Ghost-002When I was a kid, we told a lot of ghost stories. Many a night I stared wide-eyed with terror into the darkness of my bedroom swearing at any moment I’d hear the wail of “I want my golden arm,” or that there would be a bloody hook hanging from the glass knob on my bedroom door.

Another one that scared the bejeepers out of me involved a girl who would seek comfort during a scary night by dangling her hand to the side of her bed, where her trusty dog would reassuringly lick her. One night, after several licks from what she thought was good old Fido, she got up to investigate an odd dripping noise from the bathroom. After some creepy and suspenseful story telling, she finds Fido hanging dead from the shower head, his belly split open and blood drip-dropping into the tub.

So who was licking her hand all night? WHY THE DERANGED KILLER OF COURSE! HE’S BEEN UNDER YOUR BED ALL ALONG! RUN! RUUUUUNNNNN!

Well, it was scary when I was a kid.

In any case, I realized the other day that my kids never talk about any ghost stories they’ve heard. The reason? They don’t seem to tell them anymore. Or at least the kids they hang around with don’t. I’m sort of glad in the case of my youngest. She has trouble sleeping alone in the best of circumstances.

Gosh, there were just so many nights as a kid I would sit in bed absolutely terrified! One night I swore to sweet Jesus that there was a maniacal killer outside my door. I could hear his demonic breathing, waiting for the perfect moment to open my door and eat me alive! After an hour of sheer panic and a near bed-wetting  incident, I realized it was just my dad snoring, but in my defense it was really loud.

When I was a teenager I would hear a soft “ting!” every night about 10 minutes after I went to bed. It scared the crap out of me at first, and then I surmised that if it was indeed a ghost, it was a friendly one, because all it did was ring a quiet bell and leave me alone. Turns out it was the bulb in my ceiling light – it would make a little ting sound once it cooled off.

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Oh, yeah…I’ll fall right to sleep!

Then there were TV shows or movies that scared you so bad that it kept you up for hours. One was an episode of Night Gallery that involved a killer doll. Is that not the creepiest face you’ve ever seen? And I was only 9 at the time! That thing scared me so bad, that I became certain that one of my dolls was possessed and would kill me if I wasn’t super nice to it. This was beyond lame because it was a doll made of yarn – like the most un-scary doll on the planet. But it has the same creepy smile, only made of felt instead of razor sharp teeth.

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Sweet dreams!

And let’s not forget that voodoo man in Trilogy of Terror. There were many a night that thoughts of him chasing me around the house stabbing me with his tiny spear kept me up till the wee hours. Stupid Karen Black – why weren’t you more careful?

So why aren’t there more ghost stories these days? Maybe it’s because we have access to every form of media immediately. We can watch or read just about anything we want at any time. There’s no need for story telling anymore, unless someone builds an app for it.

Or maybe it’s because parents these days are too overprotective. They don’t want little Brooklyn or Sawyer to get less than the recommended 8.5 hours of sleep thanks to a creepy yarn told in front of the campfire.

Oh well, I guess it’s just another thing from my youth that is gone.

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