Sunday, 17 June 2012
A Scare at Bedtime*
Captain Kid and Flash have been making increasing demands for ghost stories. (Their idea of a ghost story or horror movie is something along the lines of 'Ello Guv'nor). This must be something in the blood because me, my parents and my grandparents love ghost stories. In fact, there's a question - why do we yearn to be scared so?
We were in the car today and a request for a ghost story led to my mind throwing up a classic British chiller known as Lord Dufferin's Ghost - a terrifying tale that chilled my younger self to the bone (and one of several such ghost stories with a 'room for one more' subtext'). A quick google once back at my desk found the exact source of the story (via The Haunted Closet), a book called The Usborne guide to the Supernatural World (Jeez that book scared me back in 1982 - but I loved it!).
Other memorable sources of fear come from films such as The Omen, Salem's Lot and The Exorcist, but these seemed a bit too brash and although scary, I couldn't relate to them - the nightmares would quickly fade. One film I could relate to was Hammer House of Horror's 'The Two Faces of Evil'. This film was set in such a damn ordinary context - and every time I made a journey in a car, and especially when it rained, I'd be too scared to look at the landscape less I should see a man in a yellow waterproof! God forbid we should ever pick up a hitchhiker! The first five minutes of this film will show you why (although I recommend you watch the whole thing):
Hammer Horror was always a bit cheesy and there were other classier films that would haunt my youth. Whistle and I Will Come To You is M R James at his best, but hell, at the end of it all, it is a man running away from a bedsheet.
This go me thinking - what film did I find most terrifying as a kid? A further few minutes on Google and I found it; a month before my sixth birthday I settled down with my brother and mum to watch Quiet as a Nun, which concluded with this scene:
*Title courtesy of the most excellent Podge and Rodge!