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Nightmare Fuel / Twin Peaks

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Despite its picturesque, peaceful facade, the town of Twin Peaks is a truly scary place indeed.

     Original run (Seasons 1 and 2, and FWWM)
His name stands for "Beware of BOB", by the way.
  • BOB/Leland Palmer
    • Everything is tolerable but his little Fred Astaire dance with the golf club in the episode where he's been driving around ALL DAY with Maddy's body in the trunk: there's something just creepingly, inexplicably nightmarish about the sheer randomness of it.
    • What makes BOB posessing Leland so utterly terrifying is that Leland IS a Nice Guy and a loving father to Laura. He's a normal every man who knows BOB has a hold of him and can't stop himself from harming those he loves.
    • BOB's voice alone is pretty terrifying. When BOB talks to Cooper in the Black Lodge before taking Windom Earle's soul, his voice sounds strangled and almost animalistic. And that is to say nothing of BOB's Evil Laugh which sounds like an angry dog barking. For an actor that was cast on a whim, Frank Silva is really good at selling us on BOB's character as a force of pure malevolence.
    • A subtle aspect of BOB's menace is that every time he appears, he`s looking straight at you.
  • The end of Episode 14: Whilst Cooper and others are gathered at the roadhouse, the Giant appears, ominously stating: "It is happening again." The viewer then sees the Palmer household where Leland looks in the mirror and BOB is in the reflection, revealing him to be the killer (and rapist) of his daughter. The implications of this are horrific enough, but almost immediately, Leland/BOB proceeds to claim his next victim.
  • And Maddy's exceptionally violent (well, for network TV at the time anyway) death.
    • As well as the fact that it takes place entirely within the Palmer's living room. Despite all the fantastical elements, the scene doubles as very realistic looking domestic violence.
    • The shifting perspectives during this scene whilst Leland is clutching Maddy, between Leland crying and BOB sickeningly kissing her.
      "Leland says... you're going back... to Missoula... MONTANA!"
  • Maddy's screams from within the Black Lodge. Talk about Nightmare Face.
  • Ronette's Dream at the end of S02E01 is a real whopper too.
  • One of the most iconic and terrifying scenes in the series comes from the end of "Coma", where BOB casually strolls into a room and climbs over a couch to get to Maddy. It's a very simple, butt-clenching scene of an animalistic psycho coming straight at you. Part of the reason it works so well is because of how reminiscent it is of Sleep Paralysis; BOB's own feral movements make him seem like the kind of strange, otherworldly hallucinations you would have during such an episode, and the camera's lack of motion gives the audience a feeling of helplessness as he slowly comes toward it. Even people who otherwise don't know anything about Twin Peaks have admitted to how effective it is.
  • The words repeated by Waldo. The unpassionate tone only makes the words more disturbing.
  • Leo's awakening midway through Season 2, especially the bit where he's looming over Shelly with an axe, like something out of a Slasher Film. Bonus points for that scream he gives when Bobby stabs him in the leg.
  • Then of course there's the huge pile of Mind Screw / Surreal Horror that essentially makes up the entire last half hour of the final episode.
    "How's Annie?" (Warning: HUGE spoilers!)
  • Mike Gerard's possession and recounting of the 'Fire Walk With Me' poem was particularly chilling. Hats off to Al Strobel for the shift from a kindly shoe salesman to an eerie ancient spirit.
  • Harold Smith's Freak Out when he finds out Donna is secretly trying to take Laura's diary from him]] is really disturbing considering [[spoiler:how he was so friendly before.
  • How about in the second-to-last episode, when Windom Earle returns to his hideout with a white face and black teeth after finding the Black Lodge?
  • That shadow on the curtain during Cooper's dream at the end of the second episode.
    • Apparently, it's supposed to be an owl. Not that it makes it any less creepy.
  • Maddy's vision of BOB.
    • Along with Sarah Palmer's in the first season, as seen in the image above.
  • Leo's (probable) end.
  • Ronette Pulaski's first appearance, walking down the bridge in a daze, ropes dangling from her wrists.
  • Something about Cooper and Harry looking at Laura Palmer's dead body while the electricity flickered in and out made an otherwise normal (at least, normal for murder dramas) scene absolutely horrifying.
  • Ronette's arms slowly raising up as she sleeps alone in her hospital bed.
  • Really want to scare yourself? Try playing the Mike and Bob section of Cooper's dream sequence in the German dub.
  • Leland's revelation about BOB's possession and the murder of his daughter can be this from his perspective.
  • Windom Earle's appearance becomingghastly as he is looming over Leo, with an extremely pale face and blackened teeth.
  • Josie Packard's fate.
  • The creepy, surreal, eldritch vibe of the Black Lodge is this combined with Creepy Awesome. Backwards speech is already pretty creepy because of the Uncanny Valley effect; it sounds enough like human speech to be recognisable, but inhuman enough to sound otherworldly and bizarre. This makes it seem very nightmarish and frightening to the uninitiated viewer.

    The Return
  • That thing in the glass box in the first episode of The Return. And what it does.
    • The way the box gets darker and darker before this ghostly pale figure just appears in it is just extremely unsettling. That isn't even including the part where it, for lack of a better term, mauls Sam and Tracey to death.
    • In episode 3, their bodies are shown in a crime scene photo HORRIBLY mangled. Their heads and necks for the most part look like they've been caved in and the room was drenched in blood.
  • There is a scene in the first episode of season 3 in which a man is crying in a jail cell; the camera pans past him, and there is another man with a beard covered completely in dark gray paint, but whose eyes are extremely white and also TURN SLOWLY TO FACE THE CAMERA. Then his entire body fades away, with the exception of his face, which is still staring.
  • The initial discovery of Ruth (and then the complete reveal of her body, made much worse when you find out the body doesn't even belong to Ruth.) is completely disgusting and wrong looking.
  • The pink room Cooper visits after being thrown out of the Black Lodge. The woman within moves in a strange, unearthly fashion, has no eyes, or even sockets, and the door in the back is constantly being angrily pounded upon by her unseen "mother."
  • Scenes in the Red Room and the Lodge in general have gotten more intense and unsettling in the revival with the introduction of uncanny CG elements. Any crumb of classiness and subtlety has been striped away, revealing the ever changing labyrinth of nightmares and unforgiving absurdity in much grander detail than ever before.
  • BOB Cooper is just as terrifying as you'd imagine, if not more so. Unlike with Leland, he's cold and calculating, yet still positively ruthless. The scene where he brutally murders Daria, and its build up which involves holding her down tightly and interrogating her, is chill-inducing.
    • His introductory scene, in its entirety, is just incredibly eerie and unsettling. It starts with a shot of his car driving through a darkened forest while a bizarre song that consists solely of a menacing drumbeat and inhumanly distorted vocals blares on the soundtrack note , creating an incredibly ominous tension. Then we meet "Mr. C" and his henchmen, a family of Hillbilly Horrors straight out of The Hills Have Eyes (1977), and the show establishes right away what an evil, dominating presence this character is. It's quite an Establishing Character Moment.
  • The scene with the casino manager, just for the wonderfully creepy turn of phrase, "Why do you let him (presumably BOB) make you do these things?".
  • The growing revelations from both the new series and the book that Gordon Cole has more power than we knew, and has ties to all sorts of very shady people. He goes from an eccentric father figure to much more of an unknown power, we don't know what he's capable of. Denise even calls him out for his habit of taking in young, wild, attractive agents and getting them involved in spooky stuff, and he replies by threatening her with blackmail; softly and nebulously but definitely a threat.
  • When Cooper's getting out of the Black Lodge or at least traveling through other forms of realities, something happens to BOB Cooper in the real world to the point where he begins to vomit up all of the Garmonbozia he had been collecting over the years.
  • While the killing of the couple in New York was shown very briefly and vaguely, the third episode shows how their bodies were found. They look like their heads were cut open, and everything inside was removed, leaving just skin. All the while barely moving the bodies, as they were still holding each other.
  • In 3.05, the scene of BOB Cooper looking in the mirror, and his face slowly morphing into BOB's. Subtle, and incredibly creepy.
  • Doc Hayward recalls that one of the only things "Cooper" did before leaving Twin Peaks was visiting a comatose Audrey. Given that the same episode heavily implies the Doppelganger raped Diane and there's a new Horne running around who could definitely be 25, the implications are very unpleasant...
    • And if that is the case, it would certainly explain a lot of Richard's behavior.
  • For that matter everything about Richard Horne. From threatening to rape a woman aloud at the Roadhouse to attacking and robbing his grandmother, he is made of this trope. The worst thing he's done on-screen is arguably the scene where he killed a child in a hit and run incident in front of the kid's mother (to which he felt absolutely no shame). After a woman notices Richard as the driver, he goes to her home and beats her nearly to death. If you think this is an exaggeration, check out the scene where he ransacked his aforementioned grandmother's house (special mention goes to his nightmare-inducing facial expressions).
    • Johnny Horne is tied to a chair with what appears to be a cyborg teddy bear cheerfully greeting him over and over, completely powerless against his psychotic nephew. Since knowledge of the mentally handicapped is more widespread, audiences would be aware that Jerry isn't unintelligent, just unable to act like a normal person. With that in mind, it stands to reason that the talking teddy bear he can't get away from is likely driving him insane.
  • Part 8. ALL OF IT.
    • In particular, the entire atomic bomb sequence, set to "Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima" by Kryztof Penderecki, already well-known as a pant-shittingly terrifying piece of music. The sequence also implies that BOB isn't an ancient horror but was in fact created recently, by humans inventing and detonating the first atom bomb.
  • Part 9 ends with a conversation between two girls, one of whom is clearly a drug abuser, judging by her rotten teeth and the horrific rash she's given herself from scratching too hard.
  • Part 11 has the car accident outside the diner. The thought of a child getting ahold of a loaded gun and firing it in a random direction is terrifying enough, but what's really unnerving is when Bobby looks inside one of the cars and sees a girl convulsing and regurgitating as she writhes out of the car towards him. It's never made clear what happened to her or her final fate.
  • In Part 13, "Cooper" is forced into an arm wrestling match. While his victory is actually quite awesome, his taunts are rather unsettling, and makes his brutal murder of his opponent that much more disturbing.
    Mr. C: See? Doesn't that hurt your arm when I go like that?
    • The match itself is incredibly drawn out, but it's clear from the beginning that Mr. C is never going to lose. The sickening way he toys with his opponent before brutally splattering him is incredibly off-putting.
  • Sarah Palmer removing her face in Part 14, at first revealing a void and then a disturbing smile. This somehow causes the bar patron tormenting her to get his throat ripped out.
  • The man in jail with a horribly busted face, who constantly drools and drips blood on the floor and is only capable of parroting other people's words. The creepiest part about him is that no one but Chad seems to notice his presence.
  • Part 15 ends with a girl being forced out of her seat by some burly thugs. She sits on the floor for a few seconds, not really registering what just happened before crawling towards a crowd and screaming.
  • Part 16. Richard Horne's death. While it was indeed awesome to watch, it is horrifying to watch him suffer in utter agony from the electrocution. Bear in mind, it isn't normal electrocution where the person dies in a couple of seconds, this electrocution was half a minute of screen time.
    • Diane's Face–Heel Turn, or as we are led to believe. She was actually a tulpa that was in place of the real Diane the entire time with her memories and thoughts, bringing the character's entire interaction with Cole, Albert, and Tammy frightening with this now in mind.
    • We still have no idea wherever the hell Audrey is.
  • The ending of Part 18, just... what. For more perspective, the ending left most a bit shocked, if at best, more completely stumped, adding to the horror. Just what did happen? Who did Carrie/Laura scream at? Why did we still hear Sarah calling for Laura despite the Palmer residence was owned by someone else? Why did Carrie/Laura scream after Cooper asked about the year?. Just... what?!
    • The fact the episode and entire series ended with Carrie/Laura's horrified and completely spine chilling scream makes it worse.
    • The sound of confusion and slight panic when Cooper asks "what year is it". It's beginning to dawn on him how messed up things have become and he's just as lost as the rest of us.
    • And then there's the fact that, unlike the previous episodes, there's no performance at the roadhouse to close out the show's run. Instead, the credits roll over a barely-visible photo of Cooper and Laura during the recreated "twenty-five years later" scene. It's also worth noting that Cooper looks absolutely horrified.
    • The all around ambiguous nature of the finale can leave the viewer feeling sick to their stomach. Where the hell did Cooper and Laura wind up? Where is everybody? What did Cooper do to the timeline? Can they fix it? WHAT YEAR IS IT?!
    • The speculation is all over the map that everyone's left terrified at what Cooper did after he saved Laura's life. Not helped by the fact at how barren Twin Peaks is.

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