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Scary? Rasputin in a monkey mask.

October 4, 2011

I’m just going to prepare you now that I’m really into Halloween.  So expect many Halloween-themed posts ahead.  Clear through January.  Yes, I’m working on one now that’s all about candy corn.  I might trash it though as I know it’ll tick off a lot of candy corn fans.  Although, candy corn fans are probably also Family Circus fans (those two go hand-in-hand).  In which case, I’ve probably lost the candy corn fans long ago.

Yep, this Halloween post is just the tip of the plastic witch’s nose.  And speaking of witches – not scary.  Not even.  I  mean, I’m already driving around suburbia and seeing those monstrosities of the Party America decoration-in-a-box line – draped around trees, garages and porches, coming out of trash dumpsters (actually, that one was real).  Cardboard skeletons, black cat string o’ lights, Frankenstein trash bags – what’s that?  Not scary, that’s what.

Now these things down below here?  These are scary.  Terrifying, in fact.  Yes, and each of them in some special way has tormented me since childhood.  Perhaps I should hang one on my door?

My Nightmare-Inducers: 

1.  People in turn of the century or Civil War-era photographs.  Why?  Easy:  A.) They’re all dead.  And they’re looking out at us, the living, with utter contempt.  I can almost hear them.  You think you’re better than me, you oxygen-breathing, above-ground bitch?  B.) Sometimes their eyes appear white and hollowed-out like Little Orphan Annie,  C.) Occasionally the primitive cameras caught someone in motion, making them appear to be floating off the page like a space alien.

Also, even the photographs themselves give me the heebie-jeebies.  They always smell of either burnt baloney (which is the subconscious reason I don’t eat pork) or the musty wood buildings at Pioneer Village in Minden, Nebraska.

2.  Monkeys.  Oh, where do I start.  Well, there’s always . . .

. . . the zombie-eyed monkey bashing cymbals toy,

. . . the flying ones from the Wizard of Oz, or . . . . . . the organ grinder variety.  Take your pick.  All would make me piddle in my pantaloons if I saw them in a dark alley.

Double the trouble:  Organ grinder monkey in a turn of the century photograph.

Triple the trauma.  Man pretending to be an organ grinder monkey in a turn of the century photograph.

3.  People in plastic masks with the small eye cut-outs.  What evil lurks behind this Wonder Woman mask that appears to be laughing at me right now?  I’m so relieved that these are mostly a thing of the past — due to the fact that the microscopic eyeholes never allowed you to see oncoming traffic or razor blade-protruding Snickers bars.

Double the trouble:  Monkey plastic mask with the small eye cut-outs.

Triple the trauma:  Monkey plastic mask with the small eye cut-outs in a turn of the century photograph (okay, technically a gorilla).

4.  Rasputin.  I had a photograph of him that I was all ready to stick in here for you so you could see what I mean (because I’m guessing you don’t remember your 11th grade history class on the Russian Revolution).  But I just can’t do it.  Because I believe he truly is the “holy devil” and “the monk who wouldn’t die” and I’m not about to piss him off.  Click here instead.  You’re on your own.

5.  Ventriloquist dummies.  These by far trump antique china dolls in the scary toy genre.  I have never known a ventriloquist who wasn’t secretly, deathly afraid of his dummy.  Though, granted, I’ve never known a ventriloquist.  And for good reason.

6.  Wicker-backed antique wheelchairs.  My husband forced me to put this in here.  He said, C’mon — it’s so you!  This one defines you down to the very core of your past-oriented paranoia.  Why don’t you add that one to the list?  Because then I’d have to explain it.  And I can’t.  So I’ll just throw it on here and hope you’ll look past the randomness of this phobia.

7.  People in mascot costumes.  Particularly the newfangled ones that are filled with air.  They’re collapsible and they gyrate like they’re having an epileptic fit.  All the while smiling.  I once saw this one right here collapse its entire head all the way into its body in order to fit through my office door.  All the while smiling.  Well, I guess I can’t be certain on the smiling part, considering his entire head was pulled into his body.

8.  Identical twin children in matching clothes.  Believe me, I was once like you in thinking this is a delightful occurrence.  Oh, if only I could return to those innocent days where I thought,“Oh, cute!  Two of you!”  And then something changed.  Hmmm . . . I wonder why?

Don’t worry, Mom.  You can exhale here – I never saw The Shining on your watch.  No, you only allowed me to see the PG-rated horror films.  Like Poltergeist.  At age six.  Have I told you all about this already? 

Double the trouble:  Identical twins in matching clothes in a turn of the century photograph.


What you didn’t see on this list:

Clowns.  Of course they scare me.  But this is sooooo yesterday’s phobia.  Everyone is scared of clowns these days and it’s getting to be dull-dull-dull to even talk about.  Plus, that was half the reason they were even scary to begin with.  Because they were not supposed to be scary.  Scary as in John Wayne Gacy, the really nice guy next door.  I think by now we’re all on to them and their evil scheming and it’s simply time to move on.

But if we’re talking a clown that is, say, a ventriloquist dummy too?  That’s another story.

“Hey, who you callin’ a dummy?”

22 Comments leave one →
  1. October 4, 2011 11:32 am

    Very thorough. I agree with all of it except for Little Red. He’s too poofy to be scary. The football team is scary enough right now. (And not in a good way.)

    A few you missed – old and worn baby dolls with open and shut eyes, carnival ride operators, oh yeah – and that witch painting from Grandma T’s attic (creepy fantasy art.)

    • October 4, 2011 2:53 pm

      I also forgot about bald, naked department store mannequins piled up in a storeroom.

      I had the scariest baby doll you could ever imagine on here but had to take it off. Just too scary. Sort of like Rasputin. Best not sitting here on my blog forever and freaking me out. See for yourself:

      That scary witch painting was Uncle Tom’s (apparently). (What’s up with that, Uncle T?)

  2. October 4, 2011 6:07 pm

    Outstanding list. I now can add new things to be afraid of that I had never even thought of before. I would also like to add Oompa Loompas from the 1970s Willy Wonka movie.

    Speaking of horrifying masks, did you ever see those translucent regular run-of-the-mill people masks? My mother bought them one year and my brother would occasionally wear one on non-Halloween days to scare the living crap out of me.

    • October 5, 2011 7:21 pm

      Ahhhh! The fact that you mentioned those masks made me have to google image search their creepy existence, despite that I knew exactly what you were talking about. I recall seeing them in a campy horror movie or two.

      I referenced the tunnel boat ride in Willy Wonka in my Top Ten Scariest Kid Shows list but I absolutely forgot about the Oompa Loompas.

  3. Janine Edwards permalink
    October 4, 2011 8:40 pm

    Oh you hit it on the head with those MONKEYS……….YIKES…….
    Janine Edwards

  4. janel permalink
    October 5, 2011 2:27 pm

    Why oh why did I look at Rasputin. I won’t be able to sleep ever!

    • October 5, 2011 7:25 pm

      I warned you. Now you know why I didn’t want that one hanging out on my blog for weeks to come. I own a book about Rasputin and I keep it in a closet under heavy lead-lined blankets.

  5. Patrick permalink
    October 6, 2011 9:33 pm

    I love monkeys. Curious George was a favorite growing up. King Kong was my favorite when I was old enough to watch it. (And that movie still ranks among my favorites.)

    I’ve always said monkeys make everything better.

    So why is it that flying monkeys absolutely give me the heebie jeebies?

    • October 6, 2011 9:50 pm

      Does Curious George qualify as a monkey? This has always bothered me in that he has no tail…right? Or maybe I need to double-check that with my kids’ books. I have no problem with chimps and gorillas. I’ll pal around with them any day. It’s those pocket-sized ones that get to me.

      Flying monkeys = terror on land and in the air.

  6. skynyrdgyrl81 permalink
    March 6, 2012 1:56 pm

    I thought I was the only one terrified of those creepy turn of the century photographs. I do admit I am terrified of clowns. And spiders. Largely due to the movie “IT”. Thanks for wrecking my childhood Stephen King!

    • March 6, 2012 8:44 pm

      I forgot about the spider in It. Combining a giant spider and a deranged clown in one nightmare is genius. Stephen King must’ve read my diary.

  7. May 24, 2012 6:08 am

    First off, I couldn’t watch the Wizard of Oz for years. Those monkeys terrified me.
    Secondly, I am glad your husband forced you to put the wicker wheel chair in. You are not alone. It’s not nausea exactly, but more like a queasy disorientation I get when I see one. I immediately go back to a scene in the movie Heidi. There’s this dramatic build up, then boom Heidi gets dumped by a jealous cousin, and like a sack of potatoes she rolls down the side of a cliff. I think they cleverly work the scene so that you are identifying with the jealous cousin, so by the time she hurls Heidi into oblivion you’re thinking you did it and later you can’t sleep over this horrible thing you’ve done. AND you have to live with an aversion to wicker wheel chairs for the REST of your life.
    Thirdly, the twins. Mine are not identical so that helps. Even scarier? At my last non-stress test the technician heard a third heartbeat. I had to wait for the on-call obstetrician for an hour in the hall teetering on a tiny plastic orange chair not fit for a woman about to give birth to triplets. “Nothing to worry about,” the tech says, ”Sometimes a whole other baby hides behind another, symmetrically.” Not to worry? I was there setting the date for a C-section that was to take place within a week. I had gained 80lbs. Yes 80lbs. I had weighed 100lbs at the start of it all, in total. Who was to say there weren’t more of them hiding there, lined up in perfectly symmetrical line ups. Crazy, crazy things went through my mind. In the end it turned out to be my own heart beat. An hour after that I was in labor. Scared me right into labor for God sakes. The sudden appearance of mutliples, or anything rapidly multiplying for that matter, is scary.

    • May 25, 2012 8:57 pm

      The part about you being pregnant with twins and thinking they were multiplying inside you — WOW. Is this Rosemary’s Baby, Part III? Never has pregnancy sounded more bizarre.

      By the way, I’m pretty sure that birthing twins makes you some kind of a rock star.

      I didn’t know Heidi got dumped over a mountain and paralyzed. I admit I’ve never seen it before and I’m glad now that I haven’t. I thought it was just about hair braiding in the Alps.

      • May 25, 2012 9:09 pm

        Heidi was already paralyzed when the girl shoved her off the cliff. i’m not actually sure if she actually falls out of the chair. It’s just the way i remember that scene. And i don’t plan to ever watch the movie again to see how accurately i remember it. Another thing i am happy to never know.

      • May 25, 2012 9:10 pm

        Even better (worse)! Awful! Now that I understand it better, I do recall seeing a scene like this. Maybe just in my nightmares.

  8. frugalnature permalink
    June 13, 2012 9:02 am

    I’m right there with you on the clowns & mascots (or anyone dressed up in a big headed costume like that really…I always thought that Easter Bunny was up to no good). Though, it seems with all of your historical-related phobias that you’ve had some past-life trauma…perhaps you were wheel-chair bound at the turn of the century as a result of a vicious monkey attack… ;)

    • June 14, 2012 8:36 pm

      I think you nailed it on the past-life trauma! I don’t want to think about actually sitting in one of those wicker-backed wheelchairs though. It’s bad enough they existed, I can’t imagine actually sitting in one. Eeeek!

  9. July 8, 2012 7:33 pm

    You have totally nailed the list of what is scary. (And I have a ghost in my house). Though I worked for McDonald’s head office in Canada and the scariest part of those mascot costumes was how gamey they got after a few wears – those mothers were HOT inside!

    • July 10, 2012 10:20 am

      Thanks, Leslie! Yikes — the fact that the mascot costumes got gamey makes them all the more disturbing. Creepy and suffocating to boot. Just imagine how gamey that turn of the century gorilla mask was.

  10. July 12, 2012 10:33 am

    Reblogged this on ihadsexwithspiderman and commented:

    • July 12, 2012 9:51 pm

      Thank you for the reblog. Your gravatar is scaring me. Only slightly less than if your gravatar was Rasputin.

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