Confession time! I am a paranormal investigator and I can’t watch horror films in the dark!  Silly right? I think so but it never used to be that way.

first drive-in-theater

I have wonderful memories of going to the drive-in theaters (yes I am dating myself-do the math) with my mother.  My sister and I never had the chance to run around all the parked cars and play with other kids before the film started, because there weren’t any other children.  You see we were never there to enjoy the traditional kid-friendly flick.  Oh no!  Mother took us to watch horror.

I remember one particular night my little sister and I hunkered down in the front seat with mom, speaker placed on the half rolled down window, blanket tucked up to our chins, as the three of us watched a gory double feature of The Howling and The Hand.  Not really Bambi is it?  Her version of “movie night” was with a huge Tupperware bowl of popcorn and Kool-Aid, watching the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Razorback.  Hummm….Razorback? Closer to Bambi? Killer pig vs sweet Disney fawn?

Remember this scene from Halloween?

I know that most people have warmhearted childhood memories of spending quality time with their parents, and I did as well, but it wasn’t spent at the park on a sunny day, eating lunch on the grass.  It was spent in a low lit house, curled up on the couch with mom, watching Prom Night, Dark Night of the Scarecrow, Alligator, The Changeling, Cat People, The Thing, Sleepaway Camp, Carrie (this did freak me out, that’s my sisters name), The Omen (I had a little crush on Damien…JK!) I Spit on Your Grave and Squirm!  Killer worms folks…killer worms!

Let me make something very clear, my sister and I loved the horror movies, we loved being scared.  We’d scream then laugh.  That’s what it was like in our house.  I love that my family is a bit “out there”.  Mom loved horror, grandmother believed in ghosts, and dad has had encounters with UFOs. I think that makes me pretty well rounded.

Favorite show Dexter

And due to mother’s fascination with horror flicks, and true-life crime, I have grown up with the curiosity of the darker plane of human nature and the bizarre. I wasn’t influenced into bad tendencies due to the scary movies.  Actually I grew up gentle, loving, caring and with a great big heart. Dark inquisitiveness, maybe, dark passenger, no way!

So you would think that with all the gore stimuli that I endured as a child and teen, that I would be desensitized to the scare of current films, but in reality as an adult I can’t seem to really stomach the new stuff.  I try but I have to watch them in the daytime and I always need to bring someone who can handle being my scratching post for 2 hours, as I wiggle, squirm and scratch my way around my seat, and everyone else unfortunate enough to sit next to me.

Funny thing is, I have always wanted to be a County Coroner, or homicide detective, even a profiler for the FBI on serial killer cases.  So I can still watch true crime footage, anything real life doesn’t effect me, but I wont even last 20 minutes into the movie Saw!  And National Geographic!  I can’t watch the lions eat the zebra…no matter how cute their cubs are!  Zombie movies! Forget it cuz that could totally really happen!

squirm   sleepaway-camp-8
Killer worms! And I love the caption for Sleepaway Camp “you wont be coming home”

But how did this happen?  When did I become such a wimp?  I have recently sat, and wiggled, through a couple of ghost movies like Paranormal Activity and Lady in Black. I even enjoyed The Conjuring.  Ghost movies…paranormal investigator…I can do this…sort of…I did have to close my eyes a couple of times.  What the heck is going on with me?  I have no issue wandering around dark haunted buildings but a silly make-believe horror movie will give me nightmares for a week!

So what is it about today’s movies that just seem scarier?  I don’t think I have changed.  I think the films have changed.  Filmmakers have just gotten better at producing suspense by adding the right music and the precise lighting.  I always wanted to be an actress in a really great horror movie (still waiting by the way…hint…hint) and I think if I experienced the backend of the creation portion, the final product might not be so terrifying.

A friend of mine agreed about the quality of horror films in this day and age vs when I was a kid.  He suggested I plug my ears as I watch the frightening scenes.  He said that the music adds to the suspense and it might bring my anxiety levels back to normal if I can’t hear it.

Ugh what am I getting myself into with this guy!

So I have accepted that challenge and I am going to test that theory. Fingers in my ears during the scary scenes.  Saw, Saw II, Saw III, Saw IV, Saw V and Saw VI are all in my queue on Netflix!  I am now looking for someone that I can literally hang onto and to help keep me calm for about 14 hours…any takers?

Happy Haunting!

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