A Fearful Terror

 

A FEARFUL TERROR

Fear comes in many forms. It has the capacity to cause dread, anxiety and nervousness. Fear is one of the most powerful tools that exists to facilitate control over somebody. Think back to when you were a small child and the things that frightened you. Many of them have a universal applicability. How many times did you cry out to your mother and father in the night because you were frightened of the “monsters under the bed” and you were terrified that once the bedroom door was closed that something would come creeping out of the wardrobe and induce utter fear throughout you? Perhaps it was the strange shapes that formed once the light was turned off with only moonlight streaming through the crack in the curtains so that the shadow thrown across the room appeared like some old crone waiting to come and take you away and eat you. How many times were you warned as a child never to speak to strangers, never to get into a car with somebody you did not know and never to accept sweets from a stranger? Do you recall how this conjured up images of smelly old men in stained raincoats who waited to abduct you and spirit you away to be locked up who knows where? Perhaps there was that house on your walk back from school which had attracted a certain reputation. It was run-down, the garden overgrown, with bushes spilling onto the path, the windows grimy and paint peeling. You were never sure whether anybody actually lived there. Some said that a witch resided there and she waited for children passing on their own before grabbing them and stuffing them in her cellar to starve to death. Others told tales on stormy afternoons which made the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, about the spirits that haunted the old house. A friend would swear that he had walked past, one wet and windy evening, just as it was going dark and he saw the face of a ghostly child staring at him from an upstairs window, the child’s spectral hands knocking against the window as if requesting help. After hearing that tale you took a different route home from school so you did not have to pass this particular house anymore. If that was not possible, you would run past, head down, shouting at the top of your voice to drown out any strange sounds that might come from the trapped ghost child, as you dared not even look towards the house. Fear often stalked your childhood and resulted in sleepless nights, nightmares and a reluctance to go to bed. Do you remember being sent to bed and staring up the stairs towards the darkness wondering what was waiting for you? How you did not want to appear scared in front of your parents (especially since they had let you stay up a while longer because you were a “big boy/girl” now). You wanted to hand those words back as you hovered at the base of the stairs, the hallway colder than the living room from which you had ventured. How many times did the noise of the house settling, resulting in strange groans and creaks convince you that somebody was waiting out of sight in a doorway, their heavy booted foot resting on the squeaky floorboard, rusty axe clutched in greasy, long-nailed fingers?  Did the sight of a clown have you running to hide in the folds of your mother’s dress, that strange leering and accentuated mouth creating panic in your tiny mind? What did that eerie clown have in mind for you?

It might have been a reluctance to paddle barefooted in the sea or a river because you could not see where you were putting your feet. You felt something brush your foot, most likely seaweed, but in your mind some razor-toothed fish was about to take a bite from your ankle or a crab was about to affix a pincer to your big toe. You turned and ran hollering from the edge of the sea back to the safety of the sandy beach. There may have been a murderer’s alleyway in your town, a badly-lit passageway between two roads which was a convenient and easy short cut during the day but at night the purported preserve of lurking knife merchants and yellow-toothed stranglers who were just waiting to pounce and take your life. You stood staring down the alleyway trying to drive the rising fear from you but it just would not go and instead you opted to walk the long way around. It took twenty extra minutes but at least you got home safely.

Fear continued to stalk your life as you grew older. You might not be worried about the bogeyman anymore but he has shapeshifted into the fear that comes with finding a lump about your body and not knowing what it is. Uncertainty about the business for whom you work has you tossing and turning at night. Wondering where the next pay check will come from has you similarly fearing for the future. Walking alone along a road at night and hearing footsteps behind you still causes your heart rate to increase. A glance over your shoulder as you cross the road to the other pavement only serves to heighten your worry as a hooded figure also crosses the road. Your step quickens as your fear increases and your mind floods with images of robbery, rape or murder. When alone in the house at night the sound of a bang from downstairs has you sat bolt upright in bed. What was that noise? Did you dream it? Was it somebody breaking in? Was it something not of this world, a poltergeist perhaps hurling a book against a wall. You cannot see what caused the noise and immediately the fear forms in the pit of your stomach, your racing mind conjuring up a score of unpleasant scenarios as you debate creeping to the top of the stairs and peering down to see if you can ascertain what it was.

Fear takes hold of you and makes your reasoning faulty. It tightens around your throat stopping you from calling out and turns your legs into stone so you are figuratively petrified and unable to escape that unseen tormentor. Fear withers you, paralyses you and you will do anything at all to escape that sensation of fear. It is pervasive, damaging and controlling.

Your greatest fears always stem from the unknown. It is that which you cannot see which causes you the greatest terror. When you cannot see something you are plunged into fear, its icy grip takes hold and you crumble. The unknown and the unseen create the fear. That is why we are so devastatingly effective in our control of you. That is why we create such numbing fear in you.

10 thoughts on “A Fearful Terror

  1. Asp Emp says:

    Such a great read – brought back memories of my own. There were many ‘tales’ in relation to the old and very large manor house that I lived in for a few years. I never saw any of the ‘so-called’ ghosts but they were very good tales and instilled the fears. The entrance hall was massive – wooden panelled & wooden staircase. It’s said that the founder’s painted portrait that hangs on the wall, the eyes follow you as you walk past. At night-time, it was certainly very creepy and dark. We avoided the cellar, for sure – played ‘dares’ – you had to walk to the end of the long corridor and then your friends would turn the lights off!! Those were the best years of my life. That will change now too.

  2. Sweetest Perfection says:

    We are on a roll tonight, ha? This reminds me of every time I have to go downstairs to the laundry room and on my way back I remember the monster of Pan’s Labyrinth and think he’s gonna catch my leg, and I get nervous and start singing loud until I make it safely back to the upper floor and shut the door behind and ….. sigh!!!! One more victory!

  3. Truthseeker6157 says:

    Well if we are going to play creepy songs, I think I might have the edge here!

    https://youtu.be/n8cMBTAQJgo

    1. lickemtomorrow says:

      That was creepy, TS, and the first comment posted on the song says “that sounds like a stalker song”!

      Here’s my pick for Halloween – the cognitive dissonance of Blink 182

      https://youtu.be/s1tAYmMjLdY

      1. Truthseeker6157 says:

        Haha, yes I noticed that comment too!

        Have to say I do love that song though. Don’t do cheery music haha

        I like the blink video. The spookiest thing in that is the hairless cat. Who came up with the idea of a hairless cat?! No one good that’s for sure!

        1. lickemtomorrow says:

          Ha, TS, that hairless cat is creepy! At least in that video.

          The bit that gets me is the spider. One of the female narcs I know I refer to as the spider. The other one I refer to as the snake.

          And the cognitive dissonance of “don’t waste your time on me you’re already a voice inside my head” combined with the “miss you” kind of says it all for me right now.

          1. Truthseeker6157 says:

            I know LET, me too xx

  4. Liza says:

    <> this applies 100% to me !!! when i’m not sure about something i start running simulations of the most awful scenarios that can occur, and there is always a scenario in wich i can’t find the sollution so i end up terrified and suffering as if i’m actulally experencing it and i obsess over it so much that the actual reality becomes just a distant memory, but strangely when i have a real concrete problem i don’t car that much.

  5. A Victor says:

    This article brought to mind a good memory! Lol, our family went camping on a few occasions when I was young. My dad was the best scary story teller ever and we loved sitting around the camp fire listening to him tell them! The same ones each time but that didn’t matter, it was always as if they were being told for the first time. It probably didn’t help those nights when the shadows moved on the wall from the wind or I thought some creepy hand would grab my foot if I dangled it over the edge. But it was fun at the time! Good memories from my childhood are previous as I have very few. Thank you HG!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome.

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