Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Walled In

Posted by: Joely Sue Burkhart
My husband gets soooo tired of my movie watching habits.

You see, I can watch just about any horror movie, no matter how cheesy. Terrible effects? TSTL characters? Silly plot? It really doesn't matter to me. I would happily stay up all night munching popcorn and watching movie after movie.

Since getting Netflix to cooperate on our Wii, I've been in hog heaven watching all kinds of horror movies when the family is away. Black and white, old and new, remakes, monsters, ghosts, you name it. None of them are spectacular movies, but I recently watched a "no-name" movie I'd never heard of....and I felt the itch.

You know, the STORY itch. This movie is important to a story that I'm cooking in the back of my brain, even if I don't exactly know which story.

The movie was Walled In. I'm not familiar with the actors or the director. What caught my attention was the mention of Egyptian mythology in the blurb. I looooove mythologies, but especially those involving pyramids! (Obviously, see The Bloodgate Guardian!) In the movie, a crazy murdering architect has deliberately walled his victims up in his buildings, believing that their pain and sacrifice would make his foundations eternal.

His argument: look at all the wonders of the ancient world. How many of them are still around other than the pyramids? He claims the reason they're still solid is because the Egyptians deliberately sacrificed people to "cement" the foundations.

Now I've never heard this particular twist on Egyptian lore before so I can't speak to how accurate it is. I know architects and workers were sometimes killed to hide the secrets of the Pharoh's tomb, but were they actually ENTOMBED in the walls? The idea is horrific and yet wonderfully compelling at the same time.

Here's where the story itch comes into play.

The Maya believed that buildings took on the life force offered through sacrifices to "birth" the foundation. That's one reason they often built on top of older ruins--because they wanted to increase the existing energy already infused into those walls. They didn't "bury" people in their foundations, but they definitely offered sacrifice, often blood, and other items were buried in the foundation in key spots (matching the three-stone hearth stars in the sky), like polished mirrors of obsidian, bits of amber, shells, sacrifical knives, etc.

I'm definitely going to have to use this idea in an upcoming book. I mean, think about it....

Bodies buried beneath the cornerstones of those magnificent pyramids. It gives me chills!


  1. LOL, talk about great inspiration! I like finding nuggets of inspiration in movies too. Sometimes just a one-liner between two characters will spark something that this movie never actually contemplated, but I can really twist around :)

  2. I love cheesy movies too, the more cheddar, the more better! Sounds like you found great inspiration in this one. I hope you flesh it out and come up with something fab!

  3. That is creepy. It reminds me of my grandfather (not at all a fanciful sort of man) who once told me he believed in reincarnation because when he was in the Navy during WWII he went to the pyramids in Egypt and he knew where everything was "like he remembered it".

  4. JK, I've had that happen too! Or I've overheard a snippet of conversation and felt that story itch!

  5. Thanks, Christine! Glad I'm not the only one who likes my movie with "cheddar!"

  6. Oh, Eleri, that's so cool! I've never had a deja vu moment like that.

  7. I'm not a horror fan but I've done the same thing with other genres :) gotta love Netflix. You've given me chills especially given our recent emails :shiver:

    Great post Joely!

  8. Ancient Brits also frequently buried people beneath a cornerstone here and there. Especially if that person died while working on the site. Makes you wonder how many died on purpose, so to speak. There's a great story about a young woman mysteriously walled up in a castle in England. (true, her remains were found) In the story, a couple comes back (reincarnation) to resolve the drama that they had been involved in centuries before. Grist for my mill, I'm telling you.

  9. I often get inspiration from half-heard and misinterpreted lines of songs.
    I also like watching old black-and-white and cheesy B’Movie films. Sometimes the old ideas are the best!

  10. That's fabulous inspiration for a story :) I'd definitely read it (I'm such a sucker for the macabre parts of history)

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