Saturday, August 30, 2008

Things That Go Bump in the Night

by Jo Robertson


Do you remember the lines from the old Scottish prayer,

"From ghoulies and ghosties/And long-legged beasties/And things that go bump in the night/Good Lord, deliver us!"

When I was a little girl, I had all sorts of fears.

We lived on the banks of the James River that sloped down from our property into a thick brush of sand and thickets and . . . well, for all I knew, a dead body or two. At least those were the stories my brother spun for me.

And I believed him.

Our house had an enclosed wraparound porch and we'd sit in the swing as evening came, looking out into the thick lush foliage and trees. As the night fell, and we could no longer see what lay outside the protected, screened porch, I knew there were things that not only went bump in the night, but that ate little girls alive.

My fears were seldom unfounded.

Okay, maybe the monsters living under my bed weren't real, but I wasn't going to test the theory by dangling my arms or feet over the edge during the night.


But I knew one monster which did exist -- Big Foot. I knew he was real from the stories my older cousins told me when we visited them in Kentucky. Somehow those isolated roads and far-apart country houses made the stories real.


Ghosts were real too.

I w
as about seven and my brother six, the summer my West Virginia cousins -- Bobby and Freddie -- great teenage boys way too old for such antics -- covered themselves in white sheets one night. They used flashlights for giant red "eyes" and came upon us as we made our way back from Aunt Edna's outhouse. They scared the living daylights out of us.


I was afraid of ticks, too. And with good reason. They heavily infested our area and dug into the flesh, sucking blood like manic miniature vampires. Scalp, arms, legs, bottom -- all were suspectible.

Once, a huge one, fat and drowsy with my young blood, buried itself into my little butt. They're almost impossible to remove and require gross things like alcohol and tweezers for their removal, items sure to scar you for life. Then you have to burn them to make sure they're dead.

My fear of water came from my military dad trying to teach me to
swim and the vague notion that polio came from swimming in the ocean too early in the year. To this day I'm afraid of the ocean. While it amazes and fascinates me, I keep my distance from the water.

The ocean is a treacherous mistress, and any sailor knows she should be handled with wise caution.

One last thing I learned to be afraid of when I was older. That freaky Chucky doll.

What's up with that thing? He scuttles across the floor like a rat, so fast you can only sense the bloody knife in his hand.


What about you? Are you afraid of things that go bump in the night?
Did you have any childhood frightening moments or real-life frightening experiences?

Do you have irrational fears? Or do you have good reasons for being afraid of certain things?

Are you afraid of the dark? Being alone? The dentist?

Come on, fess up. What are your three greatest fears? The most creative and interesting experience/story will receive a $10 gift certificate from Amazon, courtesy of Dr. Big. Shhhh, he doesn't know yet!

114 comments:

Louisa Cornell said...

What! Nobody home? Here, chicky chicky chicky!

Louisa Cornell said...

GOTCHA!!! You wascally golden poultry! Talk about things that go bump in the night! The GR can be WEALLY SCAWY!

Louisa Cornell said...

Hmm. What am I scared of? Monsters, ghosts, and goblins - not so much. Things in the real world scare me more. My late DH was a prison psychiatrist. Some of the prisoners he dealt with convinced him that "evil does exist in this world, and it looks like us." The thought of what lurks behind a perfectly normal facade terrifies me.

I was driving home from Junior Miss practice one night (yes, I was a Junior Miss contestant)and my nice little suburban neighborhood was locked down like a prison. I had to show my driver's license to get past the roadblock. Fortunately one of the policeman was a guy who graduated two years ahead of me. He also went to church with me. I said "What's up, Mike?" He told me the house on the corner was on fire, but when the firemen broke in they discovered a horrendous murder scene. The young woman who lived there had been brutally murdered. She had fought for her life because there was blood all over the house. She had been stabbed over 200 times. That was awful enough. They did not find out who the murderer was for another two years. And they only did because another woman was murdered in this nice suburban neighborhood - beaten to death with a rock. They ended up charging the same young man with both murders. He was married to a girl in the neighborhood. We had all attended school together. He and she had ridden to school with me for two years - both before and after the first murder! I had NO IDEA! THAT is what scares me. That you just don't know what people are thinking or are capable of at any given moment.

jo robertson said...

Hey, if you've ever been attacked by a chicken, much less a rooster, you'd REALLY consider the GR one of the long-legged beasties!

Congratulations, Louisa, please keep his sedated. He's become quite rowdy lately.

jo robertson said...

A prison pyschiatrist, Louisa? How intriguing. But I agree it must be awful to go into the minds of monsters. I've always been fascinated by the dark side of a person's nature -- what Conrad aptly called "heart of darkness."

jo robertson said...

OMG, what a horrible experience. It's true that you never really know what's in a person's heart or what he's capable of.

I think I prefer my little monsters under the bed.

Louisa Cornell said...

I have been attacked by a rooster with a NASTY attitude and that is definitely scary!! It was really hard for my gentle, sweet Roger to go into those dark places, but he said someone had to do it.

I, too, have always been fascinated by the things that make a person cross that line and how some people were born across that line and never cross back. Roger said a sociopath gets up one morning and decides to kill the same way a normal person decides what to wear. But apparently not all sociopaths become serial killers. Some go through their entire lives living a "normal" life. They just never make that decision to kill. I asked him what they become. He said "Usually used car salesmen or lawyers." LOL He had a very dry sense of humor!

Anna Campbell said...

What happens when Chucky meets the Chicky? My money's on the chicky! Congratulations, Miss Cornell!

Jo, what a great post. Gave me the goosebumps! I didn't know the source of "things that go bump in the night" but isn't it an evocative phrase?

Louisa, what a scary story! Eeek! Someone who went to school with my brother (same school as me, a couple of classes down) went wrong and ended up murdering an old guy who lived in a camp up in the bush like a hermit. The story was the old guy had money buried up there and they tortured him with fire to get him to tell. Turned out there WAS no money so he couldn't save himself. Still think that's a horrible story. The boy was a troubled lad but you somehow don't think a troubled lad will grow up to do something like that. I agree, Louisa, you just never know.

Helen said...

Well done Louisa just keep your eye on him

Great post Jo I grew up scared of any noise in the dark squeaks creaks would have me diving under the covers and not moving I always thought that if someone was there and I didn't move they wouldn't harm me because I was asleep.
Although as a teenager I used to watch scary movies I don't anymore I am more scared of the unknown than anything else things that can't be axplained to my liking I can watch murder mysteries but movies like The Omen no way they are just way over the top for me and I have trouble sleeping after I watch them. The dark doesn't scare me anymore but I have never liked thunderstorms either they used to scare the living daylights out of me until I had children and then I couldn't show I was scared otherwise they would have been as well but I don't like being at home alone when there is a thunderstorm.
I am not scard of the dentist but I just don't like them but I guess not many people do LOL

Have Fun
Helen

jo robertson said...

ROTFLOL about Chucky meets Chicky. I think our chook can take about anything, even a manic doll with a long-bladed knife!

Yes, Anna, I love that phrase. I know it's been around a long time, but I was afraid of using it without acknowledging where it came from. Thank goodness for Google!

jo robertson said...

Stabbings and fire tortures? My goodness what dark corners you're all venturing into tonight. And here I was thinking of being afraid of flying (like Trish) or swimming (like me) or never getting published, like all of us LOL.

jo robertson said...

Ah, Helen, that's more up my line. It's amazing how many night noises occur when the house is settling for the night. But wait, maybe it's something else (cue scary, cheap horror flick).

Oooh, The Omen, that little kid was freaky too. It's always frightening when someone looks innocent and is evil.

LOL about your being afraid of thunder storms. My youngest daughter is terrified of them. I still call her to make sure she's okay whenever we have a bad one. Dr. Big and I look at one another and say, "You or me, who's gonna call Meggie?"

flchen1 said...

Yikes! Such hair-raising comments your post has invoked tonight, Jo! I was ready to focus more on things like thinking that a vampire lived in my closet when I was growing up and why I was scared of the dark... I do agree with Louisa that the potential for that darkness in our fellow people is most frightening. Those sorts of stories make me want to hug my children close and not let them out of my sight.

Congrats on the GR, Louisa! With all of his additional training, he should be able to be a help in any hairy situations :)

Minna said...

I'm afraid of bullies, angry dogs, mice and rats, spiders...

Minna said...

Scary story? What would be more frightening than going to school that was full of bullies five days a week, year after year? Even being in a fire or staring at a lightning ball less than one meter away from you wasn't as scary.

I have one ghost story too, but that one isn't on the scary side.

Anna Campbell said...

Minna, tell us the ghost story! Pretty please!

Donna MacMeans said...

This was not the blog to read right before going to bed!

Louisa - riding on a school bus with the demented murderer and not knowing it? Eeeeeewwwwwwww. Gives me the shivers.

Jo - that is the grossest picture of a tick I think I've ever seen. Did you know that pop when you set them on fire? I remember having to pull them off my dog.

And that chucky doll is definitely scary. Now I have the urge to go sit out at a campfire, toast marshmellows and tell scary stories. *g* (Where's that old hook?)

kim h said...

dont like clowens, when i see teh documentry on u know the serial killer dressed like a clown. was afraid of escalaoters, always think they will suck u in lol. i was afraid when i was small. a nice man had to to pick me up, it was at the maill, iwas 5 or 6 so i would not have to use the escalotor, i remeber that so well. i wonder where he is now

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

MUWAHAHAHA!
I used to scare my sister all the time by telling her I saw or heard things in the dark. Yes, I was THAT kind of sister. :-P

What was I scared of? Crickets! And roaches, not the little ones that scurry away from the light. The BIG HONKIN ONES that try to run up your arm or leg! ACK!!!! Australia has the biggest ones I've ever seen! (Aunty shudders with the memory.)

But honestly, the thing that scares me most of all? That truly strikes terror in my heart?

The IRS.

Think about it. THEY BROUGHT DOWN CAPONE! 'Nuff said.

AC

Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, AC, I'm scared of the local roaches too. They're big enough to eat cats!!! Well, not quite, but in the dark when they scuttle, they sound like they could do major damage to you. And they FLY. EEEEEK!

jo robertson said...

Flchen 1, I was thinking along your lines when I wrote the post. Light, silly things we believed in when we were young. Vampires living in your closet? That's a new one to me, but it's certainly a good explanation about why you'd be scared.

Remember the movie Monsters? I love that movie! The way it portrays a little kid's fears that the clothes hanging in the closet are monsters, how every shadow and shape grows into something dark and dangerous. It was so realistic!

jo robertson said...

Spiders, Minna? Here is California spiders are part of the furniture. Everybody has the little critters running about the house. We just scoop them up and take them outside.

But rats? Yuk? Even little mice are creepy to me. Wasn't there a scary movie about some guy who controlled rats and got them to attack his enemies. I'm sure it was a low, low B-movie!

jo robertson said...

LOL, Donna, I chose that picture of the tick engorged with blood because that's exactly how they look, isn't it? Yes, they do pop when set on fire, which is just too gross to even think about. I had many experiences with ticks burrowing themselves into my body. That's what I get for being a tomboy.

jo robertson said...

Ah, that old hook story, Donna. That thing's been around for centuries I believe LOL. I remember when my girls came home from a sleepover telling me about this horrible ghost story someone told. Same one I'd heard as a girl.

I'm a sucker for a good scary story though.

jo robertson said...

Kim, did you know that child psychologists say clowns are a common fear among children? I was never afraid of them until I read Stephen King's IT.

jo robertson said...

LOL, AC, I know what you mean. I break out in a cold sweat if I get a letter from the IRS. We got audited a lot when we were younger. They didn't believe we had seven kids. Go figure.

ROACHES!!! They're as disgusting as flies and maggots. Maybe worse because, as Foanna says, they scuttle and scurry.

jo robertson said...

One last comment and then I'm going to bed!

A number of years ago I had an earwig fly into my ear in the middle of the night, way deep inside where I couldn't reach it. Awful experience -- I could hear it moving and fluttering and eventually dying inside my ear!!

I'm serious!! My ear felt like someone had poured oil into it and it was swollen shut. The next morning I went to the emergency room. At first the doc said he couldn't see anything, but he flushed out the ear and, sure enough, a baby earwig came out.

Actually, maybe it was a teenaged earwig because I figure only an insect that age would be stoopid enough to fly in a human's ear, get stuck and die!

I now sleep with the blankets over my head. Truly. Honestly.

Jane said...

Congrats on the GR, Louisa.

I occasionally still get afraid of the dark. This happens sometimes when I've just finished watching an episode of the X-Files or reading a thriller with a creepy villain. "Hellraiser" was one movie that really scared the crap out of me. I was so frightened of Pinhead and always pictured his face.

Margay said...

I think the only real fear I have is a fear of success. No, seriously. I come from a family of very talented under-achievers and I think that is a common denominator - we all are afraid to succeed.

On a different note. About the things going bump in the night, my older sister used to love to tell ghost stories to me to try to scare me. Thing was - I didn't scare easy because I have had personal experiences with ghosts or spirits, if you will, and I just accept that they are there. Anyway, she ended up scaring herself silly - every time - and I ended up having to check under her bed for things that go bump in the night!

Minna said...

My grandmother's brother used to live nearby, he visited us at least twice a day with his cat -who followed him everywhere- and in order to come here he had to walk past our cousins' summer cottage. He also hated dogs, for some reason. Eventually he died and his cat had to be put down. Now, some years later my cousins who own the cottage told that their son had this imaginary friend, an old man who hates dogs, who has a cat and who passes the cottage with his cat couple of times a day in order to visit my home. They claimed, they hadn't told anything to their son about the old man who used to live near by.

Minna said...

Every spider that I find in the house generally ends up dead. I don't know why I can't stand them. It's not like they would be poisonous or anything around here.

Minna said...

And since it's autumn the mice want to move inside. I hate that scratching sound. I need to find those mouse traps...

Maureen said...

I hate those unexplained noises in the night. When I was in elementary school I woke up to noises in my room and there was definitely someone quietly rustling around. I, of course, knew that it was something evil. I lay there shaking and pretended to sleep until it was gone and then the next day found out that my mother was looking for something and thought it might be in my room.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I am afraid of just about everything.
I hate anything with more than 4 legs.
I love water but am more than a little afraid of that too. My bf insists I tell this story about water. He bought a boat because we both love to fish and let's face it, the only way to get to the fish is water. So here we are, in the boat on the river, everytime another boat goes past we rock, my heart palpitates but I am fishing so I deal with it. I will bait my own hook, I can handle worms and minnows (no legs), I am not too good about taking a fish off the line if I catch one though (really bad experience with a catfish when I was younger). So we are fishing and I am dealing with rocking and the water over my head and dragon flies flitting about when a spider makes an appearance basically in front of my nose. There is a little cowling in the bow of the boat where I sit and one minute everything is fine and the next this spider drops down from under the cowling and I am caught between my fears, BF is in the back of the boat and I am saying, spider. Spider... SPIDER! No way is he going to get to the bow to save me so rather than take a dive over the side into the very deep (not to mention very dirty and swift river)I wait until the little devil crawls up to the top edge and flip him into the river and basically save myself from the evil spider. I was so proud.

I am afraid of stairs, yeah, that is kind of silly I know but I have fallen down and up more stairs that I care to think about and have at least one very good scar to prove it. (Did I mention that the only way to get to my laundry room in the basement is to go outside down stairs, down a walk, down a few more stairs and into the basement?)
When I get scared I can't put my feet on the ground. 56 years old and can't make myself put my feet down, I think I was maybe 6 years old and saw a movie that put that little fear into me. The world's best pianist was murdered by the second best, he kept the hands in a box and used them to play, one night they crawled out from under the bed, climbed the covers and killed him. (6 years old remember?) I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt that none of this is remotely possible, but 50 years later if I see something scary I can't put my feet down because something (those @%** hands) is going to come out from under the couch, bed, chair and grab me.
Louisa, we are not even going to go into your fears about "normal" looking people that aren't because it is all I can do to get out of the house now. If I start thinking about your experiences I will end up being house bound.
Ack, I have to work today so I have to go, so glad I tuned in this morning to see that I am not the only one with fears.

Maria Zannini said...

Nutcrackers always make me do a double-take.

I'm afraid they're going to come alive and I'll have to bean them in the head with a flying monkey. *g*

Natalie Hatch said...

When I was a teen I'd seen just about every horror movie made, and had a very vivid imagination. Well one night I had to walk home through a cemetery. I tell you what I almost pooped my pants on several occasions that night. I promised myself I would never do that again. So far I've kept that promise.
I used to be scared of zombies and werewolves and evil creatures... you name it. But the minute I had my son my nightmares changed. They weren't horror inspired anymore, they were that something happened to him, and since then I've not been scared for myself anymore, I worry about them. How wonderful, except you still can't get me to go back to a cemetery at night. No way, no how!

Natalie Hatch said...

oh by the way the movie that really freaked me out in the last ten years was White Noise.. about evil spirits that communicate through your television white noise bit thingy.... it just felt wrong and evil and i had to turn it off. still haven't finished it to this day.

Terry Odell said...

I remember being afraid of not the dark but the light at night. I hated the strips of light that came under the bedroom door. I don't have a rational explanation now, but I guess I thought the 'bad stuff' could get in that way.

I still prefer to sleep in complete darkness, although that's because now if there's light, I wake up and once I'm awake, I'm awake. Hubby hates it. He likes to wake up gradually to the sunlight. Me, I'm awake at the first sign of light and can't get back to sleep. I had a heck of a time on our trip to Alaska one summer!

Louisa Cornell said...

Now that we're all cowering under the covers .... LOL

Roaches that could eat cats that can fly? EEEEEEEEEEEEEK!! NO THANK YOU!

So you know exactly how I feel, La Campbell. The people you know that go bad - those are the scariest. I will give my old neighborhood credit. That boy's wife and children continued to live in that house with her mother. The kids are grown now and had a terrific stepfather. Not a soul that I know of treated her badly because of what he did and Mom says everyone was extra nice to the kids.

I live in the country and there are always odd noises out here. You can hear them too because it is so quiet. Coyotes, the occasional bobcat (sounds like a woman screaming - will scare the dust out of you if you don't know what it is. Ask my brothers. VBG)

I don't worry so much about things on the other side. I know they are there. My brother's best friend when he was a child was the ghost of the old man who died in our house in England. John was always moving furniture, fogging up windows, rocking a rocking chair. He even covered us up at night if he thought we were cold. We got used to it.

Animals are completely aware of the other side AND they can detect evil in people and in spirits. It is said that evil cannot possess nor trepass an animal that is truly loved, so I am in good shape.

I have a couple of animal spirits that stick pretty close to this property - my horse, Taz - I sometimes feel him walking beside me when I cross his pasture. My Great Pyrenees dog, Sherlock, I can smell him when I am in the barn at times. He was a big white dog and sometimes at twilight I think I see him out of the corner of my eye taking his two goats (who are also deceased)down to the pasture. Then the dog my dh gave me before we married, Sasha. Sometimes when I miss Roger really badly I can feel Sasha brush up against me.

My cat, Rebecca, and my chihuahua, Frodo sometimes stop, sit and start at a spot in the room for a long time. They appear to be very happy. So I assume their "Mama" my Great Dane, Glory, has come to visit.

So, nope, noises in the night don't scare me that much. Anyone who can get past nine outside dogs, three inside dogs, four inside cats and me with the Cherokee spear, the medieval battle axe and the three foot machete ... well, if they can get past all that. I'm toast!!

Definitely scared of the IRS!!! Shiver!

And the Chook could definitely take Chuckie!

Tiffany Kenzie said...

ewww on that tick, I've never seen one! yuck.

I hope I don't ever know someone that turns out wrong in the head. But like y'all said, you just never know.

I have an irrational fear of clowns. Like beyond irrational. I work in a makeup school where students like to create 'monster' clowns once they hit prosthetics. OMG I went pee one day, and beside me in the next stall, there were CLOWN PANTS. I peed as fast as I could ran out of the bathroom hyperventilating and crying, and all sort of embarrassing things all the way back to the office, where I hid until they finish doing their photoshoot. I remember it being lunch time and I couldn't go for lunch in fear of that damn clown.

There was another time that one of the teachers didn't know how afraid of them I was (I came back in from lunch and there was a clown standing right there, I went and hid in reception behind a pillar so I didn't have to see it) and the teacher called over the student in the clown suit... I think he never actually someone 'really' afraid of clowns. I huddled into myself and started crying and shaking. He apologized for a week straight.

Now if that ain't an irrational fear, I don't know what is.

Great topic!

traveler said...

I loathe squirrels. Due to the fact that they were living in the inside section of our roof and we could hear them pecking away day after day. This took place in our former home and we had to hire someone to trap them. I visualize them as rats and cannot look at them now.

ruth said...

Since my husband's untimely death this past summer at a young age I am afraid of everything. Mainly due to the fact that I am alone. The most prevalent fear is of the future, of my mortality and of my health and welfare.

alissa said...

My most common and ongoing fear is of change. In order to implement change of any sort I have to force myself to realize the importance of adapting to new circumstances and accepting change. Other than that I am fearful of the dark and especially so of bad storms.

petite said...

Being a D.A. has given me new insight into what is out there. Having to confront these creatures in court on a daily basis I am afraid for my life. I lock the doors and hope that I am safe. I wonder how long I can continue to work in this field since it is stressful and extremely dangerous. I look upon the world differently now.

Virginia said...

I think the main thing that I am afraid of is heights. Also don't like snakes and we found on in our back yard about a month ago. I went to get something for my neighbor to kill it with and my dear son walks over and picks the snake up wanting to know if he could keep it. Needless to say he had me running to the house.

jo robertson said...

Creepy, Jane. HELLRAISER -- that's the one with the needle-like things coming out of his head, right? I didn't see the movie, but the trailer gave me shivers. Makes you wonder how the writers came up with these freaky villains, huh?

jo robertson said...

That's interesting, Margay. I come from a family of over-achievers, but I think writers often are afraid of success. It's like, "Okay I finished a m/s, got an agent, sold a book, now what?"

Do you think we're afraid we can't duplicate the success?

Too funny about your sister trying to scare you. Serves her right!

jo robertson said...

Now that's a ghost story, Minna. Chills!

Maureen, even more scary because it was REAL, even if it WAS your mom.

Does anyone get those weird sensations in the night, like a cat jumped up on your bed, just a little, slightly felt plop? I still wake up to that and have no idea what it is. I don't own a cat!! But I figure it's part of a dream or something that translates to that same feeling.

jo robertson said...

OMG, Dianna, your stories scared the life out of me. Water and spiders, the devil and the deep blue sea! Still, kind of hilarious too LOL.

If I had to do what you do to get to the laundry room, there'd never be clean clothes at my house!

Uh, how do you fall UP the stairs?

I remember that "Hands" movie! It was gosh-awful scary. Something about those disembodied hands creeping along.

jo robertson said...

ROTFLMAO at the nutcracker being conked by the flying monkey, Maria

Natalie, so true. Our fears transfer from ourselves to our children, a much more serious and real fear.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Wow! Woke up to a lot of nightmares! Shudder! :>

Congrats on the chook, Louisa! Like you, its the "real world" things that give me the creeps.

And Mom things. I worry about my kids a lot, as someone else mentioned. Oh, hey, if you popped in yesterday to chat with Roxanne St. Claire, check the end of yesterday's blog, she posted really late about her dreadful, mom-crisis, afternoon. Yikes!

I used to work in a funeral home so the cemeteries and mortuaries don't wig me out anymore, but the people who populate the world sometimes do. Urk.

I do NOT like big roaches a la your story Anna C. Bleeeech. Being from the country, I'm okay w/ spiders and snakes and mice and so on, but those roaches...not so much. Can't say I'm really afraid of them, but...

Now cicadas? The monster 17-year ones? SHUUUUUUDdddddder. We had the explosion of them a few years ago where they all come out in droves. We live in an older neighborhood so the place was literally covered. You'd crunch, crunch, crunch down to the car, then the car would crunch, crunch, crunch down the street. Worse thing was they would fly around you all the time. Can't stand to have something all flying and red-eyed and buggy in my hair. Eewwwwwww! My garden went to pot that year and I hired someone to mow the cicadas...I mean the lawn, because I couldn't bear to be out with the critters flying around. And noisy? All. Night. Long. All. Day. Long. Blleeeech.

Having had all sorts of ghostie experiences and knowing, like Louisa, that there are a lot of my critters who 'come back' to check on me, those don't worry me at all.

Now I'm off to the Post Office. Those people sometimes worry me...but I'm married to an accountant, so he's my Knight in CPA armor when it comes to the IRS.

jo robertson said...

I'm ashamed to admit I saw "White Noise," Natalie. Do you think those movies are so scary because we're not sure if spirits exist or not?

Remember the movie with the girl crawling out of the well? That scared the devil out of me. (Well, nearly LOL).

Terry, I never heard of being afraid of the strip of light under the door, but that would make an excellent story!

jo robertson said...

Louisa, you certainly have an army of protectors!

How intriguing to have a ghost as your BFF. Puts a twist on the whole "invisible friend" idea.

Margay said...

Yes! that has to be it. Who wants to be a one-hit wonder?

jo robertson said...

Yeah, Tiffany, what's with the fear of clowns? But like I said, it's a common fear especially among children. Honestly, if I worked in a makeup school where people were creating all sorts of freaky clown faces, I'd be scared of them too!

Travel, squirrels peck? Creepy. I think I'd only be afraid if they might be rabid. But the woodpeckers pecking at our roof startles me lots of times until I remember what it is. I DO hear the squirrels scampering across my roof during the day. That's pretty creepy too. Hmmm, maybe you're right!

jo robertson said...

Hugs, Ruth. It's hard to be alone.

jo robertson said...

Alissa, fear of change can be paralyzing. Grab onto your strength of will and embrace the good changes in your life!

Petite, I could not do what you and Louisa husband did -- work with monsters every day. Kudos to you!

jo robertson said...

Yuck, Virgina, SNAKES! They're such slimy-looking creatures. I know many of them are not dangerous, but still . . . shuddering in spite of 100-plus degree weather.

jo robertson said...

LOL on the one-hit wonder, Margay. I figure I'll obsess about getting published and then obsess about that being the ONLY book anyone will ever want!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

No chance on YOU being a one-hit-wonder, Jo. You're too prolific. In all sorts of ways. Grins. Had to LOL about the IRS not believing you had 7 kids.

That said, you are SUCH a good writer, you are gonna be a hit, and a long term, fabulous hit when you get picked up. Soon, I tell ya, SOON.

jo robertson said...

EWWWWW, Jeanne. You've created a whole new fear for me. Just thinking about the crunch-crunch of the ccc-cicadas gives me chills.

Okay, ya'll, I'm going to pop on the treadmill. Don't have too much spooky fun while I'm gone.

BTW, isn't anyone going on a last-holiday-of-the-year jaunt? If you are, have a happy -- and SAFE -- holiday weekend. For our non-USA readers, it's the Labor Day weekend, but there's not much labor involved in it LOL.

jo robertson said...

Be sure to drop back to Jeanne's post yesterday. Roxanne St. Clair left some great advice at the end about writers' doubts and not repeating plot threads.

Plus, her scary experience is one of the worst fears a mom has!

Wendy said...

I'm afraid of the ice cream truck music - it's just so creepy! ugh.

And any creepy-crawly, too. And being tortured! I can't watch any of the SAW movies or I'll jump out of my skin.

Kestrel said...

I love all kinds of horror movies, and growing up a tomboy, bugs and snakes don't bother me either. Clowns are a little creepy, but I can handle them, I like the sad or avant garde ones though, there's just something not right about a clown that's so friggin happy all the time, ya know?

But I do have an irrational fear, a true phobia, I have no idea where it came from because I've never had an OMG too scary moment that involves them: Spiders.

My hubby and kids think its just hilarious if there's a spider in the house and I literally try to climb the walls and scream in fear. I will start crying if it gets too close to me, and all I can do is yell "kill it, kill it!" My hubby doesn't tease me with them anymore though because once he tried to tease me with a daddy long legs by bringing it close to my face, and he literally thought I was going to have a seizure or a heart attack. He had to flush it, and wash his hands before I would even let him touch me and he held me for about an hour, just saying "I'm sorry" over and over.

The size doesn't matter, I'm just as freaked out by teeny tiny ones as by the giant tarantula types. Once, when my oldest son was about 2, I went to get him out of the car seat and a itsy bitsy spider came dangling down over the door, and I ran screaming inside (leaving the little one in the car!). When I realized what I had done, I ran back outside and opened the opposite door, dragged my son out, tucked him in the house, and took a newspaper to the spider who went flying, slammed the car door, ran inside and locked the door. I'm sure my son thought I had lost my friggin mind.

I watched the movie Arachnophobia while huddled in my seat, and was so mad because I was like, "That guy does NOT have arachnophobia, because there is no way in HECK you could have gotten me to do some of those things! I would have been able to drag my family out of that town and let it burn for all I cared, get me the *beep* out of there!

It is so weird, because I am totally that chick that is unfazed by anything, but spiders will make me go crazy.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Kestrel, I have a friend with that phobia too. I'm the Halloween Party mavin, but I avoid the spidery decor just so she can come for the party w/o freakin' out! :>

Kestrel said...

Jeanne, its funny, but the fake webs or plastic spiders don't really bother me. About on par with clowns, not my fave, but I'm not gonna go all Jamie Lee Curtis in fear around them. It's only the real things that do it.
So I can watch movies with fake spiders, and can 'somewhat' tolerate TV shows that talk about them.
I guess this is proof that I am still sane and recognize reality, huh?

catslady said...

When young I got moved to my mom's bedroom that had a huge walk-in closet - for some reason I was afraid of who would come out of it at night while I lay there. But on the other hand, I used to think if someone broke into the house, I could hide in one of her clothes bags in this same closet lol. I also hated passing the fireplace (never used) when the lights were off. And we used to have to go and close or open the garage door at night for my dad and passing down the steps of our cellar always scared me. Gee you'd think I was afraid of the dark, but I'm not lol.

I remember moving to Mississppi when my husband was in the service and he was away for training and this humongous cockroach was in my bedroom. Then I found out it could fly (I know now it was a palmetto bug). I swear I hit it a dozen times with his steel toed army boots without phazing it so I used a complete can of bug spray. It's a wonder I didn't aphixiate myself lol.

My real everyday fear though is driving. I have no sense of direction and can't merge on highways.

jo robertson said...

Wow, Kestrel, spiders huh? I guess phobias have no rationale behind them. I think of that movie AS GOOD AS IT GETS about the writer who was paralyzed by his fears. Funny, but not funny, you know?

I think my dad married my mom because he was terrified of mice and she wasn't. On one of their first dates, she found a nest of baby field mice, scooped them up to bring them to dad, holding them out and saying, "Oh, Ben, look how cute!"

Needless to say, he freaked majorly, which is funny because he was a WWII veteran, but still terrified of itty bitty mice.

jo robertson said...

I don't blame you on the SAW movies, Wendy; they're just plain disgusting! Why do you watch them, Jo, you ask? Tee hee, they're fun in a perverted, scary kind of way.

But the ice-cream truck??? I'm afraid my love affair with rich, creamy, delicious ice cream would overcome any kind of creepy music. Wait, I think I heard the ice cream music. Da-da-da-da!

Oh, maybe it reminds you of Dexter and the Ice Truck killer.

jo robertson said...

Oh, Catslady, those are very frightening things for a little kid. Glad you didn't cause permanent brain damage with that can of bug spray LOL.

Fear of driving, now that's a fear that's real (hello, we have the craziest drivers in the U.S.!), but so limiting. Do you just drive places close where you don't have to deal with heavy traffic? Or is it more a fear of getting lost?

I'm asking because I can see that as I get older, I might have to hang up my "driving shoes." My mom was a maniac on the highway. She was 75 when she died (NOT in a car accident, thank goodness), but when I asked her why she was so speedy, zipping in and out of busy traffic, she said, "I don't want people to think I'm a little old lady who can't drive properly."

Hello, Mom, you ARE a little old lady! What a sweetheart!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

OMGosh, Jo, I was LOL about your mom. My dad, at 89, just gave up his driver's license. He decided it was "time" to not scare us or anyone else on the road! ha!

I'm such a speed demon on the road, I shudder to think how I'll be at 89. :>

Minna said...

Clowns! Oh, ick! I remember when I was a kid and I had to be in a hospital for a while and one day there visited this clown or he was rather a mime, really. I remember him doing one magic trick -he pulled a small toy dog out of thin air. But I hid under the covers. Why couldn't they pick a real magician, you know, one without all that paint on his face? There's something creepy about a guy with all that paint on his face. I got to keep that toy dog, but I never liked it for some reason.

jo robertson said...

LOL, Jeanne, on the driving. I think the key is being aware of your abilities and weaknesses and knowing when it's time to stop. Kudos for your dad.

Some men seem to think their skills at driving last a lot longer than they actually do! Dr. Big still thinks he has the reflexes of a 20-year old.

Minna, no wonder you never liked that toy dog. I don't blame you.

Anna Campbell said...

Jeanne, it's funny - a lot of stuff that creeps other people out doesn't upset me much either - we country girls should sick together! Spiders are a fact of life in Queensland and most of them are harmless. Same with the snakes - the pythons and grass snakes and tree snakes are actually quite beautiful. But cockroaches? Brrrrr! Actually and I'm not terrifically fond of cane toads either!

And whoever said clowns are scary was SO RIGHT! Eeeek!

Anna Campbell said...

Ruth, I'm so sorry about your husband.

Anna Campbell said...

Minna, what a great story! You're right - it's not scary but it still gave me goosebumps. Thanks for sharing it!

Gillian Layne said...

Go Louisa! :)

I almost skipped this topic, because I do hate being scared. But I just couldn't resist reading people's stories.

Hurricane Gustav scares me, although I'm nowhere close to it. People I care for are going to be affected, however. And you can't reason with a storm. I am thankful our technology allows for early warnings--but I wish they could all take their belongings and homes with them.

Tornadoes scare me too, but we've been so close to so many now it's mostly a fact-of-life thing.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Ruth, I meant to say that I'm so sorry for your loss.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Anna, I looked cane toads up on the 'net and yep, I wouldn't be too fond of those either. Bleeh.

Not very fond of slugs either. My sons and I were talking about which Star Wars character was scariest. They laughed at me b/c I said Jabba the Hutt. Ewwww - enormous, malevolent, thinking slug -- what could be worse?

Wendy said...

Jo, don't me wrong, I LOVE ice cream, I just can't stand the music, it's weird.

Dexter, the show?? Nooo, I like that show! I don't know why the music freaks me out, it just does.

jo robertson said...

Gillian, hurricanes scare me to death, any natural disaster in fact, but I feel particularly helpless in a hurricane. Hazel came through our neighborhood when I was a girl and I still remember looking out the window at those crazily swinging downed power lines in front of our house -- like giant crazy snakes spewing electricity. Shiver.

jo robertson said...

So, what's a cane toad, Anna? Unlike Jeanne, I'm too lazy to look it up LOL.

Okay, channeling my inner ignoramus -- I didn't know Jabba the Hut was a SLUG. One word -- Ewwwwww!

jo robertson said...

LOL, I knew you meant the ice cream truck MUSIC. I'm just saying nothing would keep me from scrambling past it to get to the ice cream therein -- not eerie music, not Jabba the Hut, not that creeping, crawly hand.

Ice cream, yummmy. And I've already shared my equisite simple home-made icre cream recipe, so for those of you who've made it, I just sayin' -- ice cream rules!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Jo, those cane toads are poisonous. The Aussies have the market cornered on poisonous reptiles, I tell ya!

Looking at Gustav, I can see why anyone would be afraid of them. Having grown up in NC and then lived in OH for a while, between the tornadoes and the hurricanes, wow, Nature is a force to be reckoned with and respected, for sure.

Anna Campbell said...

Jo, they're revolting lumps of grey flesh covered in warts. They're poisonous and they'll eat anything that moves - they've been an absolute environmental disaster here. They spit poison too! Actually, they're not native - I think they're originally from Hawaii! Here's a picture of one of the revolting things:

http://www.bobessellairshows.com/cane_toad.JPG

Helen said...

I agree Anna cane toads are yuk years ago when we were holidaying on South Mole Island the entertainment one night was cane toad racing there was no way I was going to touch one of them but it was a fun night. My brother in law likes to play golf with them.

Have Fun
Helen

Helen said...

BTW everyone I forgot to add I am loving these stories.

Have Fun
Helen

Anna Campbell said...

When I went looking for Jo's picture, I realised I'd forgotten that some people lick them because the poison on their skin is hallucinogenic (now, isn't that a revolting image?). Apparently lots of people die from overdoses. Ugh!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Okay, that's just nasty, Anna. Bleeeeech. The thought of licking a frog to get high? Eeeewwwwwww! There's a thing on the net where I looked them up that says a lot of dogs and cats are killed because they bite them or carry them around.

So, again, the mental image of deliberately LICKING one? *SSSHHHHHUDDDDDER**

rebekah said...

I am so trrified of spiders that I have to get my 8 year old to kill them for me. If no one is there to kill them then I just close the door and hope they go away. I'm also still at the age of Thirty scared of the closet monster and underthe bed monster. I can't sleep with the closet door open. Sad huh. I think I watch to many scary movies, but I can't help it I love them.

Rebekah E.

Suzanne Welsh said...

WOW! Y'all were busy today!! Hey Louisa, congrats on the GR nab!

Jo, I developed a new fear while living in Florida. Driving on bridges and high overpasses!! It was the bridge that goes from Clearwater over the Tampa Bay into Tampa. OMG....there is NOTHING beneath it but WATER!!!!!!

Suzanne Welsh said...

You know, speaking of maggots, they used to put those on burn victims hundreds of years ago to eat away the dead flesh so new flesh could come in and heal...

Suzanne Welsh said...

You know what movie scared the be-jeezies out of me? IT...with the psycho clown!! YEP

Amy S. said...

I'm afraid of spiders and snakes. My sister-in-law was looking at my mom's flowers. She was reaching down to tip one, instead she touched a snake. It was a baby copperhead. They got shovels out and started trying to find it, they did find it and killed it. But they couldn't find the mom. Last year, my nieces and nephew were riding their bikes in the front yard, when my brother pulled in, he told me that there was a snake crossing the road and that it ran in our yard, right by the kids. We tried finding that one, but we couldn't.

Joan said...

Ok....a collective...YUCK on all the spiders and snakes and toads and slugs...who WOULDN"T be afraid of those things?

When I lived in an apartment, I use to get freaked out at the thought that a snake could slither under the pitiful door of my place...in the night...and hide in my bed.

Clowns? Ok, now clowns are just not natural. Period. There is something inherently evil about a painted on smile. And whoever it was that hated ice cream truck music? Well founded. How much you want to bet there is a CLOWN driving the damn thing!

I have a true bridge phobia. I'm scared sh*tless that I'm going to drive off the edge. It's a control issue, I'm sure.

But a bigger fear is velasoraptors. You know those cunning, agile dinosauers from "Jurassic Park?". No way that they weren't pecking at my window trying to find a way in the night I saw that blasted movie.

Uh, excuse me. Gotta go turn on my porch lights...

jo robertson said...

Jeanne, do you absorb the poison from the toads through the skin or what? As you can see I'm STILL too lazy to pick it up.

Yeah, never mind about not fooling Mother Nature. Just get the heck out of her way when she's on a rampage.

jo robertson said...

OMG, Anna, I'm describing this cane toad to Boyd, I'm freaking out and he's rolling over in laughter. Licking the skin? That's got to be the most disgusting thing I've heard. What some people will do for a high!

Helen, that is so irreverently funny. Golf? Say it isn't so! I assume the toads are the "golf balls"?

There have been some interesting stories today, huh? Glad you enjoy them.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Yep, you got it in one, Jo. I guess you get high licking them and if you handle them a lot, the poison goes to work. Bleeeech.

jo robertson said...

Ya'll have really gotten disgusting today (tee hee). I think I'm gonna throw up.

Rebekah, LOL at your 8-year-old rescuing you by killing the spiders.

Suzanne, I know that feeling. Ever since the Oakland Bay Bridge collapsed from the earthquake, I get scared to cross that bridge. Those suspension bridges make me really edgy, especially the single suspension ones, probably like the one you're talking about, right?

jo robertson said...

Yes, Suzanne, very innovation way to use maggots LOL. I remember reading story of a Vietnam POW who's arm gangrenous, so he allowed flies to alight and when the maggots hatched, they ate away the dead flesh. Then he used his own urine to clean it out.

True story. Very innovative. And courageous.

jo robertson said...

Heck, Suz, Stephen King's book IT scared me more than the movie, well at least the first 1000 pages LOL. That was one loooonnng book!

Yikes, Amy, copperheads are very dangerous! I always worry about my grandchildren finding snakes. There are lots of rattlesnakes where my daughters live.

jo robertson said...

Joan, LOL at the velosoraptor -- how the heck do you spell that anyway?

I read the book first and I was sure there was NO way they could make that movie as scary as the book. Wrong, wrong, wrong! Scared me spitless!

Joan said...

Jo, my spelling has not been top notch lately, but here is an alternative way....

SCARY as H*ll!!!!

THE scariest scene in ANY movie to date is the one where those malicious, sentient lizards stalk those children in that kitchen!

jo robertson said...

Oh, yes, the kitchen scene. I was clasping one hand over my mouth and digging the nails of the other one into the arm of my youngest son. Uh, I think he was old enough.

Those raptors were much more frightening than the t-rex. They actually remind me a little of Chucky. Mawahahahahah!

Okay, enough! Not a good night to scare Joanie!

jo robertson said...

Thanks for joining the discussion, everybody. Loved your stories, some funny, some just downright weird LOL.

Have a safe holiday weekend. Be sure to watch for the posted winner of our $10 Amazon gift certificate. I'll try to post it by Monday night.

Kestrel said...

lol, Rebekah, I make my 9 year old squash spiders with his shoe (won't let him use mine), which I then make him go outside and hose off before it can come back inside, don't even like spider guts!

Oh, one more thing I thought of, I do it unconsciously now, but I won't go in the bathroom without the light on, remember those "Bloody Mary" stories? Way back in third grade someone told me those, and even if it's daylight through the window, the light must be on! (Although I do like the 'Candyman' movies, which is the same premise)

The last movie I remember freaking me out was 'Event Horizon' with Lawrence Fishburn

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

jo robertson said...
OMG, Dianna, your stories scared the life out of me. Water and spiders, the devil and the deep blue sea! Still, kind of hilarious too LOL.

If I had to do what you do to get to the laundry room, there'd never be clean clothes at my house!

Uh, how do you fall UP the stairs?

I remember that "Hands" movie! It was gosh-awful scary. Something about those disembodied hands creeping along.

Okay, show of hands on how many can/have fallen UP stairs.... really Jo, it is as easy as falling off a log...LOL I don't know if I am just lazy and don't lift my foot high enough or my legs are just that much too long but I catch my toe on the step above me and down (errr, rather UP) I go. The really fun times is when I spread myself all over the upper steps then slide down until I catch myself. When I was younger(and very much smaller) I have slid between open steps and fell straight down to the ground. I have a beaut of a scar on my chin from doing that. My belief is my legs are about 2 inches too long and I just never learned to walk properly....LOL I am only 5' 6" tall but I have a 32 inch inseam.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

In my defense I have to say this. I was born and raised country. I didn't used to be afraid of spider and bugs and all that. In this case it was education that brought me down. I was fine until I saw what those things looked like under a microscope (7th grade) and then I read Lenigen vs. the Ants. That finished it.

catslady said...

"Do you just drive places close where you don't have to deal with heavy traffic? Or is it more a fear of getting lost?"

Unfortunately it's both. I drive to places that are close and I have to know exactly which lanes I can be in (usually the right side) to get to where I want. It's kept me from doing a lot of things and my two grown girls are very unhappy with me because they say I just don't want to do it and don't understand it's a real phobia. I at least made sure they weren't like me and they can drive anywhere (thus them not understanding lol). I was 28 before I got my license and then my husband bought a fancy english sports car (stick of course) that I couldn't drive. Had a manual choke for goodness sake lol. I think I learned the fear from my parents too since they wouldn't do that kind of driving either.

jo robertson said...

Okay, I know ya'll are way gone, but I just had to respond to Dianna.

First, I totally know what you mean -- it just sounded hilarious and caught me on my funny bone. I've stumbled going upstairs, but I never called it falling up the stairs.

And wow, those are some long legs! My husband is 6'4" and has a 33" inseam.

Catslady, that is a phobia. My DIL's mother didn't learn to drive until she was 65 -- she was raised in Mexico long ago and never learned. I say congratulations that you can do you driving you do! I learned on a stick shift and it isn't easy. I remember sitting in a 1949 Chevy at a stop light at the top of the hill. It was raining horrendously and it took me three turns of the light before I could get through it; I kept rolling backwards!

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

jo robertson said...
Okay, I know ya'll are way gone, but I just had to respond to Dianna.

First, I totally know what you mean -- it just sounded hilarious and caught me on my funny bone. I've stumbled going upstairs, but I never called it falling up the stairs.

And wow, those are some long legs! My husband is 6'4" and has a 33" inseam.


Yeah, I have to tell you Jo it makes for a funny looking body, needless to say I never tuck a shirt in because I am so short waisted it looks like my waist is under my arms..LOL

megan said...

Holy Crap!

megan said...

Where do I start? I had so many fears growing up. All of them irrational. I used to sleep in our hallway with the light on with my little brother because we were so scared.
Well, my biggest one, which still remains, is my fear of thunder storms. My heart races. It does that Edgar Alan Poe thumping in my chest. And, I break out in sweats. Still to this day my father will call me on the telephone if he knows there is a storm near me, to ask if I am okay.

Jason is my next biggest fear. Remember him from Friday the 13th? I have seen all 13 of that horrible movie and have yet to see him really die! I still believe he is in the bottom of a lake somewhere.
Recently my family went camping and we rented a small fishing boat. My two small children and my husband jumped in the lake to swim, but not me! Jason is in ANY lake, not just Crystal Lake, waiting to pull me under!

And lastly, I am afraid my children will inherit these irrational fears of mine. Will I ever get a good night's sleep?

jo robertson said...

Great comment, Meggie. Wow, I never knew you had THAT many fears!

Uh, and Lance says it was Jason's mum who did the killing. Hmmm, with so many sequels, who can keep track?