Can you scare the shit out of yourself?

Ever tried?

I’m big on not drowning. So, if I shut my eyes, hold my breath while in a nice high-pressure shower, with my head under the stream of water, imagine myself caught in the bowels of a sinking ship or submarine, can damn near cause a full-blown panic attack (I don’t really believe in that as a concept, but you get the idea). Not Navy material. Don’t like the uniforms anyway. Dying in a dark, wet, cold place just kinda doesn’t work for me.

While riding motorcycles, every car I see, I imagine them slowly creeping across the center line or darting out from the side road or running that Stop sign. I can visualize the carnage. Doesn’t cause distress, but takes most of the fun of riding away. Been hit once, want to avoid it in the future. Getting run over, and surviving made me a “better” (more cautious) rider, but I could have done without that lesson.

Anybody else, or am I just a morbid bastard?

You’re talking to the master of freaking myself the eff out. Agoraphobic, I imagine every bad thing that might, maybe, could or would happen. It’s sorta exhausting sometimes. I know exactly what you mean. Be careful it’s a deep rabbit hole.

Why are you up at this time of night?

I could ask the same of you. I am up because I have nothing else to do. That and I slept late yesterday.

I always try to imagine the worst. It is insurance: if I imagine carnage and destruction, it never happens, because the bad stuff is always what you did not expect.

For a long, long time, I could give myself the willies by picturing the ending to The Blair Witch Project. I came home from that movie, and checked all the doors and windows, twice. I saw it with my husband who was then my boyfriend, and we both had to get up in the morning, so we didn’t spend the night together after the movie, after spending three or four nights in a row together. A couple of times, I actually went and picked up the phone to call him and ask him to come over, but I decided I didn’t want him to think of me as an hysterical woman, and toughed it out. I took an Ambien, and curled up in a little ball on the couch, instead on sleeping on my bed, because my bed was a loft, and my dog couldn’t sleep with me. My dog got up on the couch with me. My 80lb. Pit Bull/GSD cross would defend me against all comers, natural and supernatural.

The other thing I cannot do without seriously freaking myself out, is reading books about Jack the Ripper, after dark. I love stuff about serial killers, and I love stuff about unsolved mysteries, so Jack the Ripper is tailor-made for me, and I have several books about the crime. But I cannot read any of them after dark, at least not when I am alone-- and by that, I mean alone in a room; there can be other people in the house, but they don’t help if I’m in a bedroom by myself. During the day, I can read all about the case I want, and read three books about it when I was pregnant and not working, and alone in the house without a car all day (and a little crazy). But not after dark. After dark, my mind races.

Oddly, other cases don’t freak me out like the Jack the Ripper case. I don’t know why. It’s not because he wasn’t caught, or because I was or wasn’t in his demographic. I’ve never been a broke, casual prostitute wandering the streets at night, so really, I’m not in his demographic. Reading about other uncaught serial killers in whose demographic I could actually have been, such as the New Orleans Axe-Man, or the Zodiac, doesn’t freak me out as much as reading about Jack the Ripper. It’s probably a childhood thing. I learned about Jack the Ripper when I was only maybe 8 or 9-- he was the first serial killer I was ever aware of, and at first, I didn’t know if what I was reading was true or not, it seemed so hard to believe. So I looked up more, and got seriously freaked out for a couple of days.

Other serial killers I did not know about until I was much older. Wait, no-- Son of Sam and the Atlanta Child Murderer I was aware of, because I actually followed those stories in the news. They must have been two and three for me. Those stories should have frightened me more than they did, especially Son of Sam. It was happening very close to where we lived, but I didn’t know that, and we were staying with my grandmother at the time for a reason that I now suspect my parents of completely inventing, and the real reason was actually the murders.

Another thing from the media that used to scare me for a long time if I just thought about it, although it’s pretty much worn off now, is picturing the scene from Twin Peaks where Killer Bob is crouching at the foot of Laura Palmer’s bed, and the camera is showing him from Laura’s viewpoint.

Twin Peaks on the whole had me pretty freaked on when it was first on back in the early 90s. The night the new episodes were on, before I went to bed, I’d check all closets, and double check the locks on the doors and windows. I knew the sequel wasn’t going to measure up to the original, when, after the first episode, I went to bed with no need whatsoever to check any locks or closets.

That’s my theory as well! I have a lot of anxieties and am constantly envisioning the worst case scenario. (Then if it happens, well, at least you saw it coming).

As to scaring myself on purpose, the worst was the time I woke in the night while camping with my husband. It was in the wee hours of the morning, silent and dark as a woodchuck’s asshole. I started thinking about one of my favorite books, The Haunting of Hill House. After a while, I was completely petrified. My husband was sleeping right next to me and I wanted to reach out and hold his hand, but due to a scene in the book, I could not do it!

In my head, I sometimes imagine getting into physical fights with the various assholes I encounter in daily life. I don’t scare myself with these daydreams, but I do get my heart rate going by imagining (probably inaccurately) how I would handle these situations, maybe feeling a bit of that imaginary rage.

I get what you’re saying; just need to correct the part about panic attacks. There’s no room for disbelief - they are a fact, not a hypothesis. I’ve never had one, but I’ve never had a lot of other things either.

(Exactly how and why panic attacks happen may be unclear, I don’t know. But WHETHER they happen is not subject to doubt.)

I wish I could scare the shit outta myself, I waste too damn much time sittin on the can!

An aside: do people really crap their pants if frightened? Oh, shit, I just gave myself something else to fear.Ugh.

I can do this, I am claustrophobic, so when a news story came on or when I read about the Thailand boys soccer team caught in the cave, it gave me the willies…then, I saw an expert diver explain the conditions they would have to experience to get out, and it totally gave me anxiety attacks…I would lay in bed and torture myself with images of what they were to experience to the point of I had to get up, walk around the house in the middle of the night, once I went out on the porch to stare at the stars…yeah, I can scare the crap out of myself…

For some reason, I have been fascinated by serial killers, some in part as I grew up with Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, Jeffery Daumer, Son of Sam, Rose and Fred West, the Green River Killer, BTK and now, EAR/ONS/Golden State Killer…I’ve done several personal Jack the Ripper tours (I traveled a lot for business and spent a good amount of time in England)…I think part of it is morbid fascination, part of it is not beginning to understand the mind set of the of the criminals, part of it is being a scientist and trying find a common link to explain all of these…and there isn’t one…

I recently read a book, “The Man from the Train”, OMG, it’s fascinating in the beginning, it drags a bit during the middle, but the ending is "I CAN’T PUT THIS DOWN’ riveting, totally true story, the person they describe maybe the most prolific serial killer since the 1890’s, and he was never caught…yes, read it with people around, I HIGHLY recommend it as it’s a very fascinating case, but, you will go outside your house and make sure there are no axes, hammers or any other blunt objects, and you WILL lock all your doors at night…gives me the chills to think about it…

Easy. I turn off the lights. Kill the music. Read as much CreeyPasta as possible. Then, go to bed immediately. It’s fun watching the sun rise :slight_smile:

Oh, yeah! That whole “stuck in a dark cave full of water” story. Jeez! Almost as bad as the Kursk disaster.

And impressive serial-killer chops there, chemistry! :smiley:

There’s a children’s fantasy novel where characters have to crawl through a bit of a cave tunnel that is underwater. So, scooting along marine-style at best, underwater, no way to go backward…

I just felt a little lightheaded again typing that.

The answer to the OP is yes. I just have to imagine that scenario and yes.

I can induce panic attacks by thinking about my eventual death and not existing anymore. Like, when you just really think about the permanence of death and the fact that this is it… it can really hit you.

How about the Chilean miners, pulled out from the mine in a steel tube not much bigger than they were, trapped inside for about 20 minutes until it reached the surface 2300 feet above.

Now think about the tube getting stuck halfway up… :eek:

Damn. That is quite terrifying.

Friends and I filmed a parody of Han Solo in carbonite for Star Wars Uncut: Empire Strikes Back. I was Han, and to simulate carbonite I draped a cloth over me. Well, it didn’t conform to my face so I figured if it were wet, it would take the shape better. So I saturated the blanket with water, lay down, and draped it over me, then inhaled.

Did you know water-soaked cloth doesn’t transmit air? I didn’t. I inhaled and got nothing other than the cloth sucking to my face like a plastic bag. When you want air, and can’t get air, it’s panic time. Freaked me out big time.

Then since I ruined the take, I had to do it again, but holding my breath this time. :frowning: