Horror movies are a popular movie genre for many different reasons. Audiences find them rather thrilling and able to elicit a range of emotions. In order to do this, writers of horror movie screenplays incorporate a number of elements in them, including superstitions, which further add to the mood of the movie.

Friday the 13th

Western cultures have long feared the number 13 for a variety of reasons. In the United States, 80% of high rise buildings don’t have a 13th floor. When there is a Friday the 13th in a month, it is considered to be a very unlucky day. Using this predisposition, Friday the 13th has become a popular movie franchise. One of the most successful horror movies series, there are a dozen Friday the 13th films (if you include Freddy vs Jason). Before audiences even set forth in the theatre first time round, the name of the film and the superstition associated with it already had audiences excited.

The Birds

There has long been an association between birds and death. Alfred Hitchcock’s classic film, “The Birds” capitalizes on this superstition. The 1963 film focuses on several violent bird attacks on the people of a California town over a few days. The movie helped to even intensity the fear of large flocks of birds, especially crows as shown in this movie.

The Black Cat

Released in 1981, Italian genre giant Lucio Fulci’s film focuses on a psychic who is able to communicate with his cat, which of course is black. Black cats have been shrouded in superstition for centuries. During the Middle Ages, black cats were believed to have been witches incarnate. Many of us today have heard the old adage that it is bad luck of a black cat crosses your path. The film, Black Cat, took these beliefs about black cats to an extreme to add to the mystery and eerie mood of the film.

These are of course just a few of the superstition held by citizens around the world. There are many more that have fascinating histories and followings.


About The Author

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Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written three books - on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014), the history of the character Norman Bates (2015) and the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker (2017). He is currently working with director Richard Loncraine to explore all avenues in a bid to orchestrate the re-release of 1978 Mia Farrow chiller Full Circle