Things that scare the heck outta me (by Billy Coffey)

In light of the fact that Halloween is just around the corner (and that a certain blogger/author is a little busy right now), I’ve decided to re-run a post Billy Coffey wrote for this blog last year. I certainly enjoyed this peek into Billy’s secret fears just as much this time around. Besides, it’s given me some great Christmas gift ideas. Here’s Billy:

It’s a little ironic that though I tend to be a bit picture kind of guy, it’s hours and days I’m more interested in than months and years. What’s happening down the road doesn’t really concern me. What’s happening now does. This is why I tend to pay much more attention to my watch than my calendar.

This is also why it’s a good thing God made department stores. Otherwise, I would not know what holiday is upon us.

The department stores here say that Halloween will be soon. There are costumes and candy and ghouls and, even, greeting cards. You know you’ve arrived as a holiday when you get your own greeting cards. Halloween is getting big.

And I think it should be big, if for no other reason than it focuses upon one of the great issues of our lives.


In the interest of writing-frees-the-soul, I can confess that I normally do not talk about my fears. I’ll even go so far as to say that I go to certain lengths to maintain the lie that I do not have any. I do have fears. Many, in fact. And I don’t care who you are, how tough you happen to be, or how much faith you have, you’re scared of something, too.

However. The thing about fear is that it’s often a very big shadow of a very little thing. Dragging it out into the light and seeing it for what it is can be a liberating experience, or so I’ve heard. So it’s along those lines that I will blaze the trail for anyone else who might read this and admit those things that send a shiver up my spine and force me to sleep with the light on.


Ghosts? Ghosts don’t bother me. And I laugh at monsters. Vampires run from ME. But zombies freak me out. I think it’s the slow but steady movement. Zombies are patient, and I don’t understand patience. Honestly, the whole taste for human flesh thing doesn’t really bother me as much as the ratty clothes, the pale skin, and that “AAAHHHH” sound they make. Zombies are the worst creatures in the world. I don’t care who you are, if you turn into a zombie and come at me, I’ma killin’ you.


The fear of clowns is shared by so many people that it actually has a clinical name—coulrophobia. Stephen King wrote about Pennywise the Clown in It. John Wayne Gacy, one of the worst serial killers in history, dressed as Pogo the Clown for children’s birthday parties. And who can forget Crazy Joe Davola on Seinfeld? He dressed as a clown, too. And he was crazy.

Ventriloquist Dummies

When I was a kid I dreamed that I got a ventriloquist dummy for Christmas, but instead of using it, it put me on it’s knee, shoved a wooden hand up my back, and took me on tour around the country. He kept me in a small wooden steamer trunk and all he’d give me to survive on was Nilla Wafers. I’ll never forget that dream. And to this day I can’t eat Nilla Wafers. Nuff said.

Along those lines, dolls freak me out, too. I was watching Destination Truth the other night and they visited a place in Mexico called Isla de Las Munecas. Island of the Dolls. Legend states that the spirit of a drowned girl haunts the island and the dolls are there to appease her. Evidently that’s not working, though. Because now the dolls are haunted, too. Wanna see a picture of the lovely surroundings? (photo by esparta courtesy of Flickr)


Ice Cream Trucks

Those of you who have never seen the movie Maximum Overdrive may not truly appreciate how utterly mortifying ice cream trucks are. As much as I believe Stephen King to be a genius, he’s ruined more than one seemingly innocent thing for me. This is one. There’s an ice cream truck that drives around our neighborhood in the summer (blaring Christmas music, by the way), and every time I see it I make a hasty yet dignified retreat back into the house. This, by the way, is not that ice cream truck. I get too shaky to take a picture of it, so I borrowed this shot from the movie off the internet.Yes, I know this one may be a little stupid. No, I don’t care. Ice cream trucks are evil. You’re just gonna have to trust me on that.

So there you go. All my fears laid out for your reflection and mockery. I figure I’m good so long as I never run into a zombie clown whose ventriloquist dummy is driving an ice cream truck sporting a doll as a hood ornament. Chances are that won’t happen.

But I figure most fears are like that, anyway.

To read more from Billy Coffey or to hyperlink pictures of zombies, clowns, ventriloquist dummies, dolls and/or ice cream trucks, visit him at What I Learned Today and follow him on the twitter at @billycoffey.

« « Previous Post: Bring me to life | Next Post: Beautiful » »

20 Responses to “Things that scare the heck outta me (by Billy Coffey)”

  1. *~Michelle~* October 25, 2010 at 8:13 am #

    Nervously laughing now just as much as I did when I read this last time…..

    too funny!

  2. Wendy October 25, 2010 at 8:17 am #

    There are some really freaky dolls out there & clowns too now that you mention it. I address a deep fear on my blog today too. A fear of another kind.

    Though I’m not afraid of spiders I am a little scared of carnival workers.
    ~ Wendy

  3. Candy October 25, 2010 at 8:36 am #

    You have articulated well my exact feeling of this “holiday.” I guess I was too afraid to dig deeply enough to understand why I dislike it so. Now, on to Christmas!

  4. Wendy October 25, 2010 at 8:38 am #

    I just went to a scarecrow festival this weekend and there was a scarecrow contest going on. Two people used doll heads on their scarecrows and it really freaked me out. Never had a problem with dolls before, but now? Yeah. Not sure if they’d keep the crows away, but I’m sure gettin’ out of Dodge. *shiver*

  5. Michael October 25, 2010 at 8:50 am #

    Clowns frighten me.

    But to be honest, the one thing that terrifies me is the dark.

  6. Helen October 25, 2010 at 8:56 am #

    I should have waited until Bob came home to read this instead of reading it first thing in the morning….

  7. Kelly Langner Sauer October 25, 2010 at 9:05 am #

    I don’t want to admit that you’re onto something with these, but you are right. It is how we take the pure things and turn them into the awful – this is what frightens me.

  8. jake October 25, 2010 at 9:12 am #

    I remember this one! I’m going to let my nerd show for a minute…. I love zombies. I think they’re funny, especially the slow, 1950s zombies. I won’t watch most modern zombie movies because they’ve actually made them scary and really fast, but either way. It’s a dream of mine to be an extra in a zombie flick someday. I could BE one, or I could have my “braaaaiiiiinnnnnns” eaten by one and I’d be completely content.

  9. Matanyl October 25, 2010 at 10:04 am #

    Seriously. Hate. Dolls. And I don’t even watch horror ficks to justify my irrational fear of them. Petra’s creepiest ones are buried under much more soothing piles of stuffed animals in the bottom of her closet.

  10. A Simple Country Girl October 25, 2010 at 10:34 am #

    Let us feed the clowns to the Zombies, load the the flesh-eaters into ice cream trucks, and maroon said trucks on the island with the dolls. Phew. We should all rest easier when things go bump in the night.

    Oh, maybe we could put a few pro-Choice liberals on that island so I could sleep better too. Just an idea. Please, don’t forget to vote this week…


  11. jasonS October 25, 2010 at 12:33 pm #

    FDR said we had nothing to fear but fear itself, but he must not have thought of zombie clowns (can’t believe they haven’t made that movie yet). That would be more than a little terrifying.

    • Alise October 25, 2010 at 3:08 pm #

      Oh dear, you must not have seen Zombieland.

      Go watch it now. I’ll wait.

  12. Alise October 25, 2010 at 3:07 pm #


    I’m totally with you on ventriloquist dummies. Yikes. I think that might be the greatest reason why I can’t stand Jeff Dunham.

  13. Hazel Moon October 25, 2010 at 5:59 pm #

    Enjoyed this post on Things That Scare! Some I never dreamed of –but I will take caution from now on!

  14. Nancy October 25, 2010 at 6:45 pm #

    My son used to really hate clowns (and having his face painted, but that’s another story). I thought it was a quirky little fear until I came across the website: Great place for coulrophobics to do a little Christmas shopping. Speaking of Christmas, am loving the book. By the way, have you ever heard the clown midget urban myth?

  15. Larry Hehn October 25, 2010 at 8:32 pm #

    When I was little my sisters had a doll that would actually walk if you held its hands and waddled it forward. It stood about two feet tall. Its eyes would close when it was lying down, and would open when it was standing. That thing terrified me.

    I’m with you, Billy.

  16. Jennifer@GDWJ October 26, 2010 at 12:49 am #

    Yikes! Spooky stuff. Makes me wish for a Snow Day, so I could hide away behind big white drifts.

    Your zombie reference, however, has me thinking of the zombie talk over at The High Calling. 🙂

  17. Cheryl Smith October 26, 2010 at 8:52 am #


  18. Kathy October 26, 2010 at 10:09 pm #

    Some of those things scare me too…As a matter of fact, I’m really creeped out after reading this. I’m going to watch a Disney movie now..

  19. Sandra Heska King October 27, 2010 at 6:50 am #

    Could we have just had the words without the pictures? I’m not going to sleep tonight!

    Mummies. You forgot mummies.

Leave a Reply:

Gravatar Image

XHTML: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>