Do you remember which scary movies cost you sleep as a kid? And by extension, which ones cost your parents sleep when you kept them up with your heebie-jeebies?
If we’ve grown into healthy and stable adults, those same movies can be viewed again without any ill effects at night. More often than not, we probably even think they’re silly.
What’s on your list? I’ll share a few of mine.
- King Kong (1933 version). At around five years old, I cringed at Fay Wray’s predicament when she was tied up and waiting for she-knew-not-what. This historic movie studio production prompted dreams where I was chased by giants, with nowhere to hide.
- All of the classic 1940s monster movies. When I was in elementary school, the local TV station would run these gems after school around Halloween. The Werewolf, Frankenstein, and Wolfman were irresistible, and great fun … at least, in the daytime. And none cost me more sleep than The Mummy. I had recurring nightmares about that one — into adulthood.
- Cat People. In my early 20s, I saw this movie with a date. One guy got his arm ripped off by a black panther; that was just one scene. I was brave for my date, but I kept a sleepless vigil that night, in case any jungle cats got into the house.
Did any of my movies appear on your list? Or did you have others? Regardless, what was your coping mechanism for night frights?
As a kid, after viewing one of these and needing reassurance at night, I’ll never forget my father’s comforting words:
Go back to sleep!
Indeed, I’ve used them myself, if my wife wants the closet doors firmly secured before getting into bed. I simply channel my Dad.
So in signing off, I’ll quote Elvira, Mistress of the Dark:
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