To celebrate Women in Horror Month, I will be highlighting some of my favorite undersung female characters in horror films each day this month. These posts will contain some spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the movies mentioned, do yourself a solid and check them out before reading all the way through.
Today I’m celebrating with FOUR of my favorite women librarians from various horror films.
Once again, I know grouping women together in order to honor them is questionable, but these characters play a quick role in most of these movies, so I wanted to group together the undersung minor characters who happen to have the same career I do.
Eleanor Twitty from the 1984 Ghostbusters
You know she was going to be on this list. You also know Alice must have done something to really piss off her dead colleague for Eleanor to be stacking random books vertically, shooting cards out the card catalog, and sliming them up with ectoplasm after Alice comes downstairs. Especially since Eleanor also shushes the ghostbusters and eventually jump scares them for continuing to talk to her while she’s trying to read! Is Eleanor the ultimate librarian for continuing to hold a grudge against a colleague in the afterlife, or for jump scaring people who talk to her while she’s clearly trying to read?
Mrs. Watkins from the 2017 The Bye Bye Man
This movie is terrible for so many reasons, but perhaps none is as egregious to me as how it pulls librarian Mrs. Watkins into the “Bye Bye Man” nonsense, which causes her to kill her own children before murdering herself. Not cool kids. This is why a little professional distance can be a good thing because otherwise next thing you know this is the type of demon ghost thing you have to remind about the library closing in five minutes:
The Creepy Lady in the 2017 IT: Part One
Although she is initially shelving, given Derry’s small town vibe it is entirely possible this character is a librarian who does it all (finally women CAN have it all!).
Sometimes I’m the weird librarian in the background, and sometimes I’m the one at a desk trying to mind my business. I relate to this clip on different levels. I really love scares like this where you could easily miss it the first time but once you see it the image is etched in your brain.
Mrs. Collinwood in the 2006 Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon
The one and only Tangina aka the one and only Zelda Rubinstein plays a librarian who once again like Mrs. Watkins gets pulled into the protagonist’s foolishness and pays the ultimate price. Also props to telling the protagonist the old microfiche story is “nothing she should worry about” before dropping some more unsettling backstory just for the drama of it all. You know Mrs. Collinwood secretly lived for the gossip.
Honorable Mention: The librarian from the 2005 The Amityville Horror remake for most realistic librarian dialogue:
Hats off to Eleanor Twitty, Mrs. Watkins, the creepy librarian in IT, and Mrs. Collinwood for doing the profession justice in this life and beyond.