Psycho: Halloween nightmares

My bothers last post inspired me to share a Halloween memory as well. If you missed his entry of last week, entitled “Little Lord Fauntleroy”, do yourself a favor and read it. Hilarious.

I’m sure this post will not compare in humor to his, but in attempting to objectively look back…it still brings a smile to my face, though, at the time, I was not smiling. I am going to go on the assumption that everyone reading this blog has seen the Alfred Hitchcock classic, Psycho. Please tell me you have seen either the original or at least one of the re-makes.

This horror classic gave Hitchcock the biggest box office hit of his career and the  45-second shower murder in Psycho is possibly the most famous scene in cinema history. If you have not seen the original, see it.

Anyway, the movie was first released in June of 1960. (yea it’s old). I so wanted to see this movie, but, my mom, being very wise, determined I was a bit too young to sit through this one. I’m sure she was well aware that allowing me to go see this movie would cause her many sleepless nights as I was sure to spend many of those nights running down the long hall leading to my parent’s bedroom screaming in terror. As I have alluded to many times, I was far, far from being a brave kid. Thus, I asked and pleaded to no avail… I was not going to see Psycho.

Fast forward two years to the Halloween Season. The Lowes movie theater was showing Psycho along with two other horror movies as a Halloween marathon. I don’t even remember what the other two movies were… Psycho was all that counted! So, here I was, two years older and ready for anything! (but, in all honesty, still the same “scared of my own shadow” kid I was two years earlier). I played the age card big time with mom. You know the card… “common Mom!!! I’m old enough now!  All the other kids are going!!! It’s Halloween!!! Please!!!” Yep, that’s the card I played, and I played it pretty well. I also had an added advantage in that my one and only friend, James L, wanted to also go and his mom was letting him. I played that up as well, I even had James ask my mom if I could go. That may have been the winning stroke, as she finally agreed.

So, two days before Halloween, I, the brave and fearless Donny, was going to see Psycho with my friend James. I had arrived! I WAS THE MAN!! I even remember dad telling mom at the dinner table:

“You sure you should let him go to that? He’s afraid of everything?”
Mom: “ Well, he’s a bigger boy now and James is going with him”
Dad: shaking head and muttering, “I don’t know….. he’s afraid of everything…”
Rob:” that’s a scary movie right? He’s not going to like it”.

However! I prevailed! ( well, mom really prevailed, but whatever)

So, with Halloween only two nights away I found myself standing in line at the Lowes on West 12th street to get my ticket to the Halloween marathon! I remember how excited and anxious I was. Everyone had been talking about this movie! It had won awards and was referred to as terrifying…. and I was getting ready to see it.

I remember nothing of the first two movies of the marathon. They were really pretty bad and not very scary at all. This proved to be somewhat of a curse, in that in my dumb little mind I had just sat through two “scary” movies and had not been afraid! My confidence level was soaring.

Then….. came …… Psycho.

From the opening scene, I was on edge. The music, the rain, the ominous feeling that Hitchcock brilliantly created had me holding the armrests very, very, tightly. I wondered why this weird guy in the movie had a “mother” that seemed so mean…… I wondered why she stayed in that room alone…I wondered why I had begged to come to this damned movie. James seemed to be enjoying every moment, pounding down the snacks mom had given us ( no way were we going to pay “those prices” for popcorn and candy).
I, on the other hand, wanted to look anywhere other than at the screen.

Then. The. Shower Scene.

Holy crap!

Thought I would pass out right there. Screams from the audience. Even James jumped a bit. My eyes were about as wide as they could possibly get and my mouth was open in a silent scream. I was literally frozen. You know how it goes, once the shocking scene is over and the audience calms back down there is a general buzz in the crowd as people talk about the scene they had just witnessed:

“Wow! That scared the crap out of me!”
“ Did you see that!!!! Geez” Etc, etc..

James turned to me and exclaims, in as hushed tone as possible, “Wasnt that Boss A!!!” (a term we used as frequently as folks use “awesome” today)

I assume James was hoping for a response from me, but all he got was wild eyes, wide open mouth, frozen and twisted in a silent scream. After staring at me for a moment and checking my breathing to make certain I was alive… he went back to watching the movie.
I believe I remained in that position throughout the remainder of the movie. My eyes actually widened a bit when the detective “bought the farm” going up the stairs. My silent scream mouth twisted a bit more grotesquely when we finally met “mother” at the end of the movie. Then, praise God, it was over.

The short walk home after the show was something to behold. I’m surprised James remained my friend. (come to think of it….)

James: “That was totally cool, man!!!”
Me: giggling like a complete fool: “hahaha, yea…. cool…. hahaha”
James; “We should see it again tomorrow…!”
Me: still giggling as I tried to pretend I was not traumatized for life; “yea … it was totally Boss A…… hahahahahaha. Yea… hahaha, see it again….”

I finally made my way back to the apartment after saying goodnight to James, who, for some reason, kept giving me strange looks and asking if I was “all right “).
Believe me, conversation in the apartment was just as entertaining:

Mom; “so, how did you like it? Was it scary??”
Me: “hahahahaha, scary? No, it wasn’t scary at all….. hahahhahah( stupid giggle)
Dad: “you look white as a sheet…”
Rob:” he got scared, I can tell…. he got scared.”
Me: “hahahahaha… no, really we had fun .. it wasn’t scary it was good…. hahahahha.
Dad: Ok, you look scared to me… but, its time for bed….. go take your shower..”
Me: “what? Shower?” I think I passed out next.

Don

3 thoughts on “Psycho: Halloween nightmares

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