Monday, October 22, 2012

Trifecta: Dark Shadows

I had no idea before today what I was (am?).

I was (am?) most probably a scelerophobic (a bad guy fear).

Living on a quiet, tree-lined street in a suburb with little crime, no one locked doors. Windows had screens to allow the breeze.


Dark Shadows haunted me at 4:00 (I hid) after Gilligan’s Island. 

Dragnet, at night, always began “the story you are about to hear is true…” inevitably including legit America’s Most Wanted”s. It didn’t matter, to me, where they were last seen. I was FREAKED!

Convinced sinister men from posters, armed and dangerous of course, or whatever, would find me in a sleepy suburb and…

My mind never went further. Imagining them in my room was enough.

So it began in a bedroom with too many hiding spots. Full sweeps every night; under the bed, swiping a foot over the closet floor; arms swinging through clothing. Even on sweltering nights, window latches were triple checked. Shades drawn at sunset.

Door locked; the trashcan against it to warn me in case I didn’t hear the lock picked. I thought about booby-traps while praying.

For Everything.

For Safety.

For a Storm.

Bad guys didn't visit during storms.

Against better judgment I saw movies like “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, “Amityville Horror” and “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” with my boyfriend so we could snuggle. I paid dearly for years.

Hardly sleeping...

Was it because Dad traveled incessantly leaving only mom home with us? What could she really do?

College provided respite with ROOMMATES and…

SLEEP!

On my own, it sort of started again (okay, it did). My first studio-apartment proved easy to sweep (closet and shower) before turning triple deadbolts Dad installed. Place two, a one-bedroom, took more time.

Thereafter, I had roommates.

Now, if I’m sleeping completely alone?

Bedroom locked, pepper spray handy and 80 lbs. of fierceness between me, Barnabas Collins and “poster” guy, even though there’s absolutely no crime on this tree-lined street.

Old habits die hard…

For chicken shits!

***********************************

33-333 words for the third definition of sinister:

3. singularly evil or productive of evil


40 comments:

  1. I used to scare myself into believing something was lurking under my bed, and I still can't sleep in a room with the closet door open... I have Stephen King to thank for that one.

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    1. Oh, no way! No closet doors open, EVER, especially after they were checked. If the door changed an inch that meant...Freakytime! I can't "do" Stephen King movies.

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  2. That's kind of funny. I only hid in my closet to read books, and at night I made up dramas where I was kidnapped by bad people and tightly secured into a bed with all my stuffies surrounding me. And no, I had no idea of bondage and all, I just liked the idea of being elsewhere, I suppose. =) My stuffies and I had a great time.

    My husband sometimes travels (like now) for work, and I love the time alone. I do check that the doors are locked, but sleep just fine.

    It was my sister for whom my mom had to create great dramas about coaxing the monsters out from under her bed and into the hallway where I suppose they would stay till morn.

    Fun story. I especially like that bad guys didn't come during storms.

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    1. You were the opposite of me then, Karen! Although, I did line up all my stuff around me in bed (animals, books, etc.) Probably part of my problem was I'd stay up very late (as a kid) reading when I was supposed to be sleeping. Once I was tucked in, no one knew I stayed up, or thoroughly checked my room or got freaky. I'd get "over" tired then the creeps came out. Okay, just in my mind but they were out there somewhere. My best sleep (still) is in the early morning hours.

      Now, I love to be home alone. Hang alone. Have the TV to myself for once. But bedtime alone. I'm not always so good at especially the first night. After that I'm just exhausted so I sleep (with the door locked, pepper spray and the dog just outside the door). My husband doesn't travel much although he's getting ready to. Better get stuff in order.

      AND no one goes out in storms. Not even bad guys or so I told myself. Thanks enjoying!

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  3. When my husband is out of town, and my daughter fast asleep, it is easy to freak myself out at every noise. The worst thing? Going into the dark bathroom, and then turning the light off when you leave the bathroom and walk down the hall. Even though I checked behind the shower curtain, as I turn my back to the darkened bathroom I'm sure something is coming to get me.

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    1. You understand then, Tracie!!!

      I am never upstairs during the day so the scariest moment...when I have to go up there for the first time (to go to bed) when it's dark. I leave a lot of lights on when I'm alone. So I just might also do a walk through of the kids'/guest rooms, close doors, etc. Then in to my lockbox I go! AND it's always important to double or triple check behind the shower curtain. You wouldn't want to miss something! Oh, and position the pepper spray for quick access.

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  4. Great story. It was great how you gave your lifetime history of fears, building up to the present. Very well written narrative.

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    1. Thanks, lumdog! Just one fear strung across a lifetime, I guess. Thanks again for the nice comment.

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  5. My 8 and 9 year old daughters are into these types of things. No open doors or drawers, hall light has to be on, won't go in the basement alone, etc.

    Really good job with the personal descriptions. I felt like I got to know you here.

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    1. Basement? Alone? With no lights on? NEVER...as a kid. I can do it now. I'm not a fan of open doors. Drawers don't bother me. Funny, neither are my kids, particularly my college guy (Mom, will you please make sure my bathroom door is shut and the closet?), will let me leave the room even now without a tuck in and closed everythings.

      Well, you got to know the freaky side of me. I'm not a good sleeper! Thanks for the comments, Lance.

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  6. I still scare myself. If there's a helicopter hovering, something on the news about a search, the person they're seeking, in my mind, is in my backyard or side porch. I'm still not used to all the sounds my house makes at different times of the year and usually I'm convinced someone is hiding in my closets. Never mind how he/she could have gotten past the alarm or why he/she has not emerged from the hot closet yet, I KNOW it's possible. So, all closets are checked, all doors must be closed. But. Here's where it gets weird: I can't have the bedroom door closed. Closet and bathroom doors, yes, but the door to the hall has to be open. Maybe I feel to contained, too trapped in that one room should the person decide to come from under the bed. I need an exit.

    That one movie of the week (4:00 movie?) Trilogy of Terror had me thinking all my dolls were evil and alive at night. Don't let one of the kids' battery operated dolls make a noise unprompted -- DEVIL DOLL!

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    1. Arnebya,
      You are so much like me...could it be the shared birthday?

      I get the "need an exit" feeling. Once I'm safely in my room with everything done and checked, I can read. The only sound I hear from outside are the trains or the crickets. Thank goodness my house doesn't make noises of it's own.

      Just wait until your kids are older and you accidentally fall asleep waiting for them to come home. My kids would tap me then back up because I usually jumped up and scared them too. Now why didn't they ever wake up dad when they came home? Oh, I remember! Because when they would, he'd forget then wake me up later saying that they missed curfew and that I should text them. I'd find them sound asleep!

      Don't even remind me of Chucky. Never saw the movie. The trailers/commercials were enough!

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  7. I had only specific locations where I thought scary things might be lurking growing up, and I was afraid to check them! I think my theory was that if I didn't disturb them they might stay where they were.

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    1. I wish I would have thought of that as a kid...don't disturb them! Every nook or cranny was a hiding place, in my mind, no matter how small it was. Something fit there!

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  8. this is exactly why i can't live alone.

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    1. And why I've had "roommates" for 26 years!

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  9. I loved the line: Bad guys did visit during storms. I thought this was great story telling and I agree with Lance that I really felt that I got to know you here.

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    1. No one wants to go out in a storm really! Thank you for your kind comment. So now you know exactly how I'll behave next week when my husband is gone for five days...like a scared goofball!

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  10. At least you have plans at hand for when a creeper tries to come at you. Constant Vigilance! >__<

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    1. Constant Vigilance = No sleep! Just sayin'!

      I do have pepper spray AND I'm not a wimp physically so I believe I have a chance!

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  11. It's funny I can't watch scary movies, but I loved Dark Shadows as a child.

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    1. No scary movies for me. I could do/liked The Sixth Sense but Silence of the Lambs almost put me over the edge.

      I watched Dark Shadows everyday (peer pressure) but didn't enjoy it.

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  12. I'm with you, Gina. When I'm alone in the house, though I do value the time, I go through the few rooms and look behind shower curtains, things like that. Noises wake me up. I loved that show, Dark Shadows. I had a similar childhood with my father traveling quite a bit. We lived out in the country with no neighbors. I like how you tie that into your story. The tension builds. Nice job!

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    1. Thanks, Steph. The funny thing about where I lived...the houses were about 12 feet apart and my grandma's sister lived on one side and her sister-in-law on the other. It's not like I was EVER alone. It was me. I was nuts. And my dad traveled so much.

      Now, I relish the time alone and have a million things to fill every single minute. It's just the nighttime thing, right before I go to bed. I've gotten better. The first night is still rather sleepless. Maybe next week will be different?

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  13. Ha, your stories always unfold so well, in such a good conversational style. Another good one!

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    1. Thanks, Brian. I appreciate your comment!

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  14. I really shouldn't be reading these right before bedtime.
    I remember that routine - bed, nightstand, basement. Not fun.

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    1. No you shouldn't. I will only read them during sun up hours!

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  15. Know why I loved this? Because of the hold Barnabas has/had on you. I was surprised and impressed by all the chatter online when Jonathan Frid died. For those of us of a (ahem) certain age, that half hour after school when we visited Barnabas at Collinwood is branded onto our psyches, isn't it?

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    1. He was an icon of terror, if you ask me! I will never forget Collinswood. And it did have a grip on me because of it's soapy nature. I was frightenly hooked into the storyline. I had to watch but didnt want to watch! How can anyone forget if they were a part of that half hour as a kid?

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  16. now i have to go check all the closets and doors and windows and under the bed...... {smile}

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    1. It never hurts to be thorough! Thanks for visiting!

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  17. Loved Dark Shadows and being made to be afraid. Good job

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    1. I have a love/hate thing with being made afraid. If I'm with someone to cozy up to, err hide behind, I'm all great. If I'm alone? Nope. I don't care for it at all.

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  18. haha, nice last line. i think most every child has an irrational fear of what may be lurking, but usually that goes away with age and knowing fiction from fact. however, your fear is a bit too real. at least you are prepared!
    when i was little i thought hiding on the covers protected me from all evils haha
    and i would just like to say, Are You Afraid of the Dark? >> loved that show!

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    1. It didn't matter if it was fiction or even if I knew it was fiction. It stilled scared me. And don't pop out on me either! I'm always prepared! I'm not afraid of the dark, per se, but of creepy people that might hang out in the dark. The show...no way.

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  19. I cannot sleep if there is a closet door open anywhere in the house. And I always pile tons of stuff in front of the closet in my son's room.Just in case!

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    1. I knew I liked you way before even this!

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  20. I can relate to this entire piece. I prefer to think of myself as cautious. Okay, I'm delusional - I'm a big chicken :)

    If I come home to an empty house after dark, I grab a baseball bat and search the entire house - under beds, in closets, behind shower curtains - everywhere. If I'm home alone and I wake up to a noise, I try to convince myself it's my overactive imagination. Sometimes it works, and then sometimes I see my pets awake, ears perked - dogs ready to bark and the cat ready to hide under the bed. Not comforting!

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    1. Two questions: Are you me? Is that why I have my tennis racquet close at hand?
      You could be my freaky twin, Janna (meant fondly, of course). Overactive doesn't even begin to describe my imagination. Thanks for visiting!

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