Wednesday, October 21, 2015
October 21 - 23 WEP HALLOWEEN CHALLENGE: Youthful Frights Vs Adult Fears.
For this challenge, you will be asked to share a childhood fright that might or did turn into an adult fear, real or imagined.
To start the fun you can:
1. share with us a favorite frightening tale, movie, novel or a photograph or painting that will leave us quaking in our boots
2. in a short paragraph describe how it scared you, and why it did and or still does today
3. then you can:
a. write your own scary piece, 1000 words or less, in any format or
b. share a photograph or painting that captures the horror you've felt.
The subject or theme is a childhood fright that might or did turn into an adult fear.
Since I didn't write a story - too much writing for IWSG and critting projects for other friends - I'm taking a couple liberties with the above format.
I guess I was subject to the usual childhood fears, but nothing that scared me to the point of absolute avoidance forever. Vampires and Werewolves used to be spooky, and Mummy's. Frankenstein's monster, the monster under the bed. Bela Lagosi, Vincent Price and Christopher Lee are some of my favorite horror actors from childhood, and taught me the value of locking windows and doors before bed. Later came mutants, demon possession, Freddy Kruger, Jason and zombies. While the movies were scary, I developed more of a curiosity in scary things - stories and creatures - than a fear of them. And no, clowns do not scare me. Never have, never will. Well, maybe Pennywise . . .
But Hobo's did. For me, the Boogie Man was a homeless transient that lived down along the railroad tracks. He dressed in dark clothing, had a shaggy beard and long, dirty hair, and walked stooped over from carrying sacks of bad children to their camp to put in pots and boil for dinner. At least, that was the story my parents told us. I only saw one man that looked like that; we drove past him one night on the way home from church. One sighting was enough for me to pray extra hard for a few months.
Part I Some things that I saw in movies as a kid that scared me, and stick with me as an adult, kinda?
- I'm a doll collector; movies about evil dolls scare me. Long before Chucky, there was this movie about a construction worker that dug up a buried porcelain doll, and took it home to his daughter. The little doll turned out evil. I collected very tiny dolls after that; ones I could crush with my foot. Later my sister got this three foot doll that would walk with you when you held her hand. She (the doll) ended up in the attic, staring out a window. Creeped us all out. Especially at night.
- things that come up out of the toilet. Alligators and Crocs, snakes, demons. Yep, toilets can be fear inducing to the unsuspecting arse. I never sit on a strange toilet without flushing it first (difficult now with those auto flushers) and for years refused to use a port-a-pot in camp grounds. I'd rather drop my drawers behind a tree, and to hell with whoever sees me and is disgusted.
- Dead people freak me out. I watched Dawn of the Dead, Night of the Living Dead, Dracula, Mummy movies. People buried alive, people who drowned and came back. Ghosts, burned witches, demons. I will not be buried when I die; I will be cremated. After I'm embalmed - no way to live through that process. Its not the dead (or resurrected creatures) themselves that scare me, its the thought of coming back. I may still haunt you as a ghost, but that is more natural than a zombie. Or worse, not being dead and waking up buried in a coffin. Do I like caves? Not so much. Sad to say though, I avoid funerals and cemetaries, and don't go to open casket viewings. The dead are gone - hopefully.
- Strangers in the night. You ever watch Twilight Zone or Outer Limits? Really bad things happen to people who walk around in the dark. Pretty people mostly (so its a good thing I'm not pretty!), even monsters prefer a good looking meal - virgin or not - to the dregs of society. Beware world, minions are ugly, stinky, and liars; victims are honest, good looking and caring. Or at least having sex in interesting places. Just saying, based on the horror movies.
But not all monsters are supernatural. Best not to tempt fate by being a hitchhiker, or picking up one, or going home with that good looking guy who talks so sweet and pays for all your drinks. I think I'd rather be eaten by a troll, alien, vampire, even a zombie, than be tortured and murdered by a fellow human being. I hate being out by myself at night, driving or walking. And truthfully, I don't like dark rooms in my home. When I open my eyes, for whatever reason, I want to clearly see what is sneaking up on me. Constant Vigilance are my watch words; my kids complain all the time because it is hard to sneak up on me to scare me - day or night.
Part II Pictures that invoke terror
Dr. Harold Fredrick Shipman was an English doctor and is one of the world’s most prolific serial killers in recorded history, proven to have been responsible for up to 250 murders. A trusted doctor, he was well respected in his community; however colleagues and local undertakers began raising concerns over the high death rate in the area and the large number of cremation forms for elderly women that he had countersigned. Several bodies were later exhumed and postmortems revealed diamorphine within their system. It was later established Shipman had purposely injected fatal doses of the drug in a huge number of patients, causing their death. He then forged their wills so he could inherit large sums of money and completed cremation requests to destroy the victim’s bodies. The trial judge sentenced him to 15 consecutive life sentences and recommended that he never be released. Shipman hanged himself in January 2004 in his cell at Wakefield Prison.
One of the United States most prolific serial killers, Gary Ridgway was arrested in 2001 for 4 murders though confessed to killing at least 70 women in Washington state throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s. He avoided the death penalty by providing detailed confessions and led police to the dumping sites of his victims, five of whom he dumped in the Green River leading to the press nicknaming him The Green River Killer. He was convicted of 49 murders and sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.
One of the most widely known murderers of the 20th century, Ted Bundy was an American serial killer and rapist who kidnapped or overpowered numerous young women and girls during the 1970s. Bundy typically approached his female victims in a public place and led them to secluded areas where he would sexually assault and kill them. He decapitated at least 12 victims and kept the severed heads in his apartment as trophies. Repeatedly captured, he twice managed to escape from police and court houses before going onto commit three further killings. Convicted of multiple murders he sentenced to death. He was executed by the electric chair in 1989.
A Chinese-American serial killer, Charles Ng is believed to have raped, tortured and murdered between 11 and 25 victims with his accomplice Leonard Lake at Lake’s ranch in Calaveras County, California. They filmed themselves raping and torturing their victims. Their crimes became known in 1985 when Lake committed suicide after being arrested and Ng was caught shoplifting at a hardware store. Police searched Lake’s ranch and found human remains. Ng was identified as Lake’s partner in crime and attempted to evade police by fleeing to Canada. After a lengthy extradition to the United States He stood trial in 1998 on twelve counts of murder and was convicted in 1999. Ng is currently on death row at San Quentin State Prison.
Known as the Milwaukee Cannibal, Jeffrey Dahmer was an American serial killer and sex offender who raped, murdered and dismembered 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991. He also committed necrophilia and ate parts of his later victims, dismembering and cooking parts of their bodies within his home. Dahmer was eventually caught after a would-be victim managed to overpower him and alert police. In 1992 Dahmer was convicted of 15 of the murders and sentenced to 15 terms of life imprisonment. However just two years into his sentence he was beaten to death by a fellow inmate at the Columbia Correctional Institution.
They look so normal, don't they? Go here for a longer list of human monsters.
I know Denise and Yolanda, there was a word up there I didn't incorporate into this writing: FUN. Sorry, this is where the writing took me at the time.
If ya'll would like to read more actual FUN participants, click here for the linky at Write..Edit..Publish.