Why I Like Scary Stories and Weird Stuff

If you’ve liked my Facebook Author page (www.facebook.com/MitziFlyteAuthor) or even read this blog over the last few years (Who ARE you?), you know that I’m drawn to the “things that go bump in the night.” That could be aliens staring in the window, monsters hiding under the bed, ghosts blowing in and out of the room, vampires, were-anything, even Bigfoot and The Children of the Corn. If it can’t be explained, I love it.

Where and when did this fascination start?

Settle back for a bit of paranormal psychology.

When I was a kid we lived above my father’s barbershop. The kitchen was downstairs behind the shop and everything else was upstairs. My room was tiny and right next to the bathroom but on the side of the steps, away from the living room and my parents’ room.

Around the age of six or so (as well as I can remember), I started having nightmares, or night terrors. Some in the undervalued world of parapsychology believe that as children we can hear and see beings that adults cannot. Now these could be from another dimension (think From a Buick Eight) or supernatural beings we’ve yet to discover. The belief is that the ability to see is taught out of us, as in “Ghosts and monsters aren’t real. Go back to sleep.” I might have been seeing those “real” things or I might have been scared because I was a distance from my parents. I would have had to go across the dark, gaping hole of the stairway to get to them. That my nightmares and my father’s reaction to them were traumatic is another story best left untold..

Because of those “nightmares” I was not allowed to go to any horror movies. I missed out on all the great Vincent Price, pretend-Poe movies. But I had a friend, Susie Spence, who did see the movies almost every Saturday and at school on Monday she would regale me with an overview of everything from The Blob to The Tingler to The Fall of the House of Usher. The first scary movie I was allowed to see was “Hush-Hush, Sweet Charlotte.” That was in 1964 when I was 17 and graduating from high school within the year. Granted, it was more of a mystery than horror but it definitely was a scary movie. It impressed me so much that, fifty+ years later, I can still sing the song from the movie

Something attracted me to “the dark side.” It could have been Poe or Susie Spence or the old nightmares. But something led me to read and want to write about the things that we can’t explain.

When asked why he writes “those” kinds of books, Stephen King said that it was like “drawing a magic circle around him and his family.” In other words, if he wrote about it then it couldn’t happen…

Oops! Okay. The dark half (a Stephen King title, of course) of my brain just took over and I have a story idea.

If I write about “ghoulies and ghosties and long-legged beasties,” unlike King, I’m not convinced the story will scare them off and the magic circle will hold. Maybe I will just stand up to them (finally) and say, “You can’t hurt me. I am your creator.” Yeah, how did that work for you, Dr. Frankenstein?

If I were younger, I would travel to the Skin Walker Ranch and explore The Four Corners in the west. I would search for Arthur’s tomb. I would hike to Area 51. I would out-Mulder Mulder.

But I can’t so I will read accounts of the unexplained and write stories. And wait to see Bigfoot walk through our three acres. I just hope I have my phone with me when he does. If he does and I do, you will definitely see it on Facebook.

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