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Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday

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Maybe it is so because the very calendars are against us?

"February 29. Superstition has it that if you are a teenager and have sex on this day, you will be macheted to death by a maniac wearing a makeshift mask made out of a calendar. This superstition is, of course, the basis for the '80s horror movie Leap Year."

It goes like this: You and your friends are having a nice Easter party, when suddenly a deranged killer in a bunny mask starts stalking you. On April Fools Day, that guy you and your friends pulled a rather nasty prank upon is out to get you. On Halloween, the dead rise from their graves and start to terrorize the neighborhood. And on Christmas, The Anti-Christ decides to be born.

"Oh for Pete's sake!" you exclaim; "Couldn't these things happen on any other day, like, Tuesday?"

Sorry pal, Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday.

When the horror happens, it tends to happen on Holidays and other special days marked on your calendar for various reasons: Lots of people tend to gather around on those days (usually at a remote location), calendar days make nice titles, and nothing quite says Subverted Innocence than (for example) Santa Claus killing people with an axe.


Also, remember, some days are sacred to pagan/occult religions and so "natural" choices for supernatural events. These days may have had Christian and/or commercial holidays added, or they may just be special to the pagans/witches/satanists/whoever, still not just Tuesday, even if the hero doesn't know this at first. Granted, if you consider all cultures, faiths and customs, every day on the calendar is bound to be a holiday to someone; this trope only applies when that holiday is specifically referenced in the work.

And of course, Lovecraftian unspeakable horrors don't have any use for the human calendar, so they won't bother to do the timezone math to see where to appear. They only care the stars are right on THEIR calendars and none of these calendars have Tuesday!

Popular trope among horror movies (especially in Slasher Movie genre), but not necessarily limited to them.


See also Attack of the Town Festival, Regularly Scheduled Evil, Twisted Christmas, Dangerous 16th Birthday and various holiday episodes. Did I Mention It's Christmas? (or any other holiday) may be in effect for some of these. Contrast But for Me, It Was Tuesday, although the name of that trope might have inspired this one's, as in, the difference between something evil one does every day and the kind reserved for specific days.


    open/close all folders 

    All Hallows' Eve / Halloween / Samhain 

    April Fools' Day 

    Bachelor / Bachelorette Parties 

See also A Birthday, Not a Break.

    Christmas Season 
See also An Ass-Kicking Christmas.

    Day of the Dead / El Día de los Muertos / All Souls' Day 

    Devil's Night / Hell Night / Mischief Night 


    Father's Day 


    Mardi Gras 

    May Day / Walpurgis Night 

    Memorial Day 

    New Year 

    Prom Night 

    Spring Break 

    St. Patrick's Day 


    United States Independence Day / Fourth of July 

    Valentine's Day 

    Weddings and Honeymoons 

  • Stephen King's Cycle of the Werewolf, where the moon is conveniently full for a couple of holidays (New Year's Day, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, April Fool's Day, Homecoming Sunday, high school graduation, the Fourth of July, Labor Day, Halloween, and New Year's Eve). King admits in a short post-script that the moon cycles doesn't behave like that in the real world, but he ignored this fact as he found the idea of a horror story focused on holidays too appealing to pass up on.
  • The anthology book A Hacked-Up Holiday Massacre.
  • The Hack/Slash comic Entry Wound had every holiday-related slasher "waking up" early due to a cosmic disturbance. While various holiday slashers are alluded to, the main villain of the story was a Groundhog Day-based one (if the groundhog sees his shadow, six weeks of death ensue).
    • The comic also has an amusing Deconstruction of the trope, as Cassie and Vlad usually take out those slasher rather easily by just finding their resting place on a regular Tuesday and blowing it up while they are still hibernating.
  • The Enfant Terrible film Home Movie has sequences set on a number of different holidays; in order, they're a birthday, Halloween, an anniversary, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Eve, Valentine's Day and Easter, which the climax occurs on.
  • Fearnet has produced a series of shorts featuring Sam from Trick 'r Treat celebrating a variety of different holidays, like Easter and Father's Day.
  • The Horror Seasons is an anthology that features Christmas ("Satan Claws"); Halloween ("The Darkest Secret") and Easter ("Easter Beast").
  • The Long Halloween: The Holiday Killer strikes on Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Independence Day, a birthday, then Halloween again. On April Fool's it's subverted by the killer himself.
  • Tales from the Grave, Volume 2: Happy Holidays is a horror anthology with all the segments dealing with holidays.
  • Calendar Man's entire schtick, especially his Arkham Series incarnation who's effectively a holiday-themed serial killer. In Batman: Arkham City he'll tell you about his previous murders if you visit him with your system clock set to certain holidays.
  • Clive Barker's The Thief of Always is set at the Holiday House, a magical residence which experiences a full year's worth of seasons every day. There's an Easter every morning, a Halloween every dusk, and a Christmas every evening. Granted, it doesn't become a horror story until the characters catch on to what's going on...
  • In Real Life, terrorists are far more likely to align their crimes with specific calendar dates than are serial killers, as the former sometimes schedule their attacks to make a political statement, while the latter are usually opportunists.
    • An exception would be the unidentified perpetrator of the so-called Astrological murders; his(?) killings always coincided with something like an equinox, a solstice, or a Friday the 13th.
  • It's My Party and I'll Die If I Want To is set on Halloween, which is also the protagonist's birthday.
  • The anthology film Holidays has various horror stories taking place on Father's Day, Valentine's Day, Easter, New Year's Eve, Mother's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Halloween, and Christmas.
  • Real Life Edinburgh's infamous corpse-selling serial killers, Burke and Hare, were finally arrested for a murder that took place on Halloween of 1828. Hare testified about the brutal event in exchange for immunity nine weeks later, on Christmas Eve, and Burke's death sentence - complete with an order that his body be dissected - was issued on Christmas morning.

  • 4 Horror Tales: February 29
  • 11-11-11
  • 11/11/11 (These are separate films. November 11 is also Veteran's/Remembrance Day, but that observance does not appear to be an element in either of them)
  • Winter Solstice for 30 Days of Night
  • Absurd appears to take place during Super Bowl Sunday.
  • Arbor Daze
  • The Bagman takes place on Friday the 13th.
  • Barrow Hill takes place on the night of the Autumnal Equinox
  • The City of the Dead features Candlemas
  • Dark Fall: Lost Souls happens on Bonfire Night.
  • Dark Harvest takes place on the night of the Harvest Moon.
  • Earth Day.
  • The Friday the 13th spin-off novel Mother's Day
  • Groundhog Day
  • Hangover Square climaxes on Guy Fawkes Day
  • Humongous' prologue happens on Labor Day
  • Mother's Day
  • Night of the Living Dead (1968) takes place the day the clocks change for daylight savings.
  • The Orphan (no, not this one) happens during Friday the 13th
  • Patriots Day, a True Crime film about the 2015 Boston Marathon bombing. Notably, the actual attack was a subversion; the Boston Marathon is scheduled every year to be held on Patriots' Day (a state holiday in Massachusetts commemorating the Battles of Lexington and Concord), so anybody plotting a terrorist attack against such would also, by coincidence, be plotting an attack on that holiday.
  • Pledge Night
  • President's Day (2010)
  • Rush Week
  • Solstice takes place, as the title implies, on midsummer solstice.
  • The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism takes place on Good Friday.
  • In some cultures, the "unlucky day" is, in fact, Tuesday the 13th. And, yep, when Friday the 13th is dubbed for one of those cultures (including the Spanish dub)...
  • The Victorville Massacre is set on Labor Day.
  • V for Vendetta begins and ends with a bombing on Guy Fawkes Day.
  • What Keeps You Alive: Anniversary.
  • The Columbine High School massacre took place on April 20, leading to speculation that the killers were neo-Nazis, as that date was Adolf Hitler's birthday. Others have suggested that they scheduled their killing spree for April 20 so that the school's stoners wouldn't be caught in the crossfire (they'd never had much of a problem with those kids). In truth, it was a defiance of this trope — quite literally, as April 20, 1999 was a Tuesday. In his journal, Eric Harris wrote that he wanted the massacre to happen on an ordinary day at school rather than at some major event like the prom (which had taken place three days earlier) or a football game, feeling that it would more properly shock Americans out of their routine. Furthermore, the massacre was originally scheduled for the day before, but had to be delayed because an order of ammunition only came late in the afternoon. That said, the fact that they originally scheduled the massacre for April 19 has also led to speculation that it was a reference to the Waco siege and the Oklahoma City bombing, especially given the killers' stated desire to "outdo" those events.
  • Germany has had several significant events occur on November 9, most of which were negative. In 1848, parliamentary leader Robert Blum was executed. In 1918, Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated, and both the Weimar Republic and a Free Socialist Republic were proclaimed. In 1923, the Beer Hall Putsch occurred. In 1938, the Nazis began Kristallnacht. Subverted in 1989 when the Berlin Wall began to fall on November 9.
  • This is a major part of the reason why the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 had such a profound effect on European culture and Enlightenment-era thought. Not only did a massive earthquake and tsunami devastate one of Europe's great capitals, it happened on November 1, All Saints' Day, one of the holiest days on the Catholic calendar. Nearly everybody was in church when the earthquake struck — and furthermore, Lisbon's churches were mostly built tall in the center of the city, on soft riverbank sediments that underwent liquefaction during the earthquake, causing nearly all of them to collapse and kill the parishioners inside. The disaster has often been cited as the birth of modern atheism, as writers like Voltaire saw it as an affront to the idea of a just and loving God, or even of The Scourge of God, given that the earthquake claimed the churches but spared the brothels (Lisbon's Red Light District having been one of the least-damaged neighborhoods).
  • Similarly, the 1964 Alaskan earthquake, the second most powerful earthquake ever recorded, struck on March 27, Good Friday. Coincidentally, the Book of Matthew also describes an earthquake occurring during Jesus' crucifixion (the event that Good Friday commemorates).

    Spoofs and Parodies 
  • MAD spoofed the concept with Arbor Day, which became Hilarious in Hindsight with the creation of the aforementioned Arbor Daze.
    • Arbor Day is again the chosen day of horror when It's a Living took on slasher films.
  • Spoofed in More Information Than You Require with the imaginary slasher Leap Year.
  • The horror anthology NightThirst had a story called "Christmas in July", which had a murderous Santa inexplicably killing in the middle of summer.
  • The Psych episode "Tuesday the 17th" spoofs this trope by having a very Friday the 13th-esque story (hence the title) happen on an unimportant day.
  • Saturday the 14th also parodies this trope.
  • Along with ending on the prom, the aforementioned Student Bodies starts, says "Halloween" on screen but nothing happens, fade out. Fade in again on "Friday the 13th" nothing happens on that day either, fade out again. Fade in again on "Jamie Lee Curtis' Birthday" that's when all hell breaks loose!
    • Either that, or the film takes place in a Verse where, to better facilitate this trope, all three of these events can and do happen on the same date.
  • From the Phineas and Ferb episode "Terrifying Tri-State Trilogy of Terror":
    "Wow, this is such a Halloween thing to happen in the middle of summer!"

Alternative Title(s): Horror Holiday