Thursday, 15 October 2009

Natural Born Scaredy-Cat

Say what you will, but I am a big o’ scaredy-cat. However, let me qualify—I’m afraid of unnatural goings-on, ie. horror and satanic paranormal stories and movies. Snakes or spiders don’t frighten me. I don’t run from a snake. Instead, without acting foolish and putting my life in danger, I will inch closer to determine if it’s poisonous or a simple benign reptile.

But a truly frightening, bone-chilling book or movie will scare the pants off me. I’ll lose sleep thinking about it, replaying it in my head.

First came the Flying Monkeys in The Wizard of Oz. I loved the movie, until the place where the Wicked Witch of the West sends the monkeys after Dorothy. Oh, my lands, I scrunched down in the theater seat, curled my ten-year-old self into a ball, and covered my eyes and ears—as best I could. Every year, that movie was re-run on television around Easter—I don’t know the connection—and still, every time the monkeys flew out of the fortress, I’d run for a blanket to pull over my head.

In 1968, Rosemary’s Baby appeared in the theaters. It was Roman Polanski’s first film. My husband didn’t care to see it, and I was just dying to. So, he baby-sat while I went to the movie alone. Big mistake. I vaguely knew the premise, so I thought, “I’m a big girl, now, I can watch this.” Even the upscale New York apartment in the movie was transformed into a sinister projection of Rosemary’s fears. Let me tell you, even when the creepy neighbor Minnie Castevet came to call and brought chocolate mousse with the chalky under-taste for Rosemary, just the music and the looks from Minnie told me “something really bad will happen.” Sure enough, Rosemary dreamed a beast raped her that night—a very real dream—and I have cold chills right now as I write this, remembering that scene. Had I not been an adult, I would have curled my body into a ball in the theater seat and covered my eyes and ears. I don’t like chocolate mousse to this day.

The scene, which truly scares me even now, is when Rosemary first looks into the bassinet and sees her baby. Her reactions—unbelief and sheer horror—send chills over me to this day. She asks, “What’s wrong with it? What’s wrong with its eyes?” A man answers, “Why, he has his father’s eyes.” “No!” she screams, “Guy’s eyes are normal!” He answers, “But he is not the father. You though, Rosemary, are its mother.” (Notice the word ‘it’ for ‘baby.’) Ewww!

Rosemary’s Baby inspired a wave of satanic horror from The Exorcist in 1973 to Omen in 1976. I saw the Exorcist, and of course, it scared me silly. I absolutely hate that movie. But it finally taught me to stay away from that sort of thriller. The movies also upset some people, not only because of the satanic viewpoint, but because the sacred event of childbirth had somehow been marred.

I never need to worry about horror films anymore, because I read the reviews, watch the trailers, and red-line the scary ones. No way will I give my ten dollars to a filmmaker for something that I know will scare me Sleepless in Texas.

Celia Yeary


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Savanna Kougar said...

Celia, I'm the same way about scary movies. The Wizard of Oz frightened me. I saw it pre-kindergarten at a neighbor's party for her daughter. However, my younger sister was so freaked out, she had to go home and got an extra popcorn ball.
I did see Rosemary's Baby. Gruesomely artistic film. However, I knew better than to even think about seeing the Exorcist. I knew the nightmares would be endless.
If that makes me a scaredy cat, so be it.

Lindsay Townsend said...

Celia and Savanna - I'm with you both re scary movies.

I find I can read thrillers and horror but I cannot watch horror flicks.

Great post, Celia - and excellent advice about snakes!

Maggie Toussaint said...

I won't watch scary movies either. I don't need to see zombies reaching out to grab me. Like you, Cel, I can still visualize those flying monkeys.

nice post.

Celia Yeary said...

SAVANNA--I'm so happy to find others like me. Now, I don't feel so bad! Celia

Mona Risk said...

Celia-- I am like you. Even more scaredy-cat. I never watched Rosemary's Baby or the Exorcist or any horror movies. When my kids watched Friday the 13 th I went out of the room. I can't stand vampires or abnormal situations. They give me the creep.

Celia Yeary said...

LINDSAY--oh, another scaredy-cat. Snakes--My major was biology and in an Invertebrate class, I handled snakes--this was to reduce our fear. they are not slimy as most people say--they are smooth, sleek, and cool. Celia

Celia Yeary said...

MAGGIE--We should form a club! Thanks for stopping by. Celia

Celia Yeary said...

MONA--it's odd how most kids or young people can watch this stuff. My yong grandsons, though, can't watch anything very frightening. I bought Wizard of Ox for them, the entire movie scares them. Celia

LK Hunsaker said...

Celia, me too! Won't watch them. It's not worth the two weeks of nightmares!

kat1reader said...

Scariest I've watched is Poltergeist (all 3) and M. Night Shyamalan movies.
I will fast forward thru the monkey scenes in Oz - glad to know I'm not alone!


The only time I watched Criminal Minds it scared me so bad that I haven't watched it since.

loretta canton

Celia Yeary said...

LORAINE--no movie is worth losing sleep! Never again--Celia

Celia Yeary said...

Kat--I'm laughing at all us scaredy-cats. I'm so happy I'm not alone. seems like the Flying Monkeys scared everyone! Celia

Celia Yeary said...

LORETTA--Criminal Minds. I don't think I've watched that, and now I'm convinced not to! Celia

Keena Kincaid said...

I like suspenseful, and even scary movies, but so often what passes for scary these days is simply gore. I hate hack-and-slash movies. I just don't understand how they are frightening.

Can you watch scary stuff on TV?

Francesca Prescott said...

Hi Celia,
I've never seen Rosemary's Baby, The Omen, The Exorcist, or any of them. Like many people here, I was also terrified by "The Wizard of Oz". And I distinctly remember psyching myself up to go and see "Jaws" with a friend of my mother's (all my cool friends were raving about it), and literally jumped out of my seat at the scene when the head fell out of the boat (or something charming of the sort!). You know, I can still remember my mother's friend grabbing me and yanking me back into my seat! As for Alien, forget it. I never saw that.

I think one of the movies that disturbed me the most, and I don't really know why, was "Planet of the Apes". All those evil monkeys with nets just did my head in. Still get shivers thinking about that film.

As for television, I didn't like Thunderbirds, their faces were scary. Ooh, and "Dr Who"? Argh! I ran away to hide as soon as the music started!

I liked stuff like Flipper, Skippy, Zorro, and Pippi Longstocking!

xx Francesca

Linda Banche said...

I'm with you, Celia. I read the book "Rosemary's Baby" and there was no way I would go see the movie.

I watch old black and white horror movies. They were "fake" horror, scary, but not really so. I was never going to be in some Transylvanian castle waiting to become Dracula's lunch. Nowadays, things are too close to home, and that's really scary.

StephB said...

I haven't seen Rosemary's Baby, but just hearing about it scares me to death! Haha! I think maybe the scariest movie I saw Poltergeist. I used to watch the Creature Double Features on Saturday when I was a young girl in the 1970's and they used to scare the heck out of me.

Great post!

Celia Yeary said...

keena--I'm not afraid of blood, but the thought of someone hacking or cutting into a body scares me so bad, I change channels. TV? Same things, except there's not that much on TV that's so horribly firghtening. But movies like No Country for Old Men--I'd like to have seen it, but the reviews described some of the constant gore, and just reading it made me shudder. Celia

Celia Yeary said...

FRANCESCA--there you go, girl! Flipper and Gentle Ben all the way. I rented the kid's movie, I think it was called All the Way Home, about a dog and a cat lost and trying to get back home. Cougers, bears, hawks, waterfalls, and landslides kept them in danger every minute. My three little grandsons--7,6 and 2 at the time--all ran to get their "bankies" and covered themselves so they could quickly pull the corners over their heads. None of them left, though, but when their mom came home, all three were in the basement with me and the TV, screaming bloody murder. She came flying down the stairs! She still loves, me though. Celia

Celia Yeary said...

LINDA--Do you remember the movie with Jack Nicholson--he and his family were staying alone in a snowbound hotel--isolated. And he was an ax muderer--The words "Redrum" appeared somewhere with blood, and oh, my that movie scared me silly. Redrum was murder spelled backwards. Celia

Celia Yeary said...

STEPH--I think young people love to be scared--I do not understand this! Even parents take their kids to the worst movies. should be a law. Celia

M.Flagg said...

Hi Celia. Sorry for the very late post. Beyond my control :) I loved your post. You hit the good ones! I always wondered why The Wizard of Oz was on during Easter too!
I don't watch scary movies, either. Okay, I write paranormal romance, but the hacking and slicing stuff, uh, not for me. Also, it helps if you turn the sound off. Usually the music makes it more terrifying - really. It's the truth.

Celia Yeary said...

MICHELE--that's exactly what I've said, too. The music makes the difference. I'm a very sound-sensitive person, and if the music sounds creepy, I will become much more scared. I have muted the sound on many a TV show--especially when they're slicing up people--If I don't hear the conversation, it's not so bad, plus, I can read until it's over.Sometimes, the story is very good, but they muddle it all up with creepy, uneccessary garbage!Celia

Celia Yeary said...

MICHELE--that's exactly what I've said, too. The music makes the difference. I'm a very sound-sensitive person, and if the music sounds creepy, I will become much more scared. I have muted the sound on many a TV show--especially when they're slicing up people--If I don't hear the conversation, it's not so bad, plus, I can read until it's over.Sometimes, the story is very good, but they muddle it all up with creepy, uneccessary garbage!Celia