I Bird Boxed My Imagination

Create Scary Scenes

I Bird Boxed My Imagination or How I Scared Myself Sh*tless to Get Ideas for Spooky Scenes.

I tried three different ideas, and they all worked.

1. Blindfolded in a Cemetery

I visited a cemetery during a chilling wind storm (not an electrical storm!) and blindfolded myself. With my strongest sense out of commission, I listened to all the sounds the wind and dry leaves made. I took mental note of how a granite tombstone felt when it was devoid of warmth, how the lifeless ground moved under my bare feet (oh yeah, I forgot to mention, I was barefoot), and how the freshly turned soil smelled.

Safety and respect: I wasn’t alone. Also, I didn’t want to visit any new graves where grieving relatives might show up and be offended, so I went to the older section where people were buried 100-plus years ago.

The dead, winter grass pressed against my skin. It felt like desiccated hair from an old corpse.

2. An e-Book in the Dark

I read a chapter of a scary e-book in the dark so that the only light was from my little screen. I couldn’t see anything beyond about four feet. Then I stared into a shadowed corner and asked myself what lurked there, a creature from the book I was reading? What exactly was the creature about to do? Why was it hiding in the dark and not making itself known in the daylight?

2.1. A Variation

I read from a scary e-book in the dark, but this time I lay on the floor so that my toes were poking five-and-a-half feet behind me into the darkness. Then I asked myself what non-human entity was about to nip at my toes? Or will it claw at my toes? Why now, why not last week?

A sound like oversized toenails clicked on the floor behind me. The hairless sloth was back. A creature the color of fog. The legend said the half-spirit, half-mammal hissed in pleasure just before it clawed you to death.

3. The What-If Game

I play this game often. When I’m walking or driving around and see something out of place, say, a solitary shoe in the ditch, I make up a story of how it got there. Nefarious and paranormal explanations are the best.

Teenaged offspring love this game, mother-daughter bonding time.:-) But if you have carpool duty, don’t play this game when other kids are in the car, kids who aren’t used to your imagination. Not that I ever have. That would get the parents irritated with me. Just sayin’.

51 thoughts on “I Bird Boxed My Imagination

  1. I’m impressed! I’ve never thought of doing such methodical self-scaring procedures in preparation for writing. I would think the trick is to maintain enough of your observer self to make useful observations of how your scared self reacts and all the subtleties of your reactions.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I used to visit old cemetery’s. They were peaceful at first, Then my imagination started to scare me. LOL And I always use my ereader in the dark at night. It sure does ramp up the spooky when reading a scary book. My mother and I used to take lots of road trips and our favorite game was to spot pieces of old tire on the road and tell something scary about them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I camped up in the National Forest above Sedalia a couple of summers ago. I awoke sometime in the night to the howls of coyotes. I stayed awake for a while listening to the hoots of owls, the howls of coyotes, and other night-time forest sounds – it would be very easy to imagine things in the dark out there! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    You are SO BRAVE! I can’t even drive by cemeteries! Let alone during a storm and blindfolded!!! (even if I’m not alone)
    So…. WOW
    This is some hardcore immersion and I’m SUPER impressed! WTG Priscilla!
    “desiccated hair from an old corpse” that’s a great sensorial 🙂

    The reading in the dark… Maybe I could pull that off if I’m gripping hubby’s hand, digging my nails in and skipping the staring into a any shadowed anything, especially corners. And definitely not laying on the floor in the darkness!!! for some reason monsters do love darkness. 🙂

    I love “what-If”s the best stories generators 🙂
    I’m terrified but enjoyed this post SO MUCH! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Genius! I’m not particularly scared of graveyards, but I discovered recently that I have an irrational fear of industrial ruins – run down factories and deserted quarries, etc. To go to such a place late at night would be a real challenge…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this idea! What a great what to quiet the senses and inspire our imagination. I actually do my best thinking at night, lying in bed in the dark, before I fall asleep. Makes sense now. I’m quietting the world to listen to my own ideas.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I haven’t been getting notified of your posts for some reason, but I just signed up again so hopefully that will change.

    I love walking through cemeteries and examining tombstones, but I don’t think I’d want to stand in one blindfolded. And there is no way I’d have dangling feet or hands in the dark where I couldn’t see. Even today, I can’t let my foot or hand hang over the side of the bed at night (you never know what might be lurking in the darkness, LOL).

    A cool experiment, Priscilla, and a great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your comment reminds me of when I was a kid. I’d flip the light switch in my bedroom then try to run and jump on my bed before the room went dark for fear of clawed, grey hands from under my bed snagging my feet.

      I was missing some WP notifications, too, and had to go back into my Reader and turn them on for those individual blogs. Of course, you wouldn’t get notified that often because I only post, like, every two weeks or so.

      Thanks for stopping by, Mae!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This is great. I’m not sure what would work for me. I would have to try each of these to see.

    I would feel the most vulnerable with the e-book and probably be curious at the cemetery. I think the one that intrigues me the most is the What-If Game. Our minds grow use to routine and once we spy something out of place we lock on to it.

    Another great post, Mae.

    Liked by 1 person

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