I have never visited a "haunted attraction," or watched a horror movie all the way through without hiding behind my grande-venti huge popcorn with a gravy-boat's worth of "butter flavoring" with my eyes closed, and the thumb of the hand not holding the popcorn (this is already sounding disembodied) lodged in my ear so I can't barely hear whatever scary music. Jaws.* Psycho.*
* Sharks. Whatever. What I am scared of is dark water.
* Violins scare me. All the stringed instruments.
I read Pet Cemetery in high school and then, of course, we went to my grandparents farm* and there it was...a l'il olde 19th-century cemetery on the property of all the families that used to live on that farm that somehow I had failed to notice all these years and now was noticing all the time. I couldn't not notice it.
* Abandoned farms. Especially if they were 19th century hog farms in the south.
* Hogs scare me.
* Honestly, the south --
Being scared, quivering* rodent-like, is something my brain* does for me, unannounced, chronically. An anxiety disorder is the only thing I have in common with Scott Stossel, the editor of The Atlantic.
* The word 'brain' is kind of hideous.
* 'Quivering' -- oh god. I need a pacifier like a baby.
Research shows that anxiety is actually an adaptive behavior. A little neuroticism can be good for you. * Cro-Magnons who were scared of dark water, stringed instruments, and hogs traversed the Alps, avoided Ice Age predators, and then became my maternal ancestors. My paternal ancestors were coloring themselves blue with woad.
* But I'm too scared to believe anything.