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Monday, August 6, 2012

What Was Your Childhood Monster...A Blogfest

In honor of the release of author Christine Rains' story Fearless, which releases today, I am talking about what my childhood monsters were. Congratulations, Christine!

And since this is a blogfest, please click here for the other amazing participants.

I know you all who know me are thinking werewolf. And while I admit to thinking my great-grandma's neighbor was a werewolf one summer, no. The Big Bad Monster from my childhood were creatures I believe my Grandpa Bradley made up or maybe it was his grandpa, it's family legend so we can't be sure, really. Anyway, these creatures were called the Hobiats (pronounced HO-BEE-OTS. They were hairy, lumpy creatures with beady red eyes that came at night to steal your toys and bite your toes. Usually it happened if you didn't clean your room, but sometimes they just wanted toys. Not to mention a good snack of little piggy toes. LOL. There was no escape, either. They could get into your room through the closet, under the bed and even scarier, through the vents. Picture this, I grew up in an old Chicago style bungalow with very big, scary vents.

 One birthday night, I think I was eight, I had gotten Malibu Barbie (I know, me with Barbie) and my father said those horrifying words, "Watch out for the Hobiats." When my parents went to bed, I got up, grabbed the big flashlight from the kitchen and my little red toy dog Iff-Iff. My canine companion and I went and sat right in front of the big vent in my room. We were positioned just right so between the two of us, we could keep an eye on the closet and my bed, too. Those Hobiats were so not going to get Barbie. After all, Santa was bringing my Barbie Pent House in just ten more days for Christmas. Barbie was staying right here. I also remembered to put on my winter boots so the Hobiats could not bite my toes. I was keeping all of my little piggies. I stayed awake as long as I could staring at that dark vent, waiting for those horrid creatures. My dad found me the next morning curled up on the floor with a dead flashlight and my toy dog. He, of course told my Uncles Dennis and Moose, who proceeded to tease me mercilessly the entire next summer.

What were your childhood monsters? Did you have or were you a cool kid who had no fear?

64 comments:

  1. I love that they made up an entirely new creature (not so much that they teased you). I don't think there were any monsters when I was a kid, although I heard stories from my family about a monster they used to be afraid of as kids called Dai Rax, who was an axe wielding miner ghost/demon.

    Jamie @ Mithril Wisdom.

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    1. Dai Rax, whoa, that sounds like a very scary creature!

      No one in the family really remembers where the Hobiats came from, but we now tease my nephews with them. LOL what a family tradition.

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  2. That is so cute! I love that you stayed up all night to defend your Barbie! Hobiats sound pretty scary, though!

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    1. Thanks, Kyra! Barbie was staying right there no matter what. LOL My gosh the Hobiats were scarier than the Frankenstein and the Bogeyman to me as a kid. Steal my toys and chew my toes...talk about shudders. :)

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  3. i think that is a great tale... the Hobiats and you the defender. i was afraid of something called black sand, it was just what it sounds like... it would get in my dreams and stay there. it still there, when you close your eyes very tight until you can start seeing it coming towards you. smothering your head. it still til this day freaks me out, i would tell you more... but it's here. trust me it's freaking me out just thinking about it again.

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    1. Black sand smothering your head...Man, that is horrifying. No wonder it still freaks you out, I'm getting creeped just thinking about it, myself.

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  4. Chew on your toes - so mean of your father!

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  5. And had to think about it - remember that crappy 70's movie, Trilogy of Terror? Karen Black and the tiki doll that came to life? Saw that right after moving to a new house where I had to sleep on the floor a few nights until our furniture arrived. Yeah, that sucked.

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    1. That little doll scared the beejeezus out of me. It actually was responsible for my giving up dolls and never playing with them again. I can't stand dolls anymore. LOL

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  6. I for sure am going to watch out for the Hobiats.

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    1. I'll protect you Siv. Me and... well, I can't remember what to ol' Iff-Iff. :)

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  7. where can I get me a Hobiat for a pet :PP

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  8. What a creepy little story. I loved it! :) My worst nightmare as a kid was Boogeyman. Such a cliche, I know, but I was so terrified of it.

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    1. Thanks, hon! The Boogeyman was scary, too. Especially after I saw Halloween for the first time. You could not convince me that there was no such thing.

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  9. I love the idea of a monster passed down from generation to generation! Maybe I'll start something like that when I have kids. :)

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    1. And to think at one point I was embarrassed by the whole thing.I think I was a snotty teenager at the time. Now, I love it. And we're passing it on to the nephews. :)

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  10. That's a great story! Home grown monsters! They sound like what might have resulted if Morgoth had twisted hobbits instead of elves... [snicker]

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    1. A Tolkien reference, I love it! Thanks, Deniz, the Hobiats are definitely a fond part of my childhood and we are passing the stories along to my nephews.

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  11. Wow home grown monsters...sounds like a great story brewing!
    I wanted Barbie's Pent house. I would of faced grave danger for that home, lol!

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    1. I think about turning the Hobiats into a book, but I'm a bit torn. I just may do it, though. A Barbie's Penthouse was worth it. I knew Santa was bringing it was the only thing on my list that year and I had been really good. Or at least tried to. :)

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    1. Thanks, Madeleine! It's good have your here. :)

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  13. Melissa, what a cute story! My childhood monster was the oven down the hallway of my room. It looked like an angry face and scared me to death.

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    1. Thanks, Maurice! Wow that sounds like a fearsome oven. I remember the one my great-grandma had, it was a beast, too.

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  14. You were really a brave little girl or else you really loved that Barbie. Great family story.

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    1. Thanks, Susan! I really loved that Barbie. Oh how I've grown since then. Horror movies have zapped my love of dolls. LOL

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  15. What a nice story Melissa. It is interesting how some families tease each other with creepy stories, which spark the imagination, when we are young.

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    1. Aww... thanks! I really did get my love of writing and storytelling from family. My Uncle Moose, actually my grandpa's brother, was one of the most gifted. He had a story for everything.

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  16. Hobiats sound majorly creepy, Melissa. I had mod Ken with different sideburns and facial hair you could stick on him. lol Seriously.

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    1. Mod Ken? I love it! Isn't it amazing the toys we had as kids? Too cool. I think he would have loved my Barbie. After I gave her a haircut, though. LOL

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  17. LOL, Melissa - how brave you were!!! And smart, to cover up them delicate toesies.

    OMG, I'm a December baby too! My b-day's the 21st. Gah, so many times growing up folks would say, "Here's your birthday and Christmas gift," and it would be, like, ONE LITTLE thing. I wonder how they'd have liked me pulling the same thing in, say, March. :-)
    Some Dark Romantic

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    1. Why thank you, Mina! Had to think about the toes and figured those big boots would be some serious protection. :)

      Mine is the 15th! We December chicks rule, I tell you. Yeah, I have gotten those rotten combo gifts myself. They were always pieces of crap. I would love to see you pull that off in March. I would have loved to have pulled that off on someone and see how they like it.

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  18. You were a courageous kid! Interesting monsters. Sort of like if gnomes and gremlins had babies! *LOL* Thank you very much for sharing your monster with us and for helping promote my novella.

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    1. I like that definition of the Hobiats. And I was very happy to help you promote Fearless. Congratulations!

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  19. For me it was those stop motion skeletons that attacked in groups with swords. It like how do you defeat a small dead people skilled with swords? Very scary for a young kid with a wild imagination.

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    1. Stop motion skeletons were definitely on my creep list. You' re right, how do you kill dead people with sword skills. I say run away! We writers sure were tortured as kids weren't we?

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  20. That's a long story, but short version is demons. My Mom and Step Dad used to talk about them all the time and we lived in a very creepy house with (what seemed like) trap doors in the closets that rattled at night. My imagination sure had its hands full!

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    1. Wow! Rattling trap doors in a creepy old house takes the monster cake I think. :)

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  21. What a fantastic story! If we amp them up a bit - make them hungry for more than just toes, for example - the Hobiats would make a helluva horror movie...

    My big fear when I was three or four were the semis that roared towards a four way stop a block from my house. When one started bellowing I would run for the house and safety - and if I was too far out in the yard - I would hide behind a tree until it was gone. From there to a love of all things horror - who'da thunk?

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    1. There's a kick ass idea... Hobiats: The new name in horror. I love it.

      Those trucks can be very scary. When I was four, a semi rear-ended my mother while my brother and I were in the back seat. The truck came through our back window nearly decapitating me and my brother. The grill was right over our heads. I don't blame you for being terrified of trucks. Remember Maximum Overdrive? That was a pretty good horror flick.

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  22. I was scared of the Mirror monster that my sister told me would claw me to death the minute I fell asleep.

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    1. Yikes! I would have been terrified to even think about sleep after hearing that. What a mean sister! :)

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  23. God, they bit off toes? THat's just so uncool. And terrifying. Great, now I have a NEW monster to worry about...

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    1. LOL, yeah Grandpa Bradley made sure I knew about that since my Uncle Moose used to tell me that the catfish in his pond would nibble on our toes.

      And don't worry, Iff-Iff will protect you. :)

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  24. Hobiats sound scary!

    I definitely was not a cool kid. LOL. I used to scary pretty easily--and it's still not really hard to make me want to keep the light on.

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    1. They were! They freaked me out a lot as a kid. It's no wonder I'm a huge horror fan now. LOL There are nights when I still want the light on, too.

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  25. HA! Totally cool answer! Very different than the usual! I think they would freak me out too!

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    1. Thanks,Leigh! The Hobiats used to scare the beejeezus out of me when ever my father would start to talk about them. And he always did it right before we went to bed.

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  26. How adorable that you protected Barbie... too cute.

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    1. Thank you! Barbie was my primary concern. LOL Never mind my sleeping sisters, they could fend for themselves. ;)

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  27. I just feared shadow things in the dark I think. Shadow people? I guess that's the best way to describe them.

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    1. Shadows can be very scary. There was a place in my basement growing up that was perpetually in shadow. The same house with scary vents, actually. I wonder if my old house would qualify as a haunted house or hell mouth or something. LOL

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  28. Bite your toes!!! That is scary!

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    1. Biting toes is awful, isn't it? My family is sick, isn't it? LOL

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  29. Hi, Melissa,

    Thanks for dropping by my blog the other day. It is SO nice to meet a fellow Chicagoan. Hasn't the summer been just gorgeous?

    I would love to meet you for coffee or lunch some day soon. Perhaps in the fall when the weather cools a bit.

    We can meet downtown since it's about the center point for both of us.

    I enjoyed your childhood story. How cute protecting your Barbie accompanied by your toy dog.

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    1. Hey Michael! I would absolutely love to meet up for coffee or lunch. I'm looking forward to it. :) Downtown would be ideal and there are many cool places.

      Thanks! I'm so glad you enjoyed my monstrous little tale. I'm passing the Hobiats along to my nephews.

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  30. I wouldn't say I was a cool kid with no fear, because I needed the hall light to be on. But I can't say I was afraid of a particular monster.

    I was much more terrified of the weirdo-trippy-mind-altering sensations that often overwhelmed me as I got into that drifting zone just before sleep. Turns out I have Alice in Wonderland syndrome, which followed a childhood bout of mono and is associated with migrainers. Used to happen constantly in childhood, which gave me an aversion to bedtime, and I still have the occasional incident. Hate them. Definitely scarier than vampires.

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    1. Yikes! How terrible for you, Julia. I can't imagine having that kind of torment. I'm glad it's easier for you now. Even so, to still suffer the occasional bout is scary.

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  31. Those would have scared me, too! The image of a little girl, curled up, flashlight, boots and toy dog in hand, is very sweet, though.

    My monster: http://thewarriormuse.blogspot.com/2012/08/childhood-monster-blog-fest.html

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    1. Hi Shannon! Hobiats tormented me as a child. I think I should turn them into a book, I swear. :) I'm glad you enjoyed my little battle with them.

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  32. It may sound pretentious or snobbish, but yeah... I was the cool kind who had no fear :-D I grew up on monster movies like Tarantula and Them!, I've seen true horror classics like Halloween, Poltergeist or The Shining at the age of 8-9, and I was the one who had to tell my schoolmates about all these movies because they weren't allowed to watch stuff like that :)

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