As I stated last year, Halloween and Dead's Day is my favorite season of the year, now surpassing the thrill of Christmas, given the fact most store chains are already shoveling down our throats every imaginable item for that season.
Being the first of an intended series, I would like to start celebrating Halloween remembering those things, imaginary or real, that used to give me goose bumps and make me tremble under my blankets when I was a kid.
1. Vampires: when I was an over-imaginative 9-year-old kid, I got to see the wonderful "The Vampire's Coffin", with 'Count Duval', the main character, performed by German Robles. It was such an impressing movie that I spent the next 7 years of my life rolling up like a taco the blanket hem to stuff it around my neck at night, just in case the vampire decided to visit my room.
2. Cats: for many years, my family transmited this atavic fear towards these "awful, treacherous beasts", especially due to the strange noises they produce during mating season.
Fortunately for me, this only lasted for a couple of years, until an extremely friendly cat one of my aunts used to own did his best to demonstrate they are not monsters. Nowadays. I have my own cat!
3. Guanajuato Mummies: still being a classic of B series terror movies, "El Santo vs. Las Momias de Guanajuato" became one of the benchmark in my childhood terrors. Watching this gigantic and over-muscled mummy with a horribly rotten face breaking at night into a house to strangle its victims in his powerful grip left me sleepless for countless nights.
4. Snails, worms, catterpillars, maggots: believe it or not, some of the most peaceful creatures on Earth still are the main stars in my worst nightmares. My elder cousins on my mom's side used to throw the snail shells at my brother and I stating that the slime was corrosive. If you take into account I was around four or five years old, you may understand why this turned into a life-long trauma. To the date, it is enough but to glance at them to make me climb up the walls in phobic panic.
5. The closet in my bedroom: not the boogie-man ("el coco", as we call it here), but this dark, deep, full of shadows and lumps, creepy passage to terror. My brother and I never knew what horrible things nested behind its closed door at night, so we left the door open, ready to see any monster who might decide to slip out of it. Funny how we found a closed door more terrorizing that anything it could hide.
6. Ghosts, Spirits and Naguales (naeh-WAEH-les): contrary to other children, I have never been afraid of "La Llorona" (The Mourning Woman), the most famous Mexican spirit, but of all the others. Both sides of my family have collected through the years some of the most fearsome and daunting horror stories any child would love to hear, especially when you get to hear that your grandfather's house had been haunted for several years by a walking shadow passing by the front windows, or the black dog which misteriously climbed the fence to haunt my great-grandfather...
Do you remember what you used to fear...?