As a youngling I would watch any creepy and supernatural horror movie there was to be found. The Amityville Horror I watched at least once a week (I never believed a word of it having found so many inconsistencies in the book when I read it - on almost every page there is one to be found (believe me when I tell you I have pulled that book apart, dissected it and found it to be wanting to say the least)). Most "horror" I would sit and laugh at where I found them so far fetched and beyond truth it was comical - for something to frighten me I have to believe it is possible (at least I did back then!!). Whilst my friends would shake in their boots watching one in broad daylight with loads of others around, I'd watch them alone just before going to bed. My favourite author is Stephen King, yet I've never once found any of his stories to be horror; they all have an underlying lifestyle story to them. IT (my absolute favourite book) is - to me - more a coming-of-age story than it is could ever be a horror, yet I've read reviews, many reviews, where people have said it's the "scariest book" they've ever read. It reminded me so much of me and my friends when we were growing up (at a slightly older age than his characters) that I could never think of it as scary - even though there is an evil clown who likes to mutilate children "we all float down here" - if you've not read it I can highly recommend IT (no pun intended :) ). Then, one day something happened. I don't know what, why, or the exact moment but I sat down to watch a movie and I got creeped out by it. More than that I found myself looking over my shoulder, holding my breath. My heart rate began to pound in my chest so hard I thought it was going to implode. The crazy thing is it wasn't even a horror movie, it was a just a psychological thriller. What was the film? What lies beneath, with Michelle Pfiffer and Harrison Ford. The previous year I'd found myself jump while watching The Sixth Sense which was an odd sensation although it only happened the once. What lies beneath though had me wanting so badly to turn it off while at the same time not wanting to. I was like one of those people who hides behind a cushion. I'd always laughed at them before. I didn't get why you would sit down to watch a film if you were just going to not watch it. I learned that day exactly how and why. Since then it has got progressively worse. I only need to think about the music to the Amityville Horror and I shudder (I still DON'T believe it is a true story and nothing will ever convince me it is). To be honest it's not even that good a movie - maybe that's what scares me now, how bad it is !! :) I see adverts for new horror movies that have had millions spent on them with the most amazing special effects and the youngling in my shouts "watch it, watch it" while the old me literally screams "DON'T DO IT YOU FOOL". I treasure each day that I get older - so many of my friends and family have not made it past 50 - but sometimes.. sometimes this getting older is not all it's cracked up to be. Scared of movies, grey hair, expanding waistline and don't even get me started on the menopause!! Yet, for all of it, I wouldn't change a thing because for each negative there is always a positive. Being scared means watching with someone you can snuggle into when it gets a big scary or creepy. Being grey means I've lived a life that so few get the chance to. The menopause? Let me get back to you on that one for right now there don't appear to be any positives :) However, in a few years there will be. It is all swings and roundabouts. The wheel keeps on turning. Sometimes we're at the top, sometimes the bottom, sometimes (like right now for me) at the sides on our way up. Some days we don't need to watch horror because we could easily be living it. Other days we're living the dream.
I've been lucky in my life - in more ways than I could ever list - and have never lived somewhere that has felt like a horror home, but I have stayed in many a haunted house. As a sceptical wannabe I've tried to find logic in each and every experience, doing so in about 99% of cases, yet there are still the 1 or 2 which leave me wondering (maybe that's why haunted horrors creep me out so much these days although all the experiences I've had have (thankfully) been far from horrible. I remember being scared at my grandparents as a child (and again in their cottage as a teenager - I think my lovely nanny had a magnet which drew the undead to her :) ). As a kid in their house I'd make my Mum come upstairs with me if I needed to go the loo. Their toilet was a narrow but really long room and you'd just sit down to pee (or stand if you were male) and the light would go off and the door slam on you. Their dog point blankly refused to go upstairs and would just sit at the bottom of them whining, yet my lovely Nanny (I had a lovely nanny and an evil grandmother) would say it was just "Freda". She'd have conversations with Freda while she was cooking or washing up. I've no idea if it was Freda or not, but if she was so harmless why did she turn lights off and slam doors on young children? That doesn't sound very nice to me. Then when they moved into their cottage that wasn't much better. It was built in 1482 so I should have expected it to be a bit creepy and whilst I never saw anything in there, I certainly felt creeped out on the odd occasion and if I stayed overnight I'd make them a light on (I never sleep with a light on). However, having said all that I used to sleep like a log so it can't have been all bad. In both house they had a fire, and both times my Grandad was awakened by what he said was "some kind of presence". Maybe he just smelled the smoke or sensed it but he was convinced someone woke him up both times and he certainly wasn't the kind of many to have a fleet of fancy.
I saw my lovely Nanny once a few months after she died. It (sounds so wrong saying it but not sure what other word to use) was also the first time I ever actually saw someone/something that I knew wasn't real. I'd not been thinking about her in any way - that I remember - she'd been dead a couple of months (I'd always felt sad I'd not seen her for a few weeks before she died) and I was getting ready to go out and meet my boyfriend. I had my mirror leaning against the window in my bedroom (this meant I could also see what was going on outside) and as I went to put a dash of colour on my eyelids, so I saw my lovely Nanny walk behind me and out of my bedroom door. Gobsmacked and fascinated all at the same time I dropped the eye shadow brush and rushed out onto the landing to see if she was still there. Not a sign of her. I went into Mum and Dad's room, my brothers room and the bathroom, before heading downstairs, the whole time looking for her. I never found her, nor have I ever seen her since that day. I told Mum what was going on and was surprised when she said the same day she'd been washing up and had noticed my nanny stood just to the side of her in the dining room. I've tried to come up with logic to seeing her but as yet, some 32 years later, I am still stumped.
Another 2 I cannot find reason for were when I lived in a top floor flat which had once been the servants quarters of an old victorian house (I'd not known that when I moved in believing the basement rooms had been where the servants would have slept). We had a studio with separate kitchen and bathroom but our bedroom and lounge were combined. In the year we lived there every single sharp knife I bought just disappeared. There were only the 2 of us living there, nobody else had a key and we had an alarm on the property which was never triggered while we weren't there. We had one picture on one wall that would literally jump from the wall - we watched it once. It didn't fall, it jumped moving away from the wall landing a good 12 inches in front of the radiator which was directly below it - had it just fallen it would have hit the radiator. We put another picture in it's place in exactly the same frame and that stayed there until we took it down. Our dog when he walked sometimes liked to lean his head against our legs and he would often wander round the flat as though he was leaning on someone. My Mum when she came over once was chatting to us when suddenly she stopped dead, looked from a cupboard we had before slowly moving her eyes out to the door and hallway. When we asked what she was doing she told us she had just seen a woman in a nursing uniform come from the cupboard door and walk out into the hallway. We named this lady Daisy and are not sure if she was a nurse or a children's nanny for we found after we left that during the war our house had been used as a hospital, but when it was built in the Victorian era the rooms we were in had been where the children's nanny and housekeeper had lived. It turned out that our house and the one next door had once been just one property and where our cupboard was had once been a doorway between 2 upstairs rooms which would explain why she would have looked as though she was walking through a cupboard.
I never saw "Daisy" nor did I see Emily (that's a lie for I kind of did but at the time didn't know it was her). When I saw her my boyfriend at the time had been living in the flat next door to ours. One Sunday morning while waiting for him to get up I'd taken my coffee out onto the balcony which overlooked a large grassed area. This then gave way to the pebbles on the beach with the sea just beyond. Living so close to the water meant at certains times of the year we'd be enveloped in a thick fog. This morning I could only just about see where the grass area started (the fog was that thick) but as I was looking down I suddenly saw 2 children playing. One a girl (I'd say she was anywhere between 8 - 11 (it's so hard to judge a females age)) the boy I aged about 4. I'd never seen them before so assumed they were staying with someone. They were happily chasing each other and holding hands as they danced round in a circle. It didn't strike me until after I had gone back inside that they weren't wearing clothes that kids of today would wear and also who would allow children so young to play out on a foggy common? The thing that really got me thinking though was how well I could see them for they were further away from me than my parked car below and I could barely see my car. Both were dressed in brown - Emily in a long dress with a white lace apron over the top, tied at the back with a frilled edge, the boy in short with a white shirt and brown jumper. Emily was wearing laced up ankle boots, the boy was wearing brown leather ankle boots. Even now I can still see how they looked. He had light brown hair cut quite short and she had long blonde ringlets. Not once as I watched them play did it strike me how out of character they were for the day and age we were living in. As I said while living in our flat together my knives would disappear but so would other stuff. I was cleaning the bathroom one day when my neighbours banged on the wall - they did this often if they wanted something or were bored. I went round to see what they wanted, making sure to look the door behind me as I did. There were only our 2 flats on our floor and if anyone came up the stairs to either place we would hear them. We'd also have heard if anyone had been in mine while I wasn't there (even if they'd been able to get work out our alarm code to stop it ringing - it was set off by the opening of doors and windows, not by movement). I stopped long enough to sort out my neighbours drama and have a coffee with them before heading back into mine. Imagine my surprise when I went back to finish the bathroom to find my used cloth that I had left behind was nowhere to be seen, yet in it's place was a brand new one. I later found the used one sitting in the oven. Had I not set the alarm I would have said someone had let themselves in - although only myself and my boyfriend had a key and he was at work 20 miles away from where we lived (I know he was at work as I'd driven him there myself in the morning and went back to pick him up later). I'm pretty sure he'd not have got a bus home to play a trick on me (I was only gone about 30 minutes) before getting a bus all the way back to work. As he worked in a factory where they had just 40 minutes of breaks spread out over 3, in a factory that they had to clock in and out of I don't think he did it. He also didn't do it the day we were out walking the dog. We'd spent ages the day before sorting all our videos and cd's into alphabetical order (sad, I know, but it made it easier for us to find what we wanted). Each label on every case was facing outwards so they could be seen. We were out with the dog for just over an hour (living on the beach had it's advantages for we could walk along the waters edge and the dog could run up and down chasing waves to wear himself out). When we got back every single case had been turned the other way. Again, nothing had triggered the alarm. One night I also had the bed covers tugged by my feet. That was a weird moment. My ex was next to me clinging to his side of the quilt (we really did try to nick it off each other) the dog was in the chair next to me snoring his head off. I was laying there waiting for sleep to come when there were 4 short sharped tugs at the bottom of the quilt on my side. There is no way it could have been my ex for he was soundo. I considered maybe he'd have kicked his legs which could have made it feel as though it was being tugged but had he done that I would have known for his knees were tucked into the back of mine. The thing I found the most odd though was when we moved. Clearing out a cupboard we rarely used I moved an old case (we never went away so never needed to use a case) and behind it I found every single knife I'd ever bought that had gone missing (I bought many over the year we lived there for they never lasted longer than a week).
Just realised I started this about horror movies and turned it into my haunted tales of which there are many. I'm sure I'll share more at a later date :)