the list.

This was more run-of-the-mill horror fare. but there were some interesting results.

Hawaii is surrounded by water, so the number one scary movie in Hawaii? 

Other states got down right parochial.


"The Texas Chainsaw Massacre."


"The Shining" which was "set" in Estes Park.

For a blue state, Washington had an odd choice, probably inspired by that close border with Canada.

"Let the Right One In."

I had never even heard of that movie before. I had to Google it.

Apparently it is a Swedish "romantic horror" movie. Sounds like one of those flicks we would go see at the Harvard Exit Art House Theater years ago. Nothing like having a latte grande to go with your chills.

Minnesota is scared by "Psycho." 

Which makes sense because it still in First Run theaters there.

Kentucky is afeard of "American Werewolf in London." 

Seriously? I can't see a single reason why anyone in Kentucky would have even watched that flick in the last 35 years, yet alone be scared of it. Are they scared of London? Does the Werefolf remind them of either Hillary or Donald?

Maybe David Naughton and Griffin Dunne are just frightening to Blue Grass Staters?

I did some research and found that the song "Blue Moon" plays at the end of the movie. While it is not quite the same as the song "Blue Moon of Kentucky," maybe that's the connection? I'm reaching here, folks! As was this survey.

According to this survey, by some clearly unbusy folks at, the scariest movie - according to most states  - is "The Ring."

No, not the "Lord of the Rings" Trilogy. 

Although that trilogy itself is scary because it has caused thousands of Americans to head to New Zealand in search of "Hobbiton," a place were dozens of houses are encased is two or three feet of moss.

Which sounds like Ketchikan, no?

But I digress.

Many, many, many Americans are apparently scared of "The Ring," according to

Eighteen different states, nearly all classified as rural, said that was the scariest movie. 

I have to admit that I have not watched this nearly 20-year-old movie. Which is probably a good thing because the plot involves watching a video tape and then dying seven days later. That happens in the real world if you watch either MSNBC or Fox News.

Not sure why rural states, particularly those in the South, would find this movie so scary. Maybe because they believe everything they see on TV?

Anyway, you have noticed that I haven't mentioned Alaska's scariest movie yet. That's because it's a bit of a head scratcher.


Yeah, the Sigorney Weaver-stuck-in-a-space-ship-with-an-alien-with-death-breath flick.

Once again, I don't get it. 

The only thing truly scary about "Alien" was that it came back for two or three sequels.

Yeah, the scene where the alien baby comes out of John Hurt's chest was pretty gross, but it wasn't like that kept me up nights for a week or anything. Although it does come to mind when ever I have a spot of indigestion.

What about something more "local" like "The Thing?"

That was the Kurt Russell horror movie that was filmed mostly near Hyder in Southern Southeast back in the early 1980s. It was supposedly set in Antarctica and involved a horrible snow creature.

Just to say, if the place where you live in a stand-in for Antarctica, you might want to consider the "snowbird" lifestyle for the inclement months.

Oddly enough two states, Missouri and Mississippi, did pick "The Thing" as the scariest movie.

But before you think that they are just afraid of Hyder, it could be that they are also concerned about "aliens" as that particular film was a prequel to the earlier one (got that?) and was much more about how an alien from outer space was the frozen Antarctic creature. 

Once again, anything with "alien" in the plot seems to get some folks up on step.

Although not as much as "someone who can raise your taxes." 

Where the heck did I put that gavel???


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Dave Kiffer is a freelance writer living in Ketchikan, Alaska.
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Dave Kiffer ©2017

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