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I happened to come across an interesting list on IMDB, wherein people shared how customary, goofy, yet slightly terrifying movies used to scare them as a kid. How some unique features of some character played horror-games into their brains and how when they grew up, they laughed it off. This brought something from my childhood to the front page too.

I remember the time, when I used to be dead scared, owing to a stop-animation series they showed on TV. The show was called ‘Bump in the Night’. It aired on an Indian channel DD Metro (believe me that was the only interesting channel they had back in the days), right after I would complete my homework. I became a great fan of animation, ever since I laid eyes on one. They aired a bunch of cartoons at dusk. My brother and I, animation’s biggest fans, would make sure, we didn’t miss a single episode the channel aired. We would sit in utter silence and amazement, as the shows appeared one by one on the Idiot Box. It was our time. Nobody messed with us then. Primarily, because we would always sit right after we were done with our homework. Right, mommy?

The concept of stop-animation was entirely new to me. I didn’t know there was something like that until ‘Bump in the Night’ bumped into my life. The show was about little monsters that lived under the bed of a small boy. They would come to life in the dead of the night. It was a fun show actually. Comedy. I don’t know what but something back then made it look formidable to me. I was so scared of the character Squishington. Her droopy eyes would scare the shit out of me. The fact that she had everything drooly on her body, made me hate her even more. I started imagining if these characters were alive and living under my bed too. The fact that Squishington owned the toilet made me scared to go to the loo. Even though she was one of the better looking monsters amongst the other ugly ones, I would always be horrified, and peek through my fingers to see her talk, politely.

I would often ask my brother, “Why are they like this?” But I would never show that I was literally pale.

It was only recently, when I happened to see one of the episodes from the show again. All the characters look so funny now. The show was hilarious for kids. I, on the other hand, peed my pants, watching them fool around on the screen.

While at it, there were some other things that scared the bajesus out of me. I remember the first time I saw Chucky. Boy! I was afraid of that toy. I stopped loving dolls ever since.

Ron Weasley wouldn’t have the slightest idea that a fellow fan, facing the screen was even more afraid of those spiders in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets than he was. That snake, in the end, nearly killed me and believe me, there was no 3D back then. I am sure it bit me. Oh Wait! Those were my teeth on my fingers.

Even some of those dreadful episodes from Courage the Cowardly Dog would slap horror, every now and then, into my terrified brain. Some of the minacious batman villains from the animated series like Scarecrow, the Man-Bat from On Leather Wings and Mad Hatter, (this reminds me, I was more scared to read Alice in Wonderland than intrigued) ushered in terror, whilst I grew up watching my superhero.

Bats, ever since I watched the movie as a kid, something told me bats aren’t at all mushy mushy. The precise reason, the trepidation still lasts.

One time I watched Coraline and revisited my childhood, back when horror and thrill used to be BFFs. Yeah I know. What a wimp! Totally!

I wouldn’t go to my school because I was afraid that an eagle, (actually a bunch of them packed around my pathway everyday), might take me off my bicycle just like a ‘Sindbad the Sailor’ show manifested in an episode. I am pretty sure they were plotting against me. That boy on the red bicycle. One day! One day!

There is a reason I am afraid of lizards. Primarily, because they used to be dinosaurs once. And when they come pretty close to you, they beat all odds. And Grasshoppers! I am sure they are concocting something up every single second. And BTW, who asked them to be so big?

All those days are in the past now. Today, when I watch them, I don’t feel even a tinge of horror in my guts. I can walk in the dark. My brain is prepared. Miracles are a myth. I realize that unwanted imagination is a bitch.

Today, I am a grown up and not afraid of anything. Today…….Don’t you even think about attacking me cockroach!

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