By Gary Meyer
From prehistoric cave drawings we can tell that the earliest women and men were storytellers.The tradition of sitting around a campfire telling scary tales surely started with them. Every culture has myths and folktales filled with otherworldly spirits and monsters. Homer and Shakespeare filled their works with the supernatural. In the mid 1770s showmen and charlatans created phantasmagorias and séances, the most popular form of visual entertainment before cinema. Using a combination the early magic lanterns and ancient magicians’ tricks they obtained physical and emotional responses from audiences as ghosts, demons and even deceased members of the community flew overhead screaming with terrifying sounds. The technology improved nd in 1862 the Pepper’s Ghost was introduced and is still being used in amusement parks and concerts. 1897 Le Théâtre du Grand-Guignol opened in Paris offering graphic horror plays.
In our modern times we know about special effects and don’t trust spiritualists. But we can still be scared. We asked a wide range of people including filmmakers, writers, actors, magicians and other friends what scares them and they gave us their exclusive thoughts,