Oct 31, 2009

The Glee of Sharing Horror Stories

by Cindy R. Williams

There are three events in life that are somewhat common for LDS women that cause those around us to tell stories. Stories of horror. The first is your wedding. The second is when you're pregnant, and the third is when you send a son out for two years on a mission for the Lord.


When I was getting married, male and female, young and old, had a story to tell about how the groom got sick, or the bride threw up at the altar, or the bride/groom fainted, or they forgot their marriage lisence, or left their shoes at home . . . I am not even going to get into the horror stories of the honeymoon. Well maybe just a few. One husband was propostitioned by both a lady and a man upon the first day of a Honeymoon in Mazatlan. (I was there for that one, and watched my new husband squirm.) Another husband was so homesick he had to call his parents on the third night. (I witnessed that one first hand also---sorry Honey.) And yet another story, the wife was so frightened she locked herself in the bathroom and would not come out all night long. Even then, the mother of the new wife had to talk her out of the bathroom. (This one is not a first hand story. ;o)


The pregnancy stories are even worse. Once you're pregnant, you know you must either push, prod, squeeze, carve or pop that baby out. Sorry about the "carve" thing, but my first of five was a C-section. Why can't we share stories of wonder and amazement as we first look into the bright, clear eyes of the new little angel. How about a story of how we bonded the instant the new baby was placed in our arms. No, that's not what we share. We like to scare while we share.

We tell about how we were prepped for a C-Section and the doctor left us on the table to change the flat tire on his wife's car.

We tell about how baby number two took three long--very long--did I mention l-o-n-g days of hard labor. The teller of this very chilling story then adds that the next baby was only two days of hard labor. The next baby was a day and half of very hard labor, and the last baby took only 24 hours of excrutiatingly painful labor. At least the story goes from three days of labor to 24 hours. That is somewhat postitive isn't it?

We share how a sweet husband rubbed his wife's back during labor, but fell asleep between the labor pains. The next pain started and the soon to be mother cried out in pain as she reached to wake her husband. He sat up so fast her arm and his nose met in the air and her arm won. His nose was broken.

We share that the baby's umbillical chord wrapped three times around his neck and we almost lost him.

We share how the doctor almost dropped the baby as it slid out.

We share how the epidural didn't take effect until five minutes before the delivery and oh, the pain---worse than being cut in half. And yes, these are some of my own personal stories, and I do enjoy telling them and seeing eyes go big in awe or fear. Why is that? 


Now the stories for soon to be missionary mothers. Wow! This one took me by surprise. I had no idea this was going to be a free for all in the horror story department.  My first son has been called to Brazil and scheduled to fly October 13, 2009 directly to the Brazilion MTC instead of Provo. His visa didn't arrive in time. It didn't matter anyway because he broke his leg playing Men's Church Basketball just six days before he was scheduled to leave.  Even if the visa had arrived in time, his broken leg insured his start in Provo until he healed.  Now I have the beginnings of a story. But it's truley a minor story compared to the stories that have been shared with me recently by well meaning friends and relatives.

One missionary stepped off the plane with the Spirit burning so strong, he jumped onto the bus and saw "The One".  The man he was meant to baptize in his first few minutes in Korea. Within two mintues, he used every Korean word he knew, then jumped out of his seat, leaned out a window and threw up. Naturally, the Korean gentleman thought he was a crazy American, and got off the bus at the next stop.

Have you heard the monkey stories? Missionairies are either attacked by monkeys or they eat monkey brains raw at a special table with a hole in the middle where the monkey's head pokes up through it and they crack . . . never mind. I can't even finish that story.

Then there's the one about the bugs that bite while the missionary is asleep, and they're lucky to wake up with all ten toes. Or the story about being shot at on the first day walking down the street. Or the vicious dog that chased the missionaries.  One Elder held out his Book of Mormon and the dog stopped, turned and walked away. Okay, so that one is actually faith building, but it still riles a mother up.

How about the mothers that share the horror stories their son's waited to tell them until they returned home because they didn't want to worry their parents. Take the one about the missionary who woke up to see a head hunter leaning over him with glazed eyes and a knife. That would stop the old ticker.  Have you heard the story about the missionaries eating dinner at a members house, and the dog went missing? (Yes, it was on their plate.). Just what a mother wants to hear. Now these are doozies, and I ask you, why don't these women keep them to themselves instead of scaring the newbie missionary mother?

Please, anyone tell me why we feel we must share the most outrageous, horror filled, crazy, strange stories we know with others that are entering these new phases of life? Do we inherit some gene that makes this manditory to try to scare others to initiate them into some special club? Is it a way of celebrating that we have survived such horrors so we should get some kind of reward or at least recognition? I am not yet sure of the answer, but as you can see I too am guilty of this perplexing fact of human nature. We feel compelled to share the worst. After all, we are story tellers, and these horror stories are certainly whoppers.


  1. Cuz it's fun ann. I liked your horror stories. Maybe we just need to be reminded now and again how caprious life really is.

  2. I think the horror story penchant has some connection with the reality TV craze...And having sons yet to leave on missions, I'm taking the mission horror stories in the abstract! Fun post. Thanks.

  3. Good for you Sarah. The mission stories just keep on comming, and I am learning to ignore them.

  4. I wish I knew the answer to that question Cindy! As a childbirth educator, I spend a good amount of time teaching positive thinking to my clients. I don't think I have ever been subjected to missionary horror stories..lucky me! However...I do admit to sharing a couple of wedding disasters, and traumatic birth experiences.

    Thanks for sharing yours, btw...they really do make entertaining reading!


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