I love horror movies.

I love horror movies.

Monsters, zombies, ghosts, slashers, psychos, aliens, sickos, it doesn't matter what the threat is, I enjoy a good scare, whether it's the gothic tragedy of Frankenstein, the stark grittiness of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre or the urban legend brought to life in Candyman.

It wasn't always this way. After watching Night of the Living Dead for the first time when I was 6, I locked myself in the bathroom for two hours and swore off scary movies forever. But somehow, by the time I was a teenager, something about the genre just clicked inside me, and I've absorbed all I can.

From movies I progressed to books and starting reading everything from Stephen King and Richard Matheson to Edgar Allan Poe and H.P Lovecraft. Just last year, when I read William Peter Blatty's The Exorcist, I found falling asleep difficult after placing the book down by my bedside.

I love the genre so much, I can't pick my favorites; I end up breaking it down into subcategories and even then can't decide if I prefer Halloween over A Nightmare on Elm Street.

So, I sought help. I asked my colleagues in the ThisWeek Community News newsroom to share their favorite scary movies and stories, the tales they turn to when they're looking for a good scare.

So sit back, turn out the light, draw the curtains, bar the door and tell yourself that's only a tree branch brushing against the window ...

Erin Holl, graphic designer: The Mothman Prophecies and The Tommyknockers by Stephen King

The scariest movie I have seen is The Mothman Prophecies starring Richard Gere and Debra Messing. Loosely based on actual events, paranormal things happen in Point Pleasant, W.Va. The psychic visions, strange drawings of a "mothman" by the main character's wife before her death and the bridge accident in the town are never fully accounted for. It's a sort of unanswered question that leaves you wondering what happened and why does such evil exist?

My favorite scary book is The Tommyknockers by Stephen King. These alien beings, "The Tommyknockers," help humans to develop technology, but the humans pay the price with their declining health and well being. Despite the technological advancements we see today, I think as a whole we're in worse shape physically, mentally and spiritually than we've ever been.

Dennis Laycock, assignment editor: Psycho and The Langoliers by Stephen King

Not only is it terrifying, Psycho created a whole new genre, subverted expectations and effectively builds suspense from the first scene to the last, chill-inducing, fourth-wall-breaking shot.

The Langoliers from Stephen King's collection, Four Past Midnight, has a creepy concept (what if time itself left me behind?), a suspenseful slow burn and a group of creatures more hideous in my mind than could ever be rendered on film. It's also got a fun twist ending -- perhaps King's ONLY satisfying ending.

Jennifer Noblit, news reporter: The Thing (1982) and House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

It's a hard call, but I've got to go with the (1982 version of) The Thing. I don't find the movie scary per se, but I love the characters and sense of isolation.

I'm a big Stephen King fan, but I've got to give Mark Danielewski props for writing my favorite scary book. House of Leaves is really creepy and disorienting. The tale is original and written in a very schizophrenic manner.

Lisa Proctor, Editorial Assistant Desk co-chief/assignment editor: Dark Night of the Scarecrow and The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

It was a made-for-TV movie, Dark Night of the Scarecrow. It's a classic plot of how bad deeds come back to haunt you: people misjudge, act without getting facts and face a killer scarecrow who takes them out one by one.

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had a lot of the spooky elements that make a good read -- the legend of the eccentric man living in the manor house who died mysteriously, then the man who inherits the house is warned to stay away -- rattled by some strange occurrences. And then there is Sherlock Holmes behaving a bit out of character in trying to solve the mystery as he hides out in the moor. I couldn't put it down.

Neil Thompson, assignment editor/page designer: Alien and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

Alien remains my favorite scary movie of all time, even though I consider it more of a sci-fi film. Why? In this space, I have too many reasons to list, so I'll stick with this: in space, no one can hear you scream.

My favorite "scary" story is Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. It's a classic example of American folklore and storytelling, and I never tire of re-reading it.

Mark Dubovec is an editorial assistant and news reporter for ThisWeek News.