It is the month of demons. Ghosts. Paranormal phenomena. After the blazing heat of summer, a chill overtakes the world, and on the border between Fall and Winter is Halloween – the celebration of all things terrifying. Fear is in the air. It manifests as chills, as goosebumps – the heart beats faster and breathing quickens. Adrenaline flows. And in the midst of it all, you may feel a particular tingling in your spine... What is that?
Ask Dr. Warren Chapin, portrayed by Vincent Price in the 1959 film The Tingler, directed by William Castle (Macabre, House on Haunted Hill). Chapin discovers the existence of a parasite, dubbed the tingler, which lives in the spine of humans and feeds off their fear. Hypothesizing that the creature can be subdued by screaming, he proceeds to experiment with the help of a theater owner and the use of nightmare-inducing LSD.
William Castle was known for occasionally using gimmicks to promote his films, and for The Tingler he devised what he called “Percepto!,” in which several seats in various theaters were outfitted with buzzers to give the audience members that particular tingling sensation. A prologue to the film informed viewers that screaming was encouraged should anyone experience such a sensation, as it was the only way to subdue the parasite.
The Tingler will be playing at Baxter Avenue Theater tomorrow, Saturday, at midnight. There is no word on whether the Percepto! techniques will be employed, but remember – it's alright to scream if you begin to feel the fear.
Baxter Avenue Theater is located at 1250 Bardstown Road, in Mid-City Mall. Further theater information and advance ticket sales can be found at the Baxter Avenue Theater website.
Image: Internet Movie Database