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Nuns in Horror Movies

Nuns appear as antagonists in many horror films, from The Nun to The Conjuring 2. What’s the fascination with them? What are the possible connotations/themes? Horror-themed TV series (e.g. American Horror Story) and video games with nuns can also be discussed, but the focus should be primarily on films.

  • I am not sure how helpful this will be, but in Matthew Lewis’ The Monk (an eighteenth century horror gothic novel), there is a horror figure known as the ‘Bleeding Nun’. She was basically a symbol for female sexual transgression. I think the idea relates to the nun being an allegedly ‘pure’ or ‘innocent’ woman. Thus, it’s ‘scary’ (or, for societies in the past who were afraid of giving women power, it was scary) to see a nun that is not pure or innocent. – Samantha Leersen 4 weeks ago
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  • I do agree with Samantha Leersen to some extent, since the nun is considered to be a manifestation of the Loving Mother archetype which when subverted gives us the Chaotic Mother who is embodied in many of the subversive feminine tropes. However, the subversion of the Great Father is the Tyrant Father whose embodiment inspires hatred as opposed to fear (like the Archdeacon in The Hunchback of Notre Dame). I can think of the Church in AOT etc. – RedFlame2000 4 weeks ago
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  • i think the sense of horror comes from a nun, typically associated with purity and innocence, doing out-of-character things. you could explore that. – BLOOPINBLOOPZ 2 weeks ago
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