Imagine you were to try this …..
Shortly after bedtime, you tie a piece of thin line to the wardrobe door handle in a young child’s bedroom, just before you tell them the spooky story about the ‘wardrobe ghost’. The wardrobe ghost sits within wardrobes, unseen, silent … Waiting ….. If you open the wardrobe, you will see nothing … If you scream out, he will vanish and return again, even angrier and even more terrifying .. because the wardrobe ghost is VERY clever … He waits and waits until you are tucked up in bed, before v.e.r.y. q.u.i.e.t.l.y. opening the door and reaching out to take hold of sleeping children’s hands, whereupon they sleepwalk with him, into the wardrobe, never to be seen or heard of again; that is until they too, become ghosts themselves. Lots of parents claim to be able to hear the faint screams and cries for help of their own, missing children when their wardrobe is opened at night …..
Light out now, nighty-night ….
Some 30 minutes later, from outside the room, pull gently and silently on the line ….
.. NEVER let on ….. EVER …..
I can virtually guarantee, that the affected child will carry their fear (or at the very least suspicion) of wardrobes well into young adulthood, and that the memory will likely NEVER go away. Some would quite probably remain permanently affected, sleeping with lights on, open doors, pets on beds and no wardrobes.
But nothing has happened.
Nothing terrible has EVER occurred.
No ghost has been seen or heard (although the child will tell you otherwise).
Wardrobes are inanimate objects – Until they are given purpose through use.
Even rational thinking as the child matures will not eradicate the strength of that terrifying night ….
It ‘could’ happen … It ‘might’ be true ….
A lifetime of belief and suspicion, upon which the only substantial foundation was a moving door.
The rest was completely fictitious, shared so as to knowingly instil a false fear, a lifelong aversion … Perhaps the same fear the story-teller themselves, had also been told …….?
Interesting, isn’t it, how simple it is to create logically, experientially and evidentially unsubstantiated fear and avoidance, simply through the manipulation of otherwise naive minds?