-- On Oct. 31, most homeowners wouldn't be surprised to find a Freddie Krueger knocking at their door in search of candy. But do they know a real Jason Voorhees (of "Friday the 13th" fame) might lurk around the block?
There are more people with morbid Halloween-centric names out there than you might expect, according to data recently released by Whitepages, the leading provider of contact information for people and businesses in the U.S.
Taking the top spot on the Whitepages' list of "Top 13 Horror Movie Monikers" is Michael Myers from the film "Halloween," with Whitepages counting 4,282 people nationwide who share the name, 333 in Ohio alone.
For fashion photographer-turned-whiskey distiller Michael Myers of Colorado Springs, Colorado, sharing a name with a violent villain comes up every time he hands over his ID card.
"I’m 49 years old, so I’m older than those movies -- but since day one people have referenced them," he said. "I’m not a horror film person, I don't like things where people are jumping out at you. So I haven’t even seen those movies and I have really no interest in seeing them."
He does like seeing the annual stampede of visitors to his website, www.michaelmyers.com, every time Halloween draws near.
"I’ve owned the name for a long time and the spikes and hits on the website this time of year are through the roof," he said.
It can be especially confusing if you happen to also be a writer.
"Once a month-ish, I get 'friended' on Facebook by someone I've never met who then tells me how much they love my books," said Stephen H. King, a Pennsylvania-based author of mythic fantasy and elf fantasy books. "I use my middle initial, which it turns out a) isn't enough of a differentiation for everyone, and b) isn't unique itself, as another author in Virginia has published two airplane history books under Stephen H. King."
While correcting the mistaken morbid identity with strangers can occasionally be frustrating, King said he's mostly immune to it. The only time it stings is when it comes to his work.
"I've had a couple of reviews saying, basically, 'It's a good book, but he's not Stephen King,' and that made me cringe a little," he said.
The complete Whitepages list of names follows:
Top 13 Most Common Horror Movie Monikers
1. Michael Myers (Halloween): 4,282; 333 in OH
2. Stephen King (Author): 2,068; 168 in TX
3. Norman Bates (Psycho): 96; 9 in TX
4. Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13th): 30; 4 each in PA, CA, NY
5. Annie Wilkes (Misery): 25; 10 in GA
6. Jack Torrance (The Shining): 10; 2 in CA
7. Wes Craven (Director): 7; 2 in NC
9. Max Cady (Cape Fear): 6; 3 in FL
10. Freddy Krueger (A Nightmare on Elm Street): 5; 2 in WA
11. Donnie Darko (Donnie Darko): 4; 3 in PA
12. Samara Morgan (The Ring): 2; 1 each in TX and ND
13. Damien Thorn (The Omen): 1 in CA