I was six and i remember piling into my parents family truckster with our babysitter to drive up to our local community center where the pool and ice rink were and where they had the Jaycee Haunted House every year. As an adult I know this, the six-year old me, however, did not.
Seems my parents weren’t quite done with whatever they were doing and someone says “they are inside”. So my babysitter and I mosey on in looking for my parents. As the hall opened up, there was a coffin and who knew Dracula was in the open coffin. As Dracula began to sit up, I hear Dracula say,”hey little girl!”
First, it was 1975, the world was a much different place back then. I hadn’t been exposed to much beyond typical little kid shows on PBS. Maybe watched Fantasy Island of The Love Boat. Second, I was six and scary to me was Broom Hilda on Bugs bunny or maybe Hook from Peter Pan and the monster under my bed
So Dracula all giddy just wasn’t going to work, not that day. It got worse though. Dracula had my dads voice, he saw the sheer terror in my eyes. That was not my daddy, oh hell no it was not! If it was, Dracula ate him and the blood I his face was my dads blood. Remember, 1975 and I was six….
Dracula sees his daughter getting ready to turn into a Kung-Fu fighter with mad skills able to crush you and get my daddy back. As I stand there clutching my babysitters hand and arm trying to probably jump up for a piggy back to get the hell outta here, Dracula speaks in a worried voice …”uh Martha, come here now!”
As she came around the corner, I all but lost it, or maybe I did lose it, I don’t recall really. I just saw the big brim black witches hat and black dress come around that corner and that green painted face with a crooked witches nose. I was scared to death. That wasn’t it though. When I heard “What’s wrong Jack?” It was right there where the memory starts fading as my dad was desperately trying to get the paint and blood off his face, and my mom doing the same. It fades to black as she tore of that crooked witches nose. I vaguely remember walking to our car but really that is kinda pushing what I recall.
So, from that point forward, I was scarred. It actually cracks me up a little that I am deathly afraid of an adult in a Halloween Costume to this day. My parents learned how deep this fear was now embedded not too long after that night. We went to Disney in Florida. While on my fathers shoulders, we went into the Haunted Mansion. When the walls began to stretch inside showing the bloomers of the folks in the paintings, my grip on my fathers neck got tighter and tighter. As an 8 year old, I was, began to strangle my dad. I guess my mom saved him from certain death because my next memory is sitting in that little tilt-a-whirl ride thingy watching ghosts dance and then one ghost joining us inside the ride thing, I lost my shit then. I could give a hoot if Casper is the friendliest ghost you know, take a hike Casper!
Fast forward to high school. There was always a Haunted House at our local YMCA and all my friends wanted to go as usual. I think my boyfriend convinced me, peer pressure at its best. “it’ll be okay, it’s not real” Why does no one believe me? I am a danger to you if you try to coax me into a Haunted House, really I shit you not! The dude outside looked like Alice Cooper, a scary sight in itself, but that was his get up. Believe me, that guy knew he was freaking me out while in the line. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him and his creepiness. I should have run like Forrest Gump, but no I believed the “it will be okay” statement. Welp, what happens next could of been predicted I suppose. After my eyes adjusted to the pitch black, the creepy dude touched me while inside this haunted house, when I saw that face, it only took one punch, straight to the face and he was over and out. I do not speak in absolutes because you cannot ever tell the future for certain, however, then and there, I vowed to never, and I mean NEVER, let my ass enter a Haunted House again.
A true phobia. Thanks a lot Dracula and Green Witch. That one ain’ta leaving any time soon, I will have to die to end it. I must say, I did very well with my children and Halloween through the years here, but like I said, its adults in costumes not kids. My son was the cutest little Freddy Kruger and Micheal Myers ever and my daughter the cutest little cheerleader zombie I have ever seen. I can say that I do not in any way allow either of my children to scare little ones as my kids are adult sized now. I do my part to not reproduce hysteria as far as Halloween is concerned!
The moral to the story? Hell if I know, maybe have the babysitter pick you up until after the make up is off mommy and daddy