magpie 35

Author: angiem, 10 09th, 2010

When I was a child I was afraid of every shadow.  Maybe it was cultural, maybe it was generational, but the adults related to me thought it important to threaten me with either kidnappings by gypsies, monsters, or goats (apparently they liked to eat little children and came out at night), anytime I wanted to do something they didn’t feel like doing. Certainly, one of those three was out to get me, waiting until I was alone and then snatching me quickly and throwing me in a sack carried for just such an occasion.

I was a timid child and maybe not so bright, because I must have been twelve when I finally figured out that it was all a big, fat lie.  Still, the damage was done and I continued sleeping with a night light on for many more years.  To this day, to be alone in complete darkness raises my hairs on end, and every little creak is a monster’s footstep.

When the movie Psycho came out in the nineties I went to watch it with my husband, thinking that I was an adult and to be scared of something make believe was indeed silly.  Maybe I actually thought that or maybe he insinuated something to that effect, because there I was popcorn and pop in my lap, waiting for the movie to begin.  And was I brave?  Let’s just say that for weeks after I only took a shower if my husband was home, preferably standing there and talking to me.  Even now, if I am on a trip somewhere alone, that shower image pops in my head and I choose to bathe instead.

The funniest thing about this is that I am around people in the autumn of their lives.  I am right there when they pass from this life to the next, and I often am the person who takes the pulse and listens for that last heartbeat.  And did I mention that the house I live in has been used as a hospice and still is?  Yet, none of these things frighten me.  I go through the dark house at night and feel no fear.  There’s nothing lurking in the shadows.

But ask me to watch a scary movie and I will have a month of sleepless nights.

Also (and totally unrelated)… I am super excited to announce that one of my posts is featured in the current issue of the Creative Nonfiction journal. Hurray for me! Here is the link to The Woman.

This is a true Magpie Tale.


53 Responses to “magpie 35”

  1. Julie Says:

    Dear Angie
    I think I am somewhat the same… not only adults but 3 older siblings to torture me in my youth.. haha.. I’m still not too great with scary movies… although I think that is more from my adult experiences with things that go bump in the night… strange ghostly experiences which I try to ignore..

    Congratulations on being published!!! how wonderful.. and well deserved.. Have a lovely weekend.. xxx Julie

  2. Ruth Says:

    That was me for many, many years - thanks for posting your story…

  3. cheryl Says:

    Congratulations Angie with your post in the journal! Wooo hooooo

    This is such a thoughtful story Angie and relate on so many levels.

  4. Mary Moon Says:

    Angie- I completely understand. The memory of watching The Exorcist still haunts me. And yet, I have no real fear of death, knowing that it is just part of life.
    It’s that other creepy stuff…
    And congratulations on being in Creative Nonfiction journal. Give us the link, please! Hurray for you! Yes!

  5. Susan Tiner Says:

    Psycho creeps me out too!

    I had a recurring dream as a child of a vague but sinister manly form behind the shower curtain. In the dream I would violently pull the the ringed shower curtain aside to scare him first!

    Congratulations on your Creative Nonfiction journal entry!

    xoxo -Susan

  6. angiem Says:

    Thank you!

    Ms. Moon, here is the link:

  7. Susan Deborah Says:

    Dear Angie:

    I sincerely wish that the “fear” in you vanishes away like the mist. You are brave in many ways so why scary movies to move you!

    And many congratulations on the journal entry! Many more laurels to come.

    Joy always,

  8. Jeanne Says:

    Hurray for you is right Angie, well done and I have to say I am not surprised. I expect to be seeing your writing in many more places in the future.

    On a shadow note. Funny you should mention that. Have you heard of Shadow Shot Sunday Beautiful shadows.
    I have the shadow bug, now have a look at today’s shot @
    I took it hanging over the side of a building in Jerusalem. The things we do for photography!

    Keep writing have a wonderful and truthful look on life which I find so refreshing :))

    Jeanne xx

  9. Diane Says:

    Those images stay in my head too. I watched part of Pet Cemetery and thought, this movie is pure evil.

    I think there is no fear with you comforting others as they die, because you know it is in love. Your kindness is very evident. :O)

  10. e Says:

    love the story angie. and congrats on being published, such an accomplishment

  11. Ava Says:

    Huge congratulations! But, can I say that I’m not surprised? It is just a matter of time before I see your name on books.
    I’m ok with scary movies. Its real life events of what could happen that frighten me.

  12. Catherine Says:

    kidnapped by goats? Sorry but that one made me giggle.

    I wonder if you ever saw the original Psycho? That version was much better than the one from the 90’s. I remember being scared out of my wits watching it on TV with my sister when we were teenagers.

    Congratulations on your feature!

  13. Selma Says:

    Congratulations on being in the journal. That is a big achievement. I am really pleased for you.

    I’m not afraid of the dark but like Mary I can never watch The Exorcist again. It’s probably the most frightening movie I have ever seen. The book is much worse. I slept with rosary beads under my pillow for two months after reading it. I think I’ll stick to love stories and musicals from now on!

  14. Fireblossom Says:

    Oh my gosh, congatulations, Angie! That is wonderful news!!!

    As for scary, I sleep with a night light. Total darkness flips me out, I don’t feel safe.

  15. Reflections Says:

    Isn’t it strange how those first impressions can stay with us for years… and yet, we can deal with true life and death and be unphased. Scary thoughts so often are in our minds much more than reality.

    Nicely written.

  16. willow Says:

    Many congratulations, Angie!! That is super news.

    Lovely Magpie. I love the way you convey your thoughts and feelings.

  17. sw Says:

    Good girl. I told you how much I loved your writing.
    BTW, thanks for what you do. It’s tough on the soul, I know, but your service is greatly appreciated, and with such a special kindness too. Will you send me the link to the post that will be published?

  18. sw Says:

    You wanted to hear Edith Piaf. Here you go

  19. Jena Says:

    Horror movies freak me out!!! Congratulations!!!! Now when’s your book coming out?

  20. Jingle Says:

    face fears with fearless courage,
    do what you love to do,
    make your dreams come true..
    you can overcome it!
    have a fun day!
    love your tale!

  21. angiem Says:

    Thank you!

    SW, I appreciate that! There’s no one like Edith Piaf.

  22. Victoria @ Hibiscus Bloem Says:

    Big Congrats on having your writing published. So deserved. xx

  23. Olga G Says:

    congratulations!!! and thanks a lot for your lovely comment on my magpie - wouldn’t be great if the RedSox could stop by and read it???

  24. Ruth Says:

    First, congratulations are in order. Second, I don’t like scary movies either. I read a book in which the main character thought that people that feel they do not have enough horror in their lives may need to watch scary movies to experience the adrenaline. The heroine was a Nigerian refuge. But I enjoyed the post, you writing is full of feeling.

  25. Susan Says:

    Angie, I shall return but wanted to say congratulations on the journal.

    Psycho is considered the first modern horror film. I don’t know if it will help, but untold gazillions of people still peep out of the shower curtain, lock bathroom doors,etc, not for a week–no, a lifetime. I’m absolutely serious about it, too. There are people who have never seen the film who have been influenced by it. I find that fascinating.

    Now off to market before it gets dark. Ahem. xo

  26. audrey Says:

    Angie, congratulations on your article in the journal!! fantastic. I will go over right now to read it. I am inspired by you and your writing! keep going my dear, well done!

    this post also speaks to my fears. i don’t enjoy scarey movies… i can be spooked for a long time. to this day i have never seen ‘the exorcist’ no matter how great a film everyone says it is.

    very nice post!!

  27. Lena Says:

    I used to hate horror films. Now I love to watch them in the dark. Alone. Somehow my views changed once the kids come along……

    congrats on your published piece!

  28. cathi Says:

    I watched the first Psycho when I was a teen and for years I would shower looking at the door the whole time and I would only shower when others were home…I don’t watch scary movies anymore - it’s more my imagination then the movie that gets the best of my nerves.

    Congratulations!! xxoo :)

  29. Lyn Says:

    First, congratulations on being published..
    I really think this piece
    takes in so much that I can identify with..from childhood nonsense that stays with us forever, to the influence of Psycho on our showering habits..maybe you just don’t fear reality, but given the suggestion of the unknown..well, me too! Super…

  30. Rene Foran Says:

    I still can’t watch scary movies alone…and I can’t fall asleep by myself without the tv on ( usually on the food network)

  31. Jessica Says:

    I never like to scare my kids about pretend things. :-(

    I’m not very timid and I NEVER watch horror movies. YOu’re not alone. :-)

  32. French Fancy Says:

    Well done on the publication and I’m with you on the scary films. I can’t think of anything worse than sitting down to watch a movie that makes you jump and feel uneasy.

    I didn’t know you tended to the sick and dying - I’d love to hear more about that, angie.


  33. Rogue Says:

    Thank you for sharing a slice of your life Angie. And congrats on the Journal! Woo hoooo!

  34. Kori Says:

    Angie, Angie, I came across come vacation pictures and there we were, me and you and Hannah! I am so happy for you to be featured, because your writing is lovely.

    And for what it is worth, there is beauty and grace and love in what you do, and there is nothing to be scared of.

  35. Francesca Says:

    Congratulations Angie!
    Isn’t it awful how terror used to be a strategy in bringing up children?

  36. One Prayer Girl Says:

    I saw the original Psycho long before the 90s and I’m in my 60s. I still don’t like taking showers when I’m alone in the house. :) I can do it, but I have to work on keeping my mind away from that movie.



  37. Mary Says:

    Congrats on your journal article.

    I empathize about horror movies. I COULD not watch Psycho. I remember as a child sitting on our sofa and having a blanket to cover my face with when anything scary occurred.

    You must be a special person to be with people in the autumn of their lives as they pass to the ‘other side.’ God bless.

  38. Tumblewords Says:

    An amazing tale! Congratulations on “The Woman”. I’m headed there now!

  39. deb @ talk at the table Says:

    this is fabulous news , Angie.

  40. krista Says:

    i just subscribed to creative nonfiction in your honor. :-)

  41. La Belette Rouge Says:

    I can’t do scary movies either. They stick with me and I am haunted by them.

    On a more thrilling note, congrats to you!! That is so exciting. Can’t wait to read it.

  42. Ötli Says:

    You show one important thing ! The things which frighten us most are unreal…

    Have a quiet day (and night)

  43. Anya Says:

    It is so amazing to me how early childhood memories stay with us forever. I remeber myslef as early as 2 years old and my daughter tells me she remebers things I said and done when she was 1,5 years old. This post touched me very much. beautifully written and stays with you..

  44. writersisland Says:

    Invite you to try the prompts at Writer’s Island

  45. Englishvers Says:

    Warm and sincere congratulations dear lady! Our childhood memories haunt us throughout our lives. Such a haunting post. This resonates with me. xx

  46. Sabine Says:

    So know what you mean, Angie! I was quite old, at least a teenager, when I watched Psycho and couldn’t close my eyes for months in the shower afterwards. It was then that I realised that horror movies are not for me and I try to stay away from them … To distressing.

  47. Sabine Says:

    TOO distressing. sorry :)

  48. Autumn Says:

    Yes, Psycho is a scary flick. I used to try and scar my brother when he would go and take a shower when we were younger. lol. Nice post and congrats on having your post featured. You so deserve it! I truly hope that you have been well my friend! xoxo! :)

  49. mrsbear Says:

    Ha! I think the practice of terrifying children in to behaving well goes back ages. I grew up watching horror movies though from the time I was 10. The only ones that truly scared the life out of me were stories that involved demons or the devil because that was what I’d been taught to fear. Even now I don’t watch movies about exorcisms.

    I love your writing.

  50. Bobi Says:

    Oh I totally understand and although I love a good thriller… you won’t ever catch me watching a horror flick. I don’t care what reviews it’s gotten. The images wanted or not stay with me and forever scar my imagination. Won’t go there. Congrats on your award. You are a very talented writer as you well know. :)
    Thanks again for the use of the Radio Flyer.

  51. Lydia Says:

    This Magpie makes perfect sense to me. I was with my mother while she was under hospice care and my husband and I were alone with her when she passed, then cleansed her body for the pickup by the funeral director. And i would have no problem being a hospice volunteer, etc., etc. And I love walking through graveyards. But if my husband expects me to watch a scary DVD he darned well better not fall asleep during it, and I darned well better have a cover over my body with at least one cat on my lap for comfort!

    (I am only now getting around to reading Magpie #35 at other blogs. Have been so behind that I won’t allow myself to even look at the prompts for #36 and #37 yet….My life seems to be spinning out of control and I yearn for a lifecoach!)

  52. Jennifer Says:

    Angie — I saw you listed in the table of contents for Creative Nonfiction. Congratulations!

    As for fears, I still sleep with the covers over my head with a small hole for breathing.

  53. angiem Says:

    Thank you, lovely friends! You all inspire and encourage.

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