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Shouldn't Be, But Is

What could ever be scary about a woman spreading the joy of the Lord?

I have a small record collection; growing, but slowly. One day, my father dropped off a few selections he'd picked up at a yard sale. The soundtrack to Showboat, a 45 of Snoopy vs. the Red Baron, and The Singing Nun. He concluded his visit with telling me about a film that had been made of the latter, starring Debbie Reynolds. I'd heard the name The Singing Nun but that was about it. I didn't know what to make of these choices. I started with the Snoopy 45, then Showboat, before finally getting to The Singing Nun.

It started and before anything else I was transported. I hadn't heard the song before but its creepy childlike melody instantly took my mind back to Dario Argento's Deep Red. If you haven't seen Deep Red or have forgotten it, there is a piece that is frequently played throughout the film as a key element. The music in Deep Red, as with most early Argento films, is a fantastic mix of eerie, spooky, and often groovy.

I snapped back to reality, realizing, while it's not the same tune, I had the same feeling. I listened as this woman sang folky lullabies and praises in a very childlike melody in French. I didn't know what she was saying - I still don't want to know because it'll ruin the macabre pictures it transmits. I assumed they were worship songs; however, I was feeling something a little further south. From the first track, the songs carry a weighty darkness that could very well induce paranoia or put you in a trance. And the great thing about the record is every song carries the same creepy atmosphere.

Time had passed. Our daughter was home from college and was watching a show on her laptop. I passed by when I heard it - The Singing Nun's "Dominique". I reacted a bit silly. She told me it was American Horror Story: Asylum. I hadn't seen a single AHS episode at that time but she told me it was creepy and that song they keep playing is freaky too.

I said "I have this record." She thought I was messing with her. I told her I was serious and preceded to go to my office and put it on the turntable, playing it loud.

“DAAAAAAD!” She yelled and told me to turn it off because it was creeping her out.

That is why I dub this shouldn’t be, but is. It shouldn’t be scary, creepy, or eerie; however, whenever I put it on, the air changes and I feel like I’m in a horror film.

So keep in mind, terror can come from anywhere. What non-horror things do you get a scary vibe from?

Christopher Michael Carter is the author of Gun Control for Polar Bears and the blog Beavertown Productions. He lives in Bevier, Mo.

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