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Monday, October 29 - 9:02pmSanction this postReply
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I originally had 2 personal experiences that I thought of sharing. The other one is even more scary than this one, but it happens to be so cliche`d that it almost writes itself out of being interesting. You wouldn't know if it was a personal experience I had, or a review for an upcoming horror film. Here are the paradigm horror details of the story that I didn't tell:

A man with a growth on his face, possibly just a mole, but when coupled with his shady demeanor -- uncomfortably distracting.
A man-made labyrinth.
A chained-and-ferocious pit-bull.
A meat-hook.
A possibly-dead guy.

Like I said: cliche`d.

:-)

Ed




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Monday, October 29 - 9:53pmSanction this postReply
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Spookeh Ed.

Speaking of spooky situations, do you like haunted houses? Or scary movies?

I've sometimes wondered why people like haunted houses. I worked at one 2 years ago; I played one of the monsters. I acted as a psychotic butcher in some backwoods slaughterhouse. The room I was in was covered in blood, skinned animals hung from the ceiling, and the most disturbing audio played repeatedly. The audio was a mix of banjo/vocals and the sound of animals being slaughtered, bones breaking and blood spilling. It was a long night.

I wonder why people like going through all that. I also wonder why I loved scaring them.

Furthermore, why are those damned "Saw" movies so popular?



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Monday, October 29 - 10:47pmSanction this postReply
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Man!!! That reminds me of that movie "Wrong Turn" creepy as hell Ed!!

My scary story is very short!
A few years ago I made a left turn, semi truck ran a red light and clipped my front end. I was a wee bit rattled!! I pretty much walked away with a few bruises(big ones). The officer on scene looked at my car, then looked at me and said " Dayummm dunno how you are even awake never mind standing! (he said he has seen less damage to a vehicle were the people were either dead or critical condition). I was back to work about 2weeks later, but then ended up having to take a couple more weeks off due to an infection in my lower leg (had to go on intervenous antibiotics 2x/day for about 10 days.
When I got hit within micro seconds was "shitttt..fuckkkk!! Im never going to see my wife or son again!!"
After the dust settled, I patted myself down, I was reallly "punch drunk" and unfocused, and it seemed like forever before I could focus very well.

When I got home from the hospital a couple hours later my wife had a good cry after we hugged, and then she just looked at me and lightly patted my shoulders, chest and stomach and smiled, it was the cutest thing ever!



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Tuesday, October 30 - 8:48amSanction this postReply
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Kyle, here are some pieces about heroism in SAW, and Horror in general, from an Objectivist perspective, from a previous poster, here, Landon Erp. (Originally posted at our old site, Superhero Babylon):

Heroism in Horror: Introduction

Heroism in Horror: "I Want To Play A Game

Heroism in Horror: "Look At Me As I Kill You"

Heroism in Horror: "Final Girl"



Happy Halloween!

(Edited by Joe Maurone on 10/30, 8:50am)

(Edited by Joe Maurone on 10/30, 1:16pm)




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Tuesday, October 30 - 11:27amSanction this postReply
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Infants start out with few to no fears. They actually have to learn to be afraid since without that warning system we would not be likely to survive. It isn't that feeling fear has to be learned, as such, since that only requires the awareness of potential loss. But, it doesn't take much thought to see that learning to be afraid is about learning some other things: What to be afraid of, and how to act in face of fear. Do we stay frozen in place, do we flee in a panic, or can we take reasoned actions. And how do we experience our fear - are we accepting of it, or do we repress it. (Keep in mind that repressed fear will feed our Shadow) This all comes as we shift more and more into living a life by making choices.

I've always seen scary stories and horror movies and the child's view of Halloween as learning tools for young children as they develop the mental perspective for acting in the face of fear and for the acceptance of living in a world that contains risk.

My niece used to be terrified by the Wizard of Oz movie when she was very young, but she would ask to have the video tape played so she could watch it, again and again (as long as her Dad or Mom would sit with her). To me, that is a beautiful example of a natural courage and zest for growing and developing. She was mastering fears by experiencing and exploring them.

The subconscious is mostly symbolic and very powerful. It can't tell the real from the unreal, but that doesn't matter. It can take an emotional need, such as dealing with very specific fears and create what in effect is a virtual simulator where a person can practice living with or mastering fear. That simulator can be a horror movie as the input, with the subconscious somehow translating the gains achieved in watching a movie apply to something like going to bed in a dark room, or parental abandonment, or whatever a child's specific fears are.

For an adult there san be a somewhat different issue. It is in the subconscious - the Shadow self. None of us achieve perfection in our developmental path such that our conscious and subconscious values are completely in synch nor are we so perfectly self-aware that our own motivations are all known in great detail. The concept of the Shadow is about aspects of our value system that remain in the dark, in the Shadow, and they tend to represent our past such that they may have an emotional reaction in the present even though we no longer have the same values we once had. For example, a grown up, mature adult, comfortable with his body and with all the normal body functions, and without any negative views in these areas, might still laugh at bathroom humor. Things we find funny are often triggered from the shadow. There will be some shadow discomfort with bathroom functions that was acquired in early childhood, and still lives in this minor sense, in the shadow of the adult's normal consciousness. The same can be true for issues related to fear. We could grow up to be brave and rational adults but still have shadow fears that get triggered by fiction.



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Wednesday, October 31 - 4:48amSanction this postReply
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Kyle,

I actually don't like haunted houses or horror at all. I guess you could say my story is more of a "suspense" story than a "horror" story. I never saw Saw or the sequels, but I heard the villain makes the victims make choices -- like the paradigm case sometimes referred to as "Sophie's choice" (3rd Reich commander forces Jewish woman to choose which of her 2 kids to sacrifice). The Joker did something similar in a recent Batman film: 2 streetcars full of folks were suspended at altitude. Each group was given a switch that would spare their lives by making the other, populated streetcar fall. The ensuing debate was whether you would want to live with yourself knowing that in order for you to live, dozens or hundreds of other people would have to die.

It's this damn Malevolent Universe premise that is not just accepted, but almost worshipped, by existentialists. What a terrible way to go about living your life.

Ed




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Friday, November 2 - 12:19pmSanction this postReply
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My bookend sons are polar opposites w.r.t. haunted houses.

The older son, the athletic one with the UVA degree and double major, hates them, won't go anywhere near them, his entire life.

The younger one, the one with Williams Syndrome, loves them, has always loved them, and every year, the two of us make the rounds and hit a bunch of them this time of the year. (Kyle, what you describe sounds just like 'Field of Screams' in Lancaster, PA...one of our favorites. If there is a Disneyland in Hell, it looks like 'Field of Screams.')

When the actors jump up on the hayride with their chainsaws, for example, my youngest is laughing his head off; he introduces himself, "Hi, my name is Eric, and I like to be an actor, too." And the kids behind the Freddy Kreuger mask whatever whisper to him, "Dude...you're supposed to be scared!" and they both laugh.

This started when he was four, up on the Canadian side of Niagra Falls; there are really great 'haunted houses' on that hill, I forget its name, up from the casino, near Hard Rock Cafe, etc. Pitch black. He begged me to go in; his older brother, who was 9 at the time, wanted no part of it. I took Eric in, and it was pitch black, couldn't see your hand in front of your face. Inside, kids with balloons and feather dusters and air horns, etc. Eric clung to my neck like a gila monster, head buried in my shoulder. As soon as it was over, he wanted to do it again.

And, ever since.

And, now we have something to tease his older brother, the scholar athlete jock about. For years.

There is no explaining it. It's just fun.





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Friday, November 2 - 3:14pmSanction this postReply
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Four years ago, as I was driving to work, a large and heavy piece of metal (a leaf spring) crashed through my windshield and struck me in the head.  Every bone in my face was broken, some of them crushed to powder.  I looked in the mirror.  That was kinda scary.

The 4 days following I was a nearly comatose, drugged to oblivion, temporarily brain damaged, near death patient in an inner-city level 1 trauma unit where the typical patient is a gunshot ridled gangbanger.  Security was as intense as many prisons, the staff was underpaid and often scared of their patients, and there were no windows or clocks or other indicators of time passing that someone with only one working eye could ascertain.  I couldn't speak and hardly anyone spoke to me.  In my confusion, I tried to get out of bed, so I was tied down.  A phenomenon known as confabulation occurred.  My mind couldn't make sense of the fleeting moments of clarity, so it filled the spaces with something like hallucinations, both visual and auditory.  I saw a nurse inject poison in my IV.  I heard gunshots in the hallway.  I felt acid being sprayed on my face.  I heard and saw a doctor tell me that no one cared and that my family had no idea where I was so they weren't going to be coming.  I watched as my then 4-year-old son was paraded outside my room, screaming for me to come home.  I was convinced, utterly and totally, that my caretakers were going to kill me, but not until after they drove me mad.  That was unbridled terror. 

(And yes, my pic is post-broken face.  My surgeon is a genius.)




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Friday, November 2 - 7:42pmSanction this postReply
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What a terrible thing to go through, Deanna, but it is at least inspiring to see how you came out of it in both matter and spirit.

Ed




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Sunday, November 4 - 10:51amSanction this postReply
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Deanna, that was a truly horrifying experience. I can't imagine undergoing such trauma and pulling through such as you did.

My scariest experience was when I was shipwrecked on a reef off Barbados in 1987. I was one of a crew of four sailing from the Canary Islands to Barbados in a 32 foot ketch in The Altantic Rally for Cruisers. We had travelled 3,000 miles in 20 days and with only 10 miles left to go to our destination we struck a reef at about 8:00 p.m. on a moonless Saturday night and sank. We managed to get to shore in a life raft, being guided by some locals who were drinking their pina coladas on their porches and who saw our flare and guided us to a safe landing spot among the steep cliffs. We lost everything ... eyeglasses, passports, money, everything except that I had my berth in the forepeak and perhaps how the boat broke up, my sextant, in a wooden box and closed foam protecting the instrument, my underwater camera and exposed film in a ziplok bag floated ashore and were retrieved the next day on a beach. The locals were unbelievably helpful and generous and the next day we had $100 in our pockets to buy clothes and a limousine with driver to get us around to our banks and the British High Commission to get our affairs in order. This happened on Dec. 19 and we spent the Xmas week in a villa of a sugar broker who had to leave for Canada where his wife was having cataract surgery. Most businesses shut down during that time and we had to wait for our eyeglass prescriptions to be filled. I was met in Toronto by my niece in a raging blizzard wearing nothing but my tropical clothes.

Another scare was when I was driving on a semi-rural, undulating road at about 45 mph on a beautiful spring morning with my elbow out the window. A on-coming dump truck approached and as we met I heard a loud crash and my outside rear view mirror disappeared. I came to an abrupt stop and looked backwards. The empty truck had a chain used to secure the gate swinging from side to side. This evidently had hit my mirror, and if it had not, it would surely have destroyed my elbow and cause me to crash the car.

Sam




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