I love horror movies. I always have, since I was a small girl and became fascinated with vampires, werewolves, ghosts and Frankenstein’s monster. I read The Shining at age nine. My favorite movie around the same time was Jaws. My husband hates horror movies (and roller coasters or other thrill rides), which I guess I understand. But it’s funny because he never has nightmares and I do all the time. He startles really easily, which would be funny except… Ok, it’s funny and I’m not a nice wife.
One of the scariest movie scenes I’ve seen was in the movie Poltergeist. The clown doll that hid under the boy’s bed (the scene when the ghostbuster dude ripped his face off is up there too, along with the entire first Nightmare on Elm Street film). I’d never been afraid of stuffed animals or other toys before — until Poltergeist. And I was a young teen at the time, so suddenly becoming afraid of inanimate things was sort of silly at that point. Of course, I had long been afraid of things hiding under my bed. I wouldn’t set my feet on the floor in my room at night until I turned on the bedside table lamp — if I got brave enough to reach out to turn on said light. In fact, I was just thinking about this old fear last night, when I woke up to remove the heating pad and unplug it from the extension cord next to my bedside table. I marveled that I could reach down in the dark and not fear some under-bed-dwelling creature grabbing my extended arm and dragging me to my doom.
Yes, I’m 44 years old. And, yes, it’s sort of pathetic. But progress!
For the past two months, the TV has been running commercials for the upcoming release of the movie Annabelle, which is a horror flick prequel for The Conjuring movie. The movie features some possessed doll, and I have to say PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT’S HOLY (so not religious, lol), ENOUGH WITH THE FRIGGIN CREEPY DOLL!!!!
I feel like that movie’s advertising is on twenty times per show. I can’t get away from it. A few nights ago, that doll’s evil face flashed before my eyes as I was trying to fall asleep and I had to consciously awaken myself to talk myself out of having nightmares about the damn thing.
I don’t believe in the supernatural despite my affection for horror movies, superheroes and most of the shows on the CW. I don’t believe in angels or god or magic. I wish I did. In many ways, I was less afraid when I did believe those things existed.
Except I do not want to believe in possessed ugly dolls.
My mother has a doll collection. Personally, I think she wanted dolls, not real live children. I find their vacant faces, constricting clothing and painted lips weird without them being animated by an evil spirit.
A few years ago, when I was still in contact with my parents, my son had to sleep in the dolls’ room. I felt terrible for the kid. He slept on the floor rather than the bed so that he was not at eye level with any of them on the shelves. He survived, but thinks the whole doll-room thing is deeply disturbing.
I don’t think any of those dolls would be brave enough to hop out of their places and run amok in my mother’s house. The only doll stupid enough to pull that stunt was me. Although she might forgive them if they strangled me in my sleep. So long as they knew to get back in their spots with nary a wrinkled apron or speck of dust before anyone noticed. Appearances, people.
To some degree, I think my interest in horror films is an effort on my part to understand and protect myself from the much more real evil force in my life. I never did figure out my mother. I’ve moved on, gotten sober, taken on a hobby I love and that is good for me. I have a good marriage and have lovely people in my life.
But that stupid Annabelle doll? Ugh. She reminds me too much of things I want to escape. A thing that looks perfect and pretty but is actually rotten on the inside, waiting to get you when you are vulnerable. I can’t wait for that movie commercial to quit running.
And now, I need to purge the above photo from my iPad cuz it’s freaking me out being in my photo album. Maybe I believe in hauntings after all ;)