1. Do you enjoy a good fright?
No, I’m a wimp. In general I stay away from scary movies. I definitely don’t watch them alone. And I’m afraid of the dark.
2. Scariest movie you've ever seen
The Exorcist. I still can’t watch it or even hear it from another room. Also, the Blair Witch Project creeped me out for weeks. That final sequence with the abandoned house, the handprints, and one of them standing in the corner. I don’t think I would watch that again.
3. Bobbing for apples: choose one and discuss:
a) Nothing scary about that! Good wholesome fun.
b) Are you *kidding* me?!? The germs, the germs!
It’s not the germs but the suffocating feeling of having my head underwater while trying to bite an apple with my hands behind me. Don’t like that idea at all. My kids are welcome to try.
4. Real-life phobia.
Hmm. This isn’t exactly a phobia, but it sure is a weird aversion. I hate it when I drain macaroni or any tube pasta if any are left standing straight up in the bottom of the pot. I feel very odd, even a little faint. The more there are, the worse I feel. If anyone has any insight into THAT, please let me know.
I also avoid looking in mirrors in the dark. Too many Bloody Mary stories when I was young. And remember that scene with the mirror in Poltergeist?
5. Favorite "ghost story"
My favorite ghost stories are the ones I’ve heard from friends. Since these were their own experiences, I find them particularly compelling and frightening. I had a friend in Arizona who grew up on a reservation. His grandmother’s house had once been part of a hospital in a Japanese interment camp. He said that you could sometimes here gurneys rolling down the hall. He also had scarier stories about dolls that started to talk and watching evil faces superimposed on the faces of sleeping friends. He also sometimes spoke of skinwalkers, very quietly, and of friends who had been chased by these strange shape shifters.
I had another friend who lived in an old house in Japan for a while (I asume on an American army base). He had a huge family—his parents adopted a number of children. Now and then they would hear scratching and a baby crying in one of the storage closets. They never talked about it while they lived there.
Another friend told me that he was staying at his inlaws after his father-in-law’s funeral. He woke up one night and went to get a snack in the kitchen, and there was his father-in-law sitting at the table, not at all ghostly looking. You might think he was dreaming, except that another family member joined him and also saw the ghost.
And then there was a friend who attended St. Andrews University in Scotland. Her housemother lived in an old Tudor house, and when D. graduated, her housemother invited her family to stay there. They caught glimpses of someone in a long dress going up the stairs. Rocking chairs rocked by themselves. And her father once felt something behind him. There was a mirror in front of him and an exit to the side. He didn’t dare look up in the mirror, but just left the room and then the house. His usual job was as a prison warden. I also visited this house with my friend. I didn’t see anything, but something was making a ruckus banging around pans in the kitchen, but there were only us three having sherry in the parlor. In response to our inquiry, the owner said there was no one there. And she left it at that.