October 31, 2012
We have a treat for you today. 🙂
Read on to find out what scares the bloggers here at Everybody Needs a Little Romance, or to get spooked yourself! That is, if you dare! LOL Then you be the judge. Truth or Fiction?
The Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville, Louisiana, is well-known in the state, even in the South, for being haunted. I had the opportunity to experience the ghosts of the Myrtles myself with a group of friends when we went there for lunch and an overnight stay years ago. While on a tour of the plantation house, we were standing in the dining room listening to the tour director when an icy chill passed right through me. One person after another in the group reported feeling suddenly icy cold. That, the guide explained, was one of the ghosts, passing through us.
Okay….so I was already a little freaked, but the haunting experience continued as we headed toward the stairs in the hall up to the bedrooms. There is a mirror at the bottom of the steps and in that mirror, we could all see the ghost’s image moving around us, including green orbs that surrounded the ghost.
That night, my friend and I stayed in the General Bradford Suite and were kept awake most of the night by doors rattling, drawers banging, and, scariest of all, our pillows being tugged under our heads! When the two of us felt the same sort of deep, icy chill settle in the bed with us, we knew the ghost had gotten in the bed with us, and we jumped out, screaming.
Finally my friend, who had more guts than me, told the ghosts off, ordering them out of the room and to leave us alone so we could sleep. Within a few minutes, things got quiet and the ghosts seemed to be gone, but it was still a long sleepless night for me! That was the most scared I’ve ever been!
When talking about what we wanted to do for our ENALR Halloween blog, I was astonished that none of my fellow ENALR blog participants can remember ever been scared. As a child, I made it a point to be scared – oh, on a daily basis. Might have been assisted by the fact that my mom was obsessive/compulsive—my dad traveled a lot―and she checked the locks over and over again at night. She shook the door so much to ensure it was barred that my sister would say, “Mom, It’s locked already. Shake it any harder, that door’s gonna come off the hinges!”
With an obsessed mother like that, one would think, I’d veer far from anything scary, but like a bee to a flower, a moth to the flame, a pumpkin to a carving knife, I craved scary movies and books from my junior high school days. “Dark Shadows” was popular back then, and I remember my mother saying, “Don’t you watch Dark Shadows. It scares you to death.”
O.K. She had a point. But every day, while Mom was at work, my little sister and I sat in front of our TV and watched Barnabas, Maggie, Quentin and Angelique. Dum de dum….(remember the scary theme music?).
My sister, how should I say this gently, was a brat, and played upon her big sister’s fraidy cat fears. One night I awoke to find her leaning over me, hands raised to attack, vampire fangs in her mouth—I jumped out of the bed, screaming. She jumped out of the bed and nearly wet herself from laughter.
Later, after wearing a scarf nightly around my neck, I so traumatized, I would go see the movie “Jaws.” Da da, da da, da da da da … Remember the shark music? Oh. My. God. I could barely stick a toe in the ocean after that, but of course my sister didn’t help matters. She thought it was hysterical–she viciously, and I mean viciously, played on my fears – even put one of those plastic Sonic sharks in the bathtub…. Anyone remember the plastic sharks that came in our drinks? So you can understand, I’ve had it rough!
There’s an adrenaline rush people get from being afraid, and evidently I crave it more than most. Maybe that’s why I write suspense. After all, my sister lives in another city, and I no longer have her nearby to make my heart pound. So, what do I do? I make up for her absence and scare myself to death. Happy Halloween, everybody!
Natalie J. Damschroder:
So many of us struggled with the idea of telling our most scared moments, because few of us can remember ever being *truly* scared. I thought it was because we were lucky—never having faced anything horrifying or terrifying in real life—or logical and good in a crisis—my preferred theory, being a very logical person. But then I started to think about it harder, and it occurred to me that maybe true fear is like childbirth. We block out the worst of it so we can see the big picture of the event, and face the future without paralysis.
(Then I started thinking maybe it’s hard to honestly recall *any* emotion with accuracy, except what you’re feeling *right now*, but that’s a whole ‘nother topic for another time.)
The moment I was most frightened was when Number One was in middle school. Back then, she left around 7:30 for the bus stop, a block away. One day, around 11:45, the phone rang. It was a recording, telling me that Number One had been reported absent and I had not called to notify them. I totally freaked out. I grabbed my cell phone and raced up the stairs and out the door, certain I’d see her mangled body on the side of the road, or her abandoned backpack, one strap ripped, showing the exact spot where she’d been abducted. I called the police as I ran down the road, my panic and unaccustomed exercise making me almost incoherent as I tried to explain what had happened. You know all the clichéd ways we describe fear in books? Pounding heart, aching lungs from heaving breaths, tingling hands and feet, numbness, etc? It all happens, all at once.
Turned out, Number One had been with another teacher, and her homeroom teacher had forgotten when she did roll call. The attendance secretary laughed as she told me. I was not amused.
It was a silly game. I knew better. But the kids at school where I teach had been scaring themselves silly with it all week so after I finished doing my hair and makeup for my date with David—he finally asked me out—I shut the door and turned out the lights. It took a moment for my eyes to adjust to the gloom and an unexpected shiver ran down my spine as I stood there alone in the dark.
Feeling kind of foolish, I recited the rhyme and stared at my reflection. Nothing. But then that’s what I expected. I turned to leave and then froze.
In the mirror, something moved toward me.
Ghosts? I don’t believe in no stinkin ghosts. Well, that is until a few years ago. My mother-in-law gave us a beautifully framed picture of my husband’s great grandparents. We brought it home to proudly hang on the wall just outside our bedroom. All is well, that’s hung well, right? LOL Not so fast.
Our dog refused to walk past this picture. She took one look at it and freaked. Maybe sensed something not of this world. Gives me chills even now. Then hurricane Ike hit. Nonstop 80-mile-an hour winds howled through the trees, wild, angry, as if wanting to destroy everything. We huddled in the far corner of our living room, terrified. Although not protected by four walls, it had felt like the safest place in the house before it all started. The windows were all boarded up, the electricity long gone. Candles flickered in the darkness, their eerie glow dancing on the walls. The sounds of things crashing, followed by the worst grating noises ever multiplied as the winds picked up speed, bringing in more rain.
Clustered together on a mattress, we realized we would be exposed to the elements if one of the large windows gave way. What to do? Make a fort in the corner, trying to hold the mattress over our heads? And then the most horrifying sound exploded in the air around us. A hiss of electricity, then a crack so loud chills ran down my scalp and spine. Hold your breath and wait for impact. That’s about all you can do. Just how big was the branch? Would it strike the roof above our heads? Or would the entire fifty-foot pine tree end up smack dab on top of us all?
But something slowed the tree down, almost as if guiding it. The heavy trunk and limbs only caused a three foot section of roof damage. And the inside of the house? Most of the water from this hole filtered down the wall by the picture and into a recessed light fixture in the hallway. The result saved us tons of repair bills. The picture? Well, it never moved. Not a drop of water touched it. And it still hangs there today.
I was on the hunt for a rental property when I entered the little four-room house for sale. No one was supposed to be home, but I called out, as I always did, just to be sure. No answer.
Still, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I wasn’t alone. I walked through the messy living room where blankets covered what I guessed was worn furniture, checked out the tiny eat-in kitchen, and returned to the living room.
A bird squawked from under a sheet and I started. So that’s why it feels like someone else is here. I laughed nervously, took a deep breath, and kept going.
Confident I had found the source of my unease, I opened the door to the bedroom. A young woman launched into a sitting position on the bed with a loud gasp, her eyes wide. I jumped back. “Sorry!” I shut the door in a daze, shaking from the spike of adrenaline. “I made an appointment,” I called through the door, thinking she should at least know why I was there. “I’ll lock up on my way out.”
I probably scared her a lot more than she scared me, but I still didn’t buy that house.
Taxi Ride from Hell
Back in 1984, I won two airline tickets to any location in Mexico where American Airlines flew. At that time, I wasn’t married, but I had a boyfriend, so I invited him to come with me. We chose Cancun. Today, that’s an urban, popular place. Back then, it was still raw and barely developed. But we’d heard the beaches were wonderful. Plus it was close to Chichen Itza, a place I’d always wanted to go. So off we went to Cancun.
Late one night we hailed a cab to go back to our hotel. We didn’t speak Spanish and he didn’t speak English. We handed him a book of matches with out hotel name. He nodded and took off. The hotel was to our left. He took off to the right. Oh, I forgot to mention there was another guy in the front seat. The two of them talked none stop as the cab drove in the opposite direction from where we wanted to go. They might have used the word “gringo” a few times. And there were some laughs that raised the hair on the back of my neck.
As we drove further and further away from our hotel, we were getting a little concerned but concern turned into fear when he turned the car into a small, dark, dingy alley. The conversation between the two men seemed to be getting a little excited. My heart raced two hundred beats a minute. Boyfriend and I clasped hands. We’d been warned to stay within the tourist areas and not to venture off but at that moment, we were way out of the “safe” zone.
Boyfriend and I were sure we’d just bought the farm. This was it. Our lives were over. We were going to be robbed and probably killed. Nobody would ever find our bodies.
The guy in the front seat opened his door, said, “Gracias. Buenas Noches.” He shut the door and the cab pulled away. Apparently, the driver was giving his friend a RIDE HOME! My rapid heart rate and breathing didn’t left up until the cab pulled into the drive at the hotel.
That was one of the scariest taxi rides of my life!
The Scardest I’ve Ever Been
By Laura Drake (by the way – this is TRUTH)
I was a jock in High School. Competition racing, and synchronized swimming. I was one of the few on the team who had Mom’s car, that week before Halloween, so too many piled in, after practice, after dark.
It was foggy. No, I’m talking white out, when your headlights just reflect back cotton. We had all the windows open and our heads out, but I still couldn’t see the edges of the road, so two giggling volunteers sat on the hood, to keep us out of the ditch.
Fog can get spooky, smothering sight and sound. And it wasn’t just me; by the time we got to Margie’s neighborhood, we had all fallen silent. How we found her house in the soup, I don’t know. But I had just pulled up out front, and Margie was climbing out.
A massive dark shape came out of the fog, moaning –right into my face, grabbing at me. The face, before I covered my head, was pale, and scarred. In that second, I knew I was going to die. I emptied my lungs, and my bladder. I think several of the others did, too.
Margie’s brother thought his mask, and his joke was hilarious. If I hadn’t been so embarrassed about it, I’d have made him clean the seats of my mother’s car.
Four days, seven rodeos. Thousands of miles, a whole lot of them in the middle of the night. Finally our Fourth of July rodeo run was over and we were home. The dome light in the pickup woke me from a dead sleep as my husband parked in front of the barn and kicked his door open. I stumbled out, groggy and dazed, and grabbed my horse’s lead rope as she bailed out of the trailer. I led her around the side of the barn to her pen, turned her loose and she flopped down to roll in the soft dirt with a satisfied groan.
All good, scary stories take place in the grave yard, right? Well, maybe not all, but one of the scariest times of my life took place in that setting. My husband and I are walkers. We used to live across the street from the city cemetery, which sat between our home and the city park, so our walks always began in the grave yard.
One day, work and kids’ activities had kept us too busy to walk during daylight hours, so we headed out well after dark. As was our custom, we headed straight for the cemetery, deep in conversation about the happenings of the day.
When I came to the crack in the road, I thought nothing of stepping on it–until the “crack” whipped up and wrapped around my ankle. I let out a scream. “It’s a snake!” My husband, who is terrified of snakes took off at a full run, leaving me to battle the beast alone (he explained later that he was going to get the car in case I’d gotten bitten and needed to go to the hospital <snort>). I kicked my foot as hard as I could, flinging the creature into the darkness surrounding the headstones.
I tried to run, but my imagination convinced me that the sneaky bastard could be hiding anywhere … waiting for another chance at me. I froze in my steps, unable to do anything except whimper in fear.
My husband had to play the hero after all, using a machete to slash his way back through the snake-infested headstones to pick me up and carry me out to the street. At least, that’s the way my brain-in-shock remembers the incident. When we got home, we found small teeth marks in the padded ankle supports of my sneakers–a reminder of the hideous brush with death I had faced … and lived to tell about.
The night wasn’t dark, nor was it stormy. Iwas inside and couldn’t say for certain what it looked out there where there was probably a dog somewhere howling at the moon. Assuming there was a moon out.
I was tucked warm in my bed that night. The cold sheets had finally heated around my frosted toes. I turned in the covers, tucked them high around my chin and got comfortable. Just as I was drifting into slumber, a tingling turned through my belly. I checked the clock to see the red numbers glowed almost midnight and a heavy weight settled on my chest. The wind moaned around the house and tossed cold air through the cracked window to drop a chill over the room. I hefted the covers up higher, closed my eyes and waited for the uncomfortable sensation to go away, but it wouldn’t happen. I peeked over the covers into the black room and it was my worst nightmare. Again.
Just as I was ready to fall asleep, I had to pee.
http://keriford.com/blog (click over to her blog to see how to get Keri’s latest release for .99 cents. just through Halloween only!)