Friday, October 29, 2010

Spooky Fun

My earliest recollection of being scared and enjoying it was reading Little Red Riding Hood.  Just what was she doing in the woods when there was a girl-eating wolf on the loose?  It kick started a love affair with the Grimm's Brothers that lasted for years.  Children being fattened up to make them all the tastier is pretty nightmare-worthy but I soaked it all up!

I will never forget a particular night when I was eight years old.  Lying in bed, I stared for what seemed like hours at a shadowy figure on my door putting on and taking off his hat!  Considering that we lived on the eighth floor of an apartment building at the time it wasn't a shadow from the window.  Or was it?  My room was at the end of a hallway and if I peeked out of my door, the television was in clear view.  If I heard the opening tune of  The Twilight Zone I was out of bed in a shot and creeping my way to the doorway so I could watch all kinds of spooky things in black and white.  That could explain a lot.

My mother thought I was going to turn out to be really weird because at the age of ten, I read Dracula and Frankenstein over and over.  Babysitting as a teen was all about the scary movies.  Okay, chips and dip had quite a pull as well if I'm honest.  I could never sit on a sofa if my back was to an opening though.  Someone could sneak up and slit your throat or strangle you before you knew it!  Scared witless and pale with fright, do you think I would turn the channel...not on your life.  We girls would talk about calling up other friends when we knew they were babysitting just to give them a fright.  Call display put an end to that sort of fun.  I laugh at the memory of one friend, Karen, telling me that she heard glass break while looking after some children.  She went to investigate, taking a with her.  A black glove came through a small window in the kitchen door.  She raised the knife and the intruder ran off!  I'm wondering now if that was a load of codswallop but what does it matter...we were lapping it up with our eyes as huge as saucers! 

When I was twenty, a girlfriend and I went to see Terror in the Aisles.  It was a movie about scary movies, there was one slashing after another.  We watched most of it through our hands but oh how we laughed when we looked at each other.

Fast forward to adulthood and choosing the scariest London Walks to go on while abroad was huge fun.  There is nothing like standing in the middle of Hyde Park and being told that on some nights, ghostly images have risen from the ground causing people to faint or run like mad!  And it's not just females left weak at the knees, R felt a bit spooked when our Ripper tour guide announced the tour was over and we had to make our way to a tube the dark...all by ourselves.  Did it put us off?  Not a chance, we were back for more ghostly tales the next evening.

Have I ever experiences a ghostly form?  There was one night when I was doing some machine-knitting in the basement.  The Heiress was just a baby and I heard crying.  Climbing the stairs I stopped to listen...nothing.  So back downstairs I went but after a few minutes I heard crying again.  Thinking I must have woken her up I trudged back up the stairs...again nothing.  This all was repeated a third time with the same result so I went all the way up two floors and there she was, sleeping peacefully.  No sign of any tears.  That did it for me, I never spent any time down in the basement if R wasn't home.

I like being scared witless when it's convenient for me!  What about you?


  1. Ooh Darlene! That crying story is creepy!! I like being scared, but only if I am surrounded by other people!

    My sister always swore we had a ghost in the house we grew up in. An old lady died in there (it was an old house) and she told me once that she woke up in the night and saw an old lady hovering above her. But I don't believe her! Another time, our dog was barking and barking at thin air in our hall and seconds later the clock fell off the wall. Very strange.

  2. See, I'm not the only person to be freaked out by basements! :) My house is old and the basement unfinished, brick walls, with two rooms opening off the main and each with doors. There's only one lightbulb hanging from the ceiling--all very Norman Bates's mother if you know what I mean. I can talk myself into being scared--I'm very talented that way. Okay, so I like a little scare (or why would I read so many mysteries), but it's nice if I'm at least not alone in the house. Now I had better go get that laundry from the basement.....

  3. Oooh that last story gave me goose bumps! Even as an adult, basements still scare the bejesus out of me. Good thing we live in a first floor apartment!

    K x

  4. bookssnob, My turn to be creeped out, I love those two stories! If I were a ghost, a lovely old home in England would be my residence of choice!

    Danielle, Very Norman Bates's mother the stairs have backs on them? Ours don't and it really creeps me out! Do your washing on sunny Saturday afternoons my friend.

    Kristina, There is something very comforting about a cosy apartment. But then again, you live in England and we all know that's where most of the ghosts live, Boo!

  5. I am quite brave and scoffy of ghosts in daylight, but at night, perhaps not so much. Certainly I scared myself silly as a child every single night thinking about What Was Out There, or worse, In Here.

    Soooo, Darlene, what WAS the shadowy thing on your door, and why had you never seen it before, or since?

  6. Susan, I'm still wondering! I'm sure I must have had dark circles under my eyes the next day from lack of sleep...I was stiff with fright!

    Enjoy your night of trick or treaters, Susan!