What’s the best part about Halloween? Is it terrifying the elderly into handing over their possessions in exchange for you to leave them alone? Is it sticking on a pair of horns and going scantily clad to a drunken party which mildly passes itself off with a Halloween theme? Maybe it’s just a milestone which means it’s officially time to start panicking about Christmas. (Yeah, 7 weeks in case you’re wondering)
To us in Pauseliveaction, Halloween means one thing and one thing only. The chance to reflect on those spooktacular TV moments that made us hide behind a cushion in sheer terror, spilling our Fizzy Haribo ghost and ghouls shapes all over the blood red carpet. So without further a-boo, here is my rundown of some of the most ghoulish TV moments of all time…
The X Files: Tooms
No list of an eerie nature would be complete without a mention of Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, arguably TV’s most legendary FBI agent double act of all time. X Files delivered it all, from the weird and wonderful, to the downright terrifying, to the intriguing and the utterly silly. But perhaps the most creepy of their ‘Monster Of The Week’ efforts was Tooms, a creature that took on a human form and could bend himself at will in order to infiltrate humans and feed on their internal organs. So creepy he was, that the beasts at X Files brought him back for a second reign of terror, giving us nightmares all over again and making us feel that nowhere was safe from the bendy liver eater. *Shudder*
Brookside: The body under the patio
The name Trevor is synonymous with psychopath in soap land, and no reason moreso than the evil Trevor Jordache who terrorised his own family for years using violent bullying. Mandy and Beth eventually decided that they could no longer cope with living in fear, and started drugging his food. The moment he caught them grinding up pills was truly terrifying, nailbiting drama and the only escape for Mandy and Beth was entering a new kind of hell as Trevor was stabbed and buried under the patio. It was one of the most infamous soap storylines of all time and will always be remembered as a plot that proved British soaps could really be scary.
Bad Girls: The death of Yvonne Atkins
Jim Fenner is easily one of television’s most notorious villains of all time; I tuned into Pointless last year and saw Jack Ellis on there and still felt a surge of hatred for him. He cheated, abused, raped and assaulted his way around Larkhall prison, but his darkest and most unforgiveable sin was his brutal murder of everyone’s favourite inmate, Yvonne, played by Linda Henry. In a cat and mouse chase through the underground bowels of the prison hanging cell, 8 million fans were screaming at the television, hoping against hope that their beloved Yvonne would make it out. It wasn’t to be though; in a cruel twist, she was locked in a blocked off cell to die alone. Her screams and bloodied fingernails gave me nightmares for months.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Hush
You could argue that the most terrifying episode of Buffy was the musical episode, in which they all put aside their stakes and high school passions and sang their way through an entire episode. In fact, in this situation, the demons of Hush would have been most welcome. But when they did appear, the sinister episode was genuinely frightening. The creatures stole the voices of all the characters so that there was hardly any episode dialogue; something which brought a very eerie atmosphere to the whole story.
Coronation Street: Mad Maya’s revenge
Most people would expect the Corrie entry to be Richard Hillman swinging his crowbar about and cleaving open the heads of Maxine Peacock and Emily Bishop. But as delightful a romp as that story was, it was never really scary. Just macabre and entertaining. Mad Maya however, was quite a terrifying fruitcake of a character and a week of episodes which saw her blow up an entire conglomerate of shops before wielding a statue of Ganesh at Sunita kept Corrie viewers on the edge of their seats. As Sunita and Dev struggled to escape a burning shop before Maya then drove a sports car directly at them was a shocking watch. And, creepiest of all, Mad Maya is still out there. Sunita, however is not. Karl finished what Maya could not and burned Sunita to a corner shop crisp.
The whole concept of Broadchurch, similarly to current drama The Missing, was terrifying in that it captured every human being’s worst nightmare. There can be nothing worse than the murder of a child, and this unnerving mystery blended a creepy atmosphere and soundtrack to convey a real horror in a sleepy town that must have given most parents a sleepless night or two. In particular, the secretive and menacing glares between the mysterious characters, any one of whom could have been responsible for killing an innocent young boy, were deeply unsettling.
EastEnders: Trevor’s abuse of Little Mo
The second evil Trevor of soap was just as menacing as the first and EastEnders pushed the boundaries with this domestic abuse storyline that highlighted a terrifying issue and played it with brutal honesty. Meek, kind hearted Little Mo was trapped in a controlling relationship with her violent husband Trevor and the storyline had some of the soap’s scariest ever scenes; from the difficult to watch showdown on Christmas Day when Mo’s head was forced into her dinner, to the brutal rape she suffered at her husband’s hands and finally the fiery climax where Trevor returned, aptly on Halloween, and set fire to the Slater home. Every time Trevor’s dulcet Scottish tones were heard in their softly threatening way, or he appeared and we knew he had caught Mo doing something he thought she shouldn’t, such as daring to speak to her family, our hearts were in our mouths. And anyone that can get up and walk away after three clunks to the head from an iron is deserving of our fear.
Game Of Thrones: The White Walkers take a baby
There are a lot of creepy things in Game Of Thrones, from murder, giants and wildlings to the perverse antics of Littlefinger but one of the show’s most sinister scenes showed one of the rarely seen White Walkers take a newborn baby to their lair and transform it into one of their own. The despicable act of babies being left as offerings to the monsters was barbaric enough but seeing the scene played out really hit home as to what was happening to these children. As I say, difficult to choose in a show full of creepy moments, but the sheer innocence of the victim in a show where no one else is innocent, gave this scene the edge for me.
Emmerdale: Psychotic Graham Clark
We’ve all known someone needy and possessive but Graham Clark of the Dales surely took the biscuit, or should I say the crackers. He seemed dashing and a bit too good to be true when dowdy Rachel hooked up with him. But his true nature began to surface as he became short tempered and controlling. Rachel became a shadow of herself and was even forced to adopt a new hairstyle so that she resembled Graham’s dead wife. Things got even scarier when she found herself trapped on a clifftop with him as he discovered her plans to leave him. As the truth that he had killed his last wife dawned on Rachel, her fate was sealed and Graham pushed her to her death, with a chilling scream that pierced through the countryside. We could have forgiven him if he had managed in his next mission to kill the eternally irritating Kathy, but she survived an exploding car which spelled the end of one of soap’s creepiest characters.
Mumm-ra was the stuff of nightmares. All cartoons have a villain, from the hilariously inept Shredder in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to He-man’s Skeletor but not one of them scared me quite like Mumm-Ra did. His gravelly, blood curdling voice, his evil lair, his hellhound companion and his ability to transform into a massive beast made him formidable and no matter how often Lion-O and co killed him off; he always came back. His evil shadowy eyes will be in my dreams tonight, and yours too. Forget your Trevors, your Tooms and your Mad Maya; compared to Mumm-Ra, they are all child’s play.
What is your spookiest TV moment? Share the terror with us below! And for more tircks and treats this Halloween and beyond; give me a follow on Twitter, you’d be a ghoul not to. https://twitter.com/Our_manPLA
Written By Our Man In The North