Screenshot and video from MovieClips YouTube Channel

Since Halloween is a few days away, I've been watching a few scary movies and episodic series. Recently, I started watching one involving two kids that live at a beautiful, but haunted manor in the English countryside. It got me to pondering my own childhood and the things that "haunted" me as a child. (Although, I certainly didn't grow up in aforementioned English manor. ;))

I think we forget what it's like to be a kid sometimes. We get busy in our adult worlds that remembering how it felt to be a small human in a world of adults and things we don't understand. Even those who were fortunate enough to grow up in loving homes inevitably come face to face with things that are truly frightening--both real and perceived. So, I thought it'd be interesting to revisit some of the things that scared me the most.

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The first time I remember being truly scared, I was about five or six. I had one of those double door closets that you fold open. It was dark wood and contrasted vividly with the white walls of my bedroom. I also had a small orange nightlight in my room, designed to help lessen any nighttime terrors. Ironically, in the dark, it cast an eerie glow on everything around the room.

One night I couldn't sleep and stared at the ceiling listening to the low hiss of the humidifier--which already is spooky in the right context. I rolled over and faced my closet and just stared.

And then, my eyes played a trick on me and it looked to my wee brain as if the closet doors were moving--or slightly rocking to be more accurate. The longer I stared the worse it seemed to get. I imagined the closet doors were a large Frankenstein head peering into my room as if I were a tiny figure in a dollhouse and was being watched by a monster.

I didn't yell, because although my dad could be quite loving, he wasn't fond of being awakened at night. I knew that from an early age. And so, I decided that if I was as silent as possible maybe the giant Frankenstein head wouldn't know I was there.

I did want my mom, though. So I started moving toward the end of my bed. I inched closer and closer until I was able to slide off. Once I hit the carpet I laid still. Then, little by little, I moved myself toward my bedroom door--brazenly past the closet. Once I felt I could make a run for it, I got up, opened the door and walked into my parents room--as quietly as possible for a five or six year old. 

Once inside, I looked at my parents sleeping, but I couldn't tell which was which. I leaned in trying to figure out which brown-haired adult was my mom. Thankfully, her maternal instinct kicked in and she heard me and got up to assuage my panicked self.

Thank heaven for mothers.

Good news: I'm no longer afraid of Frankenstein. Honestly, I never really was--until my closet became a monster. LOL.

More childhood fears to come. What were some of yours? 

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