"IT" and Actually-Scary Tales.

Horror movies - most of them - don't really frighten me.

They're gross, don't get me wrong. Most are filled with gratuitous violencebizarre and disappointing monsters, (largely) annoying characters, and trying-too-hard-for-jump-in-the-seat moments. Or at least, that's what they feel like when I watch the average horror flick. 

No, what scares the bejeezus out of me is the subtle creepy things. The things that seem like they could, actually, almost be real. 

This is why I liked "Under The Dome", Stephen King's latest novel, despite the last few chapters - I won't explain further, because I don't want to spoil anything. 

It's the suspense. The shadow of things that seem like they could be real (even when I know, on some level, that they're not). It's a delicious kind of fear, like crossing my arms and letting myself fall backwards into a shadow - part reality, and part surreal.

So, knowing (and maybe, if you're like me, understanding) this, imagine: it's dark outside - the sun has gone down, it's maybe 9pm. The house is quiet. You're reading a book. You look up from the page, frown, and listen. You hear music.

The piped, clown-tastic music that comes from an ice cream truck.

You look out the window. Darkness. Quiet. And then the music again, a phantom ice cream truck cruising the neighborhood - never seen, but on the prowl - in the middle of the night (or close enough).

A little creepy?

Um. Yeah.

Which is why when I finally saw the truck, after weeks of NOT seeing the truck, I had to pull over and take a picture. Before I started snapping away, I wondered what he thought of this weird woman taking flash photos of his truck.

And then I realized he's been trying to sell ice cream at 9pm. In April. This is actually really creepy from an I-would-never-let-a-child-near-this-van perspective, even if you don't believe in "scary" things. So I decided I didn't care.

Thus, I give you: The Elkridge Creeper Ice Cream Man (or, to be fair since I couldn't see inside, Woman)

Proof I'm not just hearing Ice Cream Truck music in my head.
This was actually still creepy after I saw the truck. I hurried home.

At least it wasn't Pennywise.


  1. Years ago my husband and I were driving from Indiana to North Carolina in the middle of the night listening to Desperation (Stephen King) on tape. I don't know if you've read this one, but it's got this sheriff who was possessed and bad things happen to people he stops on the highway. SUPER creepy to listen to in the car late at night on the highway. When we stopped for a bathroom break in West Virginia I made Greg go into the ladies room with me - there was no way I was going alone!

  2. Definitely creepy - like the sound of a carousel at a distance. I'd definitely be wary of a night-time ice cream truck cruising in the 'burbs.

    Scariest movie for me was Alien. Still scary even now. Fantastic. Most movies don't scare me (say like Halloween or Friday 13th) because I just don't buy the premise. Says something that I apparently 'buy' Alien.

    One Writer's Mind

  3. I, also, loved Under The Dome. However, its ending suffered from the same problems that almost all of King's novels do. I will not spoil any of it, but the problems that I think you're referring to are common in a lot of his works.

  4. This guy creeps through Harwood Park looking for victims!...er, potential ice cream desirers. No rocket pop shall ever be purchased by Owen from this shady, shady vehicle.

  5. That would scare the living daylights (or nightlights in this case) out of me. Have they not seen Are You Afraid of the Dark? People shouldn't allowed to do such a thing late at night!

  6. King does a thing in the last chapters that guarantees it's going to go haywire. As much as I love him, there is one thing he can't write well. And, uh, I can't say anymore so as not to spoil, but I think you know where I'm going with this.

  7. I also hear the phantom ice cream truck in the evenings and thought it was creepy as hell. Until this picture I had never seen him/her. I don't know if the proof makes it any better.