Apparently a new horror game came out in August, and references to it have been appearing in my social media feeds ever since. Perhaps you've heard of Five Nights at Freddy's? I wish I hadn't.
I actually have watched someone play the game, and frankly, it shouldn't be as scary as it is. But it plays on a particular fear of mine that I cannot seem to shake even though I know it is completely irrational.
I cannot stand animatronics. They absolutely terrify me.
My first personal memory was of my grandmother's crawling baby doll. That thing was just plain creepy. Inanimate objects are not supposed to move like that.
Then there were the characters at Chuck E. Cheese's. Yeah...the very chain that apparently inspired the nightmare that has been intruding on my normally horror-free media feeds. What made Chuck E. Cheese's worse for me as a child was the fact that occasionally someone would dress up as the giant mouse himself and greet the children. You think I had issues with him just up on the stage? One time my sister and I hid under the table when we saw him approaching, and had to be coaxed back out after he was gone.
This has presented some opportunities for my peers to mock me at theme parks. "It's a Small World" is still horrifying to me, even after the update. But back when it was looking a bit shabby...that was worse. If you've ever been to Six Flags Over Georgia, you'll find "Monster Mansion," a delightful little ride full of brightly colored animatronics that hopefully stay where they belong while you go past in your little boat. Then it takes a scary turn. You know, you go into the dark, and the music goes into a minor key and things are lit spookily? At least, I assume that's what it looks like. My fear of the animatronics means I've never actually seen that part of the ride.
My method of coping with rides involving animatronics has been to close my eyes tight, plug my ears with my fingers, and hum "Kumbaya." It works for me.
I honestly do not know where I got this fear from. Other fears, I can think of instances in my life that spawned the irrational behavior, but not this one. I've had it for as long as I can remember, and it is not doing away.
I usually avoid the horror genre as a whole. I have an over-active imagination that doesn't need help in producing nightmares for me. I could do a whole lot better without Five Nights at Freddy's in my life, though. Seriously, it needs to die.