These days I don’t wake up remembering my dreams very often, but last night I had a doozy. It creeped me out during the dream so much that I actually woke up. And then the dream started right back up where it left off. Thanks, REM sleep. Why couldn’t you have done that when I was a kid during that ultra cool dream where I was helping crew the Enterprise?
In this dream, my family and I had moved into a new house, on condition that we took possession of the mummified corpse of a woman who used to live there. It had to remain in the house. The rest of my family, even extended family, seemed okay with this, but I was pretty disturbed. This being a dream, I went along with it anyway. At no point did I ever feel like the thing was actually alive, or would come alive, but I kept finding that the family had shifted its location. I’d walk into a room, mentally psyching myself to have to see it, and then not finding it where it had been placed — BUT RIGHT NEXT TO ME BESIDE THE DOORWAY!
I’m not sure why I was dreaming such things. I’m in the midst of a scene in the third Dabir and Asim book where the boys are fighting stuff man was not meant to know, but I don’t think that’s it.
I then remembered an ancient inspiration. I used to read horror comics at the grocery when I was a kid (remember when you could actually get comics in places OTHER than specialty comics stores?). I only bought superhero comics with my limited allowance, but while Mom was shopping I would leaf through horror comics and occasionally see or read something that freaked me out. There was one story in one of the DC horror titles set a century ago about a woman whose husband had accidentally been buried alive. They’d gotten to him in time, but he was a shattered wreck, psychologically, and died a little later. In her will the woman had it written in that she had to be checked every week to see if she were really expired. Shortly following that there was a scene of a doctor coming to the house years later and checking on this wrapped up thing in the closet and saying “still dead.”
It might sound a little funny, the way I’ve described it, but it obviously scared little Howard, or I wouldn’t remember the story so vividly.
At one point I picked up a big stack of pre-owned Ripley’s Believe it or Not True Ghost Stories comics, cheap — a couple of pennies an issue — and they scared me so bad I traded them in at the comics store! Kind of wish I still had them, now.