Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Scary Stuff

I knew I shouldn't have done it.

But it was there. It was tempting. And I had nothing else to do.

And no - this does not include peanut M&Ms or PB Cups. Although eating a lot of those would have been scary as well. (Most notably the morning after - when you wake up and then realize how much candy you actually ate.)

No - my candy, er - dilemma - for the month of October is taken care of. Thanks to Elaine's (TriGirlPink) challenge, I won't be waking up to a post-M&M-consumption-induced coma. See her blog for details.

But speaking of October and all things Halloween, lately I've been scaring myself silly. Not with workouts, and definitely not with M&Ms - but with super scary "reality" TV shows.

And no - not E! Network stuff, or The Biggest Looser. I try to not watch a lot of TV, I swear. But lately, Nathaniel has been doing a lot of night flights - so I'm home alone.

Normal routine is thrown out of whack - so I'll channel surf. Okay... so what does this have to do with being scared silly?

Glad you asked.

Two words: Ghost Hunters.

First, a bit of background.

I swear that I grew up in a haunted house. Something was not right with that place. And just because I have an overactive imagination, doesn't mean that I was wrong. I couldn't stand to be on any single floor by myself. I would have to drag my sister upstairs or downstairs with me. At night I would yell and holler, "Mom? Dad? Could somebody please take me to the bathroom?" until one of my poor parents walked me 10 feet down the hall.

Had there been a bathroom not near the edge of the staircase - where the "monsters" or "things" were undoubtedly waiting for me at the very bottom - I would have happily gone on my own. Yes, I would have gotten a running head-start and taken a flying leap to get back into bed (hands reaching out from under - to this day I don't like to dangle my hands or feet off the edge!), making it creak.

The worst? The basement. Or being downstairs late at night. The poor cat was oftentimes my companion. Once, while I was doing dishes (my chore), I was so afraid of the basement stairs (I thought I kept hearing someone or something comming up it. Not just hear - but I could sense that something was just there.) - that I barely rinsed the soap off the dishes. The next morning my parents weren't too happy with my dish washing job.

At the time they didn't realize how petrified I was. But now when we talk about it, they understand that I was truly terrified.

Okay - so little kid with big imagination + totally weird house = adult who mostly can handle herslef.

Until she watched Ghost Hunters. Alone.

In the show, a team of ordinary people aka "The Ghost Hunters" go out and try to disprove hauntings or paranormal phenomenon. They use technology, Electronic Voice Sensors, K2 meters, digital recorders, thermal cameras, and a lot of scepticism to disprove their cases.

About 80% of the cases they review, they find nothing.

That leaves (by my calculations - and I'm no math expert - you can tell by how off I am when counting laps during a swim set) 20% of the places they investigate to have some sort of paranormal activity.

A haunting is different than paranormal activity. From what I've gathered, there are different kinds of phenomena out there. If you're interested - check out their site. They're the experts, not me (clearly!).

Unfortunately (for me) once I turned the flippin' show on, I was too terrified to turn it off. I mean - what's worse? Not knowing and expecting the worse (but never finding out because you were too afraid to hang in there), or finding out and being scared anyway.

I know how my imagination works - and more often than not, I'll try to stick with and see what happens. I guess my mind can be much worse than anything they come up with.

But that doesn't solve the problem of me, watching this team of Ghost Hunters, hunt ghosts in an abandoned Train Station in Buffalo, NY. Apparently it was very haunted. Images were caught on camera, unworldly voices were heard on recording, and most members of the investigation team had first-hand experiences with one aspect (or more) of the haunting.

Great! A night that Nathaniel's gone until 12:30 or 1 am and I'm totally alone. With my cats. Nice.

You had better believe that nearly all the lights are turned on, NPR is playing in the background, and there is no way that I'm letting anything so much as a fingernail droop over the side of the bed tonight.

But as I was watching - petrified and half buried under the covers, yet unable to tear my eyes away from the television as the cast went "lights out" - I couldn't help but wonder why? I was doing what I was doing.

If I was that scared, that sensitive - then why even bother.

I suppose I want to know. I want to be reassured that there are other people out there that have similar experiences. No - I'm not saying that I saw any ghosts or heard any unworldly voices in the middle of the night - but I had a sense that when I should have been by my slef, that I wasn't alone. That I was always being watched by something around the corner.

When I see other people who can relate, who have simila feelings it brings me a lot of comfort. I know I'm not alone, know that I'm not the only one to ever experience feelings like this.

And for the record, when I was 14, our family moved into a different house. And even though the previous owner died in the kitchen, I've never felt weird or anything abnormal there. In high school I was able to watch British Comedy late into the wee hours of the morning in the same kitchen.

It didn't mean that I didn't still thunder up the stairs when the lights were off and I was the last one heading up - I still do to this day. But there's a sense of happiness, of calm and of peace in their house now. Very different from the first one.

Perhaps I grew up, or grew out of my phase. Thankfully, in spite of the many houses I've lived in since college and now moving around the country with a husband in the Marine Corps., I haven't had experiences like that since. And I hope I never do.

But I still can't get over the fact that I willingly watched that show.

Perhaps a part of me still wanted to be scared? Maybe I wanted to see the skeptics dissect a case and prove that there's nothing there, nothing to be afraid of? Or maybe I just want to be assured that I'm not the only one out there. Better yet? I'm bored on a Wednesday while Nathaniel is flying his Night Qualifications.

You never know.

Regardless - tonight I'll be sleeping with all the lights on. The radio will be playing, and I'll have to make sure that one - if not both - of the kitties are with me in bed. I'll be sure that the blankets are tucked around and I may even set the sleep timer on the TV.

I think that Frasier comes on at 11. The Golden Girls at 12. And The Nanny at 1.

Now the fact that I know that is scary.


Anonymous said...

HA! That is like watching a show about SHARKS OR OPEN water animals - which I refuse to do b/c I spend alot of time in open water! I DO think some houses are haunted FOR SURE...I have a ton of stories for you, but this entire neighborhoood are all houses built in the mid 1800s...and there are a few that are well, err, off. And, the stories are AMAZING!!!! One of them had a fire and a little girl was killed - everyone knows that that little girl's spirit /ghost is still there....etcetc....No more scary shows! What ever happened to "Dancing w/ Stars" or something light! :) Jen H.

Trigirlpink said...

lol.. really, like cats are good for making you feel safe and secure, eh?
If mine just catches a view of a non running vacuum cleaner....

OUTTA HERE.....meow.

TriGirl Kate O said...

Just sick Tabbitha on any ghost! I'm sure she'd defend you well.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree - I find the show tempting but then if I watch it I'm totally freaked out for the next night or eight...and I don't have a big cat to comfort and protect me from the ghosts!

BreeWee said...

Golden Girls, that is MY FAVORITE! Ha ha, have fun on TGP's challenge... do it do it do it!!