Did Wes Craven Smoke Weed? A Look At An Iconic Master of Horror

This Halloween, we're looking back on a horror director whose creations haunt our dreams. We're dying to know: did Wes Craven smoke weed?

You’re probably wondering: did Wes Craven smoke weed? It’s Halloween and we’re feeling both spooky and nostalgic. What better way to celebrate the holiday than taking a look back on an iconic horror director?

Who was Wes Craven?

Wes Craven never sought out to be a horror icon. He had never even considered entering the horror genre at all. Until, of course, he did enter. And completely dominated the scene. Born in 1939, he was raised in a strict fundamentalist Baptist family. Ironically, his parents forbade him from watching movies growing up. His first career was in academia, as a college professor. He left to pursue a job in the film industry, getting his feet wet by making short films on a 16mm film camera. One thing led to another and he started working as a porn director, using pseudonyms.

It was eventually Sean Cunningham, producer of Friday The 13th, who dragged Craven into the horror movie scene. Cunningham inspired Craven to draw from his fundamentalist childhood for terrifying concepts and imagery. Craven took the advice; his directorial debut in 1972 was The Last House on the Left. Famed film critic Roger Ebert said, “There is evil in this movie.”

Craven went on to have a 44-year long career. He gifted the world with iconic horror films like A Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream, The Hills Have Eyes and others. He died in the summer of 2015 after a battle with brain cancer.

Puff or Pass?

So did a certain plant have a hand in any of these films? Did Wes Craven smoke weed? By his own admission, he did. Or at least he smoked weed in his youth. In the article titled Freddy Lives: An Oral History of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, Wes Craven himself is quoted saying he smoked weed. It wasn’t in a very positive light though. The context for the quote was his three-year-long period of unemployment after his film Swamp Thing.

“I lost my house. I had to borrow money from Sean to pay my taxes,” he said. “Also, my first marriage had failed, and I was smoking a lot of grass, then graduated to cocaine. Finally, I walked away from the drugs. And I had this one idea, so I set off to write a script.”

The “one idea” was A Nightmare on Elm Street and that “one idea” turned into a franchise consisting of nine films, a television series, comic books, novels and a huge cult following.

Final Hit: Did Wes Craven Smoke Weed?

Because of his honesty and candidness, we know that Wes Craven smoked weed. Although it remains unclear if he stopped smoking grass for good after launching A Nightmare on Elm Street or if he revisited it after he pulled himself out of his slump. It is also unknown if Craven smoked medical marijuana during his battle with brain cancer.

Even if Craven didn’t smoke weed at all, he should still be recognized and appreciated for his films and the legacy he left behind.

" Chloe Harper Gold : Chloé Harper Gold is a writer in New York City. In addition to cannabis, she is passionate about horror, science fiction, and feminism. You can find more of her writing on Horror Film Central, Feministing, and Twitter.."