Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Shit What Scares Me.. PART ONE!

Hey all!

I see Cins made the inaugural post, other than my first test drive. I am Stac, one of your humble hosts here on our delightfully dark corner of the internet.

I think this blog is going to be an interesting experience; for starters, we're both (obviously) female. And not only girls, oh no! We're girlie girls, baby! We're just morbid as well, and have an instinctual understanding and enjoyment of making people uncomfortable. But we might talk about shoes, too. Mmm.. shoes..

So we thought we should each talk about childhood, and the trauma that each of us received during that time. Let's be honest; childhood is a scary, scary place. If you want a book that perfectly encompasses the weird magic and horror that kids go through, I recommend Coraline, written by Neil Gaiman. I know mine was alternately populated with some of the happiest times of my life and some of the worst nightmares I've ever had.

One of my most prominent fears, ironically, was horror movies. I was the master of what I named "the accidental walk-through". I would "accidentally" (on purpose) walk through the living room as my parents or my much older siblings were watching something horrible. For some damn reason I always did this at the worst fucking possible time. Poltergeist in particular comes to mind. I always saw one of two parts: Robbie Freeling getten eaten by the tree and Carol Ann's subsiquent absorbtion by her closet, or the paranormal researcher having the happy fantasy about ripping his damn face off.

I was around Carol Ann's age when I saw this. I'm sure you can imagine my joy at being alone, in the dark, in my room after that. Or being around the t.v when it was set to a dead channel. I didn't actually see Poltergeist all the way through until after I was living on my own. I immediately fell in love, and discovered a lot more to the movie than the scares. It's now one of my favorite movies!

Another childhoood terror was The Blob. I saw that movie, of course, way too young, and my older brother quickly discovered it was an effective way to drive me out of the living room. I know I saw the black and white version (with Steve McQueeen! HA!), but the version that scared me the worst was Son of the Blob, directed, bizarrely, by Larry Hagman.

Master Tony managed to cast a guy who looked horribly like my dad. Watching bright red protoplasm eat your father during your formative years tends to leave a wrinkle; as a result I couldn't sleep with anything red on my bedroom floor for years.

I recently rewatched the 1988 remake of The Blob, starring Kevin Dillon's mullet and Shawnee Smith. It's a good movie. One I absolutely could not comfortably watch. The blob still scares me too badly, it seems. Isn't it weird how some stuff we get over, and other things linger, reminding you of the horrified four year old you once were?

I was also afraid of Freddy, Jason, all of the slasher regimin, but we've since made our peace and become pretty decent friends. The blob and I, however, have absolutely nothing to say to each other.

One last fear, and then I'll wrap, for now. This one is non- movie connected, and didn't actually become a full blown fear until I was a very young teenager.

My grandparents both live in northern California: my paternal set in Arcata, and my maternal grandmother in Eureka. My parents would take us to visit frequently, and I loved the house in Arcata, where my dad's parents still live. It's an old farmhouse, more than a century old now, and I've loved every nook and cranny of it for as long as I can remember. It's old, it creaks, it has a ghost, and it sits on a few acres, with giant cyprus trees backing it, and a walnut tree in the side yard.

But as I got older there was one area that I came to love less and less: the closet under the staircase. It's weird; as a kid I loved that closet. That's where Grandma kept the box of toys for us, and my cousin Micheal, my kid brother T.W and I all loved to play in the back of the closet, which tapers down due to the stairs. It was our hide out, and we even discovered a strange little area that had been wall papered but not dry walled off. (we found it by shredding the old cloth wall paper. Let it never be said that property damage has no benefits.)

The area was weird; we took a flash light in, and it's essentially just the space under the lowest step on the stairs above.It was just big enough for two of the three of us (around nine, eight and seven years in age, respectively) to squeeze in, so long as we were sitting. Why it was blocked off, and in such a half-assed fashion, I have no idea. But I do know that this is when the discomfort started.

I lived with my grandparents when I was fifteen, for a school year. That whole year I lived in mortal dread of that closet. I frequently heard things when I was home alone, but only when I was home alone. The door would never stay caught because a spring in the door knob was broken, so the door would often open its self. There was only one bathroom in the house, and it was downstairs, basically underneath my bedroom. Can you imagine what that does to your bladder when you're creeping through the dark, trying to convince yourself that some jibbering, ribbon-fleshed horror isn't going to suddenly spring out at you, and then hearing the soft click of that damn door opening, just as you walk by? It makes your bladder want to void, that's what!

There are other stories I could tell, like the time as a ten or eleven year old that I saw a strange man looking in the backdoor window at me one night, but this wall of text extends far enough for now. Maybe I'll post those another time? Maybe I'll forget.


Hel said...

Poltergeist is THE movie about childhood trauma. I think you had to be just the right age when that movie came out for it to really have had the best effect on you. Everything that scares you as a kid is encompassed in that movie. For years I was obsessed with that film and hated it at the same time.

Speaking of Coraline, I've seen several preview clips of the movie online. It looks like it'll be good, but it's nowhere NEAR as creepy as what I pictured in my head while reading the book.

I like the 80's blob remake because it's so disgusting and creepy, the idea of being attacked by an unstoppable mass of stomach acid in jelly form that you can't escape from once it's touched you. The original movie is a true classic, though. It just didn't really scare me as much.

Stac said...

Oh I totally agree about Poltergeist. Erica over at the Night of the Living Podcast is still terrified of it, and I was the same way regarding the hate/obsession that you mentioned. I actually wrote a paper in my English 102 class about that movie and got a really good grade on it.

See, I should love the Blob; it's right up my alley, really, but I just cannot get past that knee jerk horror. I'm really curious to try watching Son of the Blob again. Maybe that will quell it.

Probably not.