As a child I was scared of lots of things, I didn’t like the dark, I was terrified by spiders, vampires gave me the willies. Normal stuff for kids.

But one night, when I was about 7, my mom rented the cartoon version of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. All I remember is having weeks upon weeks of nightmares about the Headless Horseman.

I didn’t think about it again until I was 11. In 6th grade I was in an advanced Literature class and we traveled to a nearby town to see several short stories get the theater treatment. I really enjoyed The Monkey’s Paw, and The Tell-Tale Heart. But then, they started telling the story of that ghoul of a German Mercenary, the Headless Horseman. I was so scared I had to leave. The HH scared me so bad, I couldn’t even finish the Wishbone version of the story.

My freshman year of college, my parents and I took a trip to Walt Disney World and we attended Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween party. I was really excited about seeing the parade until my Mom informed me that it was led by the Headless Horseman…on a real horse…whose hooves sometimes sparked on the cobblestones. *shudders* So instead we rode Splash Mountain three times in a row. It was tons more fun than having a week or more worth of nightmares.

Even now, 5 years later, at 23, I still am uneasy about anything to do with Sleepy Hollow. I won’t even watch the Johnny Depp movie, and he is one of my favorite actors of all time.

Childish it may be, we all have fears, some we admit to, others we don’t. But we aren’t the only ones with those fears. And it’s so much better to share them than keep them bottled up inside.

So to start a sort-of Halloween discussion…what is something that has terrified you since you were a child? Or something that is a newly discovered fear?

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