Thursday, April 24, 2014

Why I'm Afraid of Unsolved Mysteries

"This program is about unsolved mysteries. Whenever possible, the actual family members and police officials have participated in recreating the events. What you are about to see is not a news broadcast."

I have a love-hate relationship with the old television program Unsolved Mysteries, hosted by the incomparable Robert Stack. On the one hand, I LOVED this show as a kid. Like most kids, I was totally into UFOs, ghosts, weird mysteries and unsolved crimes. I loved stuff like Ripley's Believe-It-Or-Not and ghost stories.  On the either hand, the show scared the shit out of me and gave me nightmares.

I couldn't have been more than 10 years old when I got into Unsolved Mysteries, running to the living room whenever I heard that creepy music playing in the opening.  I was absolutely fascinated by the stories, unable to tear my eyes away from tales of the unsolved cases of brutal murders, lost loves torn apart by strange circumstances, weird alternative histories and conspiracy theories like whether Billy the Kid was truly gunned down by Pat Garrett, and of course the aforementioned tales of alien abductions and ghost sightings. It was like crack to my prepubescent nerd brain. The only problem was my young brain wasn't developed enough to handle it.

The show kept me up late at night, wondering if it was all true. Were their aliens out there, ready to steal me out of my bed? What about escaped murderers out looking for their next victim? It got to the point where even just hearing the creepy opening music got my heart rate up and made me jittery. My parents wouldn't let me watch it anymore, which was terribly disappointing but probably for the best.

I didn't realize until today that the show actually ran until 2002, and even had a brief return in 2008-2010. Maybe if I go back to it as an adult...

Nope nevermind. Just looked it up on YouTube, and even the theme music still gives me goose bumps..
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