Traumafessions :: Jeff Martin of Better Geek Than Never on The Tingler

For as long as I can remember up until I was about thirteen years old, I had a recurring nightmare. I was being chased through a grove of trees on a stormy night by a man in a trenchcoat whose face I couldn’t see. I ran through the trees to about the halfway point when suddenly, the man appeared in front of me at the other end of the grove! I decided to just run at him as fast as I could and tackle him. If I could knock him down, I could escape. So I started booking it towards this guy… when something dropped out of the trees onto my neck. This thing immediately began eating its way through my flesh and into my spinal cord. I tried to scream but couldn’t. All I could do was sink to my knees while this horrible whatever it was ate its way into my spine.

Every time I had this dream, I would wake up in bed in full-on crab position. Arched back, flat palmed on the bed, with my head bent back as far as it would go as if I were trying to keep my spine inside my body. I would be confused, crying and terrified.

It wasn’t until years later that I realized I was having nightmares about the WILLIAM CASTLE classic, THE TINGLER! The thing I felt trying to eat my spine was the parasite creature and the man I was running from was VINCENT PRICE. Now, here’s the weird part.

I don’t remember ever seeing that movie. I still haven’t seen it. I just know that’s what it was from research in books and on the internet.

What happened to me?

Jeff Martin
Better Geek Than Never

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11 years ago

Whenever I see the Tingler, the first thing that always comes to mind is an old cast-iron beetle boot jack:

It also reminds me of that old game Cootie.

11 years ago

But seriously, Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung saw the symbolism in dreams as the manifest of collective experiences in the human psyche. So, whatever sub-conscious ramblings in the author’s head brought about The Tingler could very well have brought about your dream as well. Perfect examples of these shared dream experiences are the ‘falling dream’ as well as the ‘teeth falling out dream’ that most people have in their life.

Jeff X Martin
11 years ago

Oddly enough, my wife’s nickname is Cootiebug. I’m thinking, if your interpretation of the primal imagery inherent in The Tingler is correct, this choice was somehow a self-fulfilling prophecy.