My Life As A Horror Story: Trapped

Horror stories with a locked room scenario are all too common. It’s the perfect way to induce fear. There’s no way out, often no way to call for help. You’re just expected to stay put and suffer. So it’s no surprise that one of my earliest childhood experiences with fear came as the result of a locked room.

I was so young that the details are blurry. I remember the house we lived in, and I know my sister had been born already, so this would put me at around age 4 or 5. But the circumstances and many of the details have faded over time. The clearest part of the memory is the fear. That has stayed with me this whole time.

My parents were out that night and the babysitter was in charge. I think. It would have been some time in the summer, because I vaguely remember looking out my bedroom window and seeing that it was still light outside. But maybe I’m getting my memories mixed up. It’s not important. The important part is that I ended up in my bedroom.

Was I being punished? Or was it simply my bedtime? I don’t know. What I do know is that, for whatever reason, I did not want to be there.

I’m sure if I were to ever revisit my old childhood bedroom, it would seem small. But at the time, the dark room was cavernous. The lights were off, and the curtains blocked out whatever light may or may not have come from outside at the time. The only light source was the faint glow of the hallway light peeking under the door. It barely illuminated the outlines of furniture in my bedroom.

I wanted out, but when you’re that young you don’t always have the power to make those kinds of choices. My door didn’t have a lock, but for whatever reason I could not open it. To this day, I can’t think of why it wouldn’t open. No logical reason comes to mind. But that doesn’t change the fact that I was trapped.

I may not remember much about that night, but I remember the screaming, the crying, the fear of being locked up in my darkened bedroom. Whether the threat had been real or imagined, the abject terror I felt in that moment was genuine.

Maybe that’s why, to this day, a little flicker of panic takes root in my chest whenever I encounter a locked door.

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