O.K. – it has taken me way too long to finish this up – but finally here it is! I got the idea of compiling creepy lady faces from way back when that whole TOP TEN WILLY MOMENTS thing was going on and some of these are on the list on my blog (UNK NOTE:: Go to that swell spot HERE!) but not all of them. They probably should have been though cause I can’t think of much more that kept me in a constant state of freaked-out when I was a kid than these ladies faces visiting me in the night.
As an adult I have added a few more ladies to the list…and they tend to sneak up on me in the middle of nights when I am feeling rather weak and feeble – such as Unk’s addition to his top 10 willy inducing moments list of the lady in SATAN’S TRIANGLE, and the originator of the willy list idea, ANDRE of THE HORROR DIGEST‘s addition of the old witch lady from BLACK SABBATH. Also, I was a little disappointed that there weren’t more faces to add. I really thought there would be like 10, at least. These are in no particular order of how much they scared me. Actually they aren’t in any order at all – I just don’t feel like moving them around. And I’m not really going into major details with some of these. You will understand what I’m saying if either you’ve seen them, or you are planning on seeing them, or you know exactly what I’m thinking, or all three.
THE OMEN – Mrs. Baylock
I’ve noticed that most people, when referring to creepy goings on in THE OMEN, usually point to the nanny who hangs herself out the window during the birthday party. While that is kinda creepy, to me that is nothing compared to Mrs. Baylock sneaking up on the mom while she is trying to put on her shirt in the hospital. Her face is so menacing and she keeps coming closer and closer to the camera, and all the while LEE REMICK is struggling is a position that would make anyone feel vulnerable.
BURNT OFFERINGS – Marian Rolf as Mrs. Allardyce
I think this is quite possibly one of the most mentioned ’70s horror scary lady faces. At least it is in my head. I think the photo speaks for itself.
Honorable mention: BETTE DAVIS’ face while she is writhing in pain from a broken back.
ENCOUNTER WITH THE UNKNOWN – Mrs. Davis (or the lady in the cemetery)
This movie is a horror trilogy that scared the pants off me as a young child, and this lady was the main reason. Her face haunted me for years and whenever I couldn’t make out my sister’s face in the dark it would morph into this face. I was on a desperate horror trilogy search for most of my 20s and when I finally found it, on TV late at night, I was thrilled but it had lost 90% of its impact. O.K. more like 99% of its impact. The movie is nice for nostalgic reasons, or if you like ’70s horror just for the feel – but it’s not very scary.
EAST OF EDEN – Kate Ames
This was a made-for-T.V. mini-series that came out in 1981 that was very popular with the folks (mostly ladies and young girls) who liked their epic romances. I watched it with my mom and sister and i liked it’s soft focus, flowery, olden days style, but it really picked up in the second half when the lovely young Cathy turned into incredibly creepy prostitute, then brothel owner Kate Ames. I won’t go into the story too much cause it’s all long and complex and none of it has a point here. Basically every time we see Kate she is in all black with a big hat and veil and when she speaks she is very bitter and scary and at the very end she is suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, and some sort of crazy lady disease – maybe syphilis, since she’s a prostitute. We see her in a small room with one dim lamp and she looks like a freak!
When I was trying to find images online from what I remembered of the end of this series there was absolutely no image anywhere even remotely resembling Kate in this state of madness and all in black. All the photos online are of Cathy with long lush hair and white frilly dresses and soft focus lenses. So I got the movie from Netflix and took some screen shots and watched this last part and was surprised by how creepy it still was to me. At this point she is clearly out of her mind and is saying something like “What they don’t know is… I can make myself so small…that they can’t even see me.” She says something to that effect in a creepy whisper over and over again and the camera simultaneously pulls back up to the ceiling so that she becomes smaller and smaller in the shot. Plus she’s smiling.
THIS HOUSE POSSESSED – Rag Lady
There are more reason’s to watch this movie than PARKER STEVENSON. In fact the whole movie is really great and he is just the icing on the cake. I saw this movie many many times in my youth and the character of the rag lady (and she is credited on IMDb) was the part that creeped me out the most. Just her face here with the sad, scared eyes and the general old lady creepiness is creepy, but there is a part that scared me so much I couldn’t watch it for years.
In this scene the rag lady gets swept into a boiling swimming pool and her face in the water was just too much for me to take – as a youngster, that is. As an adult I’m all “What ev’ THIS HOUSE POSSESSED, you don’t scare me anymore.” In fact now this movie makes me feel all cozy inside.
Honorable mention: When the blonde lady slides down the glass shower door all covered in blood – with her mouth open and screaming and all.
SYBIL – Hattie Dorsett (the mom)
She is just plain scary. I just recently saw an episode of MISSION IMPOSSIBLE that she is in – from the first season in 1966 – and she looks almost exactly the same – with the same hair do.
DARKROOM – The Witch
This is from the DARKROOM TV series from 1981 that I watched every week. Unfortunately, it didn’t last very long, and I really don’t remember anything of the other stories but this one that scared the CRAP out of me. The title of the story is “Catnip” and the whole synopsis is on the site THE HAUNTED CLOSET, so I won’t write it out here – but the ultra scary moment is when this kid looks under his bed, thinking he is going to see a cat that jumped in his window, and he sees this creepy-ass witch’s face hissing at him. I’m telling you it added a whole new level of fear to the what’s going on under the bed thing. I mean now I couldn’t even check under the bed cause seeing this face under there would be worse than just laying in bed sweating and wringing my hands. Then, at the end of the episode the kids mother is calling him and he doesn’t answer and his mother says “What’s the matter…cat got your tongue?” I don’t think you see the kid anymore – and all I could imagine was that scary witch gnawing on his tongue. Creepy.
Oh and thanks so much to THE HAUNTED CLOSET for the screen shot – I never thought I’d see this creepy old lady again!
UNK SEZ:: Thanks for the great list Carol! I’m happy to tell you that I found that THE DARKROOM episode “Catnip” on YouTube!