By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
"Scariest? You mean besides the werewolf in The Howling, which I was in?" said actress Belinda Balaski. Besides 1981's The Howling, Balaski was also in the 1978 movie Piranha, in which she plays a beautiful but doomed camp counselor who gazes out onto the lake and has a sneaking suspicion that something very bad is about to happen. Then, the piranhas eat her in spectacular fashion.
The crowd of fans asking for her autograph had largely dissipated for the afternoon, and it was just her and her mom seated side by side behind a folding table. Balaski whipped out an old black-and-white photo of her with fish strapped to her chest. She remembered the director asking her to flail around to make it look like the fish are chewing her torso. She remembered the gaffer's tape sticking to her skin. She remembered a weird sound later on in the screening room. It was her. She was screaming. She was the only one doing so, the only one genuinely afraid.
"You see all this gray?" Balaski's mom asked now. She gently pinched a lock of her daughter's hair. "How do you think she got it?"
Others were even more closely in tune with what presses their fear button. Nearby, Josh Stanley was selling business-card holders made from dried chicken feet ("Mother nature makes 'em, and I finish 'em"). Asked what monster scares him the most, Stanley replied without hesitation, "My ex-wife."
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