spooky vs scary

October 31, 2017

For many years Halloween was my favorite holiday. I did – and still do! – love everything about it. The costumes, the parties, the candy! The spookiness of it all!

On a walk through the woods the other day, I got to thinking about what spooky really means. And, is there a difference between spooky and scary? All this time I’ve definitely been in the camp that says, yes, there is a difference. But I couldn’t quite pinpoint it. Spooky gives me chills and scary makes me scream. Spooky could be something Real, such as a haunting old time photo of relatives long dead or that feeling you get that someone is watching you, while scary is Make Believe, what you see in a horror flick.

scary mask


Upon further thought, I realized that many things that are scary ARE real: spiders (for some), a stranger following a little too closely, a near-miss car accident, a real car accident…you get the picture.

spooky chandelier in the woods

Chandelier, just hanging from a tree. Kinda spooky.


So my theory goes out the window. I decided to look it up, here is what I typed in: spooky vs scary.

From www.wikidiff.com:
Spooky: eerie, or suggestive of ghosts or the supernatural
Scary: causing or able to cause fright

scary face sculpture

I think this piece of sculpture is both: spooky because it seems otherworldly and scary because if you came across it while walking through the woods, you might just jump a bit.


Another set of definitions:
Spooky is fun. Scary is not fun. (www.dishwasherrequired.com)

strange piece of artwork

A piece of artwork that is colorful and fun in real life; however, when looked at in a different light, a bit scary!


This might apply to stormy skies and thunderstorms. Stormy skies have a bit of spooky about them, and dare I say it, some excitement! Whereas thunderstorms are actually scary for many folks.

stormy sky against a fall landscape

And what do you think of this old cabin:

creepy cabin in the woods

Spooky and Scary! It could be something from an old time spooky movie, yet sometimes I am actually a bit afraid to go inside. Lucky for me, I have no reasons to go in. Unless someone wants a tour or look-see. In those situations, I just hand them the keys and say, “Have fun!”


I am beginning to think that my original theory is all wrong. Maybe Spooky is ok, the more harmless of the two; and it’s the Scary that ya gotta watch out for.

Thoughts, anyone? Happy Halloween!

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