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I mean, there were always rumors that in a far corner a neighborhood known as Tangletown sat the original home of Bloody Mary, but I think most old towns think they can boast the original home of Bloody Mary. So also not exactly scary.
But, you know, it’s New Jersey, and sometimes that’s scary enough. We are the home of the Jersey Devil after all. Ever heard of him? He’s this little fiendish creature, born of witches or voodoo or something equally devilish, who lives deep in the forests of the Pine Barrens and feeds on the souls of innocent children. Or something. It was enough to give me nightmares as a little one, though it’s certainly not enough to scare me now.
But (and this is a big but): I do believe in ghosts. Wholeheartedly. And I do believe someone ghostly loves to mess with my husband and me whenever we watch scary movies.
Here’s my story.
Have you ever seen The Ring? You know, that ridiculously terrifying movie about a little girl who comes out of the television to kill people after they’ve watched this atrocious avant garde slasher flick? Yeah, that one. The first time I saw it was in a movie theater with an old friend, and it scared the pants off me. I screamed. I hid my face. I wanted to run away.
When my husband and I first lived together, I used to talk about this movie as one of my favorite scary films. My husband had never seen it, though, so one night we rented it (this was back before NetFlix, if you can believe that) and settled in to watch it.
We had the lights out. We had the windows closed. We had popcorn. In short, we were ready for a good time. And the movie was just as scary as I remembered it. There was Naomi Watts, looking all gorgeous and terrified. There was the girl with the long stringy hair. There she was, about to come out of the TV in one of the most climactic scenes in horror movie history.
And suddenly…our lights surged! Our TV blazed! Everything turned on in our living room, and then everything turned off! I screamed. I also fell off the couch. My husband leaped to his feet, his eyes searching around the room. We looked outside, but no one on our street seemed to be experiencing electrical difficulties.
It was just us. But no biggie, right? Just a random power surge? Well, then. Explain this one. It was a year or so later. We’d rented 1408, the John Cusack flick based on the Stephen King short story of the same name. This movie is all about ghosts in a haunted old hotel. All the scary stuff starts happening after a single piece of electronic equipment – a clock radio, I believe – turns on in the middle of the night, all on its own.
Well, we watched the entire movie and had a good time with it. It was just creepy enough that even though the end was lame, I went to bed with the heebie-jeebies.
A couple hours later, we were both sound asleep in our bedroom. In our bathroom sat, silent, an electric razor that made an extremely loud whirring sound whenever someone turned on the cleaning cycle.
Well, something (someone??) pressed that button while we were both sound asleep. Something turned that razor on. The whirring sound jerked us both awake. We both jumped up. I leaped from the bed, terrified. My husband unplugged the razor and it quieted back down, but it took us forever to get back to sleep.
I’ll be honest. We don’t watch many scary movies around here anymore. You could blame it on the fact that we have a kid now, and she doesn’t like to listen to scary things while she’s trying to go to sleep. Or you could blame it on the fact that something (someone?) probably still likes to mess with us whenever we’re silly enough to mess with ourselves, and frankly, I don’t want him to.
Tag, Laura Valeri! You're it!
Visit Leah at her website: www.leahrhyne.com/
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