Thursday, May 22, 2008

Rod Serling has a lot to answer for

I can hear my family watching the Twilight Zone Movie on TV in the lounge room, and even though I watched it more than 20 years ago, I can tell from the dialogue exactly which story they are up to in the movie.

It is the one about that little boy whose wishes come true, even the nasty ones. People get turned into jacks-in-the-box (or is it jack-in-the-boxes?) or have their mouths taken away if they annoy him. It was even parodied in one of the Simpsons Halloween specials.

Let me check my good friend, Google, for the answer ... ah yes, it's called, It's a Good Life.

You know, children's brains are like sponges. Yes, Mum and Dad, SPONGES. So when a primary school child is allowed to watch episodes of the Twilight Zone with you, don't be surprised when they become adults who are afraid of long, dark corridors, avoid looking in the bathroom mirror at night, examine the toilet bend carefully for zombie hands or toilet-snakes, and insist on sleeping with a night-light. They may also believe that sleeping with their heads under the covers makes them invisible to vampires.

Actually, I've been able to sleep with the light off for a few years now. Except for last Tuesday night.

I was just about to go to bed, when a stray breeze or a small exhalation of breath from me or perhaps a ghostly entity in my bedroom moved the straw in my glass in a slow half-circle. I tried to duplicate the movement by blowing on the straw, from the same position, but it didn't move in the same way or at the same speed.

Naturally, I concluded that something not of this world was visiting my room, and that the light in the walk-in robe had to stay on all night.

To go off on a slight tangent: MFC and I went to a dinner party at a friend's house last weekend. There was a young couple at the party with two children, a baby (girl) and a toddler (boy). I have to say that the kids were quite well-behaved (the wonders of routine and discipline!) and spent a lot of the night sleeping soundly in the spare room.

At one point we heard the little boy cry out, and his mother had to go and get him.

"What's wrong?" asked his father.

"M-m-monsters!" he sobbed, "Outside the window!"

I laughed with the rest of the adults, but a small corner of my brain gave a little gibber of fright (in solidarity) and I was thinking, "You couldn't pay ME enough to go and sleep in that dark room at the other end of the house. I'm with you, kid. Make a fuss so you don't have to go back to bed!"

And he did.

MFC says that he was allowed to watch horror movies when he was young, but he's grown out of the "scared of the dark" phase.

I tell him he just doesn't understand.

This giant brain and overactive imagination, it's a curse, I tell you.


Anonymous said...

oh maaan spoooky!
when i was a kid my 2nd grade teacher used to read scary books to us and i would get nightmares. i think that started my obsession with horror movies, come to think of it...

this creates a need for me to share a spooky story with you... (oh i'm going to be embarrassed if i have already and am being redundant, lol)

a few weeks ago i woke up in the middle of the night and saw a figure at the foot of the bed- my side. i squinted and it appeared to be a small child with long hair and some it draped over its face with the left eye showing. i blinked a few times and it stayed there until i actually rubbed my eyes. after that it was gone.

nearly every night since then i've been afraid to wake up at night. x_x

Juliness said...

The straw thing really can't be explained away by imagination, can it? Unsettling to say the least.

And I agree on the spooky movie deal. I STILL don't watch 'em. Plus, there are books by certain authors I will not open unless Phil is home and nearby. I am a total baby when it comes to dark and scary things.