Blogging in E minor
Usually just a bunch of silly crap.

Three Things That Scared the Bejeezus Out of Me as a Child

1. Jesus: Ponder this thought: Jesus is probably quite frightening to many children.

Because he was frequently portrayed hanging on the cross, I thought that Jesus had been permanently attached to the thing. Such a notion was especially horrific at night. Think of me during my bedtime ritual, on my knees with one of my parents, praying before the hanging cross idol on the wall.

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
And if I die before I wake,
I pray my Lord my soul will take.

The lights would go off, it would be quiet, and my imagination would run rampant. I would start to fall asleep, only to be awaken by thump! thump! thump! I would forcibly scrunch my eyes closed as tightly as possible out of fear of seeing  Jesus suspended from the cross, arms spread and bleeding, thumping about pogo-style upon his wooden beam on his way into my room to take me! 

I’d try to put the image out of my head; all the while, that talking crucifix thing would still be over there on the wall.

Talking? Follow this logic from a child’s perspective: Why would we talk to it if it couldn’t hear us? And if it could hear us, then it most certainly must be capable of speaking . . . right? So why would it be outlandish to believe that thing could start talking back at night: “I saw you steal that cookie from the pantry today, young man. You had better be careful or you’re going to Hell!”

Jesus could fly, walk on water, talk to serpents and rise from the dead. There really isn’t much difference between him and, say, Dracula, right? One major variance: Dracula tries to drink our blood; whereas, we would drink Christ’s blood. Then there’s that whole cannibalistic bit about eating his flesh. Bloody frightening, if you ask me.

2. Mary: Mary is particularly scary to children because she has a tendency to drop in on  them unexpectedly from time to time. Think of the visitations at La Salette, Lourdes, Fatima and Garabandal. In all cases, these apparitions involved ordinary children who were just going about their day-to-day business. And if you’re already frightened to sleep, the last thing you want is some glowing, levitating woman materializing before you.

Some people believe that the descriptions of Our Lady during these appearances resemble greys, that is, the elongated, gray-skinned, bug-eyed, large skulled aliens as they are typically described by those who have encountered them first hand. I thought this was far-fetched until they erected a most bizarre statue outside of my childhood parish.

Could the BVM really be an ET? You be the judge.

3. Aliens: This should be self-explanatory. They snatch people from their homes, take them aboard their spacecraft and perform experiments on them.

My mother claims to have seen a low flying spacecraft cruise over our house late at night when I was a child. If mother said it happened, it just had to be real. And so close to home, nevertheless. Again, this scared the crap out of me.

I would think of the accounts of Barney and Betty Hill, a married trans-racial couple who were abducted by aliens while driving in their car during the 60’s. As if these poor folks didn’t haven enough problems already – Jim Crow, the KKK, lynch mobs, etc. – they had to endure creepy Bug-Eyed Monsters sticking probes and needles in them.

Then there’s the business about all that slaughtered cattle. And the crop circles. And that’s just to mess with us.

So there you have it. As children, many of us feared the boogey man, clowns or Santa Claus. I was a ‘scared of major religious figures and aliens. An explanation lies in the overt faith my parents had in these powerful, supernatural, paranormal entities. After all, nobody really believes in clowns now, do they?

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