Renee loves horror movies to the point where the nightmares are just status quo; think you can scare her? Owner of Haunted House FearFest Film Festival, she’s looking for a few indie/minority game devs and filmmakers to scare her more than usual, and the bar is set pretty high.

AI-generated transcript of this episode available upon request.

About the Guest: Renee Huff

Renee Huff, Owner of Haunted House Fear Fest
Renee Huff, Owner of Haunted House Fear Fest

For the first time in its history, Renee is bringing the Haunted House FearFest to the US. Per the HHFF website, “Haunted House FearFest is an independent horror film festival celebrating our passion for bone-chilling horror presented by cutting-edge independent filmmakers and game developers worldwide. Our goal is to share our love of horror and its sub-genres such as giallo, monsters, slasher, zombie, gore, supernatural, psycho, and more!”

If you’re a horror film maker or game developer and you think you’ve got what it takes to give Renee nightmares and win the coveted Grim Reaper Award, submit your project here. If you’re a horror movie fan who’s ready to brave the nightmares yourself, follow on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter for updates on the venue and more. You might just see Becky and Diana there, October 5-8th, 2023.

Episode Show Notes about Horror Movies and Nightmares

Why do we feel more haunted when we’re alone?

Renee never really felt too frightened of the entities in her space while there were other living souls around. It wasn’t until she was living on her own that the presences really started to take a toll on her nerves. Fortunately, her cat Bette Davis found her at just the right time.

Are cats good companions for those of us living alone? Or should we say, those of us who are the only living person in our home? What do cats and other pets do to shield us from the paranormal? Becky says her cats are worthless as ghost catchers, and they should stick to mice. Diana’s dog refuses to even consider going down into the haunted basement, although she’s just fine going down all other staircases. Still, even a scaredy cat makes us feel more at ease when spooky things start happening. Is it just the presence of another beating heart, or is there something supernatural about pets?

Are You Afraid of the Dark?

This spooky teen show from Nickelodeon recently rebooted. The nostalgia was surely enough to get a lot of Gen Xers to tune in for the new version. But in today’s saturated teen vampire, teen werewolf, teen ghost, and teen witch television landscape, the reboot mainly seems to highlight just how few horror-centric paranormal TV options there were for us spooky teens in the early 90’s.

If you’re feeling nostalgic for some childhood horror content that probably won’t cause any nightmares beyond reminding you of your 90’s wardrobe, you can watch the original show here.

Can Horror Movies Cause Nightmares?

Renee insists her nightmares have nothing to do with her affinity for horror movies. However, for the rest of us, our dreams tend to focus on what we experienced within the last 48 hours. Therefore, it’s not uncommon for your dreams to turn scary after watching something terrifying.

Horror movies, full of their uncomfortable themes and jump-scares, can cause spikes in stress. If you’re anxious already, this increase in stress and all those chemicals that go with them can invade your dreams, causing nightmares. Your dreams are a way for your mind to work through and process what you recently experienced, so if you found a film particularly troubling, your brain is going to want to try to figure it out while you sleep. Which can, of course, cause a less than restful night.

Some of us weirdos actually enjoy these nightmares. But if you’re the type of person who just wants to have dreams that mimic a romcom, be sure you work out your emotions about the movie you watched before you hit the hay. Journaling about your emotions and discussing the film with someone else long before you go to bed can help.

What is it like being an empath in New York City?

Becky and Diana hope to make it to NYC to see the HHFF in person this October! But this interview raised some concerns we need to address. When Renee described her situation as an empath living in one of the most populous areas of the US, Diana got a little intimidated.

Becky and Diana both have empathic tendencies, which they both have trouble switching off. After years of living in sprawling neighborhoods, in relative isolation, what will it feel like sleeping sandwiched between hundreds of other people on the same city block? Will the population density of the living attack our senses? Is that a bad thing? How should we protect ourselves?

Let us know on our Facebook group at, or I’m very afraid we’ll have a spooky day!