I went dead cold, remembering the program, remembering the nightmare. I was terrified by the statue and vowed to not look at it again, praying the girls would not wake up while their parents were gone so I didn’t have to go past it again.
I returned to the living room and could not stop thinking about the statue and the peeping Tom. The television program could not keep my interest, so I decided to try to go to sleep. I reclined on the sofa and looked at the ceiling, where a chandelier hung.
As I stared at the chandelier it began swaying, very gently, but very definitely. I had never been more terrified in my life.
The next thing I remember was the parents coming in the door, several hours after I’d checked on the girls.
I think I might have passed out from fear. Needless to say, I never babysat there again.
The house seemed huge to teenaged me. It had a real second floor and not just a converted attic like ours. It seemed old too. I remember it as a Victorian, but the street it was on has no Victorians now, and probably didn’t back then.
I was happy to be babysitting in such a place — at first. The parents told me the kids were sleeping upstairs and I should check on them in about an hour. They also said I could have a pop from the refrigerator. Finally, just before they left they warned me to not answer the door because there had been reports of a peeping Tom in the neighborhood.
I then walked around the main floor, checked the fridge to see what kind of pop they had, then went to the living room to watch television. After an hour I went up and checked on the children, two girls, one a toddler and one a little older.
I am 62 years old and am afraid of the dark.
Unless my eyes are closed I cannot be alone in a dark room and not feel terrified. I know it stems from my teenage love of horror films and maybe only that one film where a ghost’s evil and contorted face pushed out from a wall. I am afraid I might see that if I open my eyes in the dark.
I take many unnecessary steps at night to ensure I am not in a dark room. I turn on one light, walk to the next room, turn on that light then go back and turn off the first light, repeating the steps until I am in my bedroom and close my eyes.
A flashlight (or cell phone) does not help because it only lights up a narrow path. I can, however, read my kindle or cell phone, as long as I don’t look away from the screen.
I am also not nearly as afraid of being outside in the dark as I am of being in a dark room.
I used to watch a lot of horror films as a teenager – usually the kind on late-night TV featuring ghosts, vampires, mummies, werewolves, etc. They rarely bothered me at the time, but something changed as I grew older. I’d recall those movies and my imagination went wild, especially when I was alone, especially at night. Vampires never scared me, but the other preternatural beings terrified me.
These days I am reluctant to watch anything that might be scary, although I don’t mind psychological thrillers and I’ve only seen one slasher movie (the original Halloween) and will not ever watch another (Serial Mom which we watched last night doesn’t count because it is John Waters). Even trailers of scary movies or television shows are enough to make me keep the hallway light on while I try to sleep.