A few years ago, while starting my practice on the Western Slope of Colorado, I would travel to my hometown of Vernal, UT to work a few days a month. Nothing scary there. Nothing, that is, until I was forced to sleep in my sister, Britain’s, old room. Britain, like most children of the 80’s was a huge fan of the cabbage patch doll. So much so, that she had about 200 of them that lined the top third of the room in two rows. That’s right, 200 old, moldy, weirdly slumped cabbage patch dolls staring at me from every direction. And let’s face it; have you ever seen a cabbage patch doll that didn’t look like Phil Collins? Creepy. After a long drive and feeling very tired I called it a night and fell asleep without incident even though 200 mini Phil’s were watching me.
“Come play with me,” a high-pitched voice beckoned. I sat straight up, wondering where the heck the voice came from. I looked around, saw nothing, and decided it was just a dream. I laid back down, feeling slightly jittery and tried to go back to sleep. A few minutes passed and once again I heard, “Come play with me.” I jumped up and turned on the light, my heart was racing. My ears hadn’t deceived me, I was awake and knew I heard someone asking to come play with them. What this the start of a Chucky movie? “Come play with me.” I whipped around, realizing the sound was coming from behind me. That’s when I came to my senses and realized that one of the little Phil’s batteries were probably dying and just needed to be removed. I found the offending doll, ripped out the batteries, and for good measure drop the doll unnecessarily hard on the floor. Just to be sure.
A few months later I was staying at my parents house again, and this time they were out of town. I was showering and heard a knock at the door. Not a regular knock, a loud, angry knock. It startled me, I had shampoo in my hair and was soaking wet. I turned off the shower and grabbed a towel. I looked opened the door, looked out, and no one was there. Irritated and cold, I got back in the shower. A few moments later I heard it again, but this time it sounded even louder and more urgent. I was more than annoyed so I stomped out of the shower, butt-naked, stalked to the front door and opened it. Nothing. No one was there.
So, yeah, I’m afraid of my childhood home. Maybe it’s the dolls, or something else. Either way, I don’t want to find out.
And no, Phil Collins, I don’t want to play.