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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 Antichrist 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.

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 Movies), but not necessarily limited to them.

See also Attack of the Town Festival, Regularly-Scheduled Evil, Twisted Christmas, Dangerous Sixteenth Birthday and various holiday episodes.

Did I Mention It's Christmas? (or any other holiday) may be in effect for some of these.

Examples of Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday include:

All Hallows' Eve / Samhain

  • All Hallows' Eve
  • American Nightmare
  • Bad Reputation
  • Black Eve
  • Boo
  • Brocéliande
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer the monsters tend to lay low on Halloween because it'd be tacky not to, but like much going on in Sunnydale, good intentions go real bad.
  • The Caretaker
  • Cemetery of Terror
  • C.H.U.D. II: Bud the Chud
  • Clownhouse
  • The Clown Murders
  • CreepTales
  • Cry Wolf
  • Dark Night of the Scarecrow
  • Day of the Dead
  • Dark Walker
  • Death on Demand
  • Demon's Trap
  • Don't Look in the Cellar
  • Don't Think About It
  • Dream Home
  • Ernest Scared Stupid
  • Escape from the Dead
  • Evil Breed: The Legend of Samhain
  • The Fanglys
  • The Fear: Resurrection
  • FleshEater
  • Frayed
  • FrightWorld
  • Ginger Snaps
  • Hack-O-Lantern
  • The Halloween series, including Halloween III: Season of the Witch, which is more about ancient Samhain
  • HalloweeNight
  • Halloween Night
  • Hallow's End
  • Hallows Point
  • In the Harry Potter series, it just happened to be on Halloween night that Voldemort murdered Harry's parents. In fact, there's generally one major plot event every Halloween that Harry is at school, as well. First year: Troll gets in and wreaks havoc (the title of this chapter is even "Halloween"). Second year: the Chamber is opened and takes its first victim. Third year: Black breaks in and slashes up the Fat Lady's portrait.
  • Haunted Hay Ride: The Movie
  • Haunted-ween
  • Hayride Slaughter
  • The Hazing
  • HellBent
  • Hellions
  • Hocus Pocus
  • The Hollow
  • Hollow Gate
  • House of 1000 Corpses
  • House of Fears
  • The remake of House on Haunted Hill
  • Averted but Lampshaded in The House On The Borderland, in which the anonymous writer of the journal remarks that if he were making up his account, he surely would have chosen to initiate its supernatural events on Halloween.
  • Idle Hands
  • In the Dark
  • Intruder (no, not this one)
  • I've Been Waiting For You
  • Jack-O
  • Jack O'Lantern
  • Lady in White
  • Left for Dead
  • The various retellings of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, like the film Sleepy Hollow
  • Long Pig
  • The Maize: The Movie
  • May
  • Methodic
  • The Midnight Hour
  • Mostly Ghostly
  • Mr. Halloween
  • Murder Party
  • The Night of the Demons series
  • Pet Sematary II
  • Primal Rage
  • The Pumpkin Karver
  • Return of the Living Dead: Rave to the Grave
  • Sam Hell
  • Satan's Little Helper
  • Scare Zone
  • Scary Movie (no, not this one)
  • Scream Farm
  • SideFX
  • Skinwalkers
  • Sleepy Hollow High
  • Stan Helsing
  • Summer's End: The Legend of Samhain
  • Tales of the Dead
  • Trick or Treat
  • Trick or Treats
  • Trick 'r Treat (all of these are different films)
  • Unearthly Harvest
  • Vacations of Terror 2
  • The Whistler
  • The Wickeds
  • Witches' Night

April Fools' Day

Bachelor / Bachelorette Parties

  • Abominable
  • Bachelor Party in the Bungalow of the Damned
  • Bachelor Party Massacre
  • Freak Show
  • Hostel: Part III
  • Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead
  • The Last Resort
  • Psycho Cop Returns
  • Stagknight
  • Stag Night
  • Stag Night of the Dead
  • Vampire in Vegas


  • The Abandoned
  • Alice in Murderland
  • Alison's Birthday
  • The Birthday
  • Bloody Birthday
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy's celebrates her seventeenth birthday by sleeping with Angel and turning him evil. On reaching her eighteenth year the Watcher's Council subject her to a test when she must fight a psychotic vampire without superpowers. On her nineteenth birthday, Giles is turned into a demon; for her twentieth Buffy has to fight a god to protect her sister and on Buffy's twenty-first she's trapped in her house with a demon — on this occasion Spike suggests that it would be best if Buffy not celebrate her birthday, and since there's no birthday episode in Season 7 she's apparently taken this advise.
  • A segment of 1997 Campfire Tales, titled "People Can Lick Too"
  • Child's Play
  • Deep in the Woods
  • Demons 2
  • Don't Go Near the Park
  • Don't Panic
  • Drive-Thru
  • Friday the 13 th and a few of the sequels
  • The Greenskeeper
  • Happy Birthday to Me
  • The Haunting of Molly Hartley
  • It's My Party and I'll Die If I Want To
  • The Last House on the Left
  • Make a Wish
  • Mr. Jingles
  • My Soul to Take
  • My Super Psycho Sweet 16 series
  • Nine Lives
  • Pinocchio's Revenge
  • Rabid Grannies
  • Red Velvet
  • Scream 3
  • Sisters
  • Skyline
  • Slumber Party Massacre II
  • Spookies
  • Sweet Sixteen
  • Terror Toons 2: The Sick and Silly Show
  • There Was a Little Girl

Christmas Season

  • 12-24
  • Alien Raiders
  • Bikini Bloodbath Christmas
  • Black Christmas
  • The Blackout
  • Blood Beat
  • The Bloody Exorcism of Coffin Joe
  • A segment of the 1991 Campfire Tales, titled "The Fright Before Xmas"
  • The Children
  • Christmas Nightmare
  • The Christmas Season Massacre
  • The Christmas Tale from 6 Films to Keep You Awake
  • Cronos
  • The Curse of the Cat People
  • The Day of the Beast
  • Dead End
  • The beginning of Deadly Dreams
  • Deadly Games
  • Deadly Little Christmas
  • Decoys
  • Doctor Who, to the point where it's lampshaded; by "Voyage of the Damned", most Londoners have enough sense to get out of town for Christmas.
  • Don't Open Till Christmas
  • The Dorm That Dripped Blood
  • Elves
  • Fallen Knight
  • Family Reunion
  • Feeders 2: Slay Bells
  • Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash
  • Ginger Snaps: Unleashed
  • Gremlins
  • Hardware
  • The Hitchhiker
  • Home for the Holidays
  • I, Madman
  • Inside
  • Jack Frost
  • Jaws: The Revenge
  • A segment of Kazuo Umezu's Horror Theater Vol. 3, titled "The Present"
  • The League of Gentlemen Christmas Special
  • The Legend of Hell House
  • Legion
  • Lucky Stiff
  • Maniac
  • Maniac Cop 2
  • Marcus
  • The Minus Man
  • The Mothman Prophecies
  • Mum & Dad
  • Night of the Comet
  • Night Train Murders
  • Nutcracker: An American Nightmare
  • One Hell of a Christmas
  • The Ordeal
  • Ornaments
  • P2
  • Prime Evil
  • Psycho
  • Psycho Santa
  • Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys
  • Rabid
  • Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
  • Saint
  • Satan Claus
  • Santa Claws
  • Santa's Slay
  • A segment of Shake, Rattle & Roll 9, titled "Christmas Tree"
  • The Shining
  • Sheitan
  • Sick Girl
  • Silent Night, Bloody Night
  • The Silent Night, Deadly Night series
  • Silent Night, Zombie Night
  • The novel Slay Bells
  • The beginning of The Stepfather remake
  • The first segment of the Tales from the Crypt film, titled "And All Through the House"
  • The Thirteenth Day of Christmas
  • To All a Good Night
  • The Toybox
  • The Traveler
  • Trees 2: The Root of All Evil
  • Two Front Teeth
  • Wind Chill
  • While She Was Out
  • Whisper
  • Whoever Slew Auntie Roo?
  • You Better Watch Out (also known as Christmas Evil)

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

Devil's Night / Hell Night / Mischief Night

  • The Criminal Minds episode "Devil's Night" featured a serial arsonist who, every year, killed on the days leading up to Halloween.
  • The Crow
  • Hallows Eve: Slaughter on Second Street
  • Happy Hell Night
  • Hell Night
  • Hide
  • Mischief Night
  • Night of the Pumpkin


Father's Day

  • The first Creepshow segment, which is literally titled "Father's Day"
  • Father's Day
  • Stepfather III
  • 1996's Summer of Fear


Mardi Gras

May Day / Walpurgis Night

  • The Devil Rides Out
  • The beginning of Dracula
  • The Lost Crown: A Ghost-Hunting Adventure
  • The "Night on Bald Mountain" segment of Fantasia
  • Walpurgis Night
  • The Wicker Man
  • The Wicker Tree
  • Zero Day

Memorial Day

New Year

Prom Night

Spring Break

  • 2001 Maniacs!
  • After Dark
  • American Psycho II: All American Girl
  • Banshee!!!
  • Camp Fear
  • Crocodile
  • Dark Ride
  • Delirium
  • Do You Wanna Know a Secret?
  • Doctor Giggles
  • The Eves
  • Fear Island
  • The Final Destination spin-off comic Spring Break
  • Girls Gone Dead
  • The Hitcher remake
  • House of the Dead
  • Immortal Island
  • The Innocent
  • Jeepers Creepers
  • Killjoy 3
  • The Legacy
  • The Mangler 2
  • Natural Demise
  • Night of a Thousand Screams
  • Nightmare Beach
  • Piranha 3D
  • The Ruins
  • Scarecrow Gone Wild
  • Simon Says
  • Sleep
  • Spring Break Massacre
  • Spring Break Shark Attack
  • Succubus: Hell Bent
  • There's Nothing Out There
  • Within: Terror Resides...

St. Patrick's Day


United States' Independence Day / Fourth of July

Valentine's Day

Weddings and Honeymoons

  • Alligator
  • The Beast Within
  • Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat
  • The Blood Spattered Bride
  • The Bloodstained Bride
  • A segment of 1997 Campfire Tales, titled "The Honeymoon"
  • Bride of Chucky
  • Children of the Corn remake (second honeymoon... close enough)
  • Dark Country
  • Dark Honeymoon
  • The Final Destination spin-off novel Dead Man's Hand.
  • Death by Engagement
  • Devil's Pond
  • Hatchet for the Honeymoon
  • He Knows You're Alone
  • Hellbride
  • Honeymoon Horror
  • Fear Itself: "In Sickness and in Health"
  • Kiss of the Vampire
  • Mad Jack
  • Machined Reborn
  • Maid of Honor
  • Nightmare Honeymoon
  • A Perfect Getaway
  • REC
  • Schizo
  • Seventh Moon
  • Stepfather II
  • Tormented
  • The Trek
  • Trouble Every Day
  • Vacancy 2: The First Cut
  • The Wedding Curse
  • Wedding Slashers
  • Zombie Honeymoon


  • 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).
  • 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 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.
  • 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.


  • 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
  • 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.
  • The Friday the 13 th spin-off novel Mother's Day
  • Hangover Square climaxes on Guy Fawkes Day
  • Humongous' prologue happens on Labor Day
  • Mother's Day
  • The Orphan (no, not this one) happens during Friday the 13th
  • Pledge Night
  • President's Day
  • Rush Week
  • Sint is a Dutch horror movie about a maniac Saint Nicholas who prowls the streets when December 5th (the day the holiday of Saint Nicholas is celebrated in the Netherlands) falls on a full moon.
  • Solstice takes place, as the title implies, on midsummer solstice
  • In some cultures, the "unlucky day" is, in fact, Tuesday the 13th. And, yep, when Friday the 13 th 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.

Spoofs and Parodies

  • Grindhouse XXX had a fake (and surprisingly sex free) trailer for Easter.
  • Mad Magazine 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 13 th-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 begins with a nonsensical series of title cards that inform us that it is Halloween, Friday the 13th, and Jamie Lee Curtis's birthday.