Zombies in "Night of the Living Dead" (Pictorial Parade/Getty Images)
We've all had this feeling before -- you hear something weird at night but you're the only one home. Are you are the type to go check it out or pull the covers up over your head?
Many people are almost addicted to the chills and racing heart beat that come with being scared.
Author David Annandale is no different. He's been obsessed with fear since he was a kid. Having consumed so much horror throughout his life, Annandale is now a bit of an expert on the subject.
And he seemed like the right person to ask about the continuing popularity of zombies, vampires and werewolves.
Turns out Annandale sees a connection between world events and the cyclical interest in zombies. "There seems to be an association with economic anxieties," Annandale said. "So White Zombie, which is the first zombie film, comes out during the depression and what do we see? All kinds of people who are turned into literal slave labour to work in a sugar cane plant."
"If we move forward to the popularity of the zombies today, there's a lot of economic anxiety again. The seminal film is with Romero again and that's Dawn of the Dead where we get the zombie as consumer, shuffling towards a gigantic shopping mall. 'Why are they coming here?' a character is asked? 'Instinct,' we are told, 'this was an important place in their lives.'"
Another monster that's very popular these days is the vampire. "Vampires tend to represent sexual anxiety," he said. It was a way for the reader to experience the thrill of sexual fantasy, but without guilt, because the victim's will has been overpowered. "But along with it is this anxiety of having your willpower taken away and being preyed on."
The werewolf is another monster that surfaces at this time of year, and is portrayed in different stages of transformation. "One factor is the development of special effects," Annandale said. "The four-legged monster would have been very difficult to do in the dawn of the werewolf movie."
Before, the transformation to werewolf would have happened off-screen, whereas today with newer technology, the actual transformation can be depicted.
The one thing that brings these three types of monsters together is the bite. "There's this idea of contagion -- we could become like this -- and that's part of the anxiety that is connected to these creatures. The bite - it's very intimate - and it's a way we can imagine of being very intimately violated by this thing then contracting the disease that it represents."