The Quick 10: The Not-Very-Scary Former Jobs of 10 Very Scary People

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Even the most successful people in the world didn't graduate fresh out of college or high school to immediately start making the big bucks - and that goes for the most successful scary people as well. Check out what these frightening writers and directors were doing before they were scaring the pants off of us.

zombie1. Rob Zombie. The singer-turned-horror-movie-director started out as a production assistant on Pee-Wee's Playhouse. Then again, maybe that is a scary job.
2. R.L. Stine. The Goosebumps author wrote for children before the words he wrote were chilling - prior to his horror series, Stine was writing joke books for kids under the name Jovial Bob Stine. He was also the co-creator and head writer for the Nickelodeon show Eureeka's Castle.
3. Christopher Pike, Stine's fellow young adult horror writer, is a notoriously elusive author. But we do know that back when he was still known as Kevin McFadden (Pike took his pen name from an old Star Trek character), he worked as a computer programmer.

4. Stephen King, prior to becoming the horror genre impresario that he is today, worked in an industrial laundromat.

5. Edgar Allan Poe was an artificer for the army, meaning he prepared shells for artillery.

6. Bram Stoker of Dracula fame started writing as a theater critic for the Dublin Evening Mail and also wrote a thrilling piece of non-fiction entitled The Duties of Clerks of Petty Sessions in Ireland.

7. Alfred Hitchcock designed ads for a cable company before going on to make some of the scariest movies of all time.

8. George Romero wrote short commercial films, including one for Mr. Rogers where everyone's favorite neighbor underwent a tonsillectomy. Reportedly, the short film was so gross it inspired Romero to go into horror.

9. Wes Craven was a humanities professor at Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y.

10. Ed Wood, director of terrible B movies, served as the bearded lady in a traveling freak show after a stint in the military. Well, maybe. Some sources report that he played the bearded lady and some sources report that he played half-man, half-woman. That one really makes a lot more sense when you think about his role in Glen or Glenda.

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October 14, 2009 - 11:30am
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