Spooktober Week 3: Evil Spooks

I’ve never been a true crime kind of gal. I’ve watched the odd true crime documentary here and there, but I am very far from becoming the stereotypical kind of true crime fan. However, when I get Discovery+ to watch Shark Week this year, a few paranormal shows caught my eye. And that’s when I realized those are the kinds of horrific true stories I’m drawn to. So although I watched a little bit of horrific true crime this past week, I mostly watched paranormal shows and documentaries on Discovery+.

The Curse of Robert the Doll (2022): I love creepy dolls, but I do not want to be left alone in a room with them. Early in this documentary, I had a bit of a giggle at the rules surrounding Robert when it occurred to me that something like this could have been used as inspiration for The Boy (2016). But I didn’t find it so amusing the more I learned about Robert. These are the kind of situations that make me believe that objects can be possessed and/or infused with spiritual energy. Absolutely no disrespect towards Robert, but I hope I never meet you in person.

Hello Robert. 8 out of 10 Respectful interactions with Robert that result in no one getting cursed. Goodbye Robert.

Evil Things (2017): After being made to feel uncomfortable learning about Robert the Doll, this series felt really cheesy by comparison. Although all of the episodes are based on true stories, some were harder to believe than others. And it didn’t help that some of the acting was not that great. It was also annoying for me as I was streaming this show that it was created to be aired on TV with lengthy commercial breaks. There was a lot of repetition of things I had just seen.

6 out of 10 Pocket Watches that make you black out

Ghost Adventures: Devil’s Den (2022): I don’t know a whole lot about Zach Bagans and his team, but I have heard that not everyone is a fan of him. I’ve never watched his show, but I had seen Demon House (2018) – but I will admit that I watched it while I was experiencing burnout and ended up falling asleep on the couch. I wasn’t sure I wanted to sit through an entire TV series starring him, but I figured I’d give this one-shot documentary a try. The first half of this show was interesting, and I was genuinely invested in how things were going to turn out. But although spooky stuff continued to happen, I found my attention wavering in the second half. Maybe I just don’t find Zach Bagans interesting.

7 out of 10 Jeffs wandering into room 20

The Haunted Museum (2021): I decided to give Zach Bagans another shot because Eli Roth’s name was also slapped onto this series. Plus, I was really in the mood to learn more about cured objects. Although the production value was better than Evil Things, the acting – and Bagans’ hosting – was not great. But this show gave me the scares I was searching for. Again, it was the cursed doll that got me. Maybe Zach’s warning at the beginning of the episode got in my head, maybe that particular short film was particularly well done, or maybe Peggy’s powers are genuine. All I know is that when I saw the picture of Peggy at the end of that episode, it felt like I had a hand on my neck and my throat felt like it was closing up.

8 out of 10 Things you absolutely should not even look at

Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story (2022): Like I said, I’m not a big true crime person, so I wasn’t originally going to watch this. But when one of my coworkers said to me “You like fucked up shit, right?”, my curiosity got the better of me. I really didn’t know much about Dahmer before watching this show, and it was brilliantly acted, but I am conflicted about its existence. There is controversy surrounding this one due to the way it has impacted the victims. And it does feel gross that some of the lines from the show have become memes and trending TikTok sounds. Also, do we really need this particular version of Dahmer’s killings when movies and true crime shows already exist? Or is this taking advance of the current popularity of the true crime genre? I will admit, I would rather watch something like this than a more cinematic version that would gloss over events or glorify the villain. At least with this series, there were multiple episodes that focused on the victims and on the people and unjust systems who allowed Dahmer to go on killing for as long as he did.

9 out of 10 Fucked Up Moments

Gacy (2003): After seeing him appear in Dahmer, I became curious enough to learn more about John Wayne Gacy. I knew even less about him than Dahmer before this week, and this is the kind of cinematic re-telling of events I wasn’t too keen on watching when it came to Dahmer’s story. But this movie is what was available for Gacy, and it kept popping up as a recommendation for me. Mostly, it just feels like an origin story. We know there’s something not quite right with this man, and we’re waiting for the moment he snaps and kills someone. But already going into this after having watched that Gacy scene in Dahmer, the film is a bit of a letdown. There’s no real tension because I know what’s eventually going to happen. And the movie itself isn’t as engaging as I hoped it would be. In a case like this, I can see how it would be easy for someone to fall down the true crime rabbit hole due to a desire to learn more about famous serial killers. But I think my exposure to real life monsters this week is more than enough for me. I’m just fine sticking to supernatural entities, fictional monsters, and real-life cursed objects from now on.

6 out of 10 Real Life Creepy Clowns

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