Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Another Phobia...




I'm scared of inert puppets. The creep me out. Like the one pictured above. That is a Charlie McCarthy doll. He was the partner of Edgar Bergen, arguably the world's most famous ventriloquist. When I was a child, I asked for(and received-probably for Christmas) a Charlie McCarthy doll. To this day, I do not know what possessed me to ask for that fucking thing. It scared the shit out of me. Especially at night.

In fact, I would say it mostly scared me at night. I wasn't so bad with it during the day. I think I even gave ventriloquism a go for awhile there- as long as the sun was shining. But there was(still is) something sinister about that little bastard after the sun went down. I was sure he was going to come to life and kill me. just like that little bitch "Talky Tina" from the "Twilight Zone".

You remember in "Poltergeist", how the kid had to throw the jacket over that creepy fucking clown doll every night ? I had a very similar ritual. I had a window seat in my room that Charlie would sit on, and he had to be facing away from me when I went to bed. I don't know why that seemed safer, but it definitely did. So there were some nights where I would get into bed, and see him staring at me from the window seat, so I would have to gather the courage to walk across the room and turn him around, and then rush back and jump in bed. Yes,I was an enormous pussy as a kid.(Okay, perhaps I still am)
You might ask why I had him on the window seat at all ? I don't know. I suppose I have a masochistic streak in me somewhere. I guess that's why I wanted the doll in the first place.

I remember seeing ads for that Anthony Hopkins movie "Magic", about the guy with the killer ventriloquist dummy,though if I remember correctly(yes, I did end up seeing the movie eventually{masochism again, I guess}, and no, I did not sleep well afterwards.), it turned out that he was crazy, and that the dummy was not alive. But that didn't matter, the dummy was creepy in the commercials, and it gave me nightmares. Ditto that god-damned clown from Poltergeist.

But the worst one of all, and possibly the root of this phobia, was part of a movie called "Trilogy of Terror". It's a movie that, as you might guess from the title, has three different stories in it. All of them terrifying. Karen Black stars in all three movies in 4 different roles(in one story, she plays sisters-I'm not sure if they were twins or not-but one was evil and one was good). The one that scared me half to death was called "Amelia", and it's about a woman who brings home a Zulu doll that comes to life and tries to kill her. It sounds silly, but the doll terrorizes her, and it's fucking scary.The doll looks like this:





And I had bad dreams about that thing for years. I saw the movie when I was 5 or 6(How the fuck I managed THAT, I still don't know), and I saw that doll around every corner. I think that's where the doll/puppet phobia probably springs from. I'm getting creeped out now as I look at the picture while I'm typing.

Special Lady, you best be prepared to sleep with the lights on tonight.

4 comments:

Lauren said...

How timely your rant is!

We are currently having a preview for our Book Auction here at my new job. The auction is tomorrow and Friday.

One of the major consignors for this auction was Jay Marshall, a magician and performer. A large number of things consigned from his estate are sets of Punch and Judy puppets, marionettes and ventriloquist dummies. None of them are as charming as Charie McCarthy there.

They are sitting downstairs on display, staring at me with their dead eyes. Every morning when my radio alarm goes off, a commercial is playing for that movie about killer ventriloquist dolls or whatever that is. The only way I can continue to work here is to convince myself that none of them come to life until after midnight.

elizabeth said...

oh my god! i saw that movie when i was a kid, too! i think i had nightmares for months.

Paticus said...

Lauren,
That sounds creepy. I don't know that I could deal with that. But rest assured, all of the literature I have read, all of the priests and witches and warlocks and mystics I have spoken to assure me that the inert puppets are not dangerous until after midnight.
I must admit, the masochist in me is pulling my sane side to see that new ventriloquist movie- what the FUCK is wrong with me ?

Elizabeth- i am so glad I'm not the only one, but sorry you had to suffer from those nightmares as well.

Jeff K said...

Re: Magic

Holy crap, I thought I was the only one who was scarred for life from that commercial. I think I was about 7 or 8 years old. I will never forget it. The dummy's name was Fats, and he had that lip snear thing, and those huge, creepy eyes, and the whole commercial was him saying a nursery rhyme that ended with, "Magic is fun. We're dead." I, too, ended up seeing the movie, and yes, Anthony Hopkins was schizophrenic, but still, I've always been terrified of ventriloquist dummies ever since!