what is scary

Sorry, there won’t be a travel related post today, mostly because I just had an idea of something Halloween related. First of, my German slightly protestant upbringing requires me to tell you that on this day, October 31st, is not only Halloween or the birthday of a friend but it’s Reformation Day.

On this day in 1517, Martin Luther wrote his 95 theses and put them up on the door of a church in Wittenberg. Up until that point there was no Protestant or Lutheran church, just the catholic church. With his 95 theses he however sparked the cut into these two essentially different christian belief systems. I mean, they all still believe in God and the Bible and that stuff, but the Protestant church is much more modest in general and we also don’t need a Pope as a representative of God on earth. Okay, enough with the education, you didn’t come here for this. As Halloween is taking over this country as well (and I get it, dressing up and having parties is fun) I sometimes fear we are losing our cultural identity. Not that I am very religious or even decently educated on this matter but I still hope that in years to come, the kids will remember that today is not only Halloween.

What I actually wanted to discuss today is what I consider scary and frightening because it seems to be the season for it. I haven’t seen that many horror movies, I watched the Scream movies because they were around when I was a teen as was the I Know What You Did Last Summer stuff. They were fun to watch but not really scary.

As I am currently watching Supernatural, I started to think about this a bit more. The supernatural things they encounter on this show usually don’t scare me, mostly because I don’t believe in that sort of stuff. The scariest episode I have seen so far is one that mainly takes place in an old mental hospital that was abandoned many years ago.

Maybe my fear of abandoned mental institutions comes from watching American Horror Story: Asylum or it has always been around, I don’t exactly know. But there’s nothing scary about that you might say.

I’d have to digress, these places are scary, at least in these contexts. I will not say that Asylums and mental institutions are scary in general to me (maybe a little bit) but on both shows, what actually scared me was the helplessness with which the inmates were left to the mercy of their doctors and operational persona. These sometimes forgotten people were used for experiments, gruesome operations on their brains and other stuff without their consent. Only, nobody was there to speak out for them.

What I am trying to say is, I am beyond scared of what people can do to each other. These practices were not only performed in such institutions, the Nazis did the same in their concentration camps. It amazes me what human beings can do both in the best and worst of ways. We can overcome many obstacles, injuries, sickness and heartbreak and all of that and so much more leaves me in awe. At the same time, we can be our worst enemies, slaughtering each other during wars, torture our own people and do so many terrible things to each other, it’s despicable.

I feel like I am doing a poor job of conveying how afraid I am of people turning against people as opposed to the supernatural. I am afraid of WW3, of people being robbed of their voices, of forgotten people that are left to fight for themselves. Maybe I am biased because in another decade I could have been put in a gas chamber and/or an asylum just for my sexual orientation. It’s been almost 70 years since WW2 which is actually not that long in the history of human existence. We’re not that far away from it. I am also using the we very freely here. Not everyone has the perks of living in a first world peaceful country in this day and age. And that’s scary as well, there are still people enduring all these things that I am afraid of.

I don’t fear a guy running around with a stupid mask murdering teenagers. I don’t fear ghosts and spirits. I fear powerlessness, being forgotten and voicelessness.

I mostly fear helplessness.

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  • Vanessa

    Great points. I think most people are really afraid of what humans can do to each other. It’s astonishing the range of behaviours we as a species have. From the worst, to the best. And I agree that we aren’t far removed from any of the atrocities that have happened in our past, it’s so easy for us to repeat history if we don’t learn from it. Example: Who’s to say how far Russia will go with it’s current discriminatory laws…We as humans have the capacity to progress, or regress.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      Yes, Russia is a good example. I can honestly not understand how they can discriminate like that especially since it’s such a powerful country. We can only hope that progress is not that far away. I mean, this is 2013 after all.