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Saturday, 28 October 2017

We All Wonder Why We Like A Little Bit Of Horror! (But Not Too Much!)

I had fun at the Roadside Philosophers meeting today, we have some great speakers who regularly attend and of course, we have our wonderful Pamala Clift whose group it is, Pam also chairs the meetings every two weeks and she picks some great topics.

This week's debate was about horror, monsters, zombies and death and why we are attracted to those things.  A good subject being that Halloween is just a few days away. We talked about scary movies and people had their personal stories to tell about what shocked or frightened them.  I think one of the speakers was right when he said that we have to have a little fear now and again because we have to be prepared to deal with some of the bad things in life, if we were spoon fed happy stories all the time the shock of something horrible happening would cause us to freeze and we wouldn't be able to cope.  My contribution wasn't much today however, I don't really like horror films or violent movies, I can do without the chopped up bodies and the torture scenes, clever as the special effects are in the films.  That's why Second Life is good for Halloween, the blood and the gore is more cartoonish and the ghosts often look friendly rather than fiendish.

I must admit however, that I like a good ghost story, even though I lived in a big Victorian House in London when I was a kid in real life and it was a bit too creepy.  My mother told me that she had actually seen the ghosts of two children when she slept in a room on the ground floor of the house. She never told us about the ghosts until we had moved away from the area. It was only then that I confessed that I had hated going into that particular room when I was little, there was something frightening about it, although I had never seen  anything, it just felt like someone was in there. My brother too told us that he felt the same way about that room. He had slept in the basement of the house and had in fact seen what he thought were ghosts sitting around a table playing cards one night, although he may have been dreaming, it had been very real to him. My mother told us that the room my brother had slept in had been used for playing cards back in my grandparent's younger days.

Although it shook my brother, he was happier sleeping in the basement with the ghostly card players than thinking about moving into the room where my mother had seen the little ghosts. I did hear odd noises in the house when everyone was out, but maybe it was just the natural movement of the old building, the creaking or floorboards etc as temperatures changed, who knows. There was one thing that spooked me however, it was a mysterious orb of light in my room at night shining from the corner of the ceiling, a tiny glow, but enough to make me put my head under the bedcovers because it looked spooky.  The house no longer exists, they pulled down the lovely old Victorian houses to build a new estate. As an adult I would have been fascinated to go back to that house, to see if it still had an atmosphere of dread that we had felt in certain rooms.  Are there ghosts? I've no idea, but I don't doubt what my mother and brother had told me had been true. I haven't felt the same way about any of the houses I have lived in since I'm glad to say!

Janey Bracken

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