15 Movie Scary Tropes That Predate Movies

Cinema is barely 100-odd years old -- but fear is much older. If there's a scary story around, you can bet it was told before -- or even that it happened, if it's realistically possible. History, mythology, folklore -- it's everything there already. You only need to reach out, and you'll fish out something scary, ready for the movie treatment. You don't need to take our word for it, though. Just take a look at these.


Cat scares are over 200 years old. - Yes, of course cats have been aggravating people since forever (that’s basically their function).  But as a storySource: University of Toronto Libraries


Giovanni Aldini was widely known for reanimating corpses. - Aldini, an Italian physicist, became notorious in the early 1800s for zapping animal and hSource: 9 Real Life Mad Scientists


You can find evil entities unwittingly liberated in The Arabian Nights. - Not all genies are as friendly as Aladdin’s. The folk tale “The fisherman anSource: Cornell University Library / Middle East & Islamic Studies Collection


Locusta was the first serial killer. - Locusta was busted in the mid first-century for poisoning people. That wasn’t the end of her career, though ---Source: 6 True Stories From History Creepier Than Any Horror Movie


The nopperabō freaks people out with its lack of face. - The ghosts in The Haunting of Bly Manor are creepy, aren’t they? So is the nopperabo, a similSource: Yokai.com


Do you want to bind demons and spirits to do your bidding? Then this 13th-century grimoire is your basic how to book. It’s held to be the model for thSources: Occult World / Sworn Book of Honorius, Occult World / Grimoires


The Mary Russell was the Overlook Hotel on the sea. - In June 1828, when the brig Mary Russell arrived in Ireland, seven crew members were dead. They Source: History Ireland


The Pale Man is part Greek, part Japanese. (Sort of.) - Who eats children and can remove their own eyes? The answer is Lamia, a monster from Greek mytSources: GreekMythology.com, Yokai.com


The Hitchhiking Dead were already vanishing from horse-drawn carriages in the 1870s. The car was just a technological upgrade to these old tales --- wSource: The Vanishing Hitchhiker, by Jan Harold Brunvand