Monday, October 18, 2010

Old Haunts

I love Fall and love the fun of Halloween. I love scary movies and being scared, or at least a little. But on the way to work this morning while listening to the radio, they played a little snippet of the The Exorcist theme music. I know it sends chills up many a spine, but I feel especially affected by that music. I have this vivid memory of being traumatized by the TV trailers when I was a child and being scared at bedtime for what seemed like months. Or was my memory so vivid?

I would have placed my age at around 8 or 9 years old, but after googling facts about the movie I discover it was released in 1973. That means I was 6. That also means we were still living on Roosevelt and not at the house on Humble, where my memory of the movie occurs. So it appears that what really scared me was when The Exorcist II came out in 1977. As soon as the commercials would come on the screen, I would run out of the room - that much I do remember. We didn't have remote controls in those days where you could quickly change the channel. And as if the commercials weren't haunting enough, they also played the full version of the theme music on the radio regularly. There was just no getting away from it.

There were plenty of other horror films during this time - The Omen series, Amityville Horror, and Carrie are ones that come to mind. But they just didn't affect me like The Exorcist. I even remember when SNL did a skit where Loraine Newman played Regan, complete with demonic voice and greenish-white vomit. Even that scared me!

So I've always been fascinated with the movie yet have kept my distance. I'm thinking of changing that this Halloween season. I think I want to break down and make myself watch it. The idea is to watch it in a group setting, however; maybe invite some friends over to make it more "fun" than scary. Maybe then I'll be able to get past it and laugh about it.

When Alan surprised me with the trip to D.C. over spring break, one of my must-sees was visiting Georgetown to take pictures of the actual exorcism site. Ashley knew exactly where it was and took us to the famous steps. I took this photo:

(You'll see almost the same photo on Wikipedia, minus the graffiti.)

I guess everyone has something from their childhood that really spooked them. Addison had a boogieman she called "The Ballin." At 4 years old, she described it as a black shapeless thing that came down from the ceiling in her bedroom. That's friggin creepy. And Bailey had night tremors at around the same age, which if you've ever witnessed someone having, you'll understand when I say it's a whole new level of disturbing.

Anyone else have a childhood haunt that sort of creeps you out to this day? I don't want to be alone...literally. :-)


Addison said...

Yuck! I'm so glad I don't have any memory of The Ballin. lol.

jo said...

There was a movie called People Under the Stairs that I saw when I was about seven. You can read about it on wikipedia. I was the same age as all the children featured in the movie and it scarred me for life. It was years before I would go down stairs with open backs. I mastered sliding down banisters just so that I could avoid walking on stairs. One time Doug grabbed my ankle from under the stairs when we were dating and at his grandparents house. I screamed and cried like a baby and was shaking. I tried to explain the movie. I'm pretty sure he decided right then that I was crazy. But at least he knew what he was getting into.

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