By Chester Campbell
Horror is one category of the mystery scene that I’ve never really cared for. I think Carrie is the only one of Stephen King’s books I’ve read. I also recall reading William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist, but few others.
I suspect my lack of interest in horror stories may stem from my experience with that classic horror movie, The Mummy.
Maybe it was fate, or karma, or whatever you want to call it, but the story takes place in Egypt in 1925, the year I was born. The movie came out in 1932, when I was seven years old. I suspect my parents regretted taking me to see it. I had nightmares for weeks afterward.
I still have vivid memories of several scenes from the movie, most from the part where the mummified Imhotep, played by Boris Karloff, comes to life. The scene took place in an ancient tomb. It was filmed in black and white, of course, with minimal light, giving it quite an eerie feel. I can still see the archaeologist reading the ancient spell and the mummy beginning to move.
When his arm reached out, I wanted to climb under the seat.
Another sequence I recall was one of the characters starting to laugh hysterically. He kept it up until he literally dropped dead laughing. I still think of that when somebody uses the expression “died laughing.”
I’ll have to say The Mummy thing wound up with a happy ending, however. After my first wife died from complications of Parkinson’s Disease, I struck up a friendship with a member of my Sunday School class who had lost her husband. I wanted to invite her out, but it had been more than forty years since I’d done any dating. I wasn’t quite sure how to go about it.
Then I saw the ads for a remake of The Mummy, the 1999 version. I couldn’t resist it. I invited her to see the movie, explaining my problem with the earlier film. I found it entertaining but not at all scary. In fact some of it was quite funny. My date enjoyed it, though, and we went out to dinner the next week. That was early summer. We were married on September 4, so we’ll soon celebrate our tenth anniversary.
And though The Mummy doesn’t scare me any longer, I’m still not fond of horror stories.