Holy Horror

The Bible and Fear in Movies


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About the Book

What, exactly, makes us afraid? Is it monsters, gore, the unknown? Perhaps it’s a biblical sense of malice, lurking unnoticed in the corners of horror films. Holy Writ attempts to ward off aliens, ghosts, witches, psychopaths and demons, yet it often becomes a source of evil itself.
Looking first at Psycho (1960) and continuing through 2010, this book analyzes the starring and supporting roles of the Good Book in horror films, monster movies and thrillers to discover why it incites such fear. In a culture with high biblical awareness and low biblical literacy, horrific portrayals can greatly influence an audience’s canonical beliefs.

About the Author(s)

Steve A. Wiggins is an independent scholar who has taught at Rutgers University, Montclair State University, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Carroll College, and Nashotah House Episcopal Seminary. He is currently an editor with an academic press in New York City.

Bibliographic Details

Steve A. Wiggins
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 215
Bibliographic Info: index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7466-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3371-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Preface 1
Introduction: America’s Magic Book 7
1. Popcorn 23
2. The Iconic Bible 40
3. Good Book Gone Bad 62
4. Deceptive Scripture 81
5. The Diabolical World 112
6. Possession Movies 140
7. Heavens Above 164
Conclusion 180
A Note on Sources 185
Filmography 199
Index 201

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “An engaging text that is both informative and fun to read. Holy Horror is a great addition to the ever-growing field of horror and religion. Wiggins’ expertise on the biblical text and his cheeky writing style makes this an easy recommendation for academics both new and old to the field as well as a more casual audience who might be interested in the subject… strongly recommended.”—Reading Religion