I Can't Take It, I Can't Shake It

Originally uploaded by YourAuntBee.

Sunday night, I was watching Family Guy. The episode, Petergeist, was one I had never seen.

Except for the time when the Kool-Aid Man busted through the wall, I don't think I've ever laughed harder at an episode of Family Guy.

See, this particular episode is all a big spoof on the movie Poltergeist. Which is funny, but to really understand why I found it so funny, you would have to know my history with the movie.

Back when I was a wee one, if you fixed our old cable box so that the dial was set right in between two channels, we got free HBO. I watched Willy Wonka and Poltergeist about a thousand times each in those days.

Throughout my whole life, I've been curious about the paranormal. So you can imagine a movie about a house built on Native American burial grounds which results in a child getting sucked into her closet and lost within the house would interest me.

But the interest didn't stop with watching the movie.

The girl next door, Jolie, was five years older than me. We "played pretend" quite often, but once we saw Poltergeist, we started to "play Poltergeist."

Jolie's front porch was our set. Now and then, there would be other kids around to fill in the cast of characters, but Jolie would always play the older sister, Dana.

This gave her the dramatic scene of running up to our "house" while pulling at her hair and screaming "WHAT'S HAPPENING???"

As the youngest (and of course cutest) of the cast, I played Carol Anne.

My acting was really quite sublime. I really dove into my character.

Unfortunately, I had no way to disappear into the house, so I crouched behind the porch swing and delivered such lines as "mmMommy? mmmMommy where are you? iiiI can't see you Mommyy!"

This is where things get a little fuzzy for me. I remember having nightmares. I remember waking up and seeing figures standing in my doorway.

It turns out I was having a lot of nightmares. I was waking up, screaming, most nights.

I wasn't allowed to watch Poltergeist anymore. The Poltergeist play stopped. And still my parents seriously considered getting me some counseling. Which I'm sure is something they still think about doing.

At some point, I got better. Though I've never really stopped having crazy nightmares. I think the frequency just decreased.

Last Thanksgiving, I saw Jolie at one of the hometown bars. We were talking about the past and I asked her "Do you remember when we used to play Poltergeist? Man, did that screw me up!"

"Poltergeist? What are you talking about?"

I tried explaining everything to her, to remind her. I couldn't believe she could forget something like that. But she did.

She almost ruined my whole childhood, and what does she do when she finds out? She laughs.

Evil she-devil!

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