We’ve all been there…lying in our bed at night…closet door open just a crack…what could be hiding there? I’m definitely not ashamed to say I’ve had my share of boogeyman in my time. Everyone is afraid of something…and sometimes there’s no known reason for it. What causes what seems to be these irrational fears of the dark? of tight cramped places? strange sounds in the middle of the night?
Some of my earliest memories consist of stories my grandmother used to tell…two in particular that scared my brother to death. One involved our mother…story goes that one night as a child my grandmother sent her to the garden to get some onions. The garden was a good walk from the house and she didn’t want to be out alone at night but did it anyway. She had successfully retrieved the onions & was headed back to the house when she heard a loud scream directly behind her…like a woman screaming. She looked back and up in a tree was a panther. She took off running for the house knowing it was right behind her….fortunately she made it inside and told my grandma what happened. There had apparently been sightings of a panther in the area.
The other story involved a woman who fell in love with a sailor…she lived alone in a house at the edge of the sea and she found him after he was shipwrecked. She took care of him & they fell in love…they eventually had a baby & he swore he’d never leave but one day she woke up to find he’d fixed his boat and was out to sea. She was so angry she ripped the baby in half and threw it in the ocean. Ok how’s THAT for a messed up story??
Movies played a big part in my fears as a child. One of my first happened due to a little movie called The Legend of Boggy Creek. Growing up in a small Arkansas town I’d heard about it as a kid…the movie was made in 1972 but a few years later came on TV so we all sat around watching. If you don’t know this movie look it up. It’s now considered a pioneering piece of film…because of it’s docudrama style it paved the way for movies like Blair Witch. Anyway, it dealt with the legend of a Bigfoot-type monster prowling around a small town called Fouke in southern Arkansas. All I could remember for YEARS was a particular scene of a woman sitting on her couch at night and a hairy hand reaching through the window at her…I’d also lost track of the movie it was from until I discovered it on Netflix. I rented it, watched and was transported back in time to my parents living room re-watching it as a child. It had lost a lot over the years…I found it downright silly in most parts but…there were parts of it that still are downright creepy. There’s also a very good book written on the subject called the Beast of Boggy Creek by Lyle Blackburn…I’d recommend checking them both out.
Sometimes it was just a preview of a movie that would give me nightmares. One from 1974 was called It’s Alive about a deformed baby on a killing spree. The poster image of the baby carriage & claw hand freaked me out…
The other was called Prophecy in 1979 about pollution from a river causing births of mutated animals and them killing campers. The main image I recalled from the preview was a black screen and a voiceover…you saw a small image get closer & closer to the screen til you could make out what it was…an egg with a deformed creature inside. I cannot tell you how many times I woke up at night, looked out my bedroom window & thought I saw that thing walking up the street to my house.
I’ve since seen both of these movies…laughed my way through them both LOL
My major cause of concern may sound super silly…it does to me now but at the time I was terrified. Not sure how old I was maybe 10 when someone gave me a book on the Loch Ness Monster. I read it several times but became completely terrified of this creature somehow believing it to be hiding under my bed. Thinking back I realize how absolutely ridiculous that sounds because HOW could that thing fit under my bed?? I don’t know…but I just knew it was down there…waiting for me to get out of bed in the middle of the night & pull be under. Once we went on vacation to Hot Springs and out our window you could see the pool…somehow I got the notion that it followed us and was laying in wait in the pool outside. I remember watching a documentary on it as well that really scared me.
Yes, we all have a multitude of fears that assault us…the thing is, it’s the adult ones sometimes that are the most frightening.