Here comes Hallowe'en and in the spirit (see what I did there?) of the occasion, I thought a compilation of some of the scariest things that have ever happened to me wouldn't go amiss.
The first time I can recall being really petrified was aged about nineteen after a Liverpool home match against Burnley and getting separated from my chums. I vividly recall being chased by a gang of hooligans through the streets of Anfield, until I eventually shook them off and found myself in a vast area of wasteland worthy of Mad Max. The accompanying soundtrack of guttural male yelling punctuated by breaking glass was blood curdling. I eventually found shelter in the house of an enterprising old couple who had stuck a bit of paper on their front door with 'Chip Shop' scribbled on it. Nicest chips ever.
Now over to Turkey, where I indulged in a spot of white water rafting about twenty-five years ago. Because of some knee ligament damage, when I suddenly found myself thrown from the boat thingy and inadvertently glugging back pints of wild river water, mobility became a bit of an issue. I really thought I was about to snuff it - my life flashed before my eyes (which would have been enough to make anyone give up the ghost) but just as I was relaxing into the whole thing and waving goodbye to some Turkish onlookers munching on some snacks, somebody literally threw me a lifeline and saved the day. Hurrah!
The next episode, I think I wrote about here once - four or five armed police officers kicked a door in and trained their weapons on me on the stairs outside my flat, after a neighbour had called them about a suspicious bloke and some scary noises in the lobby. I threw my hands in the air and whimpered uncontrollably like a petrified three year old, and not necessarily in that order.
The last example of profound fear really should have been a joy but, in reality, was scary as hell. I believe they don't do them anymore but many years ago you could fly over The Grand Canyon in a little biplane that may or may not have been made of balsa wood and powered by an elastic band. The sheer terror if swooping randomly around the orange rock below and, in particular, the manic grin on the pilot's face (the plane stalled at one point and I still don't know to this day if he did it on purpose) will stay with me for all eternity.
Hallowe'en, then, is the perfect time to reflect on life's scariest moments. Did someone say Mariah Carey's got a new record coming out?