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The First Nightmare that I Can Remember

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Sunday, June 22 1986 Views: 93

I had this nightmare when I was 10 years old.  It has stayed with me ever since:

 

I was walking through the house, and went to the bathroom.  It was daytime, because I didn't 

have to turn on a light.

 

I looked at myself in the mirror, but instead of seeing just my *own* reflection,  I saw the 

reflection of someone standing behind me:  Vincent Price!  He looked like he did in the early 

1970's, and was wearing a tuxedo.

 

It wasn't a bathroom anymore, but an auditorium in a theater, and we were on the stage.  On my 

left, there were a bunch of homeless people, wearing ragged, dirty clothes, standing there 

laughing and pointing at me.  When Vincent turned me around to face him, he had a bottle of 

acid in his hand.  He pours it on my left ear.  I can hear bubbling noises, but the sort heard 

when I put peroxide in my ear with my finger.

 

He turns me around to look in the mirror and says, "Your ear is now destroyed!" and cackles with 

laughter in that way he had.  There is just a hole in the side of my head where my ear had been.  

The group of people laugh.  I wake up and feel for my left ear, and it's still there.  I wondered 

what I had done to make him hate me.

 

Additional Comments:

My dad had "introduced" me to Vincent Price the year before. Before I went to school in the morning we would watch the Muppet Show, and Vincent Price was on once. He told me all about him and how he was in some pretty gruesome movies, but I couldn't watch them until I got older. I had already seen one horror movie, though: The Invisible Man with Claude Rains. I couldn't handle it and could hear that crazy laugh in my dreams. I also knew him through Michael Jackson's Thriller and Freddy the Freeloader's Christmas Dinner; my dad liked Red Skelton, too, and introduced me to him. My family and I would watch the original version of Hollywood Squares and he would sometimes be on there. I got to know the comedic, intellectual Vincent Price before I got to know the movie villain. I had bad nightmares when I was a kid, but not from watching horror movies: it was from getting bullied at school. The scene in the dream was based on a scene in a movie that I would not watch for nearly 30 years, Theater of Blood. In it, he plays Richard Lionheart, a Shakespearean actor who takes nasty (in the literal sense of the word!) revenge on the voting academy who gave a coveted award to someone else. He kills one man onstage by cutting out his heart and weighing it on a scale. The homeless people laugh when he does this. That is why this dream has haunted me all these years. How could I have a nightmare about something I hadn't even seen?!




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