I love scary movies. When October rolls around, I turn on the Chiller, SyFy and FX channels and record every movie that offers a thrill.

It doesn't matter what kind of scary movie -- teen slashers at haunted camps, mutant bugs the size of Godzilla, creepy clowns that come to life when no one else is looking, marine mammals that turn into tornadoes. I even like the old black-and-white classics when Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman at Dracula's Castle (with or without Abbot and Costello.)

As a kid, I was scared of everything. The dark. Boogeymen. Spiders. Even the Tooth Fairy gave me the creeps, sneaking into my room in the middle of the night. How did she know where I lived? How did she know I'd lost a tooth? How much did she know about my hidden treasures?

Back then I never watched scary movies. When I was in fifth grade, all my friends at the slumber party had seen "The Blob" -- that scary movie in which Steve McQueen and his teen pals stumble upon a gooey sticky substance that begins devouring everyone in sight. I got nightmares just looking at the movie poster.

When I was in high school, I took my little brother to see "The Pit and the Pendulum" and "The House of Usher," but I spent most of the time in the well-lit lobby, pretending to buy popcorn. I was probably the last one to see "The Exorcist," terrified I'd find myself possessed by the devil.


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So now I'm catching up on everything I missed. My TiVo is filled with zombies (undead, walkers, breathers, brain-eaters), ghosts (spirits, phantoms, apparitions), witches (pagans, wiccans, warlocks), spiritualists (voodoo queens, tarot readers, fortunetellers) and other paranormal activities. I'm looking forward to watching things that come out of the swamps and chase you, things that swoop down from the sky and pick you up and things that hide under the bed and grab your feet. I'll be eating them up like popcorn.

But as fearless as I've become over the years, there's one thing that scares me more than any of these so-called scary movies. Something scarier than any sharknado-crocsaurus-chupacabra-mutant beast combined: floating around in space.

Alone. Untethered. And running out of air.

Yep, I just saw "Gravity," the Sandra Bullock/George Clooney movie. In high-resolution Imax (10 times larger!), 3-D (be a part of the experience!), with digitally remastered sound (feel the vibrations in your bones!) Big mistake.

I haven't been to a movie like this since Ben-Hur came out in Technicolor. Not only did I hold my breath the entire 90 minutes of the film (like Sandra Bullock's character, who didn't even find someone to buddy-breathe with), but I was so tense trying to help Sandra grab onto the side of the space station, I had a knot in my neck the size of a lunar module. That movie scared the spacesuit off me.

Now I'm back to watching plain old horror movies on my plain old flat-screen TV.

Today's lineup: "Halloween," "Halloween II: The Sequel, Duh," "Halloween III: The Return of Michael Myers," "Halloween IV: The Revenge of Jamie Lee Curtis," "Halloween V: The Curse of Freddy Kruger," "Halloween VI: The Resurrection of John Carpenter's Career," and "Halloween The Thirteenth: With Abbott and Costello."

I ain't afraid of no ghosts.

Reach Penny Warner at pennywarner.com Reach Penny Warner at www. pennywarner.com.