Written by: DeAnna Erdmann
I was young, maybe six or seven, and I lay on the ground behind my aunt’s couch. I squished my body as far back as I could wiggle, hoping that the pressure of the wall and couch would keep me safe. I could hear the screams of terror and I just knew I was next. I should have been nicer to my brother. I should have cleaned my room when my mom told me. I didn’t though and now I was going to die, wedged between my aunt’s couch and her wall with the smell of old cigarettes burning my nostrils.
“Turn it off!” I wailed.
My cousins just laughed and turned the television up louder. I closed my eyes and tried to cover my ears, but the noises would not be stopped. People screamed as demons roared. I could hear ripping and splattering and I just knew that it was a human body. My over active imagination played the scene out in my mind even though I was squeezing my eyes closed so tightly. Sometimes I would have to hide behind that couch for the entirety of the movie. Other times my aunt would realize what her boys were doing and she would come and stop their torture of me. I would slowly emerge from my shelter with tears running down my face. I would run out of the living room and into the kitchen. I would sit in the big Bay window so that I was engulfed in sunlight because demons can’t be out in the sunlight.
The Gate was a horror movie that my cousins would terrorize me with whenever I was at their house. It was the story of a couple of boys that accidentally unleashed the demons of Hell from a hole in their backyard.
The demons’ eyes were like serpents and their mouths frothy and dripping around their sharp and deadly teeth. As a child I was convinced that Hell was literally under the Earth and that if someone dug deep enough they could reach it. I was fearful that if someone accidentally did dig up Hell, then I would be dragged down and devoured. But my brain added a twist to the movie, because I was raised in the church. I knew that bad behavior could send you to Hell, so I thought that the demons would hunt me down specifically because of various childhood misbehaviors and that I would burn in the fiery depths of hell forever.
I am thirty-eight years old and I can still close my eyes and see the look of pure terror on poor unsuspecting faces as they were dragged into that hole. Thank you Jesus that I now know that no one will accidentally dig to Hell. I haven’t even attempted to watch The Gate since those horrible days of torture at my aunts and I don’t plan on ever trying. I imagine it is probably pretty cheesy, but just the horrible memories are reason enough to never try to watch.