We start the Top 7. You finish the Top 10.
You move into a beautiful new house that you got for a steal. You're so excited to start your new life. But then the walls are bleeding, the kids are speaking Latin backwards and there's a constant fog outside. Even with the bad real estate market, you may want to move before one of your kids gets sucked into a vortex or starts spider-walking down the stairs. Paranormal Activity 3 hit the screens this weekend. It goes back in time to look at how characters from the first two films became demon-infested. Here are some easy signs to look for to let people know it's time to start shopping for a new place to lay your head at night.
Examples: Hanging low off the ground in Poltergeist, and also outside during the arrival of Father Merrin and in Regan's bedroom during the final exorcism in The Exorcist. Reason: Almost every scary movie has fog on the ground. The reason is clear, having impaired vision is scary (see also, scary stuff happens at night). Sure, you can't move just because it gets a little misty, no one would live in Portland if that was the case. But if you're seeing a lot of it, I'd keep an eye out for other signs.
6. Strange photos
Examples: Photos with a shadowy figure in Insidious, mysterious "lost" photo showing up in Paranormal Activity, the 1921 hotel photo in The Shining. Reason: Not everyone can be a professional photographer, we all have blurred photos. But when there's a shadowy figure sitting next to your kid in every photo, you either get a new camera or admit you have a problem. Likewise, when your old house burned in a fire with all your family photos, and one shows up in your new house's attic, that's weird. It's OK to be on alert at this point. Maybe the weirdest example is finding yourself in a photo that's 60 years old showing you at the hotel you just became caretaker for, despite the fact you weren't born then. I wouldn't stay, even if it meant shoveling my way back to society.
5. Possessed Appliances
Examples: The TVs in Poltergeist and Paranormal Activity. Reason: You know how you'll wake up after falling asleep on the couch with the TV on? It used to be creepier when channels went off at night and it would just be static or a test pattern. It's bad enough to wake up and find a TV mysteriously on, it's worse when your kid starts communicating with the TV. Either you need to take her to a kiddie shrink, or consider a house cleaning of the spiritual variety.
4. Bleeding Walls
Examples: The Amityville Horror (1979) and (2005). Reason: This doesn't happen in a lot of movies, but it was done memorably in The Amityville Horror and its remake. The walls start bleeding, like there are spouts stuck in them. Soon the place is just covered. No wonder they fled their home. If they weren't scared, they probably just didn't want to clean that stuff up. The walls were white, so you know those stains are never going to come out.
3. Limbs bending in unnatural ways
Examples: The possessed young women in The Exorcist, The Last Exorcism and The Exorcism of Emily Rose.
Reason: The Exorcist has many famous scenes. I saw it for the first time this week and felt like I was rewatching it after all I'd heard and read about it. One of the most memorable scenes wasn't in the original release, it was just a rumor for years. It was finally added in the restored cut. The infamous spiderwalk scene was cut from the original because director William Friedkin thought the wires were too visible. It was finally added when digital technology improved. It's pretty creepy. The Last Exorcism and The Exorcism of Emily Rose also have scenes where there heroines contort in unnatural manners. Everyone does it because it's always disturbing. If I saw someone doing that right now, I'd be out of this house in a heartbeat. Fun fact, Jennifer Carpenter did most of her own contorting without effects for Emily Rose.
2. Demon pregnancy
Examples: Rosemary in Rosemary's Baby, Nell in The Last Exorcism. Reason: Expectant mothers often worry about their unborn babies. Will it be a boy or a girl, will it be healthy, will it go bald like my husband? Some mothers have more to worry about than others. Like if you're about to give birth to a demon. Rosemary dreams that Satan is having sex with her, then finds out she's pregnant. That isn't a good sequence of events. It's hard to know what Nell suspects about her pregnancy, but considering she believes she's possessed, you know that the baby probably won't turn out great. Nell was kind of stuck with her family, but Rosemary really should have made a greater effort to get out of the creepy building full of weirdos when she had the chance.
1. Bad location
Examples: The Amityville Horror house at 112 Ocean Drive, the house in Poltergeist, The Bramford in Rosemary's Baby, The Overlook Hotel from The Shining. Reason: When looking for a new house, the old adage "location, location, location" gets brought up a lot. Usually it's meant to refer to schools, property values, crime and quality of life in general. But don't discount the importance of other factors. First, make sure the developer didn't build the house on an old Indian (aka Native American) burial ground. The Freeling family from Poltergeist would probably mention that, they barely survived their encounter with the supernatural. The Lutz's had a similar problem in The Amityville Horror. It was also built on a tribal burial ground. Plus it had both a devil worshiper and a mass-murderer as former inhabitants. So really, that house didn't stand a chance. Rosemary and Guy chose to move to the Bramford, in Rosemary's Baby, that was also full of devil worshipers. Finally, the Overlook Hotel from The Shining, built on the ever popular Indian burial ground (really, people should stop doing that) and equipped with it's own ESP, or shining. Do a little research on where you're moving, it might save you time, trouble, and running out screaming in the middle of the night before your home is destroyed and the patriarch goes homicidal.