Alumni News

How Bennington Does Scary, Part II

Feeling brave this Halloween? Get ready for a fright, courtesy of these Bennington alumni. 

1. The Haunting of Hill House

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The hit Netflix show was based on the Shirley Jackson novel of the same name, which is rumored to be based on Bennington’s Jennings Music Building. Since Jackson was married to former Bennington faculty member Stanley Edgar Hyman and lived in nearby North Bennington, she would have known all about the building’s spooky reputation and possibly have visited it herself…

For bonus spookiness, explore Jackson’s favorite haunts in North Bennington. The town still celebrates Shirley Jackson Day on June 27, the day the ritual stoning takes place in her short story “The Lottery,” which Jackson wrote while living in North Bennington.

2. False Positive (2020)

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Fans of Rosemary’s Baby should check out this critically acclaimed modern riff on the iconic film, which stars Justin Theroux ’93 along with Ilana Glazer, who co-wrote the film with its director John Lee.

3. Bear Brook Podcast

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Can’t get enough of true crime? Neither can Jason Moon ’13, creator of the addictive NPR podcast Bear Brook, which investigates the cold case of the Bear Brook murders. Come for the chilling mystery, stay for the fact that it actually ends up getting solved thanks to the help of one of the podcast’s own listeners.

4. Blood Conscious (2021)

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Playing on the familiar ‘cabin in the woods’ horror trope, this debut from writer/director Timothy Covell adds elements of race and power dynamics that make the film all the more frightening—and the bone-chilling score by Kari Uchiyama ’11 and Sam Tyndall ’04  is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.

5. Shirley (2020)

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Speaking of Shirley Jackon... (because, in a list like this, how could we not?) 

This eponymously named film pays homage to the great horror writer while reimagining her life in Bennington. Emmy-award winning actress Elizabeth Moss shines with a delightfully unhinged performance in an atmosphere that is just as spooky and unsettling as any classic Jackson story. The movie is adapted from the novel by ​​Susan Scarf Merrell MFA '09

Honorable Mention

Image of Jason Momoa and Peter Dinklage

Prepare yourself for a fright during Good Bad & Undead, currently in production and slated to star Peter Dinklage ‘91 and Jason Momoa. Set in the world of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, diehard horror fans can’t miss what is sure to be a legendary performance from Dinklage as the iconic vampire hunter Dr. Van Helsing. He’ll team up with Momoa, who himself plays a reformed Vampire, in this highly anticipated film, which will be directed by Max Barbakow.

Have a favorite Bennington horror flick? Share it with

 By Mary Brothers '22, On-Campus Reporter.