Horror genre is not my thing. Let’s just say I nearly have a heart attack if forced to watch something remotely scarier than “The Mummy Returns”, which was incidentally the last relatively scary movie that I was forced to watch by my horror addicted friend. Don’t get me wrong! I am not a scaredy-cat. I sleep blissfully alone at night; I am not subjected to nightmares (No wait! I am, because Physics and Chemistry are my compulsory exam subjects) and I can stay home alone, no problem.
But when people deliberately scare me with black pupil-less eyes, and the shrill shrieks of someone’s dying girlfriend, I go into a temporary shock phase, where nothing can revive me except for my beloved lasagna. There’s something about horror movies that gets the adrenaline pumping. You just can’t resist flipping back to the channel, or the book pages, to see who died or who got cursed. That is why, to not succumb to an early death, I have a rule for horror stuff; don’t watch and don’t read, ever!
However, listening to horror was not exactly on my list, and maybe that’s why my friend had to convince me to listen to a horror show on the radio. “Is it scary?” I asked her. (Dumb question, I suppose. They would hardly be celebrating Dora the Explorer’s birthday on a horror show at 1 O’clock in the morning!)
“Oh yeah! It’s scary as hell. After listening to the show I slept in my sister’s room for days! We were so scared!”
That Saturday she texted to remind me, “Don’t forget to tune in at 1:00! You can always turn it off!”
I got into my warm bed that chilly Saturday and prepared to sleep; I wasn’t going to listen to that show, no way! I am not one of those too-stupid-to-live heroines of horror flicks who feel compulsions to go check out weird sounds from basements, while wearing their most revealing outfits!
However, when my digital clock struck one, my shaking hands turned on my cell phone radio and I plugged in the earphones ... I just couldn’t help it! Besides, I reasoned that I could always turn it off.
And I have to say that it was one of the worst nights of my life! I had thought that they would be reading from a scary story like they did in one of the episodes of Tom and Jerry. But no, this was creepier; people called them live and told them real life encounters with supernatural beings.
I wouldn’t say that these stories were ‘Oh-so-scary because most of their callers were ‘my-grandma-had-it-from-her-cousin’s-friend’ types (70 percent, I would say) with highly imaginative tales. The rest of the stories pretty much frightened me witless. And the RJ was not helping matters.
For the deliberate spooky effect I have to give him some credit. I mean, why do you feel the need to enhance the scary atmosphere? It’s 2.30 in the morning for crying out loud!
Because, let me put this gently, he kept on saying things in this hushed-exorcist voice ... stuff like: “Their world is closer than you think...” *pause for dramatic effect* “...these creatures of evil prefer darkness...and after extensive research, I have concluded that...” *scary music* “...These activities occur usually around 2-4 in the morning...”
I glance at the cell phone clock... 3:00 AM! That made me pretty much scared silly and unable to form coherent thought. I couldn’t bring myself to move my hand out of the blanket to turn off the radio...lest the dark shadow I could now very surely see near my wardrobe, reached out to chop it off or something!
But, oh no! That person is not done tormenting me for, what I now realise, was probably the biggest mistake of my life...TUNING INTO THAT STUPID SHOW!
He goes on whispering “If you think ...*scary music* ...or maybe ... if you have deluded yourself into believing that ...*Pauses for eternity* ... that you are at this moment ... ALONE ...*MJ’s Thriller plays in background* ... well ... you might as well be wrong ... because the rooms you are in ... the houses you live in ...*pauses for effect* ... they may be home to more than ...*scary unbearable music*... Humans ....”
Finally, it was more than my frazzled nerves could bear, and I turned off the radio with shaking hands. But my thoughts were now accompanied by faceless horrors! I struggled futilely to remember the ‘I love you’ song from Barney-what’s-his-name and tried to convince my thundering heart that the shadow I was seeing near my wardrobe was a figment of my imagination. And I silently swore never to let myself be terrorised in this manner the next week ... If I survived the night!
That night, that horrible night, finally ended. And I vehemently told off my friend for telling me about these stupid shows. She laughed at my guts for a while then assured me that I was ‘an amateur rookie’ and that the second time wouldn’t be as bad as the first.
And, in return, I assured her that I valued my life too much to be sucked into this insanity of self-induced fear! No way was I ever going to listen to that creepy horror programme, again!
One week passed smoothly enough. Saturday came. The night was extremely cold and my bed was warm. As I sleeplessly watched, the clock struck 1:00 a.m. ... then 1:10 a.m. and 1:15 a.m. now. My cell phone buzzed with her text: “I know you are awake! COME ON!” I slipped on the headphones, because I am too-stupid-to-live.