When I was young I was the kid who was afraid of people dressed up. I had the chance to meet Barney and I think I cried instead.
I remember whenever we went to my aunt and uncles house they had these stuffed monkeys that looked extremely real to me. I was a child, but I've seen them as an adult and I still think they look pretty realistic. Their faces were made of this plastic material covered in tiny face hairs and their eyes were wide and reached into your soul. Anyway, every time we went over there I knew I'd have to face these monkeys. It was inevitable that at one point during the visit they would probably come out but what scared me more was what they were doing when we didn't see them. I think one time 1 of them wasn't in the usual spot and I was convinced it had moved on its own. It was the Toy Story effect but they were animals so I found it more believable.
It didn't help that the monkeys were also puppets. People would control them and bring my fears to life and I was both fascinated and disturbed. As I grew I became more and more intrigued by the monkeys. I was so afraid, but I also needed to see them and stare into their eyes. I needed to touch them and control them on my own so I knew they weren't real.. or maybe so that I could be in control of them for a minute.
These monkeys were a big fear for me, but I had to get a closer look, I had to pay attention to them. It's that whole 'car crash you can't look away from' affect. What is that? Is there a name for that?
Sometimes I think back on experiences like this and I wonder if the child version of me really believed that these monkeys came alive or if I just loved imagining that was a possibility.