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I’ve been saving this for Halloween night…

The following video is only 3 seconds long but utterly terrifying. It contains no violence, no dialogue, no gore and no blood. Simply a middle aged suburban man opening a refrigerator and smiling.

What’s so scary about that you might ask? Well imagine if that were your father, or your husband, or your son…

You’re sleeping underneath your covers in the middle of the night and he decides to go down to the kitchen to make a sandwich. But upon opening the fridge he suddenly smiles. Something in his declining middle aged brain has snapped. Is it early onset Alzheimer’s? A mid-life crisis? Demonic possession? Whatever it is, you’re no longer safe in that house.

This clip is from a new TV series called Evil. The show itself is not worth watching, but that commercial made my skin crawl. If I had seen it as a child I would not have been able to sleep for weeks.

I’ve been a horror fans since childhood and despite my love for the genre, I never found them all that scary. Often what scared me the most were the things that weren’t meant to be scary, like a commercial they used to run about Parkinson’s disease in which a middle aged suburban man with Parkinson’s could complete a jig-saw puzzle because his hand kept shaking until finally his young son holds his hand down so it can fit the pieces together. It was a metaphor for hope, but in my pre-school mind it was horrific.

Every night I would have vivid images of the parkison man wheeling himself out of my bedroom closet and shaking, shaking, shaking as he wheeled his way closer to me.

Perhaps my most traumatic experience came during a trip to Alberta to visit relatives. That day my father and/or my uncle mysteriously had his/their camera(s) stolen from the front of my uncle’s house in broad daylight. Well that’s odd, they though. Stuff like that just doesn’t happen in suburbia.

That night I was sleeping in an unfamiliar room and could have sworn I saw a woman standing in the closet. An older woman with red hair, who looked a lot like this.

She was smiling, as if to say “it was me, silly! I stole the camera(s)”.

I suddenly started screaming waking up the entire house, who raced to the room to see what the matter was.

“You just had a bad dream,” they told me.

But it seemed so real, and I spent a big chunk of my childhood being terrified of my bedroom closet.

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