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Friday, October 28, 2011

NATURAL BORN SCAREDY CAT

Say what you will, but I am a big ol’ scaredy-cat. However, let me qualify—I’m afraid of unnatural goings-on, i.e. horror and satanic paranormal stories and movies. Snakes or spiders don’t frighten me. I don’t run from a snake. Instead, without acting foolish and putting my life in danger, I will inch closer to determine if it’s poisonous or a simple benign reptile.
But a truly frightening, bone-chilling book or movie will scare the pants off me.
I’ll lose sleep thinking about it, replaying it in my head.
First came the Flying Monkeys in The Wizard of Oz. I loved the movie, until the place where the Wicked Witch of the West sends the monkeys after Dorothy. Oh, my lands, I scrunched down in the theater seat, curled my ten-year-old self into a ball, and covered my eyes and ears—as best I could. Every year, that movie was re-run on television around Easter—I don’t know the connection—and still, every time the monkeys flew out of the fortress, I’d run for a blanket to pull over my head.
In 1968, Rosemary’s Baby appeared in the theaters. It was Roman Polanski’s first film. My husband didn’t care to see it, and I was just dying to. So, he baby-sat while I went to the movie alone. Big mistake. I vaguely knew the premise, so I thought, “I’m a big girl, now, I can watch this.” Even the upscale New York apartment in the movie was transformed into a sinister projection of Rosemary’s fears. Let me tell you, even when the creepy neighbor Minnie Castevet came to call and brought chocolate mousse with the chalky under-taste for Rosemary, just the music and the looks from Minnie told me “something really bad will happen.” Sure enough, Rosemary dreamed a beast raped her that night—a very real dream—and I have cold chills right now as I write this, remembering that scene.
Had I not been an adult, I would have curled my body into a ball in the theater seat and covered my eyes and ears. I don’t like chocolate mousse to this day.
The scene, which truly scares me even now, is when Rosemary first looks into the bassinet and sees her baby. Her reactions—disbelief and sheer horror—send chills over me to this day. She asks, “What’s wrong with it? What’s wrong with its eyes?” A man answers, “Why, he has his father’s eyes.” “No!” she screams, “Guy’s eyes are normal!” He answers, “But he is not the father. You though, Rosemary, are its mother.” (Notice the word ‘it’ for ‘baby.’) Ewww!
Rosemary’s Baby inspired a wave of satanic horror from The Exorcist in 1973 to Omen in 1976. I saw the Exorcist, and of course, it scared me silly. I absolutely hate that movie. But it finally taught me to stay away from that sort of thriller.
The movies also upset some people, not only because of the satanic viewpoint, but because the sacred event of childbirth had somehow been marred.
Jack Nicholson starred in one of the scariest movies ever--The Shining. The plot was from a Stephen King novel, so you do understand. REDRUM...remember that? {{{{Shudder}}}}
I never need to worry about horror films anymore, because I read the reviews, watch the trailers, and red-line the scary ones. No way will I give my ten dollars to a filmmaker for something that I know will scare me Sleepless in Texas.
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas

29 comments:

Sandy said...

I never could watch all of Rosemary's Baby. It scared me to death.

Gail Pallotta said...

An interesting post. Loved the Wizard of Oz, but other than that one, give me a good love story or a good mystery.

Sandy Nachlinger said...

I'm the same way, Celia. The images from those movies replay in my mind, over and over. I absolutely hate them!

A.R. Norris said...

Great post!

I'm the same way. I love the classic horror film, but I can't watch them. I'll be up all night. I watched the alien horror film with Mel Gibson several years ago and ended up with a week long nightmare we were of an alien attack on our house. *shudders*

Caroline Clemmons said...

You left out the movie "Psycho" with Anthony Perkins as the creepy Norman Bates. {{{Shudder}}} I saw it because it was a sneak preview and I didnt' know it would be shown. Same with "Haunting of Hill House" later. I never go to scary movies by choice. I don't even read horror books, and not many in the thriller category.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

I do not like scary movies. They give me nightmares. Something that scared me even more was when I went to an emergency nurses' conference. One of the lectures was about "Ritualistic Child Abuse." Turns out ot was about satanic rituals involving children and things to look for when these kids presented in the ER. The things the speaker told us scared the heck out of me--like the number of people involved in satanism and the great number of influencial people like doctors, lawyers and so on involved in it. It really is like Rosemary's Baby except that it really exists. It gives me chills to think about that lecture even now.

Lynne Marshall said...

Loved the blog, Celia. I remember reading Rosemary's Baby when a pre-teen and it freaked me out! I was much older when the movie came out and it still scared me. I can't take slasher movies, so I don't bother with those, but psychological thrillers make the hair on my arms stand on end. People going crazy (like Jack) are as scary as I want to go. I really can't take horror movies.
So, I'll join you at the movies but not if it's too scary!

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

I have two movies that to this day scare me. Psycho with Tony Perkins and Janet Leigh was the worst. I was babysitting the first time I saw it and just as Tony was turning his mother around, the sleeping dog on the floor behind my chair yawned. I flew to the girls in their sleeping bags on the floor and grabbed them. Of course, that is the moment the parents came home. :(

The other is The Shining. I think it was the combination of Jack Nicholson's bizarre expressions, the music and the wife's screams. It was a stormy night in the mountains, the tree branches were rubbing across the roof and just as he broke through the bathroom door with the ax, my hubby burst through from garage door into the TV room. He'd been working overtime and I didn't know he'd returned home. I do believe that is the one time I actually did scream and it took hours for my heartbeat to slow to normal and I could sleep.

Great post, Celia. :)

Skip said...

Celia-- I just couldn't see these movies. I saw Psycho and kept hiding my eyes. It still terrifies me.

Skip said...

Hi Celia--I sent the previous email from my son-in-law's computer. Don't ask what I'm doing in VA watching the snow in October when it's 80 in Fort Lauderdale. It's called grandmother's love.

Linda Swift said...

Good post, Celia. I'm with you a hundred percent on scary books, TV shoes, movies.The images reamin to haunt me so i avoid them. Linda
But....I have written a few things that bother some people (ahem) like little boys caught in elevtors.

P.L. Parker said...

The flying monkeys scared me to death too! I always hated that part. I love scary movies, except the ones like Jason, I don't do well with ax murder type movies - gives me shivers just to think about it!

Paula Martin said...

I'm exactly the same, Celia. I've deliberately never watched any of the movies you mention (apart from the Wizard of Oz) because I know they would scare me silly, and I wouldn't be able to get them out of my mind. I am simply not into horror or anything paranormal, and don't really understand the current 'fashion' for this kind of movie or book.

Celia Yeary said...

Sandy, Gail, and Sandy N--
Interesting how we all feel the same way. I do not understand these young people who want to be scared senseless. I take them too personally!
Thanks to all of you for visiting.

Celia Yeary said...

A.R.--that's what happens to me. I have dreams and nightmares, or stay awake, so agitated by it all. I avoid everything even remotely horror now...just cannot do it.

Celia Yeary said...

PSYCHO! Oh, Caroline...I forgot about that one. How could anyone forget about Janet Leigh and that scream and that music?? Well, I guess I did. Thanks for reminding me.

Celia Yeary said...

Oh, Sarah, how horrbile. Just the words Ritualistic Child Abuse if terrifying and downright evil. What is wrong with people? There are some who truly are evil...just like the Bible say...EVIL. Especially those who will hurt a child. Cannot tolerate it.

Celia Yeary said...

Okay, Lynne...you and I could go see CHICK FLICK, I guess, even those often make me cring, too! But even the sweetest movie may have some awful and scary--remember So Dear to My Heart? Sniff.

Celia Yeary said...

Paisley--both you stories made me laugh! But I can see how those things would make you go a little crazy.
Caroline mentioned Psycho, too, and I had completely forgotten about it. But The Shining..The twin girls appearing, and the blood pouring our of the elevator doors, and REDRUM scrawled on the mirror...shiver!!
Thanks for you tales--that entertained me.

Celia Yeary said...

Is "Skip: really Mona??? I think so--I had read about your trip to VA in the snow--be careful!

Celia Yeary said...

LINDA--well, I wasn't going to say!!!! Now that you reminded me about the elevator, I'll think of that all day.
I'm so easily scarred--that's spelled right--I don't mean "scared."

Celia Yeary said...

P.L.-the Jason movies came out when I was older and wiser. But really...doesn't the mask sort of make you laugh? The movie "The Birds"--that terrified a lot of people, but birds? The scenes were so fake I laughed.
Was I the only one who laughed at that one?
When my grandson were around 6 and 7, I rented the movie The Wizard of Oz. My son put sleeping bags on the floor in front of the TV and the boys settles down with him. The oldest though, was so terrified of the whole movei--especially the monkeys--he hid behind my chair during most of the movie. Poor kid.

Celia Yeary said...

Paula--nor do I understand it. But I have a lot of wonderful author friends who write scary stuff. I don't know how they do it! One younger friend has a huge two-book contract with a major publisher. Her books are based on fairy-tales--but much more scary and horrific--for middle school kids. I won't even read one of those.
I do understand.

StephB said...

Celia, LOL!!
You know growing up in the 1970's we used to watch Creature Double Features on Saturdays. The whole family. I was totally freaked out and convinced vampires lived under my bed!

Never did see Rosemary's Baby but I was spooked by Silence of the Lambs.

Smiles
Steph

Celia Yeary said...

Steph--but look at you now! You're writing about creatures who fall in love! You must have learned to love them...Rosemary's Baby is just so evil. Ewww.

Barbara Scott said...

For a number of years in my childhood, the Christmas Eve tradition was for Dad to take us kids to a movie while Santa made his visit. For some reason, the movie was often a scary one. Godzilla, Rodan, and the absolute worst The Braineaters. These creatures hid in your closet during the day and snuck out to suck your brains at night. To this day I will not sleep with my closet door open even a crack.

Celia Yeary said...

BARBARA--aren't we such wimps??? Our mother did not allow us to see horror movies, and TV was limited because...hey...it's was the 50's when tv wasn't that great. We stuck with Westerns at the theater where the good buy always won. Wow...I'm still involved in that world--write Westerns where the good guy always wins!

Jacquie Rogers said...

Psycho and The Shining have ruined me forever. I will never, ever take a shower without locking every single door and window in the house. My friends are always inviting me (especially this time of year) to horror flicks, but I'm not the faintest bit interested in losing a week's sleep or acquiring another phobia, thank you very much.

Celia Yeary said...

JACQUIE--I think we should form a scaredy cat club. So many of us! I felt like a wimp...but now I know I'm in good company!