Church is scary, man.

The musty smell of bibles, the bland and antiquated interiors, the old people, the chanting, the fear, the guilt, the penance, the seriousness of it all. The murder, the immolation. Well, at least I thought those last two were regular happenings at church.

At some point in my young age, I happened to see Alice, Sweet Alice (aka Communion, aka Holy Terror), a movie wherein an 11-year-old Brooke Shields is killed by a masked maniac, stuffed into a coffin, and set ablaze – all in the back room of a church where she was awaiting to receive her first Communion. To say it affected my perception of church would be putting it lightly.

My mom is a big Catholic (as is every Irish person who grew up in the ’50s), and she wanted to impart those religious leanings upon me as early as possible. But any plans for me becoming a priest were quickly quashed after seeing Alice, Sweet Alice. No way, no how. From that point on, anytime the family would head to the ol’ International House of Mackerel Snappers, I’d be dropped off at friend’s house until services were over.

No kidding: seeing a horror movie as a kid made me avoid church for the rest of my life. And all I can say is, thank God.

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