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The Battalion

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Opinion: The religious advantage to horror survival

Wondering+how+to+survive+a+horror+movie%3F+Opinion+writer+Maddie+McMurrough+says+her+Catholic+upbringing+gives+her+an+advantage+in+supernatural+survival.
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Wondering how to survive a horror movie? Opinion writer Maddie McMurrough says her Catholic upbringing gives her an advantage in supernatural survival.

In 2023, I have already watched 238 movies. Of those 238, the majority of those movies belong to the horror genre. As most people do when watching a horror movie, I always wonder whether I would be able to survive that particular situation. I can proudly say that for almost all of the scenarios, I would most definitely survive them.

Besides the slasher, home-invasion and psycho-murderer movies, I know if I was dropped into a paranormal horror, my survival rate is 100% no matter what demon, ghost or witch is chasing me.

My secret? Being raised Catholic. You might be asking, how does my childhood religion have anything to do with my ability to survive the night? Simple. It taught me there are some things you just don’t mess with. Ghosts, demons, Ouiji boards, you name it. So, I wouldn’t be in those scary situations in the first place.

Spoiler alert, I will be discussing two newly released horror scenarios that could’ve been avoided if the characters had at least a modicum of respect for the supernatural. You’ve been warned.

Evil Dead Rise

My first example is the newest addition to the Evil Dead saga. In this movie, a family stupidly stumbles into a crypt and snatches a book bound in human flesh called the Necronomicon —which only opens when blood is spilled upon its pages. I’m sorry, what? That wasn’t your first red flag? Of course not, because they proceed to play a summoning spell record that unleashes hell upon their family. Smart.

During their night dodging possessed family members and trying to get out of their apartment complex, a character spoke a line that had me and my sister rolling our eyes.

The family’s hopeless and petrified neighbor suggested that they pray, and the sister then admitted that they weren’t religious — no duh. Maybe you should’ve just minded your own business and left the spooky crypt alone. Is there no respect for crypts anymore?

If I was walking with my sister and we found an obviously haunted hole in the ground, we would “Get Out” of that area immediately. Problem solved.

Talk to Me

I’ll avoid spoilers for this movie since it is still in theaters, but it revolves around a group of young adults talking to spirits by summoning them through the embalmed severed hand of a psychic. First of all, no Catholic, or any spiritual person for that matter, would play around with demonic possession. That is not some silly little party game. It’s scary, dawg.

If I walked into a party and someone was performing a seance, I would run to the bathroom, pick up my phone and say, ‘Mom, they’re summoning demons. Can you come pick me up?’ There is absolutely no way you could convince me to converse with a demon, and not even the awesome montage scene to Le Monde could entice me.

All you skeptics may be saying, “This girl is crazy. She believes in ghosts!” Yes, I do. I lived in a haunted refurbished frat house for a year, and some undeniably spooky stuff happened. The story involves a dark figure, a closet door and stolen clothing items. Safe to say, I’m never returning to Nacogdoches again.

I have been raised to believe and respect the dead and their many manifestations and to avoid “The Conjuring” of paranormal beings at all costs. Maybe that’s why I enjoy horror movies the most, I can enjoy the fear from a safe distance. But I constantly witness characters who have the audacity to wonder why this happened to them. Maybe because you messed with something you shouldn’t have!

I’m not saying non-religious folks and skeptics are invalid and deserve to be chased by ghosts because we’re all allowed to our own philosophical beliefs, and I respect that. But, word of warning, don’t mess around with “Insidious” things you don’t believe in or other practices you don’t agree with just to make a spectacle.

Respect closed practices, don’t summon a Voodoo deity for fun or attempt to replicate a black magic revenge spell you saw on Tiktok. Don’t play Ouiji boards and believe the ghost you’re talking to when they say it’s your dead grandpa and they need you to let them out of the spirit world! Maybe just leave the communication with spirits to priests, mediums and paranormal professionals alike.

Keep a low profile, keep your head down and if you hear mysterious voices calling out to you “In the Tall Grass” keep walking! I mean, every girl dreams of the horror king himself, Patrick Wilson, chasing them through a field, but that situation should stay in your dreams. I doubt your lung capacity is good enough to actually out run him. Have you seen him? He’s very fit.

With my advice, you will never find yourself in a real-life horror movie. Whether you’re religious or not, we can all agree some things aren’t meant for the living, so leave it until you’re dead. The other side will still be there, waiting for you …

Maddie McMurrough is an agricultural communications and journalism junior and opinion writer for The Battalion.

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About the Contributor
Maddie McMurrough, Opinion Writer
Maddie McMurrough is an agricultural communications and journalism major from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Maddie has been writing for the Battalion since March 2023.
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