In Honor of Halloween: What Movies Scared You as a Child?
posted by: Amber Johnson
My family was recently chuckling about an overnight stay at The Curtis-a DoubleTree by Hilton in downtown Denver a few years ago where each of their 16 floors is dedicated to a different theme. Their 13th floor is “horror” and for Halloween they converted in into a veritable haunted house with a haunted elevator ride, hallways dripping with cobwebs, staffers dressed up in creepy costumes like a clown and Freddie Krueger, and redrum “murder” scrawled across our bathroom mirror with spiders and bugs all over the sink. One of the rooms had a bar with a creepy lady serving up treats and shots…in the head.
Sounds scary? It might have been for young kids but we had so much fun interacting with the playful characters that we spent our entire evening laughing!
I’m pretty careful about the shows our kids watch and they had never heard of any of the creepers we encountered in those hallways but I must confess we unintentionally traumatized our daughter a few years ago.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind was on television. I have never seen it so my husband Jamie announced we would have family movie night. We thought nothing of it. Hadley (then 4) and Bode (2) had played in the room when we watched plenty of movies before. The difference? Hadley decided to watch with us.
My kids were pretty sheltered and only watched shows like Dora the Explorer or Sesame Street. But Swiper the Fox and Oscar the Grouch don’t have anything on UFOs and aliens. Who knew?
The children watched the first 45 minutes with us and then we put them to bed. A few minutes later, Hadley was back, professing she was scared.
I have to admit, we kind of blew her off. I mean, the kid doesn’t usually get scared and would give Boo of Monsters Inc. a run for her money. We gave her a soothing hug and a kiss and told her to go back upstairs.
We didn’t hear another peep out of her but then we found out why. After the movie, I rounded the corner from our TV room and there was poor sweet Hadley, passed out on the floor. She had been too freaked out to go to her room by herself and had fallen asleep.
Remorse enveloped me and we carried her to her bed. That’s when the screaming started. Jamie soothed her for a while and finally brought her in our bedroom. “I have a plan,” he announced. He placed her beside me in bed and walked out of the room. Some plan.
Once she fell asleep, he came back and put her in her own bed but she kept waking up and she eventually came to sleep in our bed.
At least one of us slept that night.
Good wife that I am, I blame my husband. I should have seen him planting the early seeds of trauma. Back when Haddie was 2, she was watching Chevy Chase’s Vacation with him and I overheard the following conversation:
“Wow, Daddy. What are they doing?”
“Just looking for a place to dispose of the body, Sweetie.”
What movies scared you as a child?