Crazy Old Ladies: The Story Of Hag Horror

Non-fiction: Pop Culture

Author of HITCHCOCK'S HEROINES Caroline Young's CRAZY OLD LADIES: THE STORY OF HAG HORROR, an exploration of a subgenre of horror movies in the 1950s and 1960s that cast iconic movie stars in often grotesque roles, examining how actresses were treated in Hollywood as they got older, to Ben Ohmart at Bear Manor Media, by Isabel Atherton at Creative Authors (world English).


From the moment Bette Davis served up a dead rat to Joan Crawford in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? a subset of camp horror films was born. The ‘Hag Horror’ genre exploited the former Oscar-winners and glamour queens who had effectively built Hollywood, transforming them into grotesque caricatures that revealed a cultural disdain for older women.

In Crazy Old Ladies: The Story of Hag Horror, Caroline Young traces the development of this genre, from its origins in Sunset Boulevard and All About Eve, through to the horror movie phenomenon following the huge success of Psycho.

Films like Strait-Jacket, Lady in a Cage, What’s the Matter with Helen? and Rosemary’s Baby reveal the fears around the growing feminist movement, a clash between tradition and youth, and a shift in notions of celebrity. Above all, Crazy Old Ladies is a timely overview of the subgenre, to reveal the sometimes painful stories of what happened to iconic, ageing actresses once their career as leading ladies was considered over.


Caroline Young

Buy from

Amazon, US Amazon, UK Bear Manor Media, US Waterstones, UK Barnes & Noble, US


“Three proposals, three deals, each better than the last. Professional and ambitious, Creative Authors is a great agency to have on your side.”

Tristan Donovan, Creative Authors Client