I enjoyed writing “In a Horror movie you’re not as smart as you think” because it was a nice reminder to not be so hard on the characters in the movie genre that I so love. After I reread it I began to think about my responsibilities to the community of readers. Don’t I owe it to them to warn against the mistake that could get them dead? I mean, knowing that they will make a few mistakes is helpful, but shouldn’t I also share the specific things that will get them dead? The answer is “yes.” An ounce of prevention is of course worth a pound of cure. So here is my list of things that will get you dead .
1. A great deal on that old house: Classic mistake! I understand that the housing market is pretty bad and that there are a lot of deals out there, but if it’s too good to be true…walk away. The easiest way to get yourself dead is to buy that “old house” that they are practically giving away. The same applies to old apartments. I strongly urge you to follow a few simple rules. First buy only homes built in the last ten years as they are far less likely to be haunted. Second don’t buy any house where someone has either died in it or been murdered. Third if the real estate agent coyly tells you, “well yes the house does have a history – punch them in the face for even trying to unload that death trap on you and your family.
2. Oh it must have been the wind: In forty six years I have never seen the “wind” open a locked door….never. Its never slid open the window in a back bedroom either. Closing and locking it may seem like a good idea, but trust me – all you’ve accomplished it to lock yourself inside the house with whatever wants to kill you. If you find a door open…especially at night…leave and call the police. Police love responding to possible home invasions. They get to draw their weapons and it’s a lot more fun than traffic stops. Remember while they are there insist they check all the closets, attic, under the beds and in the basement. This of course won’t help if it’s a demonic entry but if you followed rule one that is unlikely.
3. I know a quicker route: The moment you get off the highway on that long road trip your life expectancy drops in half. The only thing the “back roads” offer are mutant psychos, towns full of Satanists, and sociopathic rapists. You can also anticipate that there will be no opportunity to find a fueling station for the next 300 miles and that around the next dark corner your car is going to get a flat tire. So unless you travel with a shotgun and a fully loaded 9mm then I urge you to stick to Interstate Whatever.
4. Is there a tow truck in town?: Okay so you didn’t listen to rule number three and now you’ve broken down on that dark lonely road. Call for assistance right? Wrong! It’s the f-ing middle of the night in east bum f*#k where ever! Who do you think is showing up? The Triple A guy? No, the driver will either be a) a psycho mutant b.) a member of a satanic group of c.) a sociopath rapist. (good lord you really should be writing this stuff down). So don’t make a bad situation worse. Abandon the car and find a good hiding spot until dawn. Then make your way to a place where everyone is not a part of a large conspiracy to murder and rape travelers.
5. I’m too tired to keep driving: Stopping at a 2nd rate hotel guarantees death. I am sure there are some lovely “little” places that are completely safe. They are called bed & breakfasts and they are located in towns with a lot of tourism. Think about it. If there is some 2nd rate hotel on a road no one travels how is it staying in business? Answer: By selling your car and clothing after the owners kill you and bury your body in the woods. If the sign doesn’t say Holiday Inn, Hilton, Marriott or some other brand name…don’t stop there. Which of course won’t be a problem if you stay on the Interstate.
6. Did you hear that? No I didn’t and you should pretend that you didn’t either. Seriously that noise from upstairs can only be one of two things. The first is nothing. It’s the house settling or something falling off the shelf or your imagination. Either way none of these things require you to investigate, so sit down. The second possibility is it’s a ghost, a demon or an intruder. Do you have anything on your person that can kill any of these things (no that steak knife won’t work)? No. Then where the hell are you going hero? Out the door is where you should be going. So either ignore the damn noise or get the hell out of there…but don’t go looking for trouble.
7. We’ll get her through this: From time to time you may have a friend, family member or loved one suffer from demonic possession. Sure, go ahead take them to the hospital for all those useless tests…and then leave them there. I know that sounds cruel, but seriously you can’t bring them back home. Are you a catholic priest trained in exorcisms? No, and neither am I and even if you were you know that the demon will most likely “jump” into someone else before it goes. Do you want that to be you? And besides can you imagine the nightmares you’ll have watching your friend doing all that freaky contorting and head spinning?
8. I love the outdoors: There is a reason why the human population has increased…we live in houses. Being outside, in the woods, at night is not safe. It may look lovely on the Nature Channel, but that’s only because you’re inside. Camping and Hiking is just a bad idea in terms of survival. First of all it’s dark out there…well everywhere except around your campfire which makes you a big beacon of light to attract all kinds of bad things. Second that nylon tent isn’t exactly a fortress of defense. Third that psycho that has been following you for the last ten miles has already been tempted because you dropped your drawers several time to relieve yourself.
9. Were you looking for something? I live with teenagers and teenagers tend to open cupboards but not close them. Teens open a lot of things with the exception of the dishwasher (that appears to be cloaked from their view). An open cupboard or two doesn’t mean anything…all the cupboards open however means you have a problem. It’s the gateway activity to stacking all your furniture in the center of the room. If you enter your kitchen and find all the cupboards open then it is time to go. You can’t call the police for this so I suggest selling the residence to some other unsuspecting family. I know that doesn’t seem nice, but survival requires the hard choices.
10. A walk up death trap and your very own graveyard: I grew up in two houses with walk up attics and if I had my way I would have nailed the doors shut. A walk up attic is the place where every ghost, demon or malevolent spirit lives. It is also the place where psycho’s hide until you go to sleep. And don’t even think about converting it to a bedroom. You don’t want to slumber with all those things waiting for you to shut off the lights. Basements are no better. I moved from Connecticut to Florida eight years ago and let me tell you I was happy to be rid of the basement. Basements are under ground. Do you know what else is underground? Dead things. Unless you want to be a dead thing, I suggest you stay out of the basement.
So those are the basics to staying alive. Some of them may seem obvious and some may not. There are probably several more good practices like not talking to mirrors in a dark room, checking your closet and not sleeping on your back (when that thing grabs your ankles in the middle of the night being on your stomach allows you to grab hold and not be dragged down the dark hallway – just saying). I know you probably won’t follow all my advice here, but I feel better knowing I’ve done my part to keep you alive…the rest is up to you.