I'm a monster movie buff. And I'm using that term for both it's definitions: BIG and SCARY CREATURE. Halloween is hands-down my favorite holiday of the year. So much so that for several years in a row, I've taken my love for scaring to the ultimate level of being a character in area haunted houses three years in a row.

With all that in mind, get your adult (or at least 13 year-old) friends and family members together and watch my recommendations for a terrifying night of creepy, spooky and downright frightening movies featuring creatures from our nightmares.

WHAT MAKES A MOVIE SCARY?

I've been entranced by monsters since I was a kid, I couldn't tell you what scary movie I saw first, but the ones I remember the most are what have become known as the classic Universal Monsters: Frankenstein, Dracula, The Wolfman, Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Invisible Man, The Mummy and to a certain extent The Phantom of the Opera. I have to admit, I'm not sure if they actually scared me or not. But I think of them fondly as masterpieces of fear, more from the uncertainty of the science, mysticism and parabnormality© involved, than the outright scare factor. For sure, they set the precedent for the genre of 'thrillers' and 'horror' movies. To this day, Hollywood still reaches back to these films for inspiration, if not downright revamps.

By today's standards these movies seem hokey, and even in some cases, downright bad. Nowadays we're used to flashy green-screen digital effects and ultra-sculpted masks and prosthetics on the actors. But the basis of those classic stories; sketchy science (Frankenstein), insane intellectuals (Invisible Man, Phantom) down-right demonic Hell-spawn (Wolfman, Creature, Dracula) and paranormal experiences remain in the horror genre today.

Like many Minnesotans, I was exposed to these spooky flicks via a Friday late night TV show on KSTP Channel 5 called Horror, Inc. . During the mid-late 70's,  I made it a point to be in front of my TV every Friday night at Midnight to take in the chilling opening of this showcase for scary films.