I sat in my seat, wide-eyed, heart pounding, trying to make sense of it all. Creepy music, people dressed like hippies, an evil villain. Even death. I went home to bed that night and hid under the covers afraid he would find me.
The scariest movie I ever watched, I watched at church when I three years old.
Most kids are scared of monsters and aliens. I was afraid the Anti-Christ was under my bed.
Growing up there were strict rules about what I could and couldn’t watch. My parents didn’t let me watch Star Wars until I was in high school, but I was just a pre-schooler when I sat in a pew and watched A Thief in the Night. If you went to church in the 70’s or 80’s, there’s a good chance you saw it too, the 1972 Christian movie that tells the story of the rapture.
I don’t know how you could watch that movie and not repent. It scares the Come-to-Jesus-Moment right into you. It’s terrifying. Especially when you’re three.
I have yet to recover from the traumatic experience.
The cast in the movie is dressed in polyester and caftans. To this day I can’t think about the rapture or read the book of Revelations without images from the 1970s coming to mind. I hear the trumpets playing disco music, and picture Jesus coming back in the clouds wearing bell bottoms. In my version, Jesus even has sideburns.
Years later I saw a production of Jesus Christ Superstar where the Lord and his disciples were all dressed like hippies. I remember thinking, “That’s Him! That’s my 70’s Jesus!”
The movie soundtrack features the creepiest Christian song ever written, I Wish We’d All Been Ready. Think Coldplay meets The Mamas and the Papas. I still get chills every time I hear it. I can’t even listen to the D.C. Talk re-make.
There are four movies in the series. I remember seeing the second as well. I’m not sure about three and four. Maybe my mind blacked it out to help me cope with the terror.
When I was in third grade, I went to a slumber party where we watched Carrie thanks to the miracle of BetaMax video. I’m sure my parents didn’t know that was on the agenda. I don’t think my hosts parents knew it was on the agenda either. While all the other little girls were shrieking and cowering in their sleeping bags, I watched unfazed.
A bucket of pig’s blood had nothing on the Anti-Christ.
Other posts in the Memoirs Series:
Memoirs: Grandma’s House
Memoirs: Communion Sunday or Make Your Own Manna