As children we were all scared of something.
I was (and still am) terrified of clowns! But I was also scared of the dark.
When I got older I learnt that the dark was harmless and it wouldn’t actually harm me.
But that doesn’t change how terrified of the dark I was growing up!
Well, some very brave adults have decided to share the strangest things that horrified them as children.
I was absolutely terrified of E.T.
Now, look, I know that E.T. is supposed to be one of those universally beloved icons, existing as a symbol of hope, friendship, and stalwart determination… despite looking like he came out of a constipated elephant. When I was a kid, though, something about the character frightened me so much that I’d refuse to even touch a lunchbox (or its matching thermos) with his face on it. E.T. was, as far as I was concerned, “The Scary Raisin,” and something as small as a passing mention of his name could send me screaming from a room.
I can remember visiting the state fair when I was about five years old, and being thrilled by the prospect of going through the funhouse. (This is relevant, I promise.) Other kids – kids my age – would scream and burst into tears after being startled by the flashing lights, the loud noises, or the life-size images of bats attacking pictures of scantily clad women. They, I thought to myself, were babies! I smugly suppressed my own surprise and laughed at each “hazard,” envisioning myself to sound like a hardened action hero or something. While my frightened peers turned to run back in the direction that they’d come, I pressed ever onward.
Then, as I neared the funhouse’s end, I was greeted by an incredibly realistic model of The Scary Raisin.
For a moment, I froze in my tracks. Keep it together, I told myself. You’ve come this far… so just keep walking. The exit is right there. I took a single step, then another.
I must have set off a motion detector or something, because a raspy voice suddenly blurted “ELL-EE-OTT!“
With all the bravado of an especially panicked chicken, I let loose an ear-piercing shriek and sprinted back toward the entrance. At one point, I got hopelessly lost in the Hall of Mirrors, and my intense wailing actually attracted the attention of an employee. She took my hand and led me out through a hidden door in the wall, then somehow managed to decipher my sob-wracked description of where my parents could be found.
Looking back, I have to wonder what she thought about that event… and if she ever questioned why a random kid had started screaming about dried fruit.
I was feeding ducks when I was 5, one of their bills made the slightest contact with my hand and I still remember my death gurgle like it had torn my arm from its socket.
3. That’s Not Harmless!
Growing up, I totally ALWAYS had a feeling someone was videotaping me. To the point I would check behind mirrors in my house, clean my whole bedroom top to bottom looking for a camera. Harmless really. Until one day as I was climbing a tree next to our house, I just happened to notice something in the bark…. a thin cable concealed behind it, running down into the dirt, where a little hard drive was wrapped in saran wrap. The other end? Yup, you guessed it. Pointing at my room. Cops never did find the guy. Now I live in fear I’ll find this online somewhere.
4. I Swallowed a Nickel.
I swallowed a nickel when I was about four and I freaked out and acted like I was dying. My Dad only made it worse when he said if I waited long enough it would come out as a dollar.
I was deathly afraid of the 80’s song “Maneater.” The lyrics had me thinking there was a woman out on my street eating actual men. The lyrics “Whoa-oa here she comes… watch out boy she’ll chew you up” kept me up many nights staring out my window.
6.Flushing the toilet.
I had a nightmare where a witch came out of the toilet when I flushed it, so any time I went to the bathroom I’d wash my hands and open the door before flushing. Then I’d get the heck out of that bathroom.
7. The Sims.
When I was…I think eleven-years-old? I was playing The Sims (first edition, I think) alone in a dark room while my mom was making dinner. I had my guy look out the telescope at night and he got abducted by aliens. I have always been terrified of Aliens, and this got me so scared I instantly ran out the room to my mom and refused to go back to the computer. I didn’t play Sims for awhile after that. My character never came back either.
8. Car Washes.
Going into a carwash would literally send me into blind panic until I was about seven. I was so terrified, I once actually broke out of my booster seat and started hiding under the car seat all while screaming that “its gonna get us!”
9. Theme Music.
When I played Sonic the Hedgehog and the drowning theme started playing. The fact that it slowly increases speed as you get closer to dying is scary as hell, man.
10. A Lobsters.
For some reason I used to be afraid of them, like they’re roaming somewhere ready to pinch the crap out of me. When I was really small my mom had to talk me out of fearing lobsters under my bed.
11. ‘Madame’ from Madeline.
We had this book about Madeline, she is some french kid with red hair. The books are pretty famous. Anyway, there was one where she had to have her appendix out. The madame of the house (I think they were orphans) ran down the hall to see to her. It was a terrifying image to me as a kid. Big black dress, sort of hiked up as she is running, a bit gothic. Big full page illustration.
Weird things that scare kids.
My parents took a one-story high pole and made a fake reindeer head to attach to the top of it. Complete with a light up nose. Every Christmas Eve after dinner and some games my parents would say,”Rudolph will be here soon to check to see if you’re asleep for Santa! Better get in bed before he catches you!” I remember running to my room and laying under my blankets. My sisters liked it but it terrified me. Seeing the faint red glow of the nose reflect on the wall and hearing the head knock against the window. It gave me nightmares. I know my parents did it to make it magical for us, but still… To this day reindeer make me anxious and I am afraid of windows at night.
13. Toy Furbies.
For some reason my sister and I had a few of them and they would always turn on by themselves while in my closet and it scared the crap out of us.
14. Angela Anaconda.
Had really bad nightmares from that show that are still stuck in my head. It was horrible. The animation in that show was terrifying.
15. A Pair Of False Teeth.
My grandparents’ false teeth, which they kept in glass containers on their bathroom counter. I thought they could remove all their body parts like that, and I was horrified of the day I’d see a hand or something in a jar on their counter.
Watched Wrath of Khan as a kid and ever since, I thought these things would crawl into my ear, drive me mad, then kill me in a very painful manner.
17. A Patch Of Grass.
Apparently as a baby, I was deathly scared of grass. I just sat crying with my hands raised until I was off.
18. My Care Bear Piggy Bank.
I had a care bear plastic coin bank that was about three feet tall. One night I had a dream it drowned me in the bathtub, I was terrified of it afterwards.
19. Shower Drains.
I covered them for years after seeing the first IT. That movie terrified me.
I’m 73-years-old now, so this is dated. When I was a kid I saw a movie Horrors of the Black Museum. It featured a pair of binoculars which had spikes pop out of the eye pieces into the skull of the person using them. Ever since then…Binoculars. When I was a lookout in the Navy I couldn’t help testing the binoculars carefully at the start of each watch.
21. Broken Egg shells.
I though if I accidentally swallowed the tiniest piece of egg shell I would get an appendicitis and need surgery. Eating soft-boiled eggs was quite stressing.
22. My Dad’s stepfather’s painting.
When I was a kid, my dad’s stepfather had a velvet painting of the devil sitting on the toilet and smoking a cigarette hung on the wall in his basement. My cousin and I were terrified of it.
What scared you as a child?
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