How Witchy Kitchen’s Carrie Scott Introduced Her Kids to the Horror Genre

Carrie of Witchy Kitchen's kids

Welcome to my third post in a series on introducing children to horror films. This six-week series will explore how various parents in the horror and Halloween community have introduced their children to the horror genre. If you missed my first two posts be sure to go back and read my take on how to introduce kids to the horror genre along with last week’s feature with “Tales For A HalloweeNight” contributor James Ninness. This week I’m excited to feature my first mom in the series, Carrie Scott, the woman behind the cauldron at Witchy Kitchen and co-host of the Fiction Kitchen Podcast.

Carrie is a mother of four with her own two kids, 10-year-old Zoeya and 6-year-old Ilan and two stepkids 15-year-old Max and 11-year-old Ella. Her kids’ horror journey started young with what she calls “baby horror” noting that her kids have been watching movies like “Nightmare Before Christmas and Coraline for as long as they’ve been watching movies. However, it wasn’t until Zoeya was about 8 that she saw her first true horror film and Ilan was introduced to the genre with Gremlins at age 4.

Zoeya’s interest in horror has continued to thrive thanks to her stepsister Ella. “Ella’s favorite movie is The Shining,” explains Carrie. “So when we all moved in together a little over a year ago I cautiously let Zoeya watch it with her. I had thought it would scare the crap out of her, but it was almost the opposite, she loved it and they both went on a horror kick and snapped up all the age-appropriate (and pushing it) stuff on Netflix. Their favorites are ‘Stranger Things’ and A Quiet Place.”

Danny Torrance writing REDRUM on the door in lipstick

And while she notes the kids tried to push the boundaries of what they could watch, she adds that there aren’t any “hard and fast rules” when it comes to her kids’ horror viewing. “Definitely nothing sexy, and nothing too graphically violent – at least for the girls,” says Carrie. Max being the oldest has a bit more leeway. “We had fun taking Max to see Halloween last year!” adds Carrie.

Carrie says the key to deciding what is appropriate for her kids to watch is all based on the kids’ sensitivity, which she notes can change at times. “They go through phases,” explains Carrie. “We made a mistake one time in watching The Boy, which, not to spoil too much, is 90% wacky scary doll movie but there’s a pretty disturbing sequence at the end that gave them nightmares. After that, we only watch particularly scary movies in the daytime and when everyone’s feeling it.”

Doll from 'The Boy' crying

Carrie also notes that when it comes to content her kids “generally self-police” preferring spooky, suspenseful, and supernatural themes to more graphically violent films. “If we know a film is particularly scary or violent, like The Descent which was the girls’ slumber party pick, we’ll watch with them so we’re there to sense their comfort level and shut it down if it gets too scary,” explains Carrie.

Carrie also makes a point of pre-screening films just to make sure the content is actually appropriate for the kids. “There are fun movies I remember watching when I was younger like Heathers that I thought would probably be ok for them,” explains Carrie. “But when I rewatched it there was way more grown-up stuff than I remembered.”

When it comes to introducing kids to horror Carrie says her best advice is to know your kids and to let them explore horror films at their own pace. “It’s true we horror fans are excited to share the genre with our kids so it’s tempting to dive right in, but you don’t want to ruin it for them by showing them something too intense before they are ready,” says Carrie.

To keep up with the latest spooky creations from Carrie, such as her Ghostbusters Ectolime Curd and Stay Puft Fluff be sure to check out witchy-kitchen.com or follow her on Instagram! Carrie is also a regular contributor over at Nightmare On Film Street, where she offers up recipes on the regular based on spooky themes and horror films like The Curse of La Llorona and Happy Death Day 2 U.

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