I got started loving scary movies early in life. With popcorn in hand on Saturday nights, my father and I would sit down in a dark room and watch “Creature Feature”. For those of you who never got to experience this phenomenon, it was the cream of the crop ‘B’ Horror Flicks. Dr. San Guinary and his assistant would host the movies each Saturday night. Looking back, I realize how hokey the films were, one of my favorite being the possessed chopped off hand that went around exacting revenge on people. Pretty bad special effects aside, I loved it. Ate it up. But, the show went the way most trends do, and was off the air after a couple of years.
One windy summer night when I was about sixteen, I got the special treat of being home alone. I rarely ever got this chance and I had been looking forward to staying home from fishing that night to watch “The Shining”. I had heard about this movie and it took me back to my childhood and Saturday movie nights. So, I popped some popcorn and sat down to watch this Stephen King movie. Now, I should have known better, having read some of King’s books. But, being the naïve teenager that I was, I didn’t realize the psychological twist my mind was about to take.
By the time Danny starts seeing twins and spouting, “Redrum….redrum…,” I am a goner. Every house has its own noises–growing pains, my dad called them, as the house settles and moves. A creak here, a bang there. None of these are heard when the senses aren’t reeling and paranoia has not set in. They do, however, all show up when the hairs on the back of your neck are stretched to the limit and goosebumps have their own goosebumps. The darkened corners of my living room mocked me. Muhahahaha.
Was that a footstep? Nah. Couldn’t be. Could it? What was that scratching against the window? Did the wind just pick up? Every noise was amplified, every shadow was suspect. Thud, thud. Thud, thud. Was someone knocking on the door, or was my heart pounding in my ears? Well, I wasn’t about to get up and check. In fact I got so scared I couldn’t even get up to turn the T.V. off. No kidding. The afghan I had wrapped around me afforded me too many peek holes. I couldn’t pry my eyes loose. There were no such things as cell phones and I did not have a remote for that television set. We had no extra vehicles with which to use to escape. And being on a lonely farm, miles from anyone, where was I to go? I was a prisoner of my own wild imagination.
When the credits rolled I finally managed to get up and turn on all of the downstairs lights. But I was not about to make the long trek up to my room. No way, Jose. You couldn’t have made me. It was about 2 a.m. before my family made it back home. Normally, they didn’t stay out that late at night, but the fish were biting and the light breeze had kept them cool. Light breeze? Who were they kidding? Well, the storm was all in my mind.
I didn’t get much sleep that night. Nowadays I don’t watch too many horror flicks. But there are those moments, late at night, when the shadows increase and I still hear something go bump in the night.