So last night my partner and his son decided to go to the cinema, leaving me home alone for the evening.  I had about three hours to myself – what could I do?  At first I listened to some music and had a brief surf of the internet, but there just isn’t a lot that interests me online anymore.  How times change, for the better!  Although some things will never change and that is my love of scary movies. 

Ever since I was a child, yes a child, I have loved a good scary movie.  I spent a lot of my time popping to the video shop to rent the latest scare fest.  Wow, video shop, that makes me sound so old!  Over the years I have probably seen all the horrors from Nightmare on Elm Street to Friday the 13th and as is my usual way, I don’t just watch them once; I watch them on numerous occasions.

My Mum used to let me watch scary films with my friends.  I think I was a well-balanced youngster and she had no fear that by watching Freddie Krueger or Jason Myers at work that I would turn into a knife/axe/gun wielding maniac!  So far so good on that score.

I have to confess at this point that although I do love the horrors, my heart and emotional wellbeing just don’t cope too well.  My parents used to visit an old lady a few doors down a couple of times a week.  This left me home alone and whether I had watched anything scary that day or indeed week, I would still be convinced that someone was on the roof/at the window/upstairs.  This resulted in calls to my parents……..’Mum someone is in the house, I’m scared’ and various other similar dialogues.

The first few times, my mum and dad would rush back to see me sitting on the stairs all scared.  More often than not I would be on the telephone to a friend having a great conversation about my black belt karate skills.  I figured, if the killer in the house thought I was a master in martial arts, he would hop back out the window and find a less able victim.

It sounds crazy when I think back to all the times I convinced myself there was a lunatic on the loose in my house.  My parents soon became tired of my constant drama and the calls usually ended with ‘Suzy, we are not coming home, you have cried wolf far too many times’.   I say it sounds crazy but even though I know it is, I still can’t watch a scary movie without fear gripping me.  And so this brings me back to last night.

After giving up with online surfing, I remember that we have recorded Scream – the first in a sequel and as in most cases the best.  Now I have seen this film probably three or four times so I figured I couldn’t possibly have a problem with watching it on my own!

I made my tea and settled down on the sofa.  On comes the film and in the first scene the girl is home alone, parents out and the inevitable happens: mad man starts ringing and playing mind games and eventually ends up killing said girl.  So far so good for me, the phone hasn’t rang although I am aware of my fence banging in the wind and was that something I heard upstairs?

As the film progresses I am often putting my hands across my face and peering through my fingers at the screen.  In this film, I know when the masked man is going to jump out but I am not prepared to see it full faced!  The peering through the fingers really works.  Try it the next time you watch a scary film.  Not sure that it will help if I ever do come face to face with a nutter mind you.

It is getting dark outside now and I am starting to feel a little edgy.  I go and check the front door is locked, even though I know it is because I locked it behind my partner when he went out but still better safe than sorry, in my mind.

Settling down again I am convinced there are footsteps upstairs so I decide the best thing for me to do is to go upstairs and check.  But I don’t do what the typical scary movie woman does, no, I run up, shut all the doors to the upstairs rooms and run back down again.  I figure this way, if someone is upstairs, I am going to hear them when they open the door to get out!  

All the time I am doing this, I am saying to myself ‘no one is in the house; no one is going to come in the house, let alone a man in a mask wielding a knife’.  It makes me laugh but I still can’t relax.  My partner is also a prankster and my artistic brain decides that knowing him, he will climb through the front upstairs windows just to make me jump!

You must be aware at this point that I live in a mid-terraced, three bedroom house which is really not very big and the house is in the middle of a large estate.  I am surrounded by people, a far cry from the big house in the middle of nowhere that the girl in the film lives in.  So there is little chance anything can happen in this house without me hearing it!

Okay so I am safe now and carry on with the film which has been paused so many times due to investigating noises and shutting doors that a two hour film now lasts two hours thirty.  Now I am back on the sofa, back door is open and there is a lovely breeze coming through.  I can hear people in the neighbourhood but I am still not impressed with the banging fences.  I mean when they bang a little louder, how do I know it isn’t someone coming over?

By now the film has nearly finished but my partner isn’t home yet.  Hmmmm……I know I’ll google how long the film he has gone to see lasts and work out when he will be back.  Quick search – thank god for the internet, maybe it did have something I needed tonight after all – and it works out he should be home in twenty minutes.

So for the last part of the film, you would have found me relaxed on the sofa with a cuppa and snack, right?  Wrong!  I was sat on the rug cross legged, back straight, hungry and thirsty.  No way was I leaving the room for drinks or snacks and no way was I relaxing  on the sofa.  I was on scary movie mode which meant my senses were on red alert, I could see into the garden through the open door so I was safe.

Once the movie finished, I sat in silence and waited for my partner to come home.  Ears were still on red alert.  In he came and the first thing I said to him was ‘don’t leave me alone again’.  On explanation of the reasons, he was actually dumbfounded and somewhat amused that I had sat and watched a scary movie on my own, because he is well aware of my extremes when we watch them together. 

Now my heart rate has resumed normal cardiac rhythms I ask myself will I ever watch a scary movie alone again? 

Sure I will, I’ve already been doing it twenty five years so here’s to the next twenty five!