|Scared the crap out of me first time I saw Him in a movie|
Halloween was always my favorite holiday.
When I was a little kid (seven and eight years old), I couldn't wait for the brisk days of autumn to roll around. The smell of dead leaves in the air, the anticipation of going trick or treating, and getting free candy! Wow.
I was lucky because I grew up in the Forties (yes, I am THAT old) before people started to put razor blades into apples. By the way, I hated it when I went trick or treating and someone gave me fruit. WTF? Candy man, CANDY!
Anyway, back to my Halloween narrative: I lived "in town", which meant I lived on a street (Washington Avenue) in a small town (Downingtown, Pennsylvania - population 5,000). I literally lived in a Norman Rockwell town.
We were poor, poorer than most of my neighbors on Washington Avenue. They lived in houses, we (me, my Mom and Pop and two younger brothers) lived in a second floor, roach infested, two bedroom, one bath walk up apartment (rent $22 a month). Pop was a welder and Mom a Stay-at-home Mom. So when Halloween came around this was time for FREE CANDY. And at that age I LOVED candy, especially FREE CANDY.
A pause here, I started this blog intending to tell what or who scared me the most (the Frankenstein Monster of course) and here I'm going on about candy. Back to what scared me the most.
In out little town we had a movie theater called the Roosevelt. It used to be the Downingtown Opera House but when I was growing up I could go to the movies for 15 cents. "Adults" (over 12 years old) had to pay 45 cents which, of course, I could never afford.
Anyway, I hear about this Universal movie called "Frankenstein." I love scary movies so I went with my cousins (and I think my brothers, I'm not sure about that). I was about eleven years old when I saw the movie. I remember this because I had to walk down Boot Road to the movie theater and we moved to that apartment on Boot Road when I was eleven years old.
So I see this movie. The first time the Monster appears on screen he looks RIGHT AT ME.
He made EYE CONTACT with me! And that eerie music was playing. I froze in my seat. I was literally scared shitless. Man oh man. I was FROZEN.
For the rest of the movie, especially that scene where he pops in on the pristine white bride (Mae Clarke), I was petrified. All I could think was "How am I going to go home?" I have to walk all the way down Boot Road in the DARK. There were no houses on Boot Road, only empty corn fields. HOW WAS I GOING TO GET HOME?
Well folks, I made it home but let me tell you, I have NEVER and I mean NEVER been as frightened since as I was that night when I was convinced that the Frankenstein Monster was waiting for me in one of those fields and was going to chase me home.
In fact, for months thereafter I used to have dreams that he did indeed chase me home. I always made it home in time and locked the door behind me but I would then see his face looking through the window at me. Several times he broke into the house. And I don't know where my parents or my brothers were, in these dreams I was always the only one in the house.
When I heard "Frankenstein's" loud footsteps clomping up the stairs outside (we lived in another second floor apartment this time, sans cockroaches this time) I retreated to the crawl space attic, carefully lowing the small plywood covering over the opening. Once in the attic I could hear "Frankenstein" growling (and man didn't he have a scary growl?) and slamming things around. Then everything went quiet.
Now this is where it really got scary. I could hear him opening the bedroom door. The entrance to the attic was in the bedroom closet. I hear him moving around in our bedroom (which I shared with my two bothers - WHERE WERE THEY)?
I hear him grunting. Then he stops. Silence. Then I hear the closet door opening. More silence. Then I see the plywood covering moving up. HE'S FOUND ME!!!!!
I wake up.
Ask me how many times I had this dream when I was young. Many time folks, many times.
To this day, I am fascinated by the original Frankenstein's monster portrayed by Boris Karloff.
Oh sure, there have been other Frankenstein monsters but none like his.
I was scared to death folks. Even to this day when I see those dead eyes, it sends a chill through my bones.
Happy Halloween everyone!