As you will come to know about me, I am a big time horror guy. I love all manner of monsters, ghouls, ghosts, cryptids and things that go bump in the night.
That being said, I haven’t always been this way. I, for a lot of years, was honestly a bit of a coward when it came to these sorts of things.
As an adult, my love for horror and the supernatural has come as the result of purposeful exposure to things that frighten me. Fear to understanding, understanding to acceptance, acceptance to sentiment, etc. And somewhere in there, fictional characters like The Frog Brothers, John Constantine, the Winchesters and The Losers Club showed me that not only can you shine a light on the things that go bump in the night; you can fight back.
My personal boogie man growing up was Regan from The Exorcist. Having never even seen the movie, her possessed, contorted, torn face flashed in my mind the moment I closed my eyes most nights as a kid. When I was little, I can remember PRAYING because I was afraid of Regan. (Pretty sure there’s a great Ronald Reagan joke there somewhere) I hadn’t a clue of how to quell my terror or where to turn for some sort of reprieve. The situation was so bad that I slept with a lamp on until I turned 13 and eventually turned to religion for answers which, of course, got me nowhere.
Flip The Script
As I’ve mentioned already, I eventually found a better, more practical way to put my fears to rest; I became a horror fan. And at 31 years old, I’ve recently watched The Exorcist for the first time and with total lack of fright or surprise, I realized that it is a simple tale of a demonic possession and warrants little in the way of terror for an experienced #HorrorDaddy (man baby) like myself.
Great! I watched The Exorcist (and of course all The Exorcist sequels)- I conquered my greatest fear. Awesome… Right? I really don’t think so. I’m actually sort of torn up about it.
I no longer have a boogie man. There’s no longer anything lurking in the shadows that I’m afraid of, and it sucks major ass.
You see, as we grow up and enter adulthood, we push our childish ways aside and (a lot of us) allow ourselves to come to terms with reality and practicality. A cascade of realism starting with debunking familiar childhood characters like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. The next logical step is to stop believing in monsters, folklore, ghost stories, religion(?), birds, round earth, and other conspiracy theories. The next thing we know, we find ourselves sitting behind a desk, wearing a tie and completing meaningless tasks for money, day in and day out, forever. Total, absolutely fucking boring reality, until old age (or a homemade noose) takes us back to the weeds.
I don’t want it.
Not Like This
That’s why I’ve decided to plug myself back into The Matrix. “Ignorance is bliss,” Cypher said. And, he sure wasn’t wrong. Having had a taste of reality and managing to conquer my fears, I think I’m just choosing to revert back to a more fantastic time. I’m choosing to believe in the things that go bump in the night again. I really want to believe in those things, because life was a lot more fantastic when I honestly did.
And that’s it; that’s why you’re reading this. I’m here to urge you to do the same. Watch that scary movie! Drive down that scary street! Accidentally summon a demon. Hell, go wild! Allow yourself to believe in the things that frighten you. And then, allow yourself to experience those things and the feelings they bring. Let the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Feel the goosebumps rise and the shot of adrenaline pump through your veins. Because, I think that sometimes a little fright and wonder and fear and terrified excitement are just what we need to get through our day in one piece.
What’s more human than hoping that there’s more out there than us?