The Endless Wars: The Descent

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What Scares You?

Today will be a short post, since I got totally ass-raped at work (figuratively, of course; I'm not paid enough to allow sodomy).

What are the scariest moments you've ever experienced, whether it be in real life, in a game, while watching a film, reading a book, etc?

One of the things I'm always trying to crack is what scares people. There's something about fear that absolutely intrigues me. Fear, for me, is almost akin to spicy Indian food, where I'm always begging for it, but then when it's served to me, I can barely tolerate the intensity of it.

I love having the shit scared out of me, but when it comes to games, I hit my tolerance level, and sometimes have to walk away. I can only beat Silent Hill games when I have someone with me. People have laughed at me as I launch out of my seat, screaming, during certain moments in the early games of that series.

I've barricaded my bedroom door after watching 3 Amityville documentaries in one night.

I've gone hunting in the yard (knife in hand) for aliens after watching too many abduction stories and seeing aliens through my sliding door (or so I thought at the time.)

I don't go in the ocean for fear of being eaten by a shark, but stand ready with a weapon, should my foolish ocean-going wife and son be attacked.

I also have a collection of short horror stories that I add to from time to time, and I'm always trying to find out what it is about 'what's under the bed?' and 'what's outside my window?' and 'what's that sound?' that keeps us up at night as children, and that we still sometimes fight against as adults.

My wife and I always debate this, since things like aliens, creatures, monsters, etc. don't scare her, but she won't watch any film that features people doing horrible things. People scare her, not creatures.

I, as I've explained, fear monsters. People, though, don't scare me in the slightest. I know I can hold my own in a fight, and I understand people. Aliens, sharks, the undead aren't something I can understand (or grok, if you rather), and there's something about their utterly inhuman existence that just terrifies me.

I don't know. I don't think I totally understand what 'fear' is, nor do I think I have a full grasp on what scares me the most.

So, please share your scariest memories, whether they be from real life, or from some form of media. I'm really interested to compare and contrast the responses, so fire away! Thanks!


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  1. Generally, my fear tolerance is high. I attribute this to becoming a realist and very scientifically minded at an early age. I mean seriously, at age 7, I threw off the shackles of religion, and with it most superstition. I've been a pouty cynic ever since, hoping beyond hope that some crazy supernatural event would prove me wrong.

    In most forms of media, my fear tolerance is above normal as well. I haven't been truly terrified of a film since watching U-Turn the first time I got really stoned in college and couldn't discern what was real and what was a frickin' movie. I haven't been really scared by a video game since the very first Doom and the invisible demons stalked me through the corridors. Desensitization is real, my friend, and its cold grip has ripped out a lot of entertainment value from a wide range of films and games for me.

    So here are the few fears I have left:

    - Teeth crumbling. I have recurring nightmares about this happening to me and it scares the shit out of me every time.

    - Swimming after dark. Used to do it all the time as a teenager, but even then, I always thought that something or someone was trying to pull me under.

    - Having kids. I'm scared shitless of having a child, only to have society fall apart and civilization come to a grinding halt. If that happened and I was single...sweet. With a family...well, I guess I'd find out how much of a man I really am.

    - Hospitals/giving blood. Part automatic response (I always faint when blood is drawn), part childhood memory issues, I get extremely uncomfortable at a hospital, even if I'm not the patient. I almost fainted once just visiting my then-girlfriend, now-wife. And poke my arm with a needle, or show someone else being poking in the arm, and I'll be out cold in no time. Shots and vaccinations...strangely no problem.

    - Accidental plagiarism. Remember how I said a while back that I had a story from college about this topic? Yeah, that story is pretty much why I gave up on ever trying to write for a living.

  2. What do I fear? Well, Warehouse 13 is coming on so I'll make this quick, but...

    Letting people down -- this probably comes from my anxiety, but I'm in a constant state of fear about letting other people down. It's why I don't currently have a job, and why a lot of social situations are nearly impossible for me.

    Metroid Prime -- Can't say why, but the atmosphere in that game while I was playing it alone just... bothered me.

    Bugs -- God, I am deathly afraid of bugs. You remember the "moth attacks" in the Simpsons episodes? Yeah. I might as well be Ned Flanders cousin. Though I suppose that was probably the high guy from Canada...

    Inhuman humans -- the one thing that scares me most about films and games and such is when you have something that pretty much looks human, but just... moves like it's something else, or sounds like it's something else. The girl from Ju-On comes to mind.

    My fear tolerance is getting better though. I constantly watch horror films where a year or so ago i couldn't, for example. Unlike JT I came into non-Christianity a little late, and atheism barely a year ago. Still, sometimes my scientific mind can slip and make me believe some little dead Japanese child is going to come up from behind me and sound like a fucking lawn mower.

  3. Stephen King horror stories. His stories are set way too close to home and I have an overactive imagination to start with. The original Alien movie, only movie that has given me nightmares as an adult. Small spaces, probably why Alien freaked me out. Heights, going up is the easy part... Swimming, total body immersion other than for the sake of hygiene is just unnatural. And I only watch horror movies if Jason is at home with me.

  4. Great comments, guys! Thanks!

    @JT - LOL @ U-Turn story. Nice. My buddy and I once got the shit scared out of us by Doom 64 w/ all the lights off, just from the sound design. I feel ya w/ the desensitization. I've had someone else tell me about the teeth crumbling thing. That's a really interesting fear. I wonder what the symbolism is there. Swimming after dark! YES! I don't do it. No, sir. There is a shark in the water. Sharks are nocturnal. No swimming after dark for me. Ya know, the kids thing freaked me out for a while, too, but I got over it in one fell swoop, thanks to a happy accident. I used to be more bothered by hospitals, but I have to spend so much in them, that I get more irritated with them than anything. I don't do needles. I faint when I get blood drawn, too. Ouch @ your college story. Damn, dude, that is rough as hell.

    @Cody - I CANNOT believe you are rushing your comment for fucking WAREHOUSE 13. At least last night's episode wasn't as godawful as every single other one. I want everyone on that show to die in a fire except for Artie and the chick who has no clearly defined ethnicity. That show features the worst writing I have seen in years, but I love the concept. Anyway, the fear of letting people down is a tough one to get over. I struggle with it a bit, but kinda like I was saying on Twitter, at some point, ya just gotta say 'fuck 'em' and do what ya gotta do. You reminded me that I am picking up MP Trilogy in a couple weeks, and am excited. I'll get back to ya on the atmosphere. Insects bother me a bit, but specifically, it's the a) bugs that sting and b) ugly ones (roaches). YES @ Ju-on. YES YES YES. I totally agree. Seeing a human form behave in a non-human way is freaky as shit. I have a very, very active imagination, as well, so I feel ya.

    @Tami - I love the King, and it must be interesting practically being a neighbor. I saw the first Alien when I was 5 or 6, and I wouldn't come out from under the coffee table. My mother was quite pissed at my uncle. Water bothers me, too. I love horror films, but when it comes to horror games, I sometimes need to have someone sitting there with me.