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Scariest monsters aren’t found in films

Boo! The haunting season is here. Soon you will see ghosts, goblins and ghouls roaming the streets of Jessamine County.

Spooky decorations have taken over lawns, porches and entire houses.

It seems like scary movies are on half the television channels.

Still, nothing we will see over the next 10 days or in any make-believe world is nearly as frightening as the scares in the real one.

The evilest horror film villain pales in comparison to some of the things humans do to one another on a daily basis. True crime story headlines are as shocking and appalling as ever.

Monsters don’t scare me unless they are of the flesh-and-blood variety.

The social climate in our world should be the fear waking people up in the middle of the night with cold sweats. 

Far too many individuals have no comprehension of right from wrong. Mass shootings. Terrorism attacks. The threat of nuclear warfare.

Those are scary — because they are all too real.

It is hard to be frightened of fantasy elements when the real horrors are even worse.

The threat of a nuclear holocaust is more real that it has been in many years. We may be one ego blow away from a world-altering confrontation.

The scariest threat of all that is only now getting attention and not necessarily for its full dangers is a word we are familiar with but may but fully comprehend: cyberattacks.

Yes, everyone is talking about potential Russian meddling in our elections but I will avoid that topic.

Maybe the recent Equifax hack was enough of a scare that we start paying attention, but I think we are only scratching the surface of what would happen if with a massive concentrated hacking effort to take down our banking systems or, even worse, infrastructure providers was directed at America.

We overcome in short stretches during natural disasters like the recent hurricanes but what happens if we lose power, internet or phones in large parts of the country for long periods?

It would snowball effect and become near catastrophic in some cases.

Hospitals cannot operate. Government services cease. Banks can’t function. Business grinds to a halt.

Take it a step farther and imagine an electromagnetic pulse or some other attack that took out all electronics in our hub cities like New York, Washington and Los Angeles.

The outcome would be apocalyptic.

Halloween may be the time for frights, but most of the truly scary things in this world are here to stay all year round.

Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Jessamine Journal and Jessamine Life magazine. He can be reached at (859) 469-6452 or by email at mike.caldwell@jessaminejournal.com