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Things that scared me when I was very young

August 6, 2007

Spinning Wheels and Maleficent

The Attic

Wheelchairs (Yes, mostly because of The Changeling)

The deaf kid in kindergarten that shared my first name

My father’s face after shaving off his beard

Kiss album covers

The Happy Birthday to Me poster

The “A Morkyville Horror” episode of Mork & Mindy

The illustration of Rumpelstiltskin in the Gruelle edition of Grimm’s Fairy Tales (which somehow menaced me at night from my closet shelf)

A stalagmite that i saw while visiting a cave on vacation in Colorado (which was said to be the outstretched hand of the spirit of a man who had been buried alive there by a cave-in)

The illustration of a dragon in a Sesame Street “Encyclopedia” that was sold at Pathmark

The trailer for The Shining
(From the book, is this the origin of “Redrum”?:

Mommy had scolded Daddy and asked what he was doing, reading a three-year-old baby something so horrible. The name of the story was Bluebeard. That was clear in his mind too, because he thought at first that Daddy was saying Bluebird, and there were no bluebirds in the story, or birds of any kind for that matter. Actually the story was about Bluebeard’s wife, a pretty lady that had corn-colored hair like Mommy. After Bluebeard married her, they lived in a big castle not unlike The Overlook. And every day Bluebeard went off to work and every day he would tell his pretty little wife not to look in a certain room, although the key to that room was hanging right on a hook, just like the passkey was hanging on the office wall downstairs. Bluebeard’s wife had gotten more and more curious about the locked room. She tried to peep through the keyhole the way Danny had tried to look through Room 217’s peephole with similar unsatisfying results. There was even a picture of her getting down and trying to look under the door, but the crack wasn’t wide enough. The door swung wide and …

The Old fairy tale had depicted the discovery in ghastly, loving detail. The image was burned on Danny’s mind. The severed heads of Bluebeard’s seven previous wives were in the room, each one on its own pedestal, the eyes turned up to the whites, the mouths unhinged and gaping in silent screams. They were somehow balanced on necks ragged from the broadsword’s decapitating swing, and there was blood running down the pedestals.

[…]

His hand reached out and stroked the room’s doorknob, almost furtively. He had no idea how long he had been here, standing hypnotized before the bland gray locked door.

[…]

But Mr. Hallorann — Dick — had also said he didn’t think these things could hurt you. They were like scary pictures in a book, that was all. And maybe he wouldn’t see anything. On the other hand…)

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