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Hallowe'en II
I had a pretty active imagination when I was a kid. I firmly believed in ghosts and the supernatural. Sometimes a healthy imagination makes you a shameless sissypants.

Plush toys
I had a love-hate relationships with my stuffed animals. By day, they were slightly boring but cute additions to my toy family, but by night, their cold, ruthless eyes would bore into me with ill intent. I would turn each one of them towards the wall so they could not stare at me as I slept.

The basement of dread
I was petrified of the basement until I was twelve. I remember that awful thud of fear when my mom would innocently call out: "Can you get me a container of chicken stock from the downstairs freezer?"

I have never moved so fast in my life. Jackie, whose bedroom was in the basement can attest to how quickly I booted up those stairs, like a preteen pursued by the hounds of hell.

Osmosing fears
I believed everyone's ghost stories wholeheartedly and uncritically. All someone needed to do was tell me they were scared of something and I would sympathetically adopt their fear. I once overheard my grandmother tell a story about a woman who was "afraid of her own shadow". I did not understand that it was a turn of phrase. It had never occurred to me that my shadow was something malevolent.

After that day, I mistrusted my shadow. I would force myself to sleep with my head turned away from the wall to avoid inadvertently coming across my shadow when I woke up and getting spooked.

Oh, and the proverbial monster under the bed. And Vampires. Ooooo, they were scary. I decided that I did not want to tempt them with a wanton exposure of veins. I therefore pulled up the covers to my neck and placed my wrists veins-down.

Ouija boards and boys
But terror was occasionally and eagerly sought out. Like Bloody Mary, a game where you turn off the lights in the bathroom (with a group of friends) and turn around three times or something with your eyes clothes, saying bloody mary, bloody mary….then you open your eyes and see decapitated Mary Queen of Scots in the mirror.

Or Ouija boards. Or "Stiff as a Board, Light as a Feather", a spooky game where one person lies down corpselike, and you use magic powers to lift them with your fingertips.

My friends and I later abandoned otherworldly-demons and magic in favor of crushes on sadistic boys who spent their Hallowe'en's smashing jack-o-lanterns and the rest of the year breaking stuff.

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post #619
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