I love horror movies, but my problem is that I always think I’m brave enough to watch them when I’m home alone.
Yet I never seem to learn my lesson about this.
The most recent one to cause problems was Paranormal Activity. The movie itself didn’t scare me. I watched the whole thing and only had to look away once, at the very end.
Then I got ready to go to bed that night. And as I was turning off all the lights, my calendar fell off the wall in the kitchen. It had never done that before. Now rationally, I know that because it was the beginning of the month and I had just changed the page, I must have done a poor job securing it to the wall. But at 2am, when the calendar fell, I knew it was the work of a demon that was coming to steal my soul.
So as I cowered in bed that night, I made sure that I had taken the necessary precautions. First of all, Rosie, my puppy, had to sleep on the side of the bed closest to the door. I was pretty sure that if anything, human or otherwise, entered my room, she would let me know. Not because she would bark, but because she would want it to pet her. Rosie can’t see anything, adult, child, mailman, dog, cat, tree, fruit fly, etc. without wanting it to pet her. A demon would be no different.
And worst case scenario, the demon would eat her first.
(No, I’m not proud of that.)
Next, I had to make sure that my covers came up over my ears. It’s one of those things from childhood. I can’t explain it. If my ears are covered, the monsters can’t get me. It’s just the way it is. Don’t ask me why I’m safe if my ears are covered, ask the monsters. It’s THEIR rule after all.
And finally, my closet door had to be firmly shut. Of course, my closet door has to be firmly shut EVERY night before I can go to sleep. Because then the boogeyman/monster/serial killer with an axe/evil monkey/clown doll/demon/whatever else is hiding in there can’t get out. It’s a known fact. Psycho killers and paranormal creatures that hide in closets can’t open the closet doors from the inside. Again, you’d have to ask them why it works this way.
I thought about putting baby powder around my bed, like in the movie, to see if anything left footprints. But as I tried in vain to fall asleep, I realized something: if there WAS in fact a demon in my house, it had never bothered me before. And if it wasn’t bothering me, I just didn’t want to know about it. So I said goodnight to the demon and went to sleep.
(I’m lying. I didn’t say goodnight to it. Because if anything said goodnight back to me, I would never sleep again. But I THOUGHT about saying goodnight to it, and it’s the thought that counts. If there IS a demon, I don’t want him to think that I’m rude!)
Sadly, this wasn’t an isolated occurrence. Every time I watch a horror movie, I’m convinced that whatever scary element featured in the movie is waiting for me in my apartment as soon as I turn off the lights. I know this is statistically unlikely. Why would a ghost just HAPPEN to show up the night that I watched a movie about one? Why would Jason be in my closet the same night that I watched Friday the 13th as opposed to any other night? It makes no sense. If something wanted to kill me, why would it wait until I knew about it?
And I know that the fact that I fell asleep with the tv on one week after watching The Ring was a coincidence. So was the cable going out that night, which caused me to wake up to static on the screen. A horrible, horrible coincidence that led to me crying hysterically and sleeping with a canister of pepper spray for a week in case the chick from the movie tried to crawl through my tv and kill me. Not that pepper spray would do much against her. But it made me feel a little better.
There are also some horror movies that I DO know I’m just not brave enough to watch. I have never actually seen the clown doll scene in Poltergeist. I can’t do it. I’ve tried. But I can’t. I’ve gotten to the point where he covers the doll with his jacket, then the jacket is gone, and I’ve made it as far (once or twice) as when the kid looks at the chair and the doll is gone, but I CANNOT get past that part. I know the kid lives, so clearly the clown doll doesn’t win. But I still can’t handle watching whatever DOES happen. And yes, I know that because it’s an ’80s movie, it’s probably something cheesy with horrible special effects. I still can’t do it.
Another one that always gets me is The Shining. I love that movie, but to this day, I can’t look at the bathtub if I wake up in the middle of the night, because I worry that the chick from the Shining will be in there. And everyone knows, that wasn’t the scariest thing in the Shining.
No, I don’t mean the creepy hallway twins either.
I mean the tacky 1970s interiors of that hotel. No wonder Jack Nicholson goes crazy and kills people. Wouldn’t you, if you were stuck in THAT hotel for a winter? I’m pretty sure I’d pick up an axe after ten minutes.
The biggest problem for me though is that the morning after I watch a horror movie, I laugh at myself for being scared. Then I always think I can handle the next one. And I’m always wrong.
But at least I’m safe as long as my closet door is shut.