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Author Topic: What frightened you as a kid/teenager?  (Read 14643 times)
Steven Byczek
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« on: May 12, 2005, 06:05:28 PM »

What frightened you as a kid/teenager? Whether it was a movie, T.V. show,song on the radio,a toy, an object,a memory from your childhood. Compose a list of what frightened you the most.

Here is my list:
 1.I was petrified of clowns and balloons. Clowns because they were strangers wearing hideous looking make-up and would often walk up to me and talk to me during circuses and carnivals. Balloons because they made a loud noise when they exploded. And what do most clowns do when approach children? They hand them balloons! My top two childhood phobias often came "hand in hand". I would boycott all circuses and carnivals as a young boy.
2. The final scene of the orginal version of "The Fly" from 1958. Yes,my friends..the famous scene at the end when the fly with the scientists head gets trapped in the spider web and screams "Help Me ! Help Me!" The first time I saw it..I almost ran out of the living room where our t.v. set was. It seemed so real and creepy.
3. I was scared of photographs of Sissy Spacek all covered with pig's blood in the original "Carrie" from 1976. I recall a drugstore that my family and I went to quite often that had a paperback novelization of "Carrie" and the book had a photograph of Carrie all covered with blood on the cover. I found the photo so disturbing...I could not touch the book. Heck..I wouldn't even go down the book shelf aisle for the longest time because I knew it was sitting there on the shelves.
4. "The Exorcist" (1973). Who wasn't scared of this movie as a kid? Even a lot of adults find it scary and un-nerving.  I saw it for the first time on a small black and white portable t.v. set. When I rented the uncut version on videocassette a few years later...my buddy told me I jumped during the scene where the young priest was sleeping and had a disturbing nightmare. As we "Exorcist" buffs know,during the priest's dream sequence they show a very fast image of the demon's face. The actual face of the evil spirit that is inside Linda Blair's character's body!  For the longest time I could not watch the movie during the nightime or alone because of the shots of the demonic faces. As an older person I can put theses scenes in slow motion when I watch my "Exorcist" DVD . Through movie trivia reseach,I have discovered these demonic  faces were actually Eileen Dietz,Linda Blair's stunt double in makeup. Apparently the director filmed her in this makeup to see if it would look good, and decided to re-use the footage throughout the movie. Most people to this day talk about how startling and scary those demonic faces are.
5. The final scene from the 1978 remake of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers". Seeing Donald Sutherland point to the camera, and make a horrible facial expression while hissing scared the hell out of me!
6. When I was a wee lad of 4 or 5,we were invited to dinner at my parent's friend's house. They were a couple who had two teenage daughters who were into Elton John and his music. They kept playing one of his songs which was popular around this time entitled "Funeral for a Friend". It starts off with a tolling bell tower chime and howling wind sound effects. My sister tells me I was so scared I would hide in their bedroom closet whenever they played that song! However,once they told me that the clowns played hide and go seek in their closet,I had to find a new hiding place. LOL!
7. Does anybody remember the old t.v. show "Night Gallery" from the early 1970's? My mother actually would not let me watch this show because she kept claiming it would give me nightmares. Once she fell asleep early, and my father let me watch the show with me. Just seeing the intro with the distorted faces grimacing at the camera during the opening theme song was bad enough. But the episode dealt with a young girl who had a medallion of this small,very ugly,insect like creature. She would take off the medallion before she went to bed each night. But the insect medallion would actually come to life and fly out her bedroom window and attack people!!! Sure enough...this episode gave me a nightmare. Mother know best,I guess! LOL!
8. The scene in the original "Alien" (1979) where Sigourney Weaver re-attaches the android's head and it talks to her creeped me out more than the scene involving the baby alien bursting out of John Hurt's chest. Wow! Real nightmare material for a 10 year old boy!!!

I will post more when I think of them. In the meantime...what frightened you the most when you were a kid/teenager?
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Ozzymandias
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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2005, 09:19:34 PM »

I know I'm going to become a target for smart remarks or worse, but what frightened me the most as a child and still bothers me some to this day was the children's book, The Velveteen Rabbit .

Why? Since age two I have suffered from asthma and allergies. The story involves a little boy who gets sick and the doctors suggest to the mother "confiscate all his toys and burn them." This includes the toy rabbit he loved.

I still worry that I'm going to get sick and have everything I own, CDs, DVDs and books, confiscated and burned. Part of that fear could be just living in southwest Missouri. There was a church in Springfield when I was younger that held a book and record burning every year.

Also, now that I'm grown I've learned of a book published by a nutcase in the St. Louis area who suggested instutionalizing children with chronic illnesses like asthma for "the good of national security." Not only was this book popular in Missouri but I'm hear many of this guy's theories expoused by national pollitians.
I'm working this stuff into a novel I'm writing about a terminally ill boy in a small town in the 1950's.
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ulthar
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« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2005, 10:39:46 PM »

I was generally scared of skeletons until adolescence (or thereabouts).  I have this very clear recollection of waking up in my Mom and Dad's bed (after a nightmare drove me to climb into their bed) when I was about 3 years old and looking at the doorway; standing in the doorway of their room was a skeleton, and it was looking at me.

I suppose I was dreaming; it was one of the most vivid, realistic dreams of my entire life.  I can still remember it clearly nearly 37 years later.

Later in life, I became fascinated with skulls, so things go full circle, I guess.

I used to lay awake in bed sometimes CONVINCED Dracula (as played by Bela Lugosi) was in the house.  So long as I faced a certain way in bed, he could not get me (yeah, like that would work).  This was probably around age 10-ish.

Also, I did not like that little flying drilling ball from Phantasm.

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Master Blaster
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« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2005, 12:03:31 AM »

When I was real young for some reason I remember being scared of Alex from the Clockwork Orange although I'd never seen the movie, just the box cover.  
Also I was scared of Billy Idol. I have no idea why.
The sister with the twisted spine scared the living bejeezus out of me. Hell she still scares the living bejeezus out of me.  
The lizard people from V when they'd take their faces off.
Crap I was a little wussy, everything scared me!
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AndyC
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2005, 08:05:45 AM »

Master Blaster wrote:
> The sister with the twisted spine scared the living bejeezus
> out of me. Hell she still scares the living bejeezus out of me.

From Pet Sematary? Yeah, at the time, that girl was one of the freakiest things I'd seen in a movie in years. Having gotten to the point where nothing on the big screen had been remotely scary for some time, Pet Sematary was a lot of fun, but I must have been around 20 at the time.

Probably the silliest thing that freaked me out as a kid was that book, Where the Wild Things Are. I suppose the point of the book was not to be scared of the titular wild things, but hairy monsters with big eyes, pointy teeth, horns and claws make quite an image for a kids' book. Still makes me a bit uneasy to look at the illustrations.

Then there were the Sid & Marty Kroft shows. Of course, I probably wasn't the only little kid who thought the H.R. Pufnstuff show was weird and scary.

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Diablo44.
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« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2005, 10:44:40 AM »

You've all said so many of the ones that scared me from my childhood! That's amazing!

Steve - The scene from the original "Fly" scared me when I was a kid, and the first time I saw "The Exorcist" was on a small black and white TV as well. Scared the HELL out of me!

And  I'm with you guys in regards to 'Zelda' from Pet Semetary. Saw that movie when I was a sophomore in high school and it scared the crap out of me!

Ozzy - Don't feel bad. I may have 'The Velveteen Rabbit' beat. I was TERRIFIED of a skit on "Sesame Street". Yep, I was a wimp. It was a skit illustrating the difference between "Near and Far". This furry little puppet with huge eyes would poke into the completely white screen saying, "Near" up close to the screen, and then "Far" from way back. And then he'd start running from far away right at the screen, yelling some near & far song, and it would scare me ever time! I had nightmares!

Rob
The KO Picture Show
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Master Blaster
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« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2005, 12:44:56 PM »

I guess I just figured everyone would extract the movie reference from my brain psyonically. Yeah, I meant to reference Pet Semetary.
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odinn7
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« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2005, 12:48:41 PM »

Everything scared me. I had a rough, broken childhood and didn't feel very secure so I was scared of quite a bit but movies generally didn't do it to me (there were a few exceptions). Now, nothing scares me except getting old and useless and everything dangerous that my 4 year old attempts to do.

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Steve Byczek
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« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2005, 03:08:48 PM »

Wow! I wasn't expecting such wonderful replies to my post. Ulthar...were you scared of all skeletons in general (photos,drawings,and television/movie skeletons) or just "live" skeletons on film? Just curious. My clown phobia was selective.  I only was frightened of clowns that I met in person. I had no problems when it came to photos of clowns or clowns on t.v. We have some embarassing home movies where my family is at a parade, and when the clowns approach me,you can see me start to cry hysterically, and hide behind my mother's skirt. LOL! Your description of having to sleep in your parents bed brought back many memories of my childhood. My family is Catholic, and my Mom had a statue of "Baby Jesus" that she kept on my nightstand. I used to have nightmares that "Baby Jesus" would come to life, and walk up and down on my nightstand, and talk to me in a creepy voice! I would wake up screaming, and my Mom would have to come into my room in the middle of the night, and remove the statue from my room. Eventually this was not good enough, and I wound up sleeping in my parents bed. Diablo...I don't seem to recall that "Sesame Street" sketch you described to us,but I have heard other people talk about it. Maybe if I saw the sketch it would ring some bells for me. I do remember a sketch where they were talking about several words that begin with the letter "V". Various voices would say "V" stands for...and they would mention words that begin with the letter "V". The last word was the word "vampire" and the narrator was a woman with a low pitched sinister sounding voice. While she was talking they would show an animated cartoon of Count Dracula changing into a bat and flying away. This sketch always creeped me out even though a few years later I became a monster movie addict, and several of the films I would watch and enjoy involved vampires. Go figure!!! LOL! I thought of a film that did scare me as a youth. No...it was not
"The Wizard of Oz"  or "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory",even though many people I speak to say they were terrified of those films when they were young. It was a comedy movie:"Foul Play" starring Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase. The plot revolved around a group of criminals who wanted to assasinate the Pope. Goldie's character has some evidence regarding their conspiracy, and the criminals hire some thugs to bump her off. The scene that got to me involved Goldie being in a library late at night, and this ugly albino guy was stalking her, and trying to kill her. My sister went with me to the theater to see "Foul Play" and to this day, she always teases me, and tells me how I over-reacted to this scene. I had to use the restroom but insisted that my sister escort me to the bathroom. I was old enough to realize it was only a movie...yet I kept worrying that the albino was in the theater, and would chase me down the aisle!!!  I guess when we are ten years old,we are very impressionable! LOL!!!  

Keep on posting your scary childhood memories,my friends. Thank
you!
Sincerely,Steve.
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DaveMunger
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« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2005, 04:48:04 PM »

When I was five I was terrified of THE SCRUBBING BUBBLES. I can't even remember what cleaning product they advertize, but they were a lot scarrier in those days. They didn't have the little smiles drawn on them, just eyes, so that brush thing at the bottom of them looked like a gaping jawless mouth. In the commercials, swarms of them would tear all over the bathroom making all kinds of noise, then they'd go down the drains and behind the toilet, like they were HIDING. So I couldn't go in the bathroom and close the door because that's when they'd come out and get me. The shower was pretty scary around that same time.

Ulthar reminded me of this guy that called the radio show Loveline awhile ago. When he was little, he was all creeped out by monster's feet in movies, all different kinds of monster feet, like the Hulk, dinosaurs, Predator. Now that he's grown up, he's got some kind of monster foot fetish where he looks at pictures of Alien feet and stuff.

Had a conversation about this topic with my parents one time. My mom got freaked out by a flashback in a Dick Tracy strip to how on of the villains had been disfigured in a fire, and she mentioned a friend of hers that had been scared by the TZ episode Little Girl Lost, where the kid rolled under her bed into another dimension. My dad mentioned The Island Of Dr Moreau and The Willows. I just read The Willows a few weeks ago, it is pretty scary. I found it under Algernon Blackwood on the Gutenberg website (just realized I have the URL written down right by the 'puter: http://www.gutenberg.org/browse/authors/b#a1370). You can see where Lovecraft got a lot of his notions from that.
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ulthar
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« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2005, 05:10:44 PM »

Steve Byczek wrote:

> ...were you scared of all skeletons in general
> (photos,drawings,and television/movie skeletons) or just "live"
> skeletons on film? Just curious.

As I recall, it was any skeleton.  I remember being scared but fascinated at the same time, so even though scared, I would not look away.  Skeleton costumes on Halloween always had that dichotomy.

As I said, later this totally reversed; skeletons in general and skulls in particular, became a "thing" for me.  Friends gave me skeletons for gifts, a skeleton key chain hanging from the mirror of my truck, skeletons on many T-shirts, etc.  It's wierd how it came around like that.

But then, there remains that brief instant of 'shock' whenever I see something with a skeleton on it....

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Bargle5
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« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2005, 08:09:08 PM »

This one stands out for sheer goofiness.
One of the most frightening nightmares I ever had, I was in bed, completely unable to move or make a sound. Hovering over my bed in an extremely menacing fashion, were the shirts of The Lovin' Spoonful. You know, those ones with the big horizontal stripes. The Spoonful weren't in them, it was just their shirts.
30+ years later, I'm still trying to figure out what brought that one on.

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Frogs with their endless croaking, croaking, croaking in the night.
Ozzymandias
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« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2005, 10:05:32 PM »

Bargle5 wrote:

> This one stands out for sheer goofiness.
> One of the most frightening nightmares I ever had, I was in
> bed, completely unable to move or make a sound. Hovering over
> my bed in an extremely menacing fashion, were the shirts of The
> Lovin' Spoonful. You know, those ones with the big horizontal
> stripes. The Spoonful weren't in them, it was just their
> shirts.
> 30+ years later, I'm still trying to figure out what brought
> that one on.
>
Maybe they were out wearing the Blues Magoos' neon shirts or the Raiders' Tri-corner hats and jodaphurs.

Sorry, just had to say that.
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2xSlick
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« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2005, 10:20:54 PM »

Not sure what age these first happened to me, but I was fairly young (maybe around 6 or 7). Anyway, I was scarred by the movie Jaws in general and the scene in The Blob 2 where it drops from the ceiling onto that guy and he's all covered with slime. So even to this day  (been at least 10 years) I still look up when I go to the bathroom to make sure it's not up there about to drop on me and will not hang my feet off my bed because Jaws will bite them off. I think I'll always have these two "perks".

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Steven Byczek
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« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2005, 11:44:51 PM »

Dave...I remember the "Scrubbing Bubbles" commercials back in the 1970's. They never really scared me...but I must admit they were weird. I remember some episodes of the "Twilight Zone" scaring me as a kid. The one episode with Telly Savalas entitled "My Living Doll" where the little girl had a toy doll that would talk,and move,and kill people. I also remember being disturbed by one episode where a woman was in the hospital recovering from a horrible accident that disfigured her face. She was all covered up with bandages,and they did not remove them until the end of the episode. You the viewer expects her to be hideously ugly,and after the bandages come off...she turns out to be beautiful,but all the doctors and hospital employees are pig-faced mutants! Really creepy stuff!
I also heard about a episode where a little boy would receive calls on his toy plastic telephone from his dead grandmother. If I saw that one as a kid I would have had nightmares for sure!  Its funny though...not all things have to be of the horror genre to give us nightmares. I had a friend who lived next door who actually had a nightmare when he was 6 years old from an old "Popeye" cartoon he saw on television.  In the cartoon he saw,Popeye had built a log cabin but his house was invaded by termites. The insects proceeded to eat his entire house. My friend woke up screaming,and kept telling his parents: "The termites are coming for me!".


Keep the scary childhood memories coming,my friends! Sincerely,Steve.
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