Note: Special thanks to the Facebook Group The Extraordinary Journey of A Black Nerd Group for this idea. Blerds unite!
I don’t make up the rules, I just follow them. I’m just here to help. -JBHarris
1.) We do not play around saying ‘Candyman’ or ‘Bloody Mary’ in any mirror. Tony Todd is still one of the scariest Black men on the planet. Whether playing Death in Final Destination, or Candyman in all the classic movies–bruh! He can walk through any hood and not be bothered! With that said, Rules of Blackness dictate that you never EVER summon this dude in a mirror. Neither do you call for his crazy Bloody Mary either! Black folk are suspicious, and we do not believe in participating in regular crazy–let alone crazy tinged with the supernatural! Don’t do it. If you are caught doing it, you will be knocked out where you stand. It is for the good of the collective you be stopped!
2.) After watching a scary movie, we all sleep in the same room together. When slumber parties/all-night movie viewings occur, all those watching the movie are designated to one area. No one leave this area! Everyone needs to be accounted for. There will be no SCREAM-type pranking! Bathroom trips may have to be done in pairs and the movie will not pause. The aftercare for a scary movie that bothers you is to have all the lights on, especially in the hallway and bathroom. The rules of ‘on-sight’ apply if you try to scare anyone whom is still in fight-or-flight mode from the movie.
3.) All Urban Legends have a dose of truth in them. The Hitchhiker. The Escaped Convict. The Woman in White. Depending on what part of the country/world you inhabit, these ‘urban legends’ are based on some tragic death, trauma or historical happening. Better to be safe than sorry. Oh! And don’t piss off burial sites of enslaved people either! Have you not seen Tales From the Hood!?
4.) There is no need to ever investigate the noise. This is how people wind up missing. If the noise is in the basement, don’t go to the basement. If the noise is outside, we don’t go outside! Lock all the doors before bed. Whoever ain’t in, won’t get in, ain’t got no reason to come in. Flat out. Come back when the sun is up!
5.) See rule #4: Do not ask me to come with you to investigate the noise. Look, someone gotta be the survivor and someone gotta be the #FinalGirl–and for my ancestors, Immabe both! So, in the name of the faceless, nameless fore-bearers who got me here? Immabe right here with whatever weapon I got, behind this locked door–when you get back.
6.) Ghosts are real. Don’t ask us how we know. Look, read BELOVED. Ghosts can be something all together different–and they aren’t always from the dead. Be aware of the secrets folk keep and the things they won’t discuss. Ghosts take several forms. Trust me.
7.) We don’t play with Ouija Boards or Talking Boards. Look, I have been Black long enough to know certain doors we don’t knock on! To knock on them is to invite all matter of things that you can’t shower or sage off you! Nope, nope, nope! I personally have not known any Black person (in real life) that has played with one of those things–they aren’t toys. They are doors! You don’t see no Black folk on these haunting shows after someone, somewhere decided to contact the dead! Don’t debate me on this.
8.) After the scary movie goes off and you can’t sleep, don’t wake nobody up–turn the TV to cartoons or Jesus Programming. Look, this always works. Why? Jesus is the only one that can help you get out of the shenanigans you fall into watching crazy bullshit on Shudder or whatever horror movie marathon on SyFy! Shame on ya! You knew better–and now lookatcha–know best now, don’t you?!
9.) There is no need to go camping–ever. I grew up watching Friday The 13th Movies and Nightmare on Elm Street (Shouts to Kane Hodder and Robert Englund!). And I never learned to swim for a simple reason–Jason Voorhees. He drowned and haunts the woods. We don’t never need to be in the woods after it gets dark. Nope! Black folk do not believe in setting themselves up for failure like that there. Nope!
10.) Dean Winchester likes Black girls—he might help if you call him. Look, Cassie put it on Dean so tough that he came back and helped save her life, mane! I don’t make the rules! But trust and believe if Dean was my ex–TUH! And something happened?! And bae KNOW that I don’t investigate noises, call nobody in mirrors, and ain’t bringing my caramel frame outside? Whatever I ain’t handle–bae, his rock salt and his brother will!
In all seriousness, if you are a horror fan, make sure you follow Nightlight: The Black Horror Podcast wherever you get your podcasts. Also, I cannot recommend books by Octavia Butler or Tananarive Due for your horror/speculative fiction fix enough! Also, read HORROR NOIRE! #BlackHistoryIsBlackHorror