RIP Wes Craven, Johns Hopkins Alum

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You know how tragic celebrity deaths always seem to come in threes? This week, we lost the lovely Oliver Sacks, and then shortly afterward horror maven–and Johns Hopkins alum– Wes Craven.

Craven studied writing and philosophy at Hopkins in the 1960s. In Wes Craven: The Man and His Nightmares, Craven describes his period in Baltimore as one of great growth:

“As a graduate student at Johns Hopkins, I did a prodigious amount of intellectual work with about a dozen other young students who were struggling with the same issues. We were the literary outcasts on one hand and the literary lions on the other.” He also noted that his time at Johns Hopkins involved “psychedelic drugs, meditation, and Eastern philosophy.”

For his Master’s thesis, Craven wrote a spooky novel that featured a graveyard, a dwarf, and a schizophrenic kid. No one would publish it–perhaps fortunately for us all. Within a few years, Craven abandoned his novel and began writing and directing the terrifying movies that have provided millions of people with millions of nightmares: The Last House on the LeftNightmare on Elm Street; and Scream, just to name a few.

Craven died at his home in Los Angeles on Sunday after a battle with brain cancer. He was 76.


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