LAURA CARTLEDGE Life’s like That...Home alone – surely it can’t be quite as scary as I imagine?

I have a confession – my name is Laura and I have never spent a night home alone.

That is, until this week, when I will be doing it twice. And I have to admit the thought of it scares me quite a bit.

I wouldn’t say I was a complete wimp.

I can save my sister from a spider or interview strangers and celebrities without breaking too much of a sweat.

My problem is I have an overactive imagination.

Bringing to life, and into reality, anything I see on screen or read in a book. To the point studying Dracula at school left me sleeping with the light on and movie-night at university more often than not saw me hiding in my room.

Even films with a certificate of 15 on the box have me reaching for a cushion to hide behind before the opening titles have rolled. And I would rather miss an episode of Doctor Who rather than watch it alone.

I do wish I were braver. And that a shadow cast in the corner of my room from a pile of washing didn’t transform into an axe welding maniac or a creek of a floorboard into an approaching hungry bear, but that is just how my brain works.

Up to now I have avoided it by having ‘conveniently’ timed sleepovers or ‘coincidentally’ inviting my granddad to come to stay.

I wouldn’t say it was babysitting or adult-sitting... but I could understand why other people might.

So yes, being home alone is going to be fun. Perhaps I will take inspiration from the film versions and string up an elaborate array of booby traps. Or, more likely, I will triple-check the door is locked and barricade myself in my room.

My mother’s comforting words were: “You should do something every day that you don’t want to.”

Which sounded pretty silly. But then she added: “It’s the only way you will grow.” And I guess she has a point.

Facing your fears is the only way to conquer them. Whether it happens to be heights, public speaking or dogs.

Sure, most people will face something slightly scarier than a quiet, empty, cottage.

But add to it the bewildering inventions of my brain and you have something quite terrifying.