I love spooky things. I'm not talking so much about the horror and demon possession type of spooky that all too often rules the silver screen. I’m speaking more of the unknown; the unexplainable. The mysteries we experience everyday but aren’t allowed any answers to. Do you ever think about a lost friend or acquaintance and then randomly run into them the very same day in the Walmart check out aisle? It's almost as if fate paved the way! And why do I consistently stub my toe or bump into tables after I say something rude or unkind? 11:11? Dreams? Deja vu...? We won’t even go down that road.
It would be untrue if I said that I don’t fear being axe-murdered while fumbling for my keys in the dark just like anyone else. I even enjoy the occasional summer blockbuster horror that Hollywood so eloquently and consistently pumps out, but it goes beyond that. What I'm suggesting is that the only consistent characteristic of anything labeled "scary" is the unknown. If the proverbial axe-murderer does catch me, what will he do? How will he hurt me? Why would he hurt me? These questions hover in a terrifying sort of way and aren’t necessarily dependent upon flesh and blood.
Take this picture for example. Something about it creeps me out. Maybe it's the fact that it sucks and has still found it's way onto the internet, and onto a popular website at that! Either way, there's a beauty about it, too. It’s very haunting, and it certainly caught my eye. It almost looks unfinished, but maybe not. Maybe that was intentional? I don’t know. I don’t have the answers, and I don’t really care to find them. I probably wouldn’t like the picture anymore if it lost some of its inherent mystery.
There is a spooky story that has been growing inside my brain for a few years now. I’ll write it one day, but it needs more time in the creative-oven. It’s the story of a man (who I’ve decided to name George for this short presentation) who lives his entire life trying to re-live moments he's already experienced. Any emotional experience is a possible victim of a re-experience. It sounds semi-normal until George becomes obsessed, and begins reliving negative experiences as well. He also begins to go to great lengths to make re-experiences feel as original and authentic as the first time. Imagine breaking into a home just to sit in the same chair you did at a family gathering, but this time, alone; just you and the cold room--re-booting a memory like a movie in your head. That idea alone makes my skin crawl.
George is tormented by the idea that he may encounter an experience that he can’t relive; one that he can’t control. I can relate to his story. I think we all can. Who doesn’t feel discomfort when traveling in uncharted waters? We fear what we cannot control and situations we haven’t experienced. It’s the unknown.
P.S. My friend Nick M. wrote a blog about a similar topic. Read here: