When I was younger, my birth father used to put in the old "Exorcist" movies and have my sister and I sit with him while he watched them. You see, this wouldn't be a problem, but I was only around five or six years old, while my sister was just three or four years old.
That continued over the course of the years and while I didn't really understand what was going on at first, over time I developed an understanding of the movie, which led into a serious fear of posession. Every time I'd see the movie, I'd enter an immediate state of hysteria. There were even feelings of numbness and dizziness quite frequently. Eventually, that led into nightmares. At first, they were just basic visions of demons and posessions, but they evolved into a recurring nightmare that could best be described as fear incarnate.
I still remember the nightmare as though I were still dealing with it on a daily basis. It started off innocently enough. At the beginning, I'm walking around our old row home in the middle of Wilson Point. I walk into my parents room and no one's there, so I turn around and out of nowhere, a loud alarm starts going off, which can only be compared to the "Silent Hill" alarm that sends a chill down the spine of many fans to this day. The alarm doesn't stop and as I go to leave the room in an effort to bolt down the stairs and out the front door for an escape, the entire scene changes.
When the scene changes, I find myself in what seems like an underground lab of sorts. If you've ever played the old "Resident Evil" games, picture the underground Umbrella lab, only darker with lots of corridors and plenty of stairways, but without the zombies or monsters. As I run down the stairs, though, there's nothing but a long corridor and police-style sirens mounted in various spots along the walls. As I run, I feel the presense of an evil force. At this point, I immediately assume it's a demonic force that's trying to posess me and I start running even faster. Running for my life, I eventually come to the end of the corridor and a locked door. The force meets up with me and as it flies into me, I wake up.
After the dream, I would always wake up in tears and my heart would be pounding. I would always gasp for air and whenever this happened, I'd have trouble falling asleep for at least an hour. Sometimes, I'd stay up all night because I was so terrified. This happened at least once per week and there were many times in which I'd have this dream for several nights in a row.
To you and other people, this may not seem like a big deal, but to me, this was the definition of fear. I couldn't escape it. It intruded my every thought. I don't even know how it faded away. Somehow, at some point in my life, my brain just blocked that dream out. As much as I remember it and as much as I still fear posession, it just doesn't phase me in a direct sense as much anymore. Thinking back on it, I'm getting a bit jittery as I write this, but the nightmares are gone for the time being.
The funny thing is that I don't even believe in demons, ghosts, posession or anything else like that, yet I fear the dark when I'm alone and the idea of posession takes over me when I get into a fit over it. I don't fear things like zombies or "Silent Hill", either. Things like that just don't usually bother me, "Fatal Frame" being the exception to that rule.
I've never shared this before, but it feels good to write about it and unleash my demons for a change. May those demons rest in peace...