Monday, December 6, 2010


I love Barbara Michaels’ paranormal books. Her novel Ammie Come Home was the first adult mystery I ever read, and WOW did it make an impression on me. Four decades later, I still read this book occasionally. (Which I did only a couple of weeks ago.) It was made into an ABC Movie of the Week titled "The House That Wouldn’t Die," starring Barbara Stanwyck. (Okay, it wasn’t as good as the book, but it was pretty scary to a kid like me.)

But even more scary was another ABC Movie Of The Week titled, "Daughter of the Mind." A séance was held, during which the spirit of a little girl dipped her protoplasmic hand into a wax melter (her mother was an artist who worked in the lost-wax process) and there was the solid proof--complete with fingerprints--that the dead little girl was trying to contact her parents. Well, that was the premise, at least.

If I saw the movie today, I’m afraid I might find it was totally STOOOOOPID. But all these years later, I still remember it with a shudder.

But the scariest move (okay, maybe after "Alien") I ever saw was yet another ABC Movie of the Week, "The Night Stalker," a tale of vampirism in modern-day Las Vegas. (Oh, how I mourned the recent death of its star, Darren McGavin.) I rented the tape about 15 years ago, and I was still FREAKED by the film (originally made in 1972). I have a copy of the movie on a Beta tape, but (damn!) no longer have a Beta machine to play it on. So…yesterday I ordered the DVD.  Hey, hit me with a 2 x 4--I suddenly feel nostalgic.  (And I'm hoping the box set of the TV show The Night Stalker will magically appear on my birthday....)

I remember a LOT of other wonderful ABC Movies Of The Week, starring the likes of Sally Field, Jan Michael Vincent, Stockard Channing, and many others. I watched those movies with religious furor. Nothing like it attracts me to the tube these days.

Instead, I read. But sadly, I’m in the minority. If you’re bored by TV, visit your local bookstore or library. You’re sure to find something really good.

What have you been reading/watching?

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