Wednesday, October 21, 2015

WEP: Halloween



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.

39 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Toilets? I was scared of them and bathtubs after going to see Jaws in the theater. (In my defense, I was only about ten or eleven.)
Those real life killers are far more terrifying than any monster. That's probably why horror films don't scare me. Real like is scarier.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

There are some really disturbed people out there. Don't forget the guy who kept his daughter locked in the basement for years and had 7 children with her. There's a special place in hell for people like that.

Laurel Garver said...

Indeed, the real perpetrators of horrible crimes are worthy of our worst fears. I totally hear you on the creepy dolls. I remember seeing this movie as a kid about a child who had a dollhouse that was modeled on her own home, and the dolls on her family members. As you might imagine, this became a voo-doo-esque sort of thing, in which anything that happened to the dolls happened to the people. Freaked me out so bad (I was only about 6 when I saw it). I was certain then that my mother's childhood dollhouse was evil and asked her to pack it away forever. Or give it away. Or burn it. LOL.

Pat Hatt said...

Real life is way more scary than the fictional monsters and such. Diligence can get us far.

Denise Covey said...

Hey Donna, you've convinced us all, if we needed convincing, that real life takes the cake for scariness, along with creepy dolls. That's a terrible list and it doesn't even include half the bad dudes I've read about. Gah. But when doctors do it...and to so many...and for financial reasons...my blood boils! Such a trusted figure, yet so evil and uncaring.

I hope you didn't enjoy the research for this post too much. And don't forget that pre-flush!

Thanks for taking the time out of your busy life to post this month. I know you said it was a rambly post but it had a purpose. Certainly fits the theme even though yes it does lack FUN!

Denise :-)

Misha Gericke said...

Horror movies don't scare me. The fact that the person sitting next to me in church or on the train or whatever might be a serial killer does.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

As a child, horror movies didn't scare me -- what scared me was the dark at the top of the creaky stairs that waited ominously for me AFTER I watched those darn things! :-)

Laura Clipson said...

The worst horror stories are the ones that actually happened, just like the worst monsters are the human beings that commit acts like that. I think that's why people like horror stories in the first place; it's just another way of escaping.

Crystal Collier said...

Yeah, I wrote a peice with a serial killer this month, so I did all my research and have no desire to EVER read further about these twisted people.

I'm with you on those childhood fears.

Loni Townsend said...

Real life is much more horrific than the movies. But in the movies, I think it's children that creep me out the most. They're supposed to be cute and loveable, not creepy!

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Donna
Some of those shows I've seen but I avoid horror if at all possible therefore dolls, clowns and other things don't scare me. I'm big on conservation and turn off all the lights but one even when I'm alone. If I see a ghost I tell them to 'get lost.' I didn't know about the British Doctor, terrible as are all serial killers. My daughter called me one time and spent close to an hour trying to convince me that zombies were on the verge of invading. The most aggravating call of my life. I thought you did a great job of listing your fears and why,
Nancy

Deborah Drucker said...

LOL! About your fears that is. I can identify with some of them. I thought it was funny about buying only small dolls. I know I get creeped out with the evil dolls as well. I think it is kind of sad to think of homeless people as being evil but we are always taught to stay away from strangers. The list of serial killers is pretty gruesome and really scary..real life monsters.

Nilanjana Bose said...

Truth is way stranger and scarier than fiction. They do look normal, like the guys next door. Beyond terrifying. That Austrian criminal who kept his daughter a prisoner for 25 years or something and raped her and made her bear his children? Your list reminded me of him too. Oof, turns one's brain inside out!!

dolorah said...

Alex: Jaws scared me out of the ocean for a while too. I still like to go and watch the waves.

Diane: I truly hope so.

Laurel: burn it! don't want to have evil things happen to other people either.

Pat: exactly

Dx: I only included a couple of the worst. The list goes on and on, too scary to put much on here. This was a cool blogfest, and I've been enjoying hopping around and visiting the real fun :)

Misha: they all look so ordinary

Roland: yeah, the feeling "after" is the worst. We walked home in the dark after Phantasm, and little brown things low to the ground, and mirrors behind doors, became a whole lot more frightening.

Laura: yes, I like them as an escape from reality. Watching CSI and Criminal Minds is scaryier than The Walking Dead.

Crystal: I've researched serial killers several times, and spent many sleepless nights afterwards.

Loni: oh, I know. I hate it when they use children as the evil villain. Makes me want to grab a pillow while I'm checking on my own sleeping children.

Hey Nancy: I've told a ghost to go away, and later regretted it. I did not mind the company, lol. If zombies are on the verge of invading, I'm a gonner, hahaha.

Deborah: to be fair, it was a certain kind of homeless person that scared me. And still does. Nothing to lose. But it is worse when someone you automatically trust betrays you.

Nila: it does. I did not list him, or others like him, because they limit their victims to family/close friends. Not that it is less horrific, it is so much worse.

Olga Godim said...

Gosh, this is one scary post. I was always afraid to attract the attention of the wrong type of men when I was young.
I love the idea of an evil doll though. So many stories come to mind.

Yolanda Renee said...

Hi Donna,
I loved where the prompt took you, and a few others. Discussing fears is an interesting subject. I've always believed that the true monsters were our neighbors, family members, co-workers, and friends. It's a horrid reality, and probably why we choose clowns, spiders, and dolls as substitutes for reality.
I enjoyed your contribution, thanks for participating, despite the lack of 'fun'.
Happy Halloween!

Shannon Lawrence said...

A friend of mine (and critique partner) is a retired FBI profiler. I believe he's met a few of these folks. I also believe one of the escapes Bundy made was here in Colorado. :x

desk49 said...

Child hood fears
We hide within
Still on this night
Our blood turns thin
For all the souls
Those ghost do haunt
It’s peace of mind
We mostly want

D.G. Hudson said...

I didn't mind the alert on what human monsters have done. My mother used to make me read those detective and police mag stories about killings and what would happen if you were NOT vigilant. Made me paranoid in some situations, but I preferred to err on the side of caution. Took a police presented basic self defense one time course for women and they said 'trust your gut feelings', that gut is usually right. Don't get into that car, or go down that dark alley, especially if you're female. Horror stems from bad things, and bad things just aren't funny. Liked your take on the challenge, bravo for you.

DEZMOND said...

I don't understand people's (Especially American) obsession with murderers and serial killers and criminals.
I think I once saw that horror about the museum of wax figures and it scared me extremely

dolorah said...

Olga: I like to flirt, but never follow through. The world is a scary place. Animated dolls, yes very creepy stories come to mind.

Yolanda, Real life can be horrifying. Thanks for the prompt this month :)

Shannon: Bundy was quite elusive. I do think one of his escapes was in CO. Psycho's everywhere. I bet your FBI friend has some gruesome nightmares.

Desk 49: well, its why we write, to help that peace of mind along :)

DG: I've always wanted to take a self defense course. Women are especially vulnerable; we like to convince ourselves we are being silly to be afraid, and that lack of trust in our own intuition can be disastrous.

dolorah said...

Dezzy: oh, I saw that movie. Every time I go to a museum I have to touch the figures, see if they are still alive. They creep me out. Mannequins are just as creepy.

Michele Truhlik said...

Great post! I've always been afraid of someone breaking into my house while I'm home, especially when I'm sleeping. When I was a kid, I used to wish for a dome to come down over my house and seal so that we could all be safe at night.
Serial killers are scary for sure. I had forgotten about Ng. Hard to believe that Bundy was able to escape not once but twice! Cunning.
Excellent Halloween post.
Michele at Angels Bark

Bish Denham said...

You would have had a hard time in the Caribbean when I grew up in the '50s and 60s. For many years we had a privy... no running water...

I haven't heard of some of serial killers, thank goodness! They are sad, tortured souls for sure. And their poor victims... Don't even want to go there.

Samantha Redstreake Geary said...

I've an illogical aversion to dolls--they seriously creep me out! And yes, the human monsters among us are the most frightening.

Jeffrey Scott said...

Perhaps not a "fun" post, but interesting anyway. Living in Milwaukee, I know the Dahmer story well. He used to work at a chocolate factory so there was a 'joke' around Milwaukee for awhile to decline chocolate covered nuts if anyone offered them to you. The apartment complex he lived in at the time of the murders was eventually razed out of respect for the victims. There were also rumours part of his victims were buried in the basement or hidden in walls, though I can neither confirm nor deny that. I was also always led to believe when he was killed in prison, it was a relative of one of Dahmer's victims.
Anyway, there is some addition "fun" for your Thursday.

Madilyn Quinn said...

I find serial killers interesting in a morbid sort of way. It's just.. they don't look evil, right? It's weird.

I think the most real life horrific thing that legitimately freaked me out was about this girl, Junko Furuta, who was abducted, tortured, raped, and ultimately killed by four boys that attended school with her. 40 days in one of the boys houses and his parents either ignored it or never noticed somehow. Just the details of what they did to her and the fact that they got pathetically short prison sentences.. freaks me out. It's scary that these assholes are walking the streets.

On a lighter note, I used to be TERRIFIED of toilets haha .. the noise of them! I had to run from the flush hahahaah

odell01 said...

You have interesting fears, I have to hand it to you. It is chilling what you have posted, but not entirely unusual. You are certainly in for a fearsome Halloween. Have fun eating candy and dreaming of terrors while the nights unfold of evil and frights. Hopefully, the odd scary movie will play on your TV. Good luck with your blogging!

Arlee Bird said...

The concept of serial killers is pretty creepy. I don't understand how anyone could be compelled to pursue such an activity.

I'm not too scared of many things. I'm claustrophobic and get very uncomfortable watching anything that has to do with being trapped or in a tight space.

Like you, I grew up with a fascination with things related to horror and scare-inducing thrills.

Arlee Bird
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Wrote By Rote

Spacerguy said...

Once these murders are incarcerated, I suspect theres a unique system of justice in prisons that makes Josey Wales look like an angel.

cleemckenzie said...

I'd forgotten about a lot of these horrors called humans. Seeing them and connecting them to their stories agains is truly spine chilling.

Robyn Campbell said...

*shiver* I'd forgotten about these monstrous real to life unpeople. They give me cold chills up and down my spine. Evil dolls is another thing that makes me shiver. But I must say that this was an excellent post. I'm so glad it's broad daylight. :-)

A Beer For The Shower said...

Clowns don't scare me either. They just make me uncomfortable, because they're supposed to be funny, but they're not. They're just kind of sad.

And yes, real life serial killers, that's where true horror comes from. A spider or a clown or a snake is nothing compared to what some people have proven themselves capable of doing.

dolorah said...

Michelle: then you read Stephen King's UNDER THE DOME and changed your mind about the protective dome?

Bish: no flushies? Count me out then :)

Sam: its likely the eyes that never close and seem to follow you around.

Jeff: I would not want to be anywhere near that apartment. Talk about "the walls having ears and eyes." Glad they tore it down. Now I have another reason not to like chocolate.

Mady: I can't imagine that poor girl's terror. Kids did that? How can parents not know something like that is happening in their home?

Odell: I'm hoping something really scary will be on that night. I may have to buy a moving to be really freaked out, lol. Sugar overload is its own kind of scary.

Arlee: I understand claustrophobia, but I will never understand killers. Internet scammers either.

Spacerguy: I seriously hope you are right about that.

clee; The stories are truly terrifing.

Robyn: Humans can be horrible, and sometimes during the day too. Dolls though; those things take up space in our bedrooms!!

Beers: at least with animals its just their nature. But clowns kill you with their lack of humor.

Elephant's Child said...

Those real life monsters outrank those with tentacles, stingers and anal probes don't they?
And hide so successfully.
Drat you. I am home alone for at least the next fortnight and the hairs on the back of my neck are pricling.

Arpan Ghosh said...

"Yep, toilets can be fear inducing to the unsuspecting arse."

This made me chuckle. And it is indeed so true.

While this may have strayed from the prompt a bit, it was a chilling read. When it comes to horror, truth is often much more frightening than any fiction can hope to be.

Feather Stone said...

Thanks for sharing your unique view of scaring things. I once knew a woman who thought dolls were totally frightening; didn't like their faces. Actually, I found her to be more scary than anything; had a very bad temper. I look forward to reading more of your submissions, maybe in December?

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Donna,

I didn't know you were a doll collector.... Do you still collect? How many do you have?

Ah, the human psyche can definitely be twisted. You know I feature a disturbed character in my second novel. But sadly these twisted and SICK people live amongst us and always will. They are part of the human equation. WE just all need to be aware.... As DG said, vigilance. I know, growing up in NYC and in the modeling industry, I ALWAYS had to be aware of what was going on. Many was the time I hit the streets in the wee hours of the morning in not so nice neighborhoods where many photographers had their studios... But sometimes it was safer on the streets....But that's another story...

J Lenni Dorner said...

I love this line- "not all monsters are supernatural." That's so true.
"Constant Vigilance" - the Harry Potter fan in me is hearing Mad Eye.
It really is the real monsters that we have to watch out for though.