It takes a lot to scare YouTube sensation Paige McKenzie when she’s hunting the phantom-filled halls of her house on The Haunting of Sunshine Girl.
But when the camera turns off? Things get a little spookier, she admits.
The perky, curly-haired Internet star, 20 – who’s written a new novel based on her Web series, in which she plays a girl named Sunshine who documents the fictional paranormal happenings at her home – admits that the premise of her show is ironic given her lengthy list of real-life fears.
“I’m afraid of everything, which is totally contradictory to what Sunshine Girl is,” she tells PEOPLE.
But the actress adds that being a self-proclaimed scaredy cat makes it easy to dig up new material for her videos and book series of the same name, whose rights got picked up last May by The Weinstein Company.
“Whether it’s spiders, freaky costumes, weird noises – the whole horror subject is pretty endless,” the Oregon native says. “But at least nothing can pop out at you from the pages of a book!”
PEOPLE asked the Sunshine Girl mastermind to share the top 5 things that give her the creeps – and her answers may surprise you!
1. The Dark
“It’s ironic because I do a lot of videos in the dark. I have a whole section on my channel where I watch scary movies alone in the pitch black of my closet and record my reaction. Half the time I don’t remember making any of the faces or saying anything while I’m being scared silly.”
2. Big Furry Creatures
“I really can’t stand mascots. I’m definitely afraid of anyone dressed up as characters. My mom tortured me once and made me take pictures with one. When I go to Disneyland, I can almost bear it because it’s the happiest place on Earth. But I spend a lot of time running away from them.”
“His neck comes up really high, and he has really big eyes and a growing finger! One day I said to myself, ‘This is it. You’re going to fix the E.T. curse.’ I went into my parent’s room and popped in my VHS and sat down and wrapped my mom’s huge comforter around me. I think I got 10 minutes in and I ran away, and my mom had to make me unlock myself from the bathroom.
“I fell off of one when I was younger. It almost rolled over on top of me, so now I have this irrational fear of them. There’s this whole scene in the movie Arthur with Russell Brand, where he says, ‘I don’t trust [horses]. It’s their eyes, their sneaky feet – their shoes are permanent!’ I totally agree with that.”
5. Horror Movies
“Why would anyone want to suffer through a scary movie? My producer Nick [Hagen] sometimes convinces me to watch them. The one that I think is the scariest is The Haunting in Connecticut. I was probably 13 when I watched it, and I only need to explain myself in five words – dead bodies in the wall. And I do believe in ghosts. I think they’re real. I respect their boundaries.”
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