The first occurred when I was about 6 years old, or thereabouts. My parents had put me to bed, and were watching a scary movie on TV. Unbeknownst to them, I had sneaked into the hall and was watching it, too--until a commercial came on and Mother got up for something. Busted! She tucked me back into bed, admonishing me to go to sleep, and shut my door.
Sleep didn't come for a very long time, and when it did, it was full of nightmares about oddly-acting people with strange marks on their necks. My parents, seizing the opportunity to make a point, told me the nightmares were from watching movies made for grown-ups. I knew better. It was because I hadn't seen the ending. My imagination filled in the gaps for me.
Did you figure out the movie? It was 1953's Invaders from Mars.
It was years before I got to see it again--and I found it satisfyingly spooky.
The second incident happened in the fall of my second grade year. We'd moved to Dallas after school started, and I was new to the class and a little shy. There was to be a school show of some sort, and auditions for a witch were held in my class. I was an unlikely candidate, being a chubby little thing with wavy blond hair, but I tried out anyway. It was almost certain the part would go to another aspiring actress, a slim little girl with long black hair, and indeed, it came down to the two of us. However, what I lacked in looks, I made up for with attitude and cackle. I got the part, much to her chagrin.
It was only a small skit. My lines will be familiar to most of you, though I don't remember anything more than this:
I was hooked forever.