So, it’s October. It’s nearly Halloween. Ghouls , ghosts and goblins, wooooooo. A fun time of the year for everyone. Unless you’re a total scaredy cat like I am. I'm really bad. I'm an absolute wuss.
I’ve got worse in some respects as I’ve gotten older, but in some ways I’m more resilient. I can watch scary films now, I tend to watch them in the daylight and not on my own. But I can cope with them. Although, I did watch Paranormal activity in the cinema in Bermuda kind of huddled behind my coat. This was very necessary to muffle the screams that I emitted, much to the amusement of my best friend (who features in another of these stories!)
Both of my sisters are fans of horror authors; Dean Kootz, Stephen King, James Herbert etc. I remember these books being around when I was a child. A few times as a teen I picked up one or two of them up with the full intention of reading them, but got so far, got too scared and had to give it up as a bad job. The main ones I remember are Stephen Kings IT and The Amityville horror. Just the images they conjured were enough to give me nightmares, and I only read about 3 chapters of each! It took me a good while to watch the TV/film versions of these too, because of the childhood associations I had with them.
There’s also been talk by my darling sisters of a weekend in a haunted castle or house. If hell freezes over and I ever agree to this, I know full well my sisters would make it worse for me. They take great delight in monopolising on my ability to potentially soil myself at the slightest hint of anything scary. Sophie made me freak out a good few times in York Dungeons a couple of years ago… but, I love them all the more for this. I’d do it back to them given the chance!
There is one main story that really chronicles my reactions to certain situations and it takes place in Madame Tussaud’s in Amsterdam in 2007, featuring my best friend Jo and her sister Kim. (I don’t normally name specific people in my blogs but this is warranted!)
We’d been wandering round Amsterdam for a few hours so Kim, Jo and I decided we’d do Madame Tussaud’s.
95% of the museum was fine. I’d never been to a wax museum before and thought it’d be freakier than it was but it was grand. About half way round, there was a Pirates of the Caribbean exhibit. It was in a sectioned off bit so you had to go through a curtain/door to get in. I was well up for this, as I thought it looked fun and would have some good bits in it.
Now, Jo and Kim swear BLIND that as we went in the woman told us that there were real people, dressed up and moving around inside, but I don’t remember this. I also didn’t clock that the French family behind us with a girl of about 6 weren’t allowed in as it was too scary.
We walked through the door and into almost pitch blackness with various sound effects going on. I don’t like the dark and I hate surprises in the dark. Weird sound effects, almost complete darkness and various figures that I could make out resulted in me going into absolute meltdown.
I grabbed Kim and Jo and formed a shield around me with them, I shoved Jo in front of me and dragged Kim along behind me. And I literally dragged them through the exhibit. Any time they tried to slow down to look at something I dragged them off shouting “DON’T STOP, KEEP MOVING!!!!”
Right at the end of the exhibit there was a cell and as we approached it the dude who was stood at the back dressed as a pirate, ran forward as if to grab us through the bars. That finished me off. I let out a blood curdling scream and catapulted all three of us through the curtain at the end of the exhibit.
The French family who weren’t allowed in were stood outside looking rather bewildered. Jo and Kim literally collapsed with laughter, whilst I couldn’t breathe for sheer terror.
I’ve never lived this down. To the point that on Kim’s hens do in June this year the subject of Madame Tussaud’s came up and someone exclaimed said “YOU’RE the girl from Madame Tussaud’s” Cue me shooting a look at Jo who was grinning like a mad thing.
My memory of this actual event is a bit hazy, I think I’ve blocked it out. I do remember freaking out with your man at the end and going very quickly through the exhibit. The main chunk of the story comes from Jo & Kim. Jo takes great delight in recounting this story to anyone who will listen, and never fails to collapse in fits of laughter during her recollections. She’s also said that she’d have loved to see the CCTV from that day…and I have to agree, I’d say it provided someone with much amusement!
My sisters are going to ‘Farmageddon’ this weekend (http://www.farmaggedon.co.uk/farm_wp/). They invited me ages ago when they booked it, knowing full well that the response would be “A world of no”. I can’t even watch the trailer, I get about 5 seconds in and shit my pants. The prospect of being in a wide open space, at night, with people dressed up and various unknown factors fills me with sheer terror. But I’ll be interested to hear how they get on, and will love hearing the stories that come back from it. My 12 year old nephew is massively excited about it….I’m 30 for crying out loud, he’s putting me to shame!
So you can keep your scary situations, your zombie walks, vampiric re-enactments and horror farms. But, in the event of my presence at any of these, I’ll be the one screaming like a banshee and running the hell away.