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Halloween Contest

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Tell us a time that really scared you as a kid. Does not have to be about Halloween, just about being scared. Or tell us a time you scared someone else really good and how you pulled it off.

Three winners will be selected. Each winner will be able to select one product from our Land Ho! product line - aftershave, balm, soap, or cream. This is CONUS only please. We will let this run a bit and then random.org will select the winners.

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Nice PIF, Cap'n, I'm in. A group of us were out camping in the mountains. That night, a big thunderstorm rolled in. We were not at the top of the ridge, but there were several huge lightning strikes in the woods not too far away from us. Pretty frightening, even if you are laying low. You are just waiting for the next strike with no idea how close it might be.
 

BigFoot

We Don't Smoke Marijuana In Muskogee!
Moderator
The year was 1983 I was 17 years old and me and a buddy were out raccoon hunting. We were in the river bottoms of the Wapsipinicon River near Massillon IA. We were hunting with a pair of Walkers a 6 year old male and his two year old daughter. The Male was a superb dog and the female was coming along nicely.

We were sitting in a heavy grove of Evergreens when the female yelped so we knew she was on the trail of something. My buddy who owned the dogs said he was going to start moving toward her, I said I would stay put in case the other dog treed somewhere else. It was probably 10 minutes later and she started barking way down the river so I figured cool she has got a Raccoon treed.

I just sat there listening to her bark and also listening for the other dog. All of a sudden I heard this unexplainable sound, it almost sounded like a whooping, howl. I may have been young but I grew up in those woods and I have never heard anything like it. I can still remember the hair literally standing up on the back of my neck.

Even at night the woods are never silent but after this sound you could have heard a pin drop. Even the female stopped barking. I was literally paralyzed with fear. It was not 30 seconds later I heard a crashing in the brush and something charging right for me. I had a .22 magnum rifle but that did not give me much comfort. The object that was charging toward me burst out of the brush, it was the male Walker. He ran right up to me circled me once forced his way between my legs, stuck his tale between his legs and stood there and shook.

My buddy and I were going to meet back at the truck at a designated time so I headed that way a bit early. That dog never left my side. When we got to the truck he about knocked me down in his haste to kennel. When my buddy got to the truck over an hour later I told him what happened. He never heard a thing but new something was wrong because his other dog was scared as well.

The weekend of that same week myself and 2 other guys took the boat up river to our favorite pond where we were always guaranteed to pick up some woodies. It was still dark and we were tying up the boat and heard that same sound. We did not duck hunt that day. We put the hammer down on the boat and got the hell out of there.

I have never heard anything like it since. But to this day I will not walk out into the woods in the dark by myself.
 
Awesome contest Cap'n!!!!

I remember 2 nightmares I had as a kid that scared the bejesus outta me.
We were living in Okinawa in the mid '70's when I had them
The first one, I remember a family member being cut up, and their insides were like pineapple rings..
Of course, as an adult, it's funny as hell, but when I was 5, it was terrifying!!
In the other one, I was hiding in a house from a giant. He would stick a finger finger through the door to try and get me, and he would stick an eye up to the window to look in.
Another one I laugh about now...
But the reality is that what people would consider really scary are things that happened to me as a small child.. I was run over when I was 2, broke my hip and was in traction for 6 months. Happened when we were living in Las Vegas. When we moved, I had to be flown on a C-9 to Baton Rouge where dad got orders to, and had spinal meningitis when I was 3, when we were 'moving' to Huntsville AL, as dad was going to get out of the AF. That changed when they diagnosed me with spinal meningitis. Luckily there was a pediatric doctor at Redstone Arsenal who was working on experimental treatments and surgeries that saved my life.

As for scaring someone, it happens every time I look in the mirror, and see some ugly guy staring back at me!!
 

emwolf

Contributor
Not in, but....
1973. I'm 10 years old. The Exorcist is a huge movie and one of my big brothers is reading the book. I've been sneaking into his room and reading it when nobody is around. It's increasingly scary and freaking me out. One night I wake up in an empty house (it's only like 9 pm). Unbeknownst to me the parents and brothers are at a high school band concert and didn't tell me. I think the devil has already got them and hide out in my dad's VW Beetle until they get home. I guess the devil can't get me in a German car.
 
I don't really scare easily, which I attribute to growing up on horror movies and horror stories. I found out later in life that my mother read me Grimm's for bedtime as a baby, and I watched all the horror movies like Friday the 13th and stuff. While I was too young to see those in theaters, I did see them on VHS from the time I can remember.

But, that's not to say I can't be scared. One movie scared the crap out of me for years after I had seen it in the theater when I was 6: Child's Play. My sister had TONS of dolls, and Cabbage Patch was big around then, so Chucky sized dolls were all over. My cousins had them, sister had them, kids I played with had them, and we had stuff around the house that was roughly that tall. Add in constantly moving and them finding their way into my stuff, and it meant that probably until I was 8-9 I did not like having those size dolls in my area when I slept. I was fine when awake, I knew they weren't real.. but in half-dream states and waking up at night to see one would creep me out. After the scene where the doll sliced the tendon in the leg when the foot was hanging over the bed, I refused to have my feet hang over. even to this day I feel uncomfortable if my feet hang over the end of the bed, which I attribute to that movie.

Second time I was scared was when I was, again, around 8. We went to 6-Flags and I was brought onto the "Free fall" ride. I didn't know what it was and nobody questioned bringing a child onto it (my life is an example of adults just feeling it's okay to let kids experiment with living), and low and behold... 6 stories up and it just DROPS. The feeling of being thrown at the ground scared me like crazy. I STILL won't ride roller-coasters and stuff now, that feeling of being pushed down .. .not just falling, but PUSHED towards the ground is horrible). I couldn't even ride that spinning gravity ride at fairs anymore after that.

Those two were the scares that stuck with me into adulthood, I wasn't actually unsafe or anything- but it certainly helped form me. And yes, I do pass it on. I gladly buy horror stories for kids (not like.. gory stuff), take them to movies, etc. I also love horror games for multiple reasons. Being scared isn't bad, and it taught me a LOT about what's in the dark, shadows, and how to interpret things. I also learned that sleeping with a light on is bad if you are scared of something outside as things can see IN but you can't see OUT to see if they are coming to get you. :)
 
Thanks for doing this PIF!

When I was kid, my father was a member of the OPB club (Other People's Boats). On this occasion, I was loaded up into a small dinghy and we set out to sea. The plan was to sail around the bay for a little while and have a leisurely afternoon. A big storm started to roll in, and before we knew it there was heavy rain and wind, and the boat was pitching all over the place.

As a kid, I had no experience sailing or even riding on boats, so of course I was scared. The sky was dark, I was soaking wet, it was COLD, and I couldn't see land. We were ill prepared, but I think the adults were still having a good time, adrenaline running through their veins. They knew they had to do something with me. They decided that the best course of action was to ditch me, so we pulled up to a sea wall, waves and wind driving us into the hard rubber bumpers, and they had me climb up a rusty metal ladder where I was picked up by my dad's friend's wife. The process of getting out of the boat and onto the ladder while the boat was being tossed about was not what I needed as a scared child. I was cold, wet, and didn't know what was going on! I thought my father would be climbing up the ladder behind me, but the next thing I knew they were headed back out into the waves!

The combination of being tossed about in a small boat, being wet and cold, having to climb up a rusty ladder into a strangers arms, and not knowing what became of my father made some sort of impression. I've been told that for a period of time I would make drawings of sea monsters!

My dad loves telling that story, and claims to regret what happened. I think he had a good time...
 
Great PIF

I grew up in Montreal and my older brother of 7 years and I found loads of ways to ”have fun”. He taught me how to hang onto the back of the milk truck bumper and get pulled behind it on the icy road. We jumped from behind the snow bank and got into position. The truck began to back up unexpectedly and my brother reacted, I fell under the truck on my back. I just laid flat as the truck backed over me and I could hear my brother screaming. There was decent clearance and I was between the wheels. I remember it all being over very quickly. The driver must have been in shock when I jumped up from the front of his truck. We didn’t hang around to find out and tore back to home. Our bumper hitching days ended abruptly. We did however discover other hobbies. My poor mum.
 

Toothpick

Needs milk and a bidet!
Moderator
I set my blanket on fire when I was a kid playing with a lighter. I was about 7 or 8 maybe younger. That blanket caught fire and I was terrified! I ran to the bathroom and got a glass of water and put it out. Then I hid the blanket in my closet so my folks wouldn’t find out. Must have been just a few days later and they found out. I don’t even remember the outcome of them finding out. I only recall how butt clinching scared I was that the blanket caught fire.

(Not in)
 
Awesome PIF @Captain Pre-Capsize
I'm in.

I went to school to learn special effects and horror movie makeup. Needless to say that didn't pan out, but it really changed my mindset on watching horror movies. Gone, it seems, are the days of 90% cinematography and 10% gore. Replaced with "jumpfests" that focus on the "Boo" moments that make you jump off your seat but do nothing to really frighten you.

That being said, I've only really had one film that truly frightened me and that, surprisingly, was the original Amityville Horror. I was in my mid 20s. That movie had been out for many years. Plus, I had already been through school so I thought nothing of it when I started watching it one night. By the time it was over, I was freezing (it was mid-summer) and I was shaking rather uncontrollably. I had to go around the house and turn every light in the place on and then every outside light, check behind doors, under beds etc... I saw it again at some point and it's never really got to me as much as it did the 1st time I saw it.

The only other time that that ever happened to me was from a movie that I fully expected to be really stupid (I mean, c'mon it was a horror movie with Richard Gere for crying out loud. How scary could it possibly be?). The Mothman Prophecies, as it turns out, scared the ever-loving tar out of me.

Again . . . go around the house, turn all the lights on and check behind all the doors. Dunno why they frightened me as much as they did. I can write about it now, all in good fun, but back then . . .

I suppose I could really examine it (age, different time in my life, really living on my own for the 1st time, etc...), but why? I've never really given it much thought until now. I still really love the horror genre and applaud those two movies for being able to really frighten even me as much as they did. I highly recommend them. But with all things on this site YMMV ;)
 
Great PIF
I'm in.

When I was a kid we had a neighbor that had a black lab that was not very fond of people outside of his own family. He was typically harmless and liked to bark a lot when he was outside and saw anyone nearby. Every time I, or anyone else for that matter, would ride bike or walk by the neighbors house the dog would bark and run out to the edge of the yard in an attempt to intimidate the passerby. He rarely ever left their yard and if he did it was only a couple feet into the road.

On Thursday evenings I would ride my bike, passed the neighbors house, to the the National Guard Armory where the Scout troop I was in met. Our meetings ran from 6:00 to 7:30 or 8:00 and as you could imagine, in the fall, it was dark by the time we got done. Most of my ride home was pretty well lit with street lights accept the last two blocks where there were no lights until you got to our front yard. On one particular night, about this time of the year, I had gone to my Scout meeting like I always did on Thursday nights and as usual it was dark when we got done. Now typically, the neighbors dog was not out at night when I rode home. Typically being the key word. This one particular night as I rode home and passed by the neighbors house in the dark, this black lab came rushing out between two cars parked in front of their house teeth bared and barking like crazy at me. I instantly went into fight or flight mode, started screaming, and jumped off my bike while simultaneously throwing it at the dog and sprinted across the vacant lot between our yard and the neighbors yard. It was a relatively short sprint but for a chubby 12 year old it seemed like an eternity. I thought for sure that night was going to be the end of my life and I was going out as a doggy treat. I was shaking so bad when I got to our yard that I could hardly stand let alone explain to my dad, who was working in the garage, what had just happened.

After a couple minutes of calming down and catching my breath I was finally able to explain what had happened. Somewhat amused by the situation, my dad kindly walked down the street to retrieve my bike that was laying in the middle of the street where I so hastily abandoned it. As he approached my bike our neighbor met him and apologized profusely for his dogs behavior. From that day on I always took a different, longer, route to and from my Scout meetings that did not require me to go passed the neighbors house and to this day, some 34ish years later, I still do not care for black labs.
 

BigFoot

We Don't Smoke Marijuana In Muskogee!
Moderator
As a lot of others have said "Land Ho" is an amazing scent, congrats to the winners.

I think my "Bigfoot" story was worthy of at least honorable mention. :lol::lol:
 

emwolf

Contributor
this was a great one to read through. it hearkened back for me that age when I was young and thought that monsters were coming to get me and blankets were magic.
 
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