I’m happy to report that my life has been pretty vanilla, but I do have a childhood story that still raises the hair on my arms … the time our family had a crazy, unexpected run-in with a serial killer. Turn the lights down low, put on some spooky music, and read on …
When I was about 11-ish, my mom came home from the grocery store a little spooked. A bizarre man had backed into her car in the parking lot of Safeway, nearly missing my baby brother in the backseat. My mom exchanged phone numbers and insurance information with the man, the usual procedure, but she noticed that he was a little “off”–I think she used the word “deranged,” to describe his behavior/demeanor. He stared at her too long and seemed skittish. In short, she got a bad vibe.
Fast-forward to the next day. The phone rings. It’s the police. “Mam, why is it that so-and-so has your phone number in his wallet? We’re trying to locate him. You see, he left his wallet behind after killing four people.”
My mom told him about the accident at the grocery store, and the police officer suggested that we “go into hiding” for a few days, just in case this creep showed up at, I dunno, our doorstep.
Yeah, can you even imagine the terror my mom must have felt after hanging up the phone that night? There she was, alone, with four children, waiting for my dad to get off work, and concerned that a killer could be on her doorstep.
So, we moved into my grandparents house for the next two days (their house was empty while they were traveling to Europe), and in a crazy turn of events, a major storm hit. The wind howled. Tree branches fell on the roof in big, violent thuds. The lights flickered then went out entirely when a tree fell, and I distinctly remember hearing scratching noises outside of the bedroom window. We were all certain: He was coming to get us. A real boogie man, after our family!
But, a day later, we got another call from the police. The suspect had been found–dead. He had taken his own life shortly after his murderous spree.
I’ll never forget that feeling of terror as a child. It was the first time I truly felt afraid–to my bones. Maybe this explains why I can’t watch scary movies?
How about you? What was the scariest moment of your childhood/life?
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