Scary FlappyThings

Last week was really windy here, with gusts up to 61 mph all day Wednesday. It looked like we were back in the Dustbowl, with the sky obscured by blowing dirt.

Kyrill, our Cesky Terrier puppy is a pretty intrepid boy with the usual terrier bravado, especially when the fiends (neighbors and pedestrians and the Postie) are outside and he is looking through the bay window. He even tolerates the vacuum and electric floor sweeper. He gets afraid, however, whenever he hears flapping noises, like those made when garbage can liners are shook out preparatory to going into the empty garbage can, or when the neighbor’s flags are flapping loudly in strong winds like we had last week. He wanted to get past the neighbor’s flag pole as fast as he could as we were buffeted by the Wednesday winds.

Our children didn’t have many fears, aside from our daughter when she was about 4 not wanting to go to a new doctor named Dr. Wolf because she was afraid he was a real wolf. My mother said I was afraid of the vacuum cleaner when I was little, and she had to wait until my father got home to hold me so she could clean the house.

There are several “Haunted” venues in our community to get good and scared at before Halloween. The mall and the old hospital building have been turned into such places. I don’t like things like that at all, but most of my coworkers have been to them and enjoyed getting terrified. I fly into Bismarck late in the afternoon from Washington DC. on October 31. That is scary enough for me!

What scared you when you were little? What is the scariest book you ever read? What are your experiences with “haunted” venues?

71 thoughts on “Scary FlappyThings”

  1. I’m not particularly good at scary books/movies. In trying to get in the Halloween spirit, I have scrolled through all the movies on my cable channel and I have to say with the exception of a handful of Vincent Price films, I will not be otherwise partaking!

    When I was in high school, my dad and I used to occasionally raid the B Dalton in the local mall – carrying away stacks of paperbacks. Once, in one of theses forays, I picked up The Exorcist; it had just come out in paperback and there was a big display of them. I had no clue what it was, just one more book for my pile. I started reading it at bedtime a few days later. At 2 a.m. I called the dog and shut her in the bedroom with me (some notion that dogs sense the supernatural sooner than humans?). Finished the book about 5 a.m. I was a wreck for days.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I started laughing as soon as you said you had no clue what it was, Sherrilee. Haven’t read it, haven’t seen the film, and I certainly never will.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. When I was four, we were in a house where I was afraid to walk across the bedroom floor, in case it collapsed. I’d have to walk round the edges to be safe. Luckily it didn’t apply at night, so I could get to the bed OK. One week we had Wednesday before Tuesday (does anyone remember that? It would be about 1955) . So after that, the fear seemed to go away.

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    1. It occurs to me for the first time-we soon moved from there to a temporary stay in a condemned cottage, waiting for the cottage at Dad’s new job to become vacant. I felt no fear at in that place, even though in Mum and Dad’s room, the ceiling at one end was hanging down a couple of feet lower than it should be. I probably thought some houses were built like that. On the other hand, on a shelf, in the shed st the end of the garden, there was a tin of vanishing cream, and of COURSE Dad told us it would make you vanish. Now this a rational fear I’m talking about, so it probably doesn’t count. I stayed well away from that shelf.

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  3. Don’t remember a book. But a comic we used to get, called “Playhour” had a series inside the back cover one time, of “Ali Baba”. Do you csll them comics? I forget.
    So it was in strip cartoon form, the page comprising several strips. The week when Ali was in the basket, was it in a cave? That’s how I remember it. They must have used two pages, one page leading up to the thieves entering the cave. They must have put that on the back, to keep the suspense going. Then you turn back a page, and see the dreadful event. A full page picture of those thieves coming in, bearded, in robes “armed to the teeth” with swords and daggers. Ali peeping out of a basket. It terrified me so utterly, I shut the page, and NEVER, to this day, opened the back page of a Playhour issue again. If I think about it, I can still remember that terror. I captured it just now, but it’s gone again.

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  4. When I was very young, I was afraid of loud noises like fireworks. I hated the circus and especially the clowns. It seemed dark and portentous and was all too cacophonous to me.
    A lot of my early fears came from my association with my mother’s Catholic church, into which I was compelled to go. I was afraid of dying. The scariest book I ever read was the Baltimore Catechism.
    I was also afraid of the doctor. Going to the doctor often entailed getting shots and I would fight against them with everything in my power. Shots in those days were not like vaccinations today. They entailed very large coarse needles and usually were delivered in your rump.

    I don’t seek out scary books or movies. There’s plenty to be frightened about without seeking it out. Although I don’t read that many novels, I remember once picking up a book called Drood, that purported to be a fictionalized account of the last five years in the life of Charles Dickens. It started off OK but got progressively darker and creepier and more fantastic. I couldn’t finish it.

    One of my daughters has a birthday near Halloween and I remember one year for her birthday we took her and some friends to one of those “haunted” venues in some old warehouse space. There was no subtlety, no wit in the design of this scarehouse. Mostly it entailed people costumed ghoulishly, often brandishing some sort of weapon, leaping out at you threateningly. This just pissed me off, especially as the adult there with a bunch of young girls. I ended up getting in-between the girls and the ghouls and telling the scary monsters to back off. This was not, I suppose, in the spirit of the place but clearly it was a mistake for me to bring the girls there.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova was a the scariest book I read recently. A really good book, by the way. It is about Dracula and his quest for a librarian.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I’ve never even watched The Shining.

    Friends and relatives have been into series like Flowers in the Attic (is that right?), and they seemed to love to get scared. I don’t mind the suspense in a good murder mystery, unless it’s about a woman being stalked by some really creepy guy.

    Maybe I’m scared of being scared. Maybe I should just try it for a new experience?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I haven’t watched The Shining either. I steer away from scary movies and gory movies big time. I do have to say, though that the scariest book that I read in the last few years is called The Circle. I don’t remember the author right off the top of my head. It wasn’t scary in the traditional sense, but chilling in terms of the implications of the novel. Having to do with online activities and social media. Very chilling.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. There was no way I was gonna go watch this movie and I’m guessing based on the trailers that they made some significant changes

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  7. Way back in the day, I worked at the DECC, in Duluth, all through high school and college. The first year that we did the ‘haunted ship’ on the S/S Wm. A. Irvin, I was working one night in the building for UMD hockey. One of our regular Duluth Police officers suggested we go over and see what the UMD Theater Dept. had done to make it a haunted ship. So, we went over just before closing. There was a lot of cool scary stuff; CO2 spray from behind corners, people in costumes with bloody stumps lunging at you…things like that. It was startling but not what I would call really “scary.” As I was showing the officer around the back of the ship, we were just about to walk into the Crew’s Galley when everything immediately went totally dark and quiet. No worries, they had shut down the power, as they were closing up for the night. Then, we came around into the Galley. Now, I gave tours on the boat for 5 summers and we always kept it spotless. Most of the equipment in there is stainless steel that would gleam in the light. As we came around the corner, with only our flashlights to show us the way, my mouth dropped open. The entire Galley was covered in pig entrails, hanging from everything. In the center of the room, on top of the ‘night lunch box’ refrigerator, was a huge hollowed out pig carcass with a large meat cleaver sticking out of it. We stood there in the flashlit dark, looking at the room covered in gore, with the only sound being that of the low, prolonged creeeeeeak as the boat tugged gently against the mooring lines. After about 20 seconds of agapery, I said, “Well, I think I’ve had enough.” The officer readily agreed and we hastily went back to the building.

    Liked by 5 people

  8. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    I am typing away on my new iPad, just purchased yesterday. The 7 year old iPad I had no longer wanted to charge with any cord except one, and then only sometimes; furthermore, once charged it did not hold the charge well. Time to move to a new one. I bit the bullet yesterday and bought a new one.

    I was scared of the TV show “Lassie” because Lassie or Timmy were in some kind of danger each episode, and I just could not fathom the world without Lassie. I had seen my own dog, Scouty, purposely hit and killed by a black truck owned by a cantankerous neighbor, so I understood at this early age, the reality of death and loss. (BTW, my parents helped me have a funeral for Scouty in the garden. We said the prayer, “Now I lay me down to sleep” and sang “Jesus Loves Me,” during which my dad started giggling, trying to hide it from me, but I still remember him shaking with laughter because I was so serious about this funeral).

    Back to Lassie. I would start crying during each episode for fear Lassie would die. Apparently, Timmy’s life was not so dear to me. I would sit on my Dad’s lap, sucking my thumb, trying to learn to manage my fear with Dad’s encouragement. He would would coach me through the show saying, “Jacque, listen. If Lassie dies, then they can’t have Lassie next week, and the TV station wants Lassie to be shown next week. Lassie will not die. It will be OK.” Thus the beginning of my critical thinking skills that show up to this day.

    I find life scary enough that I never watch anything else that is Horror or terror. As a teen, I did watch Psycho and The Birds on the Chanel 9 Afternoon Matinee. I found Hitchcock to be frightening and that was the end of that genre for me.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. When I was a child, I had a fear of something under my bed. I needed to be escorted to bed and tucked in. I was afraid there was someone or something under my bed that would grab my ankle and pull me down. My dad, being a rational kind of guy, would show me, “See? There’s nothing under there. Go to sleep. Good night.” I would make sure that no body part was extended out over the edge of the bed and wrap myself tightly in the blankets.

    I read a lot of Steven King in the 80s and 90s. He’s got quite an imagination. Those novels were scary and horrifying, of course. But post-apocalyptic imaginings are really what frightens me. Margaret Atwood’s famous, “The Handmaid’s Tale,” caused anguish. I was really distressed by Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road,” and Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods” made me uncomfortable too. I’m sure there are more but I can’t think of them now.

    We had a large cabin on Cannon Lake that belonged to my paternal grandmother. The one large room upstairs was filled with two brass beds, a couple of closets, some very old clothes and thousands of bats. There were so much bat droppings that we’re lucky we didn’t get sick. Both beds had a layer of bat droppings on the top covers. Nobody slept up there. Downstairs there was a stain on a wall that looked like the shape of a giant hand. That was really creepy and scary. Once, before my younger brothers were born, Mom was holding me during a severe thunderstorm. Lightning flashed and blue balls danced across the fireplace mantel and down onto the oak table. I remember the eery blue lights moving across the mantel and my Mom holding me in the middle of the room as the storm crashed around us. Mom and I talked about it years later. She said, “You saw that too? I wondered if it was my imagination.” Apparently Dad had told her that she imagined it.

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      1. It really is terrifying. I have read a lot of Atwood. I think she’s a genius and I love her writing. Much of it is dystopian and will make you really uncomfortable. The “MadAddam” trilogy is another post-apocalyptic horror tale.

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        1. I have watched it. The first season covers through the end of the novel. The following seasons were written, with Margaret Atwood, for television. Yes, it is horrifying.

          Liked by 1 person

      2. Handmaid’s Tale is terrifying, for me especially because it comports closely with my own wariness of religion and the religious. I couldn’t and wouldn’t have watched the Hulu production but Robin did. She is not as sensitive toward that sort of material as I am.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. It amazes me how long ago 1984 now is. It seemed we spent a lifetime listening to, and maybe making our own, defiant or gloomy protests about how like 1984 it was becoming. Then we were saying, hey, you know, in a couple of years it WILL be 1984. Now it’s 38 years ago.

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        2. I read Animal Farm, but not 1984.
          Trivia question: name the make and model of motorcycle used by the Thought Police in the film of 1984,without looking it up. (I didn’t see the film but I know)

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        3. Well, it’s so easy now, isn’t it? You don’t have to know anything.
          At my last full time job, the management introduced a magazine for a while, in a feeble attempt at “unity”. It had a quiz in one issue, and one of the questions was, “What was Marilyn Monroe’s real name. Confident that if anyone answered at all, they’d say” Norma Jean Baker”, I wrote down her actual real name, “Norma Jean Mortensen”. Feeling very pleased with myself. Turned out someone else won the prize, because he answered EVERY question correctly, and I didn’t. I asked how he knew that about Marilyn, and he said, I looked up the answers online.
          Of course. Silly me.
          Tell the truth, I’ve forgotten. It could be Jeane. And it could be Mortenson. But I got it right at the time.

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        4. I did fine with 1984 and Animal Farm. I could remain a step back from those characters and the plot. It is the vulnerability and objectification of women in Handmaid that rings too true. I have experienced enough misogyny in my life that I can believe it.

          Liked by 2 people

  10. Santa Claus. Never sat on his lap when I was old enough to decide for myself. Not a fan of clowns, either. Otherwise, I don’t remember being scared of much as a kid other than maybe the dark, sudden loud noises, and bullies.

    One day, we little kids ( maybe 3 and 4) got dropped off at Grandma’s for the weekend, so Mom and Dad could go somewhere by themselves. I was scared we were being abandoned forever and cried for an hour.

    In general, I don’t read scary books or get into horror movies. “The Shining” was by far the scariest movie I’ve ever seen. Maybe “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” was the scariest read.

    Chris in Owatonna

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  11. I avoid the demonic possession movies or slasher type.
    Frankenstein, Wolfman, Dracula, The Mummy.
    Not the newer versions.
    Nesferatu is the scariest movie I’ve ever seen.
    Inferno by Dante

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    1. I think I’ve said,when Raymond Massey first came into the room in “Arsenic and Old Lace”, I was so terrified that even getting my head under the bedclothes didn’t feel safe. But I was a bit older, and it didn’t have the lasting effect that the forty thieves had.
      And the same for the little I saw of “King Kong”.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I don’t get the point of horror movies. They don’t scare me just bore me. The Birds was pointless and boring. A WHY might have helped. Tense realistic movies maybe but I do not choose to watch them, especially lately. I limit myself to scary things like a new roll of cling film.
    Clyde

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    1. Ha! You should have seen Pete Snell battling with one of those big rolls of plastic drainpipe. I’d have laughed, but I don’t like to laugh at people in humiliating circumstances.

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        1. Just because Pete was the bane of my
          life – just because he was one of the most aggravating people I’ve ever been sthck
          stuck with for eighteen years-doesn’t mean I enjoyed him looking stupid, he did anyway. I could see right through to his painful shyness and awkwardness, and understand very well how difficult that makes life.

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  13. Just recently discussed how scared I was the first time I saw “The Wizard of Oz.”  Was terrified of the witches and monkeys and left my seat in the theater to hide in the ladies’ room.  it was many years (I must have been an adult) before I watched the whole film, though loved so much of it. I also avoid “haunted venues”. Still. Well, there was one haunted Halloween “tour” of a farm near Mankato that as an adult I was able to manage…

    Cynthia “Life is a shifting carpet…learn to dance.”

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  14. OT:The time difference here means that even at the ridiculous time I go to bed, there are still many posts to come. I always check the next day, and tend to find stuff late at night from Linda (who recently claimed she goes to bed early), in the middle of the night from Tim( good comment about farming last night Tim, yes I know. And thanks for what you said otherwise), and quite often Barbara, early in the morning.
    It occurred to me earlier to mention this, but I forget what I was getting at, sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. The Historian is scary because Dracula never shows up in person in real time. It is all the accounts that the individuals involved give of him. He is a continuous malevolent presence off stage. His obsession with history and his search for a historian to curate his books is fascinating.

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  16. OT: Gatitos Palomar.
    I’m the one who feeds mama cat every day, who is still hiding in the concrete works. I was tired of us having to crawl under the gap between the gates, in the dust, and so I take my folding ladder every day and go in at a different place, handier to our gate. It’s a dangerous ladder and I don’t want the responsibility of someone else using it, so keep it in the van.
    Mobile mixer trucks still come in occasionally. Obviously the policy at the new yard is, any truck returning to said yard, that happens to be passing the old one, should stop in and use the standpipe there to wash the mixer out, make a mess there where it no longer matters.
    I climbed the ladder, poked my head up over the bank, and there was no truck by the standpipe. I looked left, up towards the gates, and, the left hand gate was open! One truck had obviously washed out, and another was coming! So started to hasten across the yard, gradually turning my vision to the right, and by the time I spotted the trhck unaccountably parked over by the defunct offices, it was a bit late to be trying to hide. I stopped dead, an immediate sign that I knew I shouldn’t be there, cursed myself, and carried on and topped up mama’s biscuits. Turned out there was no sign of the driver. Maybe he was sprawled across the seats, asleep, except cab layouts don’t lend themselves to that. I don’t really want the concrete works people complaining to Jordi about us. But too late to worry about it. I’ve got a feeling Shere and Thais actually walked in the open gate when a truck was there, but then-you know – they’re female. Truck drivers are truck drivers.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. My neighbor’s cat, Agamemnon, often comes to hang out on my porch. There have been a couple of times when I’ve come out to go someplace in inclement weather with my umbrella – large and black – and when I open it, Agamemnon gives me a baleful look and slinks off into a corner. He acts as if I’ve just started up a vacuum cleaner. I asked John, one of his people, whether Agamemnon is afraid of umbrellas. John said, no, not umbrellas specifically, but when John gets out a black garbage bag to line the trash can with, Agamemnon will give him that same look and slink away. Something about black plastic or nylon things gives him frights.

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  18. I am mad scared of cats. No not scared. Terrified. I get numb and powerless around cats. Am capable of peeing my pants anytime am near one. For some reason they seem attracted to me

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