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I Fear No Evil (but other things scare me)!

I rolled over and noticed the clock on the nightstand flashed 3:16. I rubbed my eyes and then slid out of bed stumbling to the kitchen. I prayed there was one more Coke in the fridge.

As the light buzzed to life, my eyes fell to the small side window next to the back door. A face stared at me in it as I stepped into the kitchen. My heart leapt in my chest and thumped so hard I thought it would burst from my chest with one more beat. My feet seemed stuck in quicksand.

I convinced my body it had to move to see if something was about to attack, kill, or eat me. I took one-step back and shook my head, and shut my eyes in an extended blink. When I finally braved them open, the face still stared at me, but it blinked, changed, and then again went back to staring at me.

As I stared, words formed across the face when it finally dawned on me that someone had left the television on in the downstairs living room. A character from a DVD looped on the screen and reflected in the window. I sighed, thankful it wasn’t real. My over active imagination once again. It got me to thinking about a question I’m asked all the time.

“As a horror writer, what scares you?” My first response is typically, there is nothing that scares me. I’m not sure if that is my machismo talking or a response that I’m supposed to give—a man response. However, after this episode I realize there just may be a few things that do scare me. Perhaps my invincibility has some chinks in its armor. I decided to sit down and have a more honest look at things that scare me and some that do not.

For most people, death seems to scare them. At least what might happen to them after the fact. I’ve never been one on that list. I don’t want to die, but if it’s time, I’m ready. Am I scared of going to hell? No! Am I scared of messing up and doing something of which God will strike me down with lightning? No. This goes back to my perception of God in the first place. I don’t view Him as some over-sized, authoritarian bolt thrower who sits around and waits for us to mess up just to rain fire and brimstone on our heads. That’s not to say I don’t believe in God’s wrath, judgment, or the rewarding of His followers. I’m just saying those thing do not scare me.

Am I afraid of monsters or aliens? No. It’s hard for me to fear something I don’t believe exists. However, for some people their concept of a monster may entail a demon or something to do with the devil. Am I afraid of the devil or demons? Again the answer is NO. I believe that as a Christian, every demon must submit to me, especially when I use the scriptures to fight against it. I must admit during the times, I’ve met someone possessed or felt the presence of an evil spirit it raised the hair on the back of my neck. I believe demons have power, but it’s more important to realize that the weakest Christian with a knowledge and belief in scripture is more powerful than the strongest demon.

Since I live in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky, if I walk down the street at night, it’s down a darkened path (very few streetlights). Does that scare me? Maybe sometimes because of the wild animals that may lurk in the shadows. Anyone that has read my first Whisper novel may think I have a phobic fear of snakes. But it isn’t really the case, as a clinical definition of phobia is one that interferes with the activities of daily living. I’m not going to pick them up by the tail and play with them, but I’m not afraid to kill everyone I find. If there is a snake around my house, I will take my murder shovel, hunt it down, and decapitate it. The murder shovel got its name from the bloodstains of about twelve poisonous copperhead snakes I’ve killed in the last two years. So, being without a weapon, I’d be somewhat afraid to walk down the street at night.

At the beginning of this post, I described a true account of the face in the window that admittedly scared me. Does that mean I am afraid to look out my windows at night? Before I answer this particular question let me say this about the town in which I live.

Retselville is scary period. Perhaps, it’s the urban legends that everyone swears are true. Maybe it’s the abandoned buildings and houses emitting dread and creepiness. Maybe it’s simply because it is home to the spookiest looking woods I’ve ever seen. These woods surround the whole town, and crouch at my backdoor. They make for great inspiration for horror stories, but they are so real the horror stories come alive within them.

Okay, so I am not ashamed to admit it the Retselville Woods scare me. So much that I’ve only been in them once at night. That’s another story all together, but the short version is this; my daughter and her friend had gotten their ATV stuck and me and my son trekked four miles in the dark to help them. All I could think about was walking unarmed in the woods with cell phones as flashlights accompanied by three teenagers, two of them girls. Talk about a live slasher film.

As in the case of any self-reflecting essay, I realize there are a few things that scare me. My justification is that I write horror stories that involve this town, these woods, and the native inhabitants. I write stories that have a sense of dread tinged with speculations of truth.

In essence, I scare myself.

About Pete Turner

Pete Turner is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor with a MA in Counseling from EKU and a BA in Psychology from Oral Roberts University. He pens stories and novels influenced heavily by a mixture of psychology and experiences of supernatural activity in his charismatic upbringing. His debut novel, Whisper A Scream (2nd Edition) is a Christian Horror thriller and the first of a trilogy from TreasureLine Publishing. He currently lives in Kentucky with his wife and their four children.

16 comments on “I Fear No Evil (but other things scare me)!

  1. Sympathetic LOL’s!

    Actually, since I grew up deep in the jungles of what is now the Province of Papua, Indonesia, woods at night no longer scare me. They used to, though! The jungle at night is a horribly creepy place! I blame that on the very noisy frogs and crocodiles, and what might have been night-birds.

    It wasn’t ever the trees that frightened me; I loved the trees! It was the SNAKES that I knew were hanging out among the trees. My flashlight was rather dim, so I wouldn’t know the snakes were there to avoid them unless I aimed just right. With every vine looking like a snake out of the corner of my eye, I tried not to walk in the dark by myself. Ever!

    I cut myself some slack on this fear, because we had one of the most aggressive, mean-tempered poisonous snakes in the world at Nohon: the Papuan Black snake. It had no respect for the humans living in its territory, and went out of its way to make that clear to us! Being afraid of Papuan Black snakes is only prudent.

    I stopped being as afraid of snakes after we moved from Nohon. Being afraid of the dark took longer, but eventually got better too. I think, when you’re small and the world is so big, it’s easy to be afraid of many things, but as you grow to trust and rely on God to protect you and deliver you from evil, things that used to be scary usually become easier to deal with.

    Usually doesn’t mean always…

    I saw my last Papuan Black snake between my freshman and sophomore years of college. I’m still not sure which surprised me more; seeing that snake “periscope” 3 to 4 feet above a chest-high clump of pineapple bushes, or the sudden, desperate urge to put solid walls between me and it!

    • WoW! I’ve never came upon a snake in a tree! That would defintely scare me! Especially those- I’ve looked up the pics of Papuan Black Snakes! YIKES! I’m not sure my Murder Shovel can handle those bad boys, especially hanging in a tree. Great new nightmares!! lol

      • Instead of singing, “Please don’t send me to Africa,” I suppose you could sing, “Please don’t send me to Papua…!” 😉

        You’re quite right about one shovel not being enough. Dad discovered that it takes two shovels to kill a Papuan Black snake: place one under the snake to provide a solid surface, and hack away with the other!

        I think the snakes in West Africa have to be worse than PBs. They have the black momba, vicious like the PBs, but with a preference for ambushing victims by falling out of trees on them. The green momba likes to fall out of trees too, but isn’t poisonous. Green mombas drop out of trees with more frequency than black mombas.

        PBs climb; but I haven’t heard of them dropping on people. I think I’d prefer a PB even to a green momba.

        And now, I shall leave you to sweet dreams of falling snakes… 😉

      • Thanks Krysti–for inserting new scarier images into my already disturbing nightmares! UGH! lol

  2. Great reflections! I’ll admit, I’m a wimp. Maybe it’s all the stuff I grew up around, or maybe it’s because I used to watch the news too much–but, yes. I am a wimp. I really struggled the first few times my husband went on work trips and I was left alone with my kids overnight. What if’s? kept popping into my mind. The only thing that ever helped was prayer.

    • THANKS! I think if the truth is revealed ALL of us are wimps sometimes! There are some powerful Scriptures I use quite frequently when it comes to fighting fear! (not to plug my novel here, but Whisper A Scream is a book about learning to overcome a demon through the power of Christ- One reader wrote me and told me that it helped her overcome some oppressing spirits fighting her daily)…

  3. I am very close to being phobic about snakes. As I told you in email, I say my snake prayer each time I go outside.
    “Please, God, don’t let me see any snakes.” 😛

    • I’m not ‘really’ afraid of snakes, if someone in my family sees a snake I will hunt it down to kill it. Two summers ago I killed eight copperheads around my house (two of them over four feet long, one was pregnant with two baby snakes– not cute btw– and I killed them too). And yeah I remember you talking about your snake prayer- great idea!!

  4. An excellent post, Mr. Turner! Honestly and truly, a fantastic post. There are things that scare me ~ large brown recluse spiders, for one. (Our house seems to have been built on top of a nest of them, ugh) and creepy people that call out my name while they’re standing on my back deck in the middle of the night. It was horrific! And I’m positive I wouldn’t want to visit your woods. Ahem, I know where I’m going when I die, but I don’t really want to rush things, either! 😉

    • Thanks, Amanda!! Wait— there are creepy people that stand on your back deck in the middle of the night?? Like in your dreams or in reality? Or a dream reality like in Whisper? BTW- i decided to ride my fourwheeler in the spooky woods yesterday and wouldn’t you know it- MY FACE knocked down three spider webs! YUCK! and YIKES!

  5. AWESOME!!!! Oh how I can relate to the post in several ways. The Home town, the snakes, the clinical Definition of Phobia, and the part where you said, Quote: “IN ESSENCE I SCARE MYSELF.” Very well written. Love it!!!
    Suffering from Panic Disorder and OCD for many years, I know all to well about what scares me, what I thought scared me, and then reality stepped in. Panic Attacks scared me so bad, at one point, that I was a prisoner of my own home”. Never knew what that saying meant untill I went through years of suffering these attacks.

    • Wow! Thanks so much for sharing, Lynn! I’m glad you could connect with this post! As a clinical therapist, Panic Attacks are VERY crippling for most people. I’ve experienced it one time myself, I couldn’t imagine them reoccurring. That is truly scary!

  6. “but I’m not afraid to kill everyone I find”

    OOPS! This sounds like I’m confessing to being a serial killer! I was technically talking about killing snakes — “every” “one”- should have separated those two words.. LOL.. anybody else catch that??

  7. My official hero!!! The shovel toting snake killer! God must surely have sent you to me. Why? I am totally opposite, I fear EVERYTHING! Well, not everything. Snakes, mice, spiders, heights, bugs, bees, closed in places, elements of surprise (such as our son hiding on the stairs to jump out at me), and horror movies! Of course you know all of this because I am constantly saying such things as, “There is a gigantic spider in the laundry room and I AM NOT GOING BACK IN THERE under you kill it!!” My personal favorite is , “I just saw another stupid copperhead in the yard, and I am never, ever mowing again until you kill everyone of them….in the world!!” This is after I have ran screaming and allowing the mower to roll down the hill alone! I am so glad you are my hero!

    In all honesty, I do fear these things. I am fortunate though that I am quite confident and fearless when encouraging my students and children’s friends to make good choices. I encourage all young people to follow and achieve their goals and to accomplish everything that God intended for them. Insecurities and low self esteem can totally crush someone. I try to build on people’s strengths and let them know I believe in them.

  8. HEY Tammi! Call me HERO again!!! However, Teachers like you, that help sooo many children are truly what I would call a hero! But I will definitely be there to alleviate your fears—or at least kill the snakes and insects! Hee hee! I think I hear a song playing in the background but is it from Skillet, Nickelback, or Enrique Iglesias??

  9. […] I Fear No Evil (but other things scare me)! (newauthors.wordpress.com) […]

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