Sharing this particular childhood fear will not earn me any street cred with horror folks and monster kids. If you’re expecting me to understand and explain where this fear came from, I don’t think I can help you. All I can do is share the story and pause for laughter.
Sometime in elementary school, in the half-light of a child’s bedtime, I was staring at the walls of my bedroom and trying to sleep. My eyes focused on a small poster hanging on my wall. I can’t remember what was depicted on this poster, but I do remember what I thought this poster had turned into.
Yup. That’s a Looney Tunes character named Gossamer. Somehow, because I was half-asleep and it was dusk, I thought the poster was turning into Gossamer and running toward me.
I may have only believed this enough to be scared, but I clearly didn’t think this thing through. After five minutes of frantic sprinting, the Gossamer thing had gotten no closer to me. Because it was a POSTER. Also, when I finally gave in and turned on the lights, it was a poster. Most great scientists and philosophers would have concluded I was dealing with a poster and not the living incarnation of a fictional character.
I went to bed convinced I would just have to deal with a night of Gossamer jogging at me, but never getting any closer.
Why was I scared of Gossamer? Part of the answer might just be the cartoon’s blocky shape matched the poster well enough to suit my imagination. Beyond that? No clue. I’m not scared of Gossamer now, but I still wouldn’t give him a ride if he were hitch-hiking.