Horror movies are the perfect inspiration for scream-worthy baby names. While some of these names aren't inherently scary, the characters who share these names certainly were!
Remember Michael Myers from Halloween, the 6-year-old boy who murdered his sister after trick-or-treating? How could you forget his escape from the mental hospital to kill the babysitter, a young Jamie Lee Curtis? Despite this Michael's evil deeds, the name itself has been one of the top two boys' names for the past 50 years, according to the Social Security Administration. Michael Myers has shown staying power as well, stretching his legacy for six sequels.
Speaking of sequels, A Nightmare on Elm Street's frighteningly scarred Freddy Krueger's reign of terror lasted through six nightmare-provoking sequels as well, helping to launch the career of a young Johnny Depp in the process. One AmericanBaby.com reader wrote, "Freddy will forever be a horrible name to me because of Freddy Krueger. I was forever scarred when his tongue came out of the phone and licked that person's face. I still can't stand the phone to this day!"
Competing for a place in horror history is the infamous Friday the 13th, a film so popular that it spawned nine sequels, ultimately transporting the evil Jason Voorhees with his trademark hockey mask and machete from his original haunting ground of Camp Crystal Lake to outer space in the 25th century.
Let's not forget more recent releases, though. The 2002 film, The Ring, adapted from the Japanese horror film, Ringu, has been the source of many nightmares and, of course, a popular sequel. It has also helped the name Samara jump from the 920th most popular name in the U.S. in 2002 to the 365th in 2004.
And while naming a baby is far from child's play, some infamous child-like characters from Hollywood-horror have real hair-raising appeal for horror buffs, like Chucky from Child's Play and its sequels, although its root name, Charles, and other variants, are far more popular choices. In 2003, Russell Crowe and Danielle Spencer named their son Charles, and the following year, CNN News anchor Soledad O'Brien and husband Brad Raymond chose the name Charlie for one of her twin boys.
Damien from The Omen and Regan from The Exorcist would also make for unforgettable choices. One mom from Michigan wrote, "I babysit the little girl across the street and her name is Reagan. She is 2, and sometimes when she gets mad she points her head down at the ground, but looks up at you with her eyes and makes this growling noise -- it actually kinda scares me. When I mentioned it to her mom, she said it would freak her out sometimes too!"
Animated films offer a wealth of ne'er-do-wells and sinister characters as inspiration for creative Halloweeny monikers.
Don't let them fool you! Animated evildoers can be just as scary as their live-action counterparts. Whether they're trying to make fur coats out of puppies or tormenting a down-on-her-luck young girl, these characters may be even scarier than some of their names sound! Cruella De Vil, and her henchmen, Jasper and Horace, were certainly creepier than the town dogcatcher in 101 Dalmatians. And in Cinderella, who could forget the evil Drizella, Anastasia, and Lucifer, the cat, who enjoyed making life so miserable for Cinderella?
There's also the greedy Prince John, Robin Hood's nemesis in Sherwood Forest in Robin Hood, and Ursula, the seawitch who tortured Ariel underwater in The Little Mermaid. Even characters in faraway lands can't escape the evil clutches of their animated enemies, like Aladdin who is plagued by the crafty Jafar, in Aladdin.
Movies aren't the only source of inspiration for Halloween baby names. Books can also inspire some terrifically scary baby names, as well as some terrifically scary movies!
Terrifying legendary tales like Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Bram Stoker's Dracula are certain to get any reader Halloween-ready. But it would be a frightful mistake to forget about Robert Louis Stevenson's tale of Henry Jekyll in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which continues to haunt readers over a century after its publication, or Washington Irving's short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, featuring the unforgettable Ichabod Crane, the Headless Horseman, a frightening piece of literary history.
Stephen King's novels are a surefire hit with any fan of Halloween, as he has spun some of the scariest tales around and inspired some of the scariest films of the century. His invention of the misfit high school student Carrie White in his 1974 novel, Carrie, was rendered unforgettable with the help of a pig blood-covered Sissy Spacek in the film version.
But who could look at their car the same way again after reading about Christine, Arnie Cunningham's 1958 Plymouth Fury, in Christine? Equally, the obsessed fan, Annie Wilkes, in Misery, terrified readers and moviegoers alike as she tormented writer Paul Sheldon.
Copyright © 2010 Meredith Corporation.