A die-heart fan of horror movies and crime stories, both written and visualized, I am one of the craziest aficionados of errie stories that speak about haunted mansions, evil spirits, and gruesome crimes. Due to this weirdest liking of mine, they call me the oddest in the family, thanks to my hard-to-enunciate loyalty and liking towards those chilling and thrilling narratives that instinctively captivates every corner of my mind. Crime stories and horror movies always make me so ecstatic that it goes to the very extent of eye-popping weirdness for at least a few of those people who see me watching ghost stories and brutal crime reports with utmost curiosity and inexpressible interest. Hours together or even an entire day, I wouldn’t think twice to watch or read those nerve-jangling accounts that promise to scare the yell out of readers/viewers and send shivers down the spine. Although many of them come with the tagline of being the most scary and terrifying, I hardly get to see or read anything that truly, absolutely frightens me to death.
When I tell you about my die-heart love for crime and ghost stories, I should also mention that there was a time in my life, when I was absolutely scared movies and stories that spoke about crimes and ghosts. As any normal child would be, I too believed that ghosts do exist and are born right after the death of a person, especially when someone dies untimely, the reason why I never managed to amass the courage to read or watch ghost stories and crime thrillers. My fear was so paramount one day that I kept hugging my mom tightly and kept myself awake one whole night, only because I saw a movie in which one of the characters was shown strangled to death. After seeing her struggling for breath, getting choked to death, with her eyes bulged out, her lips so scarily bluish, and her tongue protruded out of her mouth, I was extremely scared kept seeing her ghostly face practically everywhere inside my house. My belief solidified and became immovable with the kind of blown-up accounts of my cousins’ adventurous experiences of walking alone in the night, as most of them made me believe that white, pale shadowy ghosts and devils do walk around at nights and keep looking for humans. Trembling and shivering in darkness and silence, I couldn’t even go to next room alone, and gave my parents absolutely tough time for quite a couple of days. After seeing the kind of paranoia and hysteria that I had been showing for such a silly and foolish reason, my dad had to jump-in and take control of the entire situation. As I am very close to him, he knew that he would be the only person who can uproot the entire root and branches of the gigantically grown fear that had almost taken hold of my entire mind.
At-the-outset, showed immense patience by explaining to me that ghosts never exists, showed me scientific explanations and made me read as many books and journals as possible to make me understand that my fear is totally baseless. But I was unconvinced and still kept clinging on to the thoughts of evil spirits, ghosts, and devils that the stories and movies kept showing. After his long and tiresome effort to make me understand that such things never exist, he shocked me to numbness one day, by taking me to a cemetery compound close to our home. As we both stood outside the compound wall, I still remember how tightly I kept hugging him, and how badly I was shivering out of fear, when he kept asking me what on earth could harm me inside a graveyard. I had nothing to say, but looked around with fear, waiting for pale woman/man dressed in white to walk around slowly and start singing one of those eerie sounding songs. I waited and waited but no one came!
The initial fear surprisingly went-off after a few minutes, and my dad kept explaining to me all the time that ghosts never exist, and no cemeteries have white saree clad women who keep singing at midnight and walk amid darkness and smoke. He kept showing me those marble tombs inside and made me understand that I should never be afraid of them, but instead pray for their souls. So who are those people whom I get scared about? I felt a little embarrassed on getting close to the fact that I feared something that never existed.
After spending about half an hour in front of the graveyard, I came back home with my newfound courage and happiness, vowing to defeat my groundless fear and paranoia. Even after that adventurous day, dad continued to keep helping me get rid of my fear. He made me read ghost stories and watch horror and crime movies in his presence, thus taking away my unnecessary fear in steady and gradual progression. Slowly I started loving those chilling stories immense excitement. I also started walking around alone, without any traces of fear that had gripped me sometime back.
When I look back now, I cannot help but laugh my ass off when I think that I was so dumb and foolish enough to believe something that never existed in this world. But given the mindset that any child would have, I don’t think it was something unusual and odd. Now that I can understand what the state of mind of such a child would be, I make sure to help such kids remove their fear without ado. This doesn’t mean that I am daringly confident to walk alone on the road at night. It’s never because of a ghost or an evil spirit that may lurk around, but because of the more dangerous, the more harmful men who are never sane enough to spare women from being harassed.