My parents didn’t let me watch horror movies as a child. I don’t blame them.
I once freaked out watching Sesame Street. There was a Monsterpiece Theatre segment on The Sound of Music, with Grover sitting on a mountain top. “The Hills are Alive” plays. Mountains moved. I started crying. A lot.
I couldn’t even watch the Wizard of Oz without cowering in fear behind the couch due to the Wicked Witch of the West.
So in general? A good thing that I wasn’t exposed to horror movies as a child. 20 years later, I’d probably still be curled up fetal position rocking back and forth in a corner.
Oh, I wasn’t safe though, even with my parental protection. Not when my good old friend Sheena lived four houses down from me. Her family was different. Horror movies were the norm for them. They had a pool and cable tv. They also had a CD player waaaaaaay before anyone else did, so we were all “Whoa. Michael Jackson. Dangerous.” I also once accidentally pulled the head off of Sheena’s Skipper doll (You know, Barbie’s little sister), and we couldn’t fix it, so my dad fixed it. Except my dad’s idea of “fixing” was to attach the head back on with two screws, resulting in “Franken-Skipper.”
Which is the perfect segue back into horror movie traumatization. See, one day I was over at Sheena’s place and the final 10-15 minutes of the horror movie known as “Child’s Play” was on.
For the uninitiated: A doll (named Chucky) is possessed by a serial murderer. Murders occur.
Eight-year-old me wandered into the room during the final part of the film where Chucky is chasing around a little child with a hugeass stabby-knife.
I go home to a bedroom filled with shelves dolls and toys. I have an overactive imagination.
That evening my parents decide to walk downtown to get the mail, or run errands or something. I was left home with my older brother.
I proceed to, as the saying goes: “flip my shit.” To the point my brother had to call down the street so Sheena’s mom could come and stay with us until my parents returned.
I made two important changes in my life after that day.
Number one: I put away childish things. Also known as “baths.” Up until this point I had been a child who preferred baths to showers. Not anymore. If maniacal murderous dolls were going to come after me? I at least wanted to be standing.
Number two: From then on out, I only slept in fetal position on my side, with extreme blanket and pillow piling all around me. That way the pillows would cause confusion when the stabbing happened. Hopefully, pillows would be stabbed instead of me. Or if I were stabbed? Being on my side with my arm there would protect my innards to some extent. Hopefully I would not die a horrible death.
And that, dear people, is partially why I am the normal well-adjusted human being you see before you today.