One of my all time favourite spooky short films was made in 1991 by a young protege of Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach) named Paul Berry. He snagged an Oscar nom for best animated short film (which is saying something, because it is creepy as hell – not your typical Oscar-fare even for short animated films) but shortly thereafter was stricken with brain cancer and passed on before any feature film career was realized. This is a shame, but he left us with The Sandman, a very dark take on the myth of a creature that puts children to sleep. Here the bird-like creature extracts a rather unique toll on its young targets. I saw this at an animation festival at a rep cinema in 1992, and not only was it the stand-out of that festival, this thing has haunted me in one form or another since; especially so after I had children of my own.