"There's a monster in the closet."
I received this issue of Creepy at a very young age. I don't know exactly know how it fell into my possession -I can only speculate that it was bought by my parents as they were always buying me the odd comic here and there, never truly checking the content as they were under the impression that comics were quite simply "comics" aimed solely at young children:Marvel UK, Beano the like.
However why they would buy me something such as this with such an obvious graphic and rather disturbing cover image is beyond me. There is a possibility that I bought it myself from one of the local newsagents with my very limited pocket money, as even then I was always leaning towards these type of magazines and as long as it wasn't porn I'm sure the newsagent wouldn't have had any moral objection in selling it to me (Things in the seventies were a little more relaxed after all, come to think of it if I had said "A *Razzle please mister, it's for me da" He probably would have winked and passed it over "Okay son, but no peaking under those covers alright?")
Now there is also the possibility that it was bought second-hand and I received it a little later than the cover date of April 1975 suggests. If not I was five years of age when perusing this wondrous delight of horrifying horror.
Bad parenting? I think not- but it is strange how this must have looked beside my Beanos and Dandies!
Anyhow, however it may have fell into my grubby little mitts it turned out to be one of those prepubescent shock moments, enlightening and inflaming a curious young mind whilst opening a door into a much darker corridor of the human condition.
But I digress:
I can only imagine in hindsight, how I must have reacted to that cover image and let me say for the record that it -was- more than anything else, mainly the cover that struck me - like a hammer to the front of my freckled little forehead. The interior comics held some interest, but it was that cover- that strange almost hypnotic cover that had me completely captivated.
The red eyed ape man staring straight at me, the bloody knife, the gaping wound on the chest of the victim and that strange smile on the woman's face! I am sure I did not pick up on the obvious eroticism of the piece at the time: the red bedsheets, the open window and the almost welcoming arms and seemingly "orgasmic" expression of the lady in question. She seemed to be quite utterly relishing the moment of her own death. So many questions?
But as I said that perspective came a little later,as when I viewed it through a child's eyes, my main thoughts on the art were, "Big monkey man with massive knife, coming into bedroom and killing woman!"
It had gotten to the point whereby I was so scared of the image that I had to remove it from sight, my childlike rationale being that the more distance I could put between it and me the safer I would be. So I put it in my comic/toy cupboard situated at the end of my bed and closed the door. You see I couldn't throw it out, as even at that age I had the collector mentality. I mean the cover was fantastic, it was a work of art and as with most things that we fear- it brought along with it a terrible sense of excitement and danger.
However even though I had placed it behind a wooden door, completely out of sight,the fear of the image did not lessen in its intensity. It just meant that the big monkey-man was just sat behind the door even more pissed off at me for locking him up in a dank dark closet. He was probably in some magical way pealing himself off the cover at that very moment, as his body like some kind of fleshy balloon was being pumped up to a monstrous life size version of its comic book self, his red eyes glowing hotter and hotter somehow penetrating the confines of the wooden door and just watching and waiting for the moment to strike.
So after a few torturous nights of spinning out prayers to the Lord God above to keep me safe whilst wide-eyed and listening for any sound that may be emanating from the closet area, I decided to rethink my plan of action; so I opened the wooden doors half expecting "Old red eyes" to jump out at me. I then grabbed hold of the "devilish scripture of evil" and ran to the garden shed, flung open the door and placed the magazine on the highest shelf that I could reach while also moving an old tool box and a few gardening tools firmly on top to hold the bastard in place. I closed the door firmly behind me and returned home quite satisfied with solving my monkey problem.
At night I would still lie awake and ponder over the red eyed monster in the shed, but days turned to weeks and I slowly moved on (probably on to The Savage Sword of Conan or Evil Knievel or some other seventies distraction -God, those were the days !)
Until one night while rolling the skin back and forth on my Six Million Dollar Man's arm (again the erotic significance of this pastime didn't hit me until much later-)
I heard a strange shuffling noise from downstairs. As a child I always made sure the bathroom light was left on as I had an almost psychotic fear of the dark and its warmth helped reassure me that as with most children, everything was alright. However this night it held no such respite, but only helped to exaggerate the shadow figure that was slowly moving up the stairs directly to the open door of my bedroom.
....... No wonder I get Carpal Tunnel, talk about a bloody ramble. You bored yet?
I just downloaded a Xmas episode of Porridge, that's what I should be doing, watching that. Who reads this crap anyway?
Okay, I'll continue....
So there I am wide eyed, panicked, sweating like a little sweaty thing with blankets pulled high resting softly against the bridge of my nose. The light from the bathroom flickered as the shadow passed by to come to a halt outside my bedroom door. The door itself was only slightly ajar but I could sense whatever it was just standing there waiting. I could almost smell its fetid breath and hear what sounded like a soft grunt or growl -was this thing human? I lost the use of my tongue, I was frozen unable to move or to cry out for help. I knew my mother and father were downstairs, but why weren't they coming to ... "Oh God! What if this thing had hurt or worse still -killed them and now it was coming for me."
I watched the door praying that the shadow would just move on and... I dunno- go to my sisters room and kill her.
Then it happened...........
A hand reached around the door, but this was no human hand it was covered in brown fur almost like - THE RED EYED MONKEY MAN.
I stifled a scream.
Slowly the hand pulled the door closed and then the bathroom light went out.
Who is this strange monkey man? Is it the comic book primate come to life to reek revenge for being discarded like a dirty old shoe, or is it something else- something so horrifying that you dear reader will go completely insane, possibly even BLIND from learning the truth.
Find out Thursday...
*Saucy old Brit porn mag,which I may have accidentally browsed through in my early teens........ for three years.