All my life Halloween has been my favorite holiday. I know it’s not technically a “holiday” but most people treat it as one and most people refer to it as a holiday.
When I was growing up I went to a Lutheran school and was constantly shocking one of the teachers with my fascination with horror. When I talk of horror, I don’t mean psychos hiding in the shadows of the parking lot, waiting for you to come to your car so they can kill you. That’s too realistic. I mean paranormal and stuff.
Some of my favorite books as a kid were the Scary Stories collections from Alvin Schwartz. I’d bring the books to school and my friends and I would hide in the closet where we hung up our backpacks and jackets. We’d pass the flashlight around and read the stories outloud to each other, trying to scare us all.
Yes, the teacher knew we were back there. Those were probably the days when we couldn’t go outside to eat our lunch and play (rain) so we’d stay in our classroom.
My favorite story from Short and Shivery: Thirty Chilling Tales (another favorite book) was The Green Mist. It was about a girl who’s really sick and everyone’s afraid she’ll die. One day she wishes out loud that she could live as long as the cowslips outside the door. A goblin hears the wish and grants it. The green mist of Spring comes and she gets healthy again. A guy falls in love with her and picks the cowslips to give to her as a wreath. She dies.
It wasn’t scary but I thought it was super cool because of the goblin and everything.
The story that terrified me so that I had to snuggle with my sister when we went to bed and she had to assure me time and time again that it was just a story was called Harold from Scary Stories 3. It was the illustration that was the worst part of it – so scary for a kid. Even now it’s pretty ugly.
Two farmers are bored living alone taking care of their animals so they made a dummy out of straw and named it Harold, after some guy they hated. They’d taunt it and throw bits of food at it etc. It starts grunting after awhile and then moving around. When they’re out taking care of their animals in the pasture, they realize they’ve forgotten something back at their hut. One of them goes back and when he doesn’t come back, the other goes and sees Harold strutting about on the roof. Also on the roof is the bloody skin from the first guy laid out to dry in the sun.
My mom told the best scary stories when my sister and I were kids. We’d get together with our cousins and she’d scare the bejeebers out of all of us. The other adults always felt as if they needed to spice it up though (to great effect).
For example: once we were all vacationing in Death Valley. The cousins had tents and we had a motorhome (we never were ones for roughing it). We all sat around the campfire telling stories and my mom comes up with one with young people who are in a similar situation as us except they all DIE! I don’t remember the story now or I’d certainly tell it.
After we were done, I and a couple others (including my aunt) went to hang out in the motorhome. Everyone else would come later. We had just settled down (my aunt and I sitting next to each other on the couch) when a hand came through the window behind us and GRABBED US!!
We all screamed bloody murder and my aunt and I practically fell over each other trying to get to the door on the opposite side to escape. I can’t remember whose hand it was but the suspects are: my mom, my dad, my then-uncle.
I probably shaved a few decades off my life that night but my “dignity” at least was safe because I held onto my bladder!
Now my husband and I find great delight in scaring the daylights out of our son. We’ll hide behind doors and jump out, “RAARRR!!” Mini Me loves it. He laughs and laughs and laughs. In fact, that’s what they were doing while I was busy talking to people after my bible study class last week.
Makes me sigh with happiness. My little turdlet takes after me.
Do you like horror? What scary stories/movies are your favorites?