October is my favorite month of the year. I love Halloween and all things macabre and mystical. Right now, I’m addicted to the Netflix series “Marianne,” which might be the scariest television series I’ve ever watched.
Outside of my personal love for all things scary, Boulder City has many ties to horror films and even mystical events. Recently, when I was eating at Vinny’s Pizzeria, I was talking with owners Vincenzo and Tina Cimino. The couple enlightened me on the upcoming Halloween fun offered by their business neighbor, Tom Devlin.
Devlin and his monster museum have been bringing horror film stars to our city since its inception. Actors from Tony Todd (“Candyman”) to Tony Moran (“Halloween” and “Death House”) have made their way to Boulder City. And our city’s roots have entertained those who act to scare us, such as the legendary Boris Karloff (“Frankenstein,” “The Walking Dead”), who stood at the Boulder Dam Hotel.
Most recently, actor Dave Sheridan came to town to sign autographs and take photos with fans. Sheridan is known for his roles in “The Devil’s Rejects” and “A Haunted House.” He also starred alongside the Red Hot Chili Peppers as a crazed cabdriver for the band’s “By the Way” music video. Alex Vincent and Christie Elise McCarthy from the “Chucky” movie franchise also made celebrity appearances in town. McCarthy can be seen acting in the “Beverly Hills, 90210” reboot.
Historically, small towns are often the magical makeup providing a perfect setting for any type of horror story. Stephen King’s books are almost always fashioned in a small town setting. Reader’s Digest published a piece featuring 13 places in America that are allegedly cursed — most of which are small towns. Boulder City may have not made the Reader’s Digest list, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have an undertone of something lurking in the shadows.
I’ve spoken to locals who swear our city is blanketed by something called the “verfolgt,” a German word alluding to a feeling of terrible despair and sadness without any rationale.
The verfolgt supposedly arrived with the dam workers, who were under terrible stress, and its unseen presence causes people to isolate and become incredibly depressed, so much so that they either move out of town or worse. And while there is no evidence that the local legend of the verfolgt exists, I always remember that still water changes shape to steam when heated, existing although no one can see it.
Another local legend I have heard about is linked to an allegedly evil underbelly within Boulder City. There’s said to be a witchcraft movement that allows its members to practice something called therianthropy — mythological ability of human beings to shape shift into animals — upon enemies, either to set a curse or simply to attack.
And then there are “the hands.” I’ve talked to many Boulder City natives (who want to remain anonymous) who allege this small-town horror is more fact than fiction. Mysterious hands, made up of an almost mistlike substance, can be seen trying to reach out of air vents during early morning hours. If you awake to see these hands trying to reach beyond the vent, it is a supposed warning that someone you know will die within three days.
Every city, big or small, has its own urban legends. I grew up back East. Although I wasn’t in a small town, our citizens had to live under the blanket of the real Bloody Mary, the Black Dog of Hanging Hills and the Chicken Heart of Dawson Avenue.
There are always going to be local legends. Luckily, in Boulder City’s case, the evil that lies underneath our surface seems to only be created within the confines of our minds. However, one never knows what is being conjured up behind closed doors.
My Throwback Thursday movie recommendation is “The Devil Commands” from 1941 starring Karloff. It’s about a man determined to contact his dead wife, and it offers some seat-grabbing twists and turns. Visiting Devlin’s Monster Museum is also recommended.
Tanya Vece’s weekly Hollywood blog can be found at TanyaVeceBook.com. Tanya is the author of “The Meaning of Eclipse” and operates as an independent marketer.