Vampires in fiction: A history

“The Vampire Diaries” has come to an end, which essentially means that I am officially way too old to be obsessing over vampires. With that being said, I’d like to take a walk down memory lane to pay homage to my favorite fantasy creatures.

My “Fan”pire History

In honor of one of my teenage fave, I have decided to dedicate this week’s blog post to the creatures of the undead. When I was in high school (and obsessed with “Twilight”) I decided to take it upon myself to read all sorts of vampire books in order to immerse myself in the fantasy books that I was obsessed with. Of course, what better way to start that with the original Dracula” by Bram Stoker? After all, the novel is the godfather of all vampire fandoms as we know them today so I figured I would enjoy it. 

Long story short, I picked up the book and barely made it to 50 pages(unless it’s the Princess Diaries, epistolary novels aren’t really my thing). I instead decided to watch the film (Francis Ford Coppola’s rendition is the truest adaptation) and was sorely disappointed. For starters the film isn’t really romantic so much as it is disturbing and the actual character Dracula is not a sexy prince (unless he’s in his young Gary Oldman form). In Dracula, the initial concept of vampirism is not something that is enviable as it is in “Twilight” and “Underworld”, nor is it a love story with relatable protagonists. 

Vampire History

Here’s a TED-Ed video that contains a brief history of vampire folklore









Stephen King’s ‘It’ Trailer Reaction

Image: imdb

What. The. Hell. Did. I. Just. Watch.

When I first saw images from the upcoming film “It” on Twitter, I was immediately intrigued. I have never seen the original “It”(mainly because every time I think of Tim Curry, I think of comedic characters and I feel like  seeing him as a murderous clown would take me out of my element, the same way Emma Watson’s acting in “Beauty and the Beast” did*), but I have always wanted to see the movie.

Since this was my first time watching anything related to this movie, I was not sure what to expect, but what I was NOT expecting was to be emotionally scarred for life.

At first, I thought that it would just be another jump scare-filled trailer with the appropriate cuts made the second the clown was about to get to the children. What I got was almost two minutes of anxiety inducing terror.

(Here’s the trailer, if you wanna check it out)


*Author’s Note: Admit it, Emma Watson as Belle was not anyone’s first choice. In the immortal words of RHOA’s Kenya Moore, don’t come for me unless I send for you. 

‘Riverdale’ Makes The Cut

(Photo Credit: The CW)

Recently, The CW said goodbye to its long-running fantasy series “The Vampire Diaries.” Although some fans were sad to say goodbye to the series, they should rejoice in the fact that there is an unlikely new sheriff in primetime town: “Riverdale”. This new show is based on the famous Archie comics, which at first made me roll my eyes, but as I began to watch, I found that it’s actually really, really entertaining.

And surprisingly more enjoyable than The Vampire Diaries ( Ian Somerhalder as Damon will forever reign supreme, though) , a show that I have always been a fan of, but seemed to lack luster in the later seasons. (@JuliePlec, why didn’t Bamon happen?).

When I first saw Riverdale, i figured that it would be just another melodramatic teen show, filled with weirdly grown-up looking high schoolers and a cliche love triangle, but what I got when I watched the show, is a surprisingly heartfelt tale about friendship, family drama and . . . . murder?

Anyway, if you haven’t watched it, please check it out:

(And if you were wondering, I ship Archie/Veronica, BTW)

Netflix Thriller review

So, after my last attempts at doing Netflix films failed, I decided to revisit it this week for some new recommendations. 

Colonia (2016)


Now, when I first saw the trailer for this film, I had real idea as to what this movie was about because the trailer makes it seem like Emma Watson and Daniel Bruhl are two star-crossed lovers stuck in a dystopian society. Upon watching the film and consulting Google, I found that this film is not about dystopia but about the very real events that occurred in Chile under the repressive regime of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. Bruhl plays a poltiical prisoner who is sent to the infamous Colonia Dignidad camp as punishment and Watson must bring him home. It sounds cliche, but the film is pretty intense, especially when you finish watching and realize that while Bruhl and Watson play fictional characters, the actual history behind Colonia Dignidad is completely true and incredibly disturbing.

Horror Podcast Recommendations

(Royalty-free photo courtesy of Pixabay)

“Stuff You Missed In History Class”

Ok, so “Stuff You Missed” isn’t a horror podcast, but hear me out because some of these episodes are extremely creepy. While most episodes focus on little known historical figures and events, occasionally, they dedicate podcasts to historical mysteries, disappearances and infamous unsolved crimes. The wonderful thing about “Stuff You Missed” mystery episodes is that the narrators approach each mysterious topic with a hint of skepticism, so if you are not naturally inclined towards anything supernatural but still enjoy a good story these are for you. The narrators make a point to thoroughly investigate and research the subjects they chose to cover and provide concrete facts int he form of newspaper articles, testimonies, books and academic research. The podcast is available on their website, iTunes and Spotify.

“The Black Tapes” – PNWS

I found this podcast over the summer and honestly, it is one of the best horror/mystery podcasts out there. Although the plot is a complete work of fiction, it is designed to sound as authentic as “Serial.” The podcast follows Alex Reagan, a radio host and reporter who seeks the help of myth buster Dr. Richard Strand to help her uncover a mysterious disappearance. Pro tip: “The Black Tapes” must be listened to consecutively, so no skipping around! The podcast will soon air its third season and can be found on iTunes and Spotify.

“In the Dark” – APM Reports

This podcast, which is hosted by Madeleine Baran delves into the mysterious circumstances surrounding the case of Jacob Wetterling. The interesting part? Wetterling’s disappearance from a small Minnesota town took place 27 years ago and the killer was only revealed in 2016. Baran’s interviews navigates over 20 years of cold leads, police investigations, eyewitness testimony and the testimony of the police who were in charge of the case at that time. “In the Dark” can be listened to on Spotify and iTunes.




About Handful of Horror 

Welcome to Handful of Horror! By the title, I’m sure you can tell that this website is about neither rainbows nor sunshine, but about media relating to mystery, crime, and horror. This blog will focus on podcasts, documentaries, YouTube channels, film, and TV shows. If you aren’t the type who revels in the macabre, don’t worry, this blog will not include any graphic material or jump scares, everything will be tasteful and SFW. At the top of each section, I will include tags that describe the content below to alert you as to what topics the post is specifically about.

About the Author

My name is Rashida Otunba and I am a journalism major at Georgia Southern University. I started this blog as a requirement for my Opinion Journalism class which means I will be updating weekly for a class grade (expect new posts every Friday). How did I stumble upon this topic you may ask? Honestly, I just love scary movies and shows! When I was a kid “Courage the Cowardly Dog” was one of my favorite shows, and it just grew from there. As I grew older, I learned to enjoy learning about true crime since my parents watched “America’s Most Wanted,” and “Unsolved Mysteries” non-stop. This love of true crime slowly but surely developed into a love of horror after I discovered Travel Channel’s “Weird Travels.” Long story short, with the invention of YouTube and the widespread popularity of podcasts, there is never a dull moment in the horror/mystery genre, and I hope to update you all about it in this blog!