During this time of isolation, it remains important that we not only continue to keep ourselves safe but to keep ourselves entertained. And while we’re keeping our spirits and bodies in premium condition, it wouldn’t hurt to learn something while we’re at it.
Sometimes learning can be fun. As I was to find out sometime last week during my mundane job. Because of the quarantine, some of us are required to stay at home and some of us deemed “essential workers” continue to go out into society because apparently what we’re doing helps the rest of the community in some way.
After coming home from work, I was searching through my house and found a bunch of diaries Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, just left when he visited years ago. From what I understand, “diaries” are kind of like a blog, but with paper pages that you write into and nobody sees them but you unless you let them.
How do I know these were genuine Lincoln diaries? Because on the front page there was the header, “The Diary of Abraham Lincoln. Don’t Fucking Read it Jan!” Nobody who wasn’t Abraham Lincoln would start a diary like that.
I have no idea who “Jan” is/was, but apparently he/she liked to pry into other people’s diaries. Didn’t matter if you were the president or not. Jan was kind of a dick.
Some sample entries include, “Slavery Sucks,” and “Man I wish so many of my kids weren’t dead!”. Again, nobody who wasn’t Abraham Lincoln would write this type of stuff.
Like many of you at home during the quarantine, after you reach the kill screen of your favorite pornographic websites and have raided the archives of Nightmarish Conjurings for well-written reviews, sometimes you just need a little bit more. This list is not here to merely entertain, but also to inform. It involves not only one of our greatest presidents, but one of the few people, living or dead, to have been played by Daniel Day-Lewis. That’s a huge honor…for Lincoln. I’m sure it was a pretty big deal for Day-Lewis as well. I don’t know. You’ll have to ask him.
If you’re into presidents (and really, who isn’t?), what I found out about Abraham Lincoln not only made me appreciate him more as a president but as a person as well.
I will give you a moment if you’d like to recite the Pledge of Allegiance to yourself. This is a very big moment for all Americans.
What would President Lincoln say to us as we’re staying in our homes, trying to keep ourselves safe? I have no idea. What I do know is what horror movies he’d recommend, because these are his top 5 of all time.
THE HERETICS (2017)
One of the things I didn’t know about Abraham Lincoln that wasn’t covered in the Steven Spielberg movie was how much he loved Canada. When he was President he would frequently ask all his top advisers if it was possible to be both President of the United States and President of Canada. When told that Canadians have a Prime Minister and that it would be impossible for him to do both jobs, Abraham Lincoln muttered an “Aw Shucks,” and ate a heaping stack of pancakes and Canadian bacon. He was a fan of David Cronenberg (Shivers is his favorite), the Soska sisters, and this Canadian chiller from 2017. He never found it really scary, but he did love the robes the cult members wore and wished he had access to those kinds of dope-ass robes while he was President. He did keep one he sewed personally hidden under his desk in the oval office and only wore it in moments of privacy and whenever he’d screen this on movie night.
Lincoln archivists and historians already know how much Lincoln just loved Sweden. What few people know, and what I recently learned reading Lincoln’s diaries, is that during his presidency, he often took trips to Sweden. His periodic jaunts would last for about a week at the most.
Question: How was the President of the United States able to take weeks at a time off while no one noticed? If I remember correctly, there was a civil war going on.
Good question, though I don’t care for the sarcasm of your tone. Abraham Lincoln used his body double, his cousin Jeff Lincoln. Jeff Lincoln looked exactly like his younger cousin Abraham and was a gifted mimic. Jeff never had a beard himself but had a strap-on beard whenever he had to be “Abraham”.
Back to MIDSOMMAR. Lincoln loved Sweden, and he loved flower crowns and white dresses even more. He’d frequently ask Mary to wear a flower crown whenever they’d have date night at the White House. Whenever they start the infamous dance sequence, Lincoln has been known to dance along, often outlasting Florence Pugh. The diaries state that he’s seen MIDSOMMAR about 8 times, and after the credits roll he always refers to himself as the May King. (You can read our review of the film here).
If you’d ask President Lincoln to his face, he’d tell you that MARTYRS is his favorite horror-comedy of all time. Tucker and Dale vs. Evil is second but by a wide margin. There are tales of multiple screenings at the White House where the staff had to stop the projector/tape/DVD/Blu-ray because Lincoln could not stop laughing. Throughout the screening, he’d yell, “Stop the movie” in his signature baritone just so he could get his guffaws out of his system. Not a lot of other people found it as funny as Lincoln did, but they did their best to laugh along anyway because they didn’t want to upset the President. While many left the screenings upended that President Lincoln would find such a disturbing movie so funny, they often kept their thoughts to themselves.
President Lincoln often wanted to watch MARTYRS with his children, but Mary forbade it unless he did something silly like end slavery. You know what happened next.
Fun Fact – (SPOILER) The words that Mademoiselle (Catherine Begin) hears at the end of the movie before she, you know, is in fact the Declaration of Independence.
Chalk this one under Lincoln’s WTFs because even he acknowledges this movie is pretty terrible though he loves it anyway. On page 234, I read the text “COUNTDOWN is a pretty terrible movie, though I do love it anyway.”
We’re all allowed our guilty pleasures, even the President of the United States.
Doing further research because I was genuinely curious about how such an intelligent President could like such a horrendous movie, I did learn that, like Quinn, the movie’s protagonist played by Elizabeth Lail, Lincoln did accidentally download an app that told him when he was going to die. Unfortunately, he was always leaving his phone in his Presidential carriage without being fully charged (one of his many nicknames besides The Great Emancipator was “7% Battery Remaining”). In retrospect, I think we all wish he paid more attention to his phone than being a good President. (Read our review here).
MIDNIGHT MOVIE (2008)
Personally, I found this final choice one of Abraham Lincoln’s favorite horror movies most surprising as 90 percent of the movie takes place inside a theater and I expected the last place Abraham Lincoln would want to be in was a movie theater, considering…
Question: Because he was killed while watching something in a theater?
Precisely. But further research indicates that Abraham Lincoln did NOT die on April 15, 1865, by the bullet of one John Wilkes Booth.
Question: Then who did Booth kill?
His cousin Jeff Lincoln. Yeah, drink that in, scholars.
Turns out Mary had really wanted to see the play, but Lincoln had just bought the Special Edition Blu-ray of MIDNIGHT MOVIE and he wanted to watch it in the White House because they had just set up an amazing surround sound system. Jeff Lincoln took his place as he usually did, but you know, got killed. Abraham Lincoln was sad that Jeff died but was so happy that he got MIDNIGHT MOVIE on Blu as it had a lot of special features.
There you have it, Nightmarish Conjurings readers and dare I say, friends, Abraham Lincoln’s Top 5 Horror Movies. Even if you’ve seen these dozens of times, I hope the next time you watch one of these movies you picture Abraham Lincoln watching it right next to you.
Whenever you try to escape a cult, know that Lincoln is rooting for you like in THE HERETICS.
Whenever your boyfriend is distant and uncaring know that Lincoln wants for him what happens to Jack Reynor in MIDSOMMAR.
Whenever you need a laugh, know that President Lincoln is recommending you see MARTYRS again, because it gets funnier every time.
Whenever you waste your time on your phone, remember that President Lincoln wasted his time watching COUNTDOWN more than once.
And finally, during that wonderful (and hopefully soon) time when we can all go to the movies together, maybe buy an extra ticket for a man with a giant hat, because he would love to see any movie with you, MIDNIGHT or otherwise.
Thank you for reading and I hope you’ve learned something. RIP, Jeff.