Do you like scary movies?

I LOVE scary movies. They’re my favourite kind, in fact. Not gore movies, you understand. I’m not keen on blood and guts and all that kind of thing, but give me a creepy old house with a mysterious secret and I will be ALL OVER IT like a particularly bad rash.

(The “mysterious old house with a dark secret” thing is my favourite fiction genre too, as Terry’s holiday journal from last year testifies.)

The thing about that, though, is that I’m an absolute baby about scary movies. Sure, I’ve gotten better over the past few years, probably because I’ve seen so many of the things now, but from time to time I will still end up scaring myself silly in the name of entertainment. And it turns out that this week was one of those times.

“You know,” I thought to myself on Friday night, “I don’t think I have enough on my plate this week, what with the impending holiday, the two months worth of content I still have to write before I can leave, the non-stop fighting with people who keep stealing my work… Why, I think I will add a good dose of Scaring Myself Stupid to the burden I have to carry right now!”

And so it was that Terry and I watched Insidious.

(NOTE: I’ve put the rest of this post under a jump because there may be spoilers. I’ve done my best to be vague, and I don’t think I’ve given too much away, but if you’re planning to see the movie, you may want to avoid this one.)

We had planned to watch Insidious on Friday night, but as it turned out, the universe had decreed that I would spend that night trying to have two illegal copies of my website removed from the internet and having a meltdown all over Twitter. (Can you tell I’m still not over that, by the way? Because I’m not.) So I scheduled in the Scaring Myself Stupid for Sunday night instead.

To be honest, I wasn’t particularly scared while I was watching the movie. Sure, there was some super-creepy imagery, and a few good jumps, one of which took a couple of years off my life, but nothing to give me any real cause for concern.  I was a bit dissapointed, to be honest. Everyone I know seemed to be declaring this to be the SCARIEST! MOVIE! EVER! and I thought that if NORMAL people thought it was scary, I would probably wet myself or something at the very least. And, you know, that would’ve been awesome.

But nope, we watched the whole thing, and I felt absolutely fine. “Maybe I’m growing up at last?” I mussed, as I took off my makeup and got ready for bed, noticing as I did so that the house felt a bit too warm.

“Is the heater still on downstairs?” I asked Terry, who was already tucked up in bed. (Because, yes, we’re still having to switch the heater on from time to time to take the deathly chill out of the air. In May.)

“No idea,” said Terry. “Why don’t you go downstairs and check?”

And that was when it hit me. I couldn’t go downstairs to check because I was completely and utterly terrified.  Of my own house.

“You go!” I shouted to Terry, and dived under the covers, being very careful not to let my feet get too near the bed, because, you know, MONSTERS.

That night I woke up and was too frightened to walk along the hall to the bathroom. I did it, but once there I realised I’d made a rookie mistake, for now I was trapped in the bathroom, and, if I opened the door, I knew what would be standing there.

THAT FREAKING OLD WOMAN WOULD BE STANDING THERE. With her stupid veil and her big dead face, OMG.

Well, I waited it out for a while, and then I did the only sensible thing, under the circumstances:

I closed my eyes, wrenched open the bathroom door and then ran along the hall and into the bedroom (still with my eyes closed), performing another running jump when I sensed I was close to the bed, and pulling the covers over my head as soon as I was in.

Then I lay and imagined that old woman standing by the bed, watching me, and I wished I was dead.

The next morning dawned and, in the cold light of day, my night terrors seemed pretty stupid, really.  So Terry headed off to the gym, and I settled down at my desk to do some work. I’d been sitting there f0r maybe twenty minutes or so, and was just about to get up and go have a shower, when there was a sudden THUD from downstairs.

Instantly, I realised what had happened.


My desk is right next to the office door, which is always open, and which has a view of the dark, creepy stairwell. I gazed at it, transfixed with horror. Any second now, I would see THAT FREAKING OLD WOMAN come gliding up the stairs, her eyes glinting with pure malice. Oh, how I wished I’d died in my sleep!

I sat there for a few minutes, frozen to the chair, wondering what would kill me: The Fear or The Old Woman. I didn’t want to look at the stairwell, but I couldn’t look away, either, because obviously the second I took my eyes off the stairs, that’s when she’d appear. So I jumped up, ran into the bathroom and locked the door behind me. It was the only thing I could think to do.  And I HAD been planning to have a shower, so…

“Are you freaking kidding me?” said Rubin, from the other side of the door. “We’re in a horror movie, and YOU decide to go and take a shower? Have you even SEEN horror movies? You NEVER go into the bathroom, dude. And you definitely don’t want to go near the shower! If you make it out alive, maybe you could go and check out the basement next?”

Except he didn’t, on account of that whole “being a dog” thing. And we don’t have a basement. But I know it’s what he was thinking, because I was thinking it, too. Once again, I had made a mistake that could cost me my life. And now I would be trapped in the bathroom until Terry came home, because, once again, THAT OLD WOMAN would be standing in the doorway if I opened it.

I had my shower. Luckily we have a glass screen rather than a shower curtain, because I think a shower curtain would’ve killed me. (Literally, I mean. It would’ve become possessed, wound itself around my helpless body, and tried to suffocate me. I’ve seen it happen in the movies, believe me.) Even so, every time I closed my eyes (which I sometimes do in the shower, in the manner of a woman in a shampoo advert), I would become paralysed with fear thinking that as soon as I opened them again THAT OLD WOMAN would be there.

It was a miserable shower, really.

Anyway, Terry came home, the old woman didn’t appear and all was well, except for the fact that when Terry was having his shower, the bathroom door mysteriously opened itself, and when I tried to sleep that night, I found I was once again paralysed with fear.

I haven’t really slept since. And it’s all because of HER.