Monday, March 26, 2012

The Dark

I just read Charity Parkerson's twitter post that said:

"Evil lives in the dark--we instinctively know this as children." 

And it struck a chord with me.

I remember being terrified to go into the basement because it was dark. And later because my sister would bribe me like Lucy would Charlie Brown. She would ask me to get her a toy from the basement because she was too "little" and look at me with the biggest brown puppy-dog eyes you have EVER seen--and I fell for it every time.  So I would get to the bottom step, and she would shut off the light, slam the door, and run.

I was afraid to sleep without the hall light on--I still leave the lights and television on when my husband is away.

Everything is much scarier in the dark.  I cannot remember a horror movie where the really terrifying stuff happens during the day.

30 Days of Night is a movie about the town of Barrow, Alaska, that is plunged into a vampire filled 30 days where the sun never rises.  We all know they can only get you after the sun goes down...

Werewolves only 'turn' during the full moon--at night. 

My grandmother would say "there is nothing in the dark that isn't there in the light."  Oh, but Grandma--we can't see what waits for us when the lights are down.

We are told we will see a golden light when we die, leading us to the promise land.

This Little Light of Mine is shining and surely showing our good side.

Saying someone is all 'goodness and light' is self-explanatory.

A book I read about Feng Shui and "clearings" said that spirits live in the dark and the clutter.  The dim areas in our home that collect piles of stuff also harbor ghosts and evil.  We feel uncomfortable there not only because of the mess, but because darker and more base entities have come to roost. There is no motion--and no light.
Read about it here:

I can't say if these things are true--but I think Charity Parkerson is right.  We DO feel things when we are children and running up the cellar stairs for dear life because we know something growling and dark is nipping at our heels.  But we grow out of these things--we are rational now and we learn to fight these feelings.

Maybe we should listen to our instincts a bit more.  Maybe our inner voice is right--the dark is scary.

Day 57 of 100 Unfortunate Days

Every single basement has a dark corner or room no one likes. Maybe the whole basement is dark and scary. Spirits collect in dark and cluttered spaces. They hide and wait for you because they are stuck. Some people can see them. Some people see the long, thin, black, wispy figures with arms ten feet long that unfold as they slowly reach for you in the dark because you have to go down there to get something or fix a light bulb or retrieve a screwdriver.

Part of you revs up and moves really quickly to get out of there because you know if you wait long enough and the arms fully unfold, they can touch you and then part of you belongs in the black corner in the basement. Then it will be very hard to be normal again. You will wake up in the middle of the night, and you won’t be able to get back to sleep because you will worry about all the things you have done wrong and how you are hurting people.

You can’t get this out of your mind now and you think that maybe if you count and envision each number in your head as you say it in your mind; you can block some of the bad thoughts. Or maybe you can pray—say the Lord’s Prayer over and over and over and God will surely be there to help you because you are saying his prayer. But it doesn’t help.

God doesn’t give a fuck when you are miserable—he doesn’t care if you pray. You can pray until there is blood dripping out of your mouth and nothing will change. God is an asshole that way. Even a relatively rotten person will assist you if you are begging for help, but your thoughts will just revolve through your mind over and over until you want to take a gun like the lead in Fight Club and shoot them out of your head. Maybe someday you will, but for now, you are trying to figure why God is such a jerk-off and you have to live like this.

You wonder why you feel forsaken—well it’s probably because you have been forsaken and you don’t know how to live in that state. Because when you are a kid somebody probably told you everything would be all right, and now you realize they lied. So you keep lying to yourself, telling yourself it’s not such a big deal, but actually it is, because now the dark corners in your basement have started to get darker. And bigger. The arms get longer and longer and pretty soon there won’t be anywhere you can go where they can’t touch you. So you start to drink or take pills or do some other kind of drug so you can’t tell when you get touched. Now the problem is you get touched all the time, but you don’t know it. At least now you don’t care.


  1. Hmmm. Sounds like a throw down. Now I want to write a scary story set in the light.

    I'm contrary that way.

    (What will happen if I make you afraid of the light?)

    1. Oooh you SHOULD Marie!!
      I offer the challenge--what a great idea.
      Contrary is good--makes for some unorthodox idea I would think...

  2. Darkness is a veil that gives people freedom to do what they wouldn't in the sunshine -- it creates an anonymous alter ego for some...Jack the Ripper didn't strike during the day now did he???

    p.s. I'm sorry about the cellar and the puppy dog eyes. Wait - no I'm not! haha!!!!

    1. I can vouch for a dark alter-ego...
      Hey!! I know who this is--my arch nemesis CELLAR GIRL!! Ahhhh!!!
      Damn those eyes...

  3. My friend Jeff Mariotte wrote some of the 30 Days of Night stuff! Check him out, sometime.

    This excerpt from 100 Unfortunate Days is terrific. I love it.

  4. Oh I will surely look him up!
    That is very neat. The beginning of the movie is scaaaaary.
    And thanks Leslea--much appreciated :)

  5. Posted on behalf of Paul Dail--

    Okay, this may be a double comment. Not sure what happened.

    Anyway, great post. I like the one-liners about the dark and the light. I think most horror writers had some sort of "dark basement" (mine was also an actual basement).

    In re-reading this post, I came up with a pretty scary movie that had good moments during the day: Halloween. That was part of the audacity (or insanity) of Michael Myers. He didn't necessarily need to wait until the dark. Of course, the scenes at night were pretty terrifying, too.

    And I would agree with Red. I like Jeff a lot. I actually posted a review of one of his books and then an interview following. If you click on the following link, you'll get the review and the link to his author interview.

    Paul D. Dail A horror writer's not necessarily horrific blog

    1. First of all--Halloween almost gave me a heart attack the first time I say it. I guess I was 15. Maybe the fact that things happened in the light too is what helped make that movie so terrible--and wonderful.
      I do not have a basement now--probably one of the reasons I picked this house in the first place.
      Now I just have an attic that is big enough to cause an echo...

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Okay, trying again. Apologies if I clutter up your blog with test comments that are removed. On the other hand, I always wonder when I see that a comment has been removed. What could they have possibly said that needed to be removed or recanted? :)

  8. Something very sassy indeed, I would assume :)
    No problem--you can visit and comment here as often as you like--always, always nice to hear from you.
    Glad your glitch is fixed :)

  9. I'm so glad that my quote inspired you. This line comes from my book "The Society of Sinners" but was inspired from when I was a child. I was afraid of monsters under my bed so I would slap the light switch down then make a flying leap onto the bed. I had to time things just right so the monsters couldn't grab my legs before I made it onto the bed.

  10. Interesting post. I hate going don in the basement still. My brother and I used to put on Frankensein plays down there, using ketchup for blood.

  11. Hauling my legs into bed so whatever the hell's under it can't get me - something I still do, aged 41.

    When I was a kid I apparently enjoyed chucking things into the toilet, so my mom told me a monster lived in its depths and hated when he was disturbed. When I was older, she wondered why I balked at scrubbing the toilet. :-D

    You know what I find especially terrifying about this snippet from your book? Not that the things in the dark reach out and actually manage to touch you (well, yes, that is, actually, pretty freaky), but that the worst of it is what they're capable of making *you* reach out and touch...and possibly destroy. That's pretty messed up, yo. :-)

    Some Dark Romantic


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