I was chatting with Heidi Sutherlin on Twitter last night about movies that scared the crap out of us as, um, as kids . . . yeah . . . kids. ‘Cause we’re all grown up and movies don’t scare us now. :-D
Anyway, I mentioned I had a story about the movie Poltergeist and because it’s rather long I said I’d blog about it. So here I am.
For those who aren’t familiar with the movie, it starts out as a very subtle horror movie. A nice, normal family buys a house that just happens to be built on an Indian burial ground and all hell breaks loose.
One of the scenes in this movie was of the son getting chewed on by the tree outside his bedroom window. Now compared to his sister getting sucked into another dimension or the parade of ghosts that come down the stairs this might not seem like the scariest part of the movie, but this is where my story begins.
It was a summer night, warm enough that I could have the window of my office open. My office at that time was at the back of the house and the window overlooked the back yard. My husband was away and the dog was tied out back. I had just seen Poltergeist a couple of days before.
There was no wind that night, I’d like to stress this. That is why the rustling noises from the large tree on the far side of the patio, just beyond the range of the back light, caught my attention. The dog wasn’t barking so I figured it wasn’t anything to worry about and went on with what I was doing.
More rustling. Louder this time. I couldn’t see anything from my office window, so I went to the back door and turned on the light. The dog was standing on the patio and just at the edge of the light I could see a mass of leaves. The tree was a maple and the branches did not reach to the ground. All I could see was a wall of leaves, nothing beyond.
I then did the bravest thing I have ever done. The dog’s rope was tied to the tree so he had access to the largest part of the yard possible. I, in complete and utter disregard of my own safety, went out onto the patio to unhook the dog from his leash to bring him inside. We spent the rest of the night in the living room, which was the room furthest from the back door. There may, or may not, have been much shaking and shivering involved.
The next day we discovered that the tree in question was rotten in its core and a huge chunk had literally fallen off without a sound (other than the rustling of the leaves). The really scary part was that the neighbour’s kids loved to climb that tree and yet it stood up under their weight. There was black rot all through the main trunk so we ended up cutting it down.
I was not sorry to see it go.