What Scared the Hell Out of You?

The one-question interview in which guests describe a frightening, eerie, or otherwise freaky situation that scared the hell out of them.

April, 2017/Daniel J. Flore III

My guest for April is Daniel J. Flore III, whose poems have appeared in several publications. His first poetry collection is entitled, Lapping Water,  published by GenZ Publishing. Dan frequently haunts my FaceBook page with poetry and prose that very often teeters on the edge of the dark abyss. I asked him if he wanted to be a guest for my one-question interview, and he agreed, but only on the condition that he be allowed to relate his frightening experience in a poem. The following is his account of what scared the hell out of him…


the deck is blue
no one knows if the dealer is in
you’re anxious holding your cards
you’d like to know if they’ve been dealt at all

you’re curious if she likes you
the night looks cobalt
a solid form you’ve had to earn
and have ascended to

an ignition sound
and there’s nothing
to the street you haven’t found

under the table
you’re pretty sure
he’s got his finger in her groin
and you wonder if she’s going to screw you too

there’s a bluff to call
and your Kings are coming up
guards leading the prisoner away
they’re all thinking about the gallows
the house
scurrys into itself
you daydream

–Daniel J. Flore III


March, 2017/Pamela Morris

My first guest is Pamela Morris  http://www.pamelamorrisbooks.com/. A horror and paranormal murder-mystery novelist whose works include, Secrets of the Scarecrow MoonWhat Shadows Are Made Of, and the more recent, No Rest For The Wicked, Morris has been writing since she was eleven years old. When not working on her next novel–due out sometime this year–a psychological horror story entitled, Dark Hollow Road, Pamela spends her time on her blog pages, writes book and movie reviews, and does her best to bribe a small murder of crows with peanuts and cat food into being her friends. The following, in her own words, is a recounting of a creepy experience she had as a young girl.

This is going to be tough. I’ve had a lot of damn creepy things happen, more than your average bear, as Yogi would say. Therefore, I’m going to answer with my first experience because the first time is always the creepiest, right?

I met Sherry in fourth grade. We quickly became best friends and would spend the night at each others houses. Sherry lived in a huge, Victorian-period home with all the trimmings. There were antiques everywhere, three fireplaces, two staircases, six rooms downstairs, at least as many on the second floor and a walk up attic. All of it was very well taken care of and watched over by her mother. Her brother’s bedroom was directly across the hallway from hers, with their parents only a few steps away, all on the same end of the house. A long narrow hallway lined with doors, ran down the middle with a staircase on either end. The main staircase went down to the front entryway. The back staircase took you down into the kitchen.

When we were around eleven or twelve, I was staying the night.  We’d gone upstairs to her room to hang out, talk, and play records. As we talked we heard someone come down the hallway from the back stairs followed by a sharp triple rap on her bedroom door. Sherry got up and went to the door and found the hallway empty. Annoyed, she closed the door. We assumed it was her brother who was known for doing such things and went back to our visit.

A few minutes later, it happened again; footsteps coming down the hallway and a series of knocks on her bedroom door. “Knock it off,” Sherry yelled when, once again, she opened the door to an empty hallway and silence.

The door was closed a second time, with the two of us muttering about how annoying older brothers can be. Not ten minutes later, here came the sounds of someone hurrying up the hallway and the knocks, only this time before the door was opened we heard footsteps retreating. Sherry yanked the door open, ready to catch her brother in the act, but he wasn’t there. Angry, we went downstairs to where her mom, dad, and brother were all in the living room watching television.

Her brother, looking innocent as you please, didn’t so much as flinch, smirk, or chuckle when he saw us.

“Mom, tell him to stop coming upstairs and banging on my door,” Sherry complained.

Her mom gave her a confused look. “Nobody has been up there in at least an hour. We’ve all been sitting here watching TV,” she said.

So, who was it?

Years later we found out that a large, metal, ornamental vase that rested in an alcove by their front door was actually an unmarked cremation urn. Sherry told me that a complete stranger had shown up at the house one day asking about the urn and offered her mom several hundred dollars for it.

Did it contain the remains of the playful ghost from years before? Why was it still there? Does the family now living there experience anything?

We’ll probably never know.

CREEPY! Thanks, Pamela. We love knowing what freaks people out, especially horror writers. Check this page periodically for more scary encounters, or sign up for email notifications to stay current. There’s always something macabre and morbid to be reaped from unseen worlds  when we’re Mumbling Darkly.