I’m easily frightened – and people are right to laugh at me for it.
So, when the 80s-style horror story Stranger Things became the latest big thing in online TV, I resisted for days, out of sheer terror.
That’s hard to do in a newsroom, where the worst fear is spoilers.
The latest big thing is never far from your eyes and ears amid the growls of the content-devouring news beast.
However, after about four days of buzz about this new Netflix show, I accepted I’d rather watch than have it ruined.
No spoilers here but it’s about some kids in a small town where frightening things are happening.
There’s a lot of Stephen King in there and John Carpenter, plus others. It’s pretty much perfect for people of my generation, who rented every tape in the video shop (on Betamax) and recorded all the blockbusters off the TV at Christmas. It evokes a time in our lives.
But more importantly, it’s scary. It’s so scary that, watching it alone, late at night, in an enclosed room, in the dark, I repeatedly checked behind me for monsters. I was hooked and repelled – tremendous.
The people who know me discourage me gently when I want to watch something in the horror genre. They know I’m not going to cope but they secretly want to watch me fall apart, because it’s a giggle.
I’m always the person in the pictures who makes a fool of himself by screaming when the monster jumps out. I know it’s coming but I can’t help it. I buy into films too much.
Even at home, I’m a challenging individual. The film 28 Days Later scared me so much I felt physically ill but I couldn’t stop watching.
In the end, I Googled for spoilers and forced myself to switch it off. In my defence, zombies should not run. It’s just too much.
Why do we put ourselves through this stuff? Because the thrill of fear, encased in a compelling story, is part of what makes us. We seek fear, like a hungry creature shambling through the night.
And because sometimes the right story makes us feel like kids again.