Marji Laine

I Love a Good Mystery!

Where the Imagination Can Go


Two of the scariest memories I’ve had stem from two movies that I saw when I was a child and both of them have to do with the bathroom. No, I’m not kidding.

The first was the 1950’s sci-fi B-movie, The Blob. Considered a mild classic in this day and age, the intensity of the scenes for a youngster gave me nightmares for weeks, maybe

months. Well into my teens it burdened me with an unreasonable fear.

First let me tell you that I didn’t see the movie until it came out on TV. I think I was about four and my mom threw a fit when she found out that Dad let me watch it. Especially since she was the one who had to calm me down in the middle of the night. Now if you’ve never seen the movie, it is the story of an alien life form that looks like a muddy snowball, crawls like an amoeba and eats whatever it comes into contact with.

The terror arose when it visited a movie theater. (It’s why I’m pretty sure I saw it on TV. I don’t think I would have stayed in my seat if I’d been at the cinema.) This creeping mass of ick squeezed its way through the ventilation system. I remember the look of it coming through one of those ceiling vents with all the little bars across it. Just like the one directly above the toilet in my bathroom.

Yes, folks, for years I went potty staring straight up at the ceiling. No dawdling! I was positive that if I looked down for even a second, an ugly drip of that monster would fall right on my head and I’d be a goner.

At least my grandmother didn’t have a vent like that in her bathroom. But she did have a window. Which brings me to my second terror, this one much worse than the first.

In 1972, a guy from Texarkana, TX borrowed $160K and made a docu-drama with his own camera about a local legend on the Arkansas-Louisiana border. It ended up netting $20 million, scaring the tar out of anyone who dared to watch The Legend of Boggy Creek.

By then, my parents were divorced and my dad took my brother and I out to a monthly movie. He took us to the G-rated Legend twice. Just seeing the picture of the poster stirs up those old fears.

Anyone who knows me can testify that I have one of the worst memories. Seriously. But I can remember lines and images from that movie like I saw it yesterday. Which I did NOT and won’t CHOOSE to see it ever again! One of the most vivid recollections is of this guy whose house is getting attacked by Bigfoot. Why he would choose the middle of an attack to go to the bathroom, I’ll never know, but Bigfoot stuck his arm through the bathroom window trying to get to the guy and almost succeeded.

Oh, the hairs on the back of my neck are standing straight up. Maybe I should have written this post before midnight? Ya think?

We used to visit my grandmother’s house several times a year. Mawmaw had one bathroom and it had a window – you guessed it – right beside the toilet. It was hard enough to go to the bathroom in broad daylight. I’d wait until tears formed, then race in and out as fast as I could. See Bigfoot didn’t get the man. He was too big to drag back through the window, but I was a shrimp.

After sunset, there was nothing doing. I’d wait until morning if I had to give myself a belly ache. Anything to avoid that terrifying picture in my head.

Funny how images can haunt you. My third greatest fear is posted here. I know my precious redhead was terrified of Chuck E Cheese and my dear boy had a nightmare that Big Bird from Sesame Street walked into his room through his window. Guess there are a few vivid imaginations at my place.

Don’t worry, just because Halloween is leaving doesn’t mean I’m abandoning this strain. You’ll see more on fear next week, so watch for it!

So what scared you as you grew up? Storms, stories, artwork? Leave a comment, or link to a story in your blog.

Author: Marji Laine

Marji is a recently "graduated" homeschooling mom whose twin girls have blessed her by sticking around the nest for a little longer. She spends her days directing the children’s music program at her church and working with the authors of Write Integrity Press to put out the best possible version of their books. Raised in suburban Dallas, she got her first taste of writing through the stories of brilliant authors of their day, Mignon Eberhart and Phyllis A. Whitney, and through stage experience. After directing and acting in productions for decades, Marji started writing her own scripts. From that early beginning, she delved into creating scintillating suspense with a side of Texas sassy. She invites readers to unravel their inspiration, seeking a deeper knowledge of the Lord’s Great Mystery that invites us all.

3 thoughts on “Where the Imagination Can Go

  1. Pingback: What Fear Does « Marji Laine ~ Author

  2. My dad was watching PBS documentary about piranha when I was maybe 6 or 7. Scared me to death at the time. The irony of it is years later, when I was a young teen, my cousin used to pay me to feed his pet piranhas. I had let go of the fear by then 🙂 Unfortunately, my fear of spiders is as healthy (?) as ever!


    • Late at night when the silence creeps in, that’s when my imagination goes wild (best writing time too!) I have to leave on a light in the hallway, otherwise I’m in a halo of computer glare with utter blackness around me. Get that a 40-something year old woman who’s afraid of the dark! LOL!