I’m sure that most fears have come from something innocent happening in childhood (a conversation with a friend made me realise that my fear of things popping up over the side of my bed probably comes from when my mum would crawl into my room and then jump up at me over the side of my bed to scare the shit out of me) but the thing that keeps those fears a blazing, besides from them actually coming true – remember the spider in my drink? – is when you read about them…
A fear of spiders is put on high alert when a grandmother thinks that a love of nature translates to buying you a book on the spiders of the world, complete with large, close-up pictures. You flick through the pages wondering why you can’t stop looking at the horror then suddenly a brush against your shoulder makes you wet yourself. Kidding, I never wet myself. It was number two. Not really, but it certainly made me that much more aware of how many goddamn furry pincer machines I had to be wary of.
Fiction came into play when I read a book by R. L. Stine (remember Goosebumps?) called ‘Night of the Living Dummy’. Boy oh boy did that mini masterpiece keep me up at night when I was 9. The problem was that I had a certain toy that I really loved. He was a big clown doll in a pink suit and he reminded me of a dummy. I used to think the best game ever was throwing the evil clown doll, I mean, normal clown doll into the top branches of our tree and watching him slide down again into my arms. Suddenly, the thought that toys can be secretly evil made me suspicious of the way said clown toy would never get caught in the branches, and would always slide back into my arms. This is a proper, tall tree mind you, with spindly catching branches. What are the chances of him never getting stuck up there? Probably the same chances witchcraft has of getting stuck in a tree branch.
So, I don’t actually know, but damn he became spooky. I tried to show that I loved him by no longer chucking him around outside, but suddenly his permanent smile became sinister and I stuffed him away in the cupboard. I think my mum eventually threw him away, because he disappeared one day and I haven’t seen him since. Nobody else ever liked that clown like I did, and would ask for him to be taken out of their presence. Sissies. He’s probably out haunting houses and killing people who discover his mystery now. Hopefully he remembers that I was nice to him.
For some months there was this strange occurrence that would happen in my room every night at around 11pm. Plus, my room would always be freezing cold. Each night I’d be either happily listening to my iPod, reading or getting to sleep when a loud rumbling and banging would come from just behind my wardrobe in the wall. I would get up and ask my mum if she had heard anything, but she never did. I’d go into the room behind mine that shares the wall but it wouldn’t be coming from there. No possums either. I’m now sure that it was something completely normal, though the other part of me was fueled with fear by a certain fictional story…
The Exorcist. What better choice than this when you have something seemingly supernatural going on in your bedroom? Just like the character… who heard noises in the pipes and whose room was freezing. I am suprised that I haven’t been possessed by a demon yet. I wrote about it in my post Flashback Friday: Ghosts.
The Omen made me worry that I would one day have my baby replaced with the offspring of satan, but more worrying than that is what happens if the police turn up before I can drive the final stake into him?
This is the worry that keeps me up at night: will I succeed in killing Damien?