When I was in fourth grade, I convinced myself that a vampire loitered outside my bedroom window waiting for me to go to sleep. Being a precocious child, I decided to outwit this fiend. So when I’d get in bed, I’d lay still and flat as a plank under the covers with a pillow over my head. I’d leave the bedside lamp on too, for that added touch of authenticity. “Nothing to see here. Move along.” My plan must have worked because that vampire never found me. He also never, as I’d hoped he would, bypass my “empty” bed and go down the hall to take care of my sister. Oh well.
A few years later, Michael Jackson’s Thriller video gave me nightmares for weeks. In fact, I still can’t watch it now. I didn’t watch the Exorcist until I was in my late twenties, and then stayed up nights imagining that tribal mask peering through my windows at night. Basically, what I’m telling you is I’m a big old sissy.