Ridiculous Childhood Fears

As we’re heading into Halloween season, I am forced to face the fact that I am a total, total scaredy cat.   I will travel through Nepal, by myself, on the back of a motorcycle, like no one’s business.  But if you try to make me go to a horror movie?  I’ll probably cry and throw up.Where did this all start?  Let’s analyze my ridiculous childhood fears, shall we?The imaginary tiny fox that lived between my bed and the wall. My stuffed animals were
informed of this fact and warned to stay awake and watch out.

The music box Christmas angel
that my mom took out every holiday season totally had it in for me. I
was convinced that something horrible and irreparable is happening
everytime it slowly wound its way around, clinking out ‘Silent Night.’

My story record about the squirrel
who couldn’t find where he buried his nuts. It prominently featured
wind noises which terrified me to my tiny core. I remember feeling
afraid even when I held the record sleeve in my hands.

The basement.
For duh. However! Ours was rendered significantly more terrifiying by
the fact that the VCR’s clock reflected into the window, creating the
illusion of glowing greens eyes staring at you as you tore down the
steps and across the linolium to get to the light switch as fast as
humanly possible.

The tall arborvitae that stood on either side of our front steps.
They were huge and bushy and perfect for scary killers to hide behind.
To complicate matters, our outdoor light was motion sensitive, so you’d
have to complete the long sprint up the sidewalk, leap up the steps
(past the arborvitae housing monsters) and frantically wave your hand in
front of the light before you were out of the dark.

Just to be clear: I’m still kind of afraid of those trees.

What wound you up as a kid?

36 Comments

Sarah

I couldn't stand anyone dressed up like a character. I loathed Chuck E Cheese, but of course every kid I knew had their birthday party at that place. My mom always had to find the manager and ask him to keep Chuck E. Cheese away from me. All the other kids went crazy for him and I hid. 🙂

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Emily

I was afraid of a hairless monkey that possibly lived under my bed. I think this was thanks to some weird Halloween movie I saw when I was 6. I still think about that damn monkey.

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The Naked Redhead

There was a kangaroo who lived in my closet, and I was always afraid he would jump out and thwap me with his big feet. Maybe he was friends with your tiny fox?

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Anonymous

I was afraid of a lot of things as a child: the dark (I slept with the light on until I was about 11 or 12), dogs and cats (I would cross the street or go the long way around if I saw a cat while walking home from school), and clowns. I guess I didn't appreciate people being weird and doing unpredictable things. Maybe because they reminded me of the alcoholics in my family…

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Laurie S

Things I was afraid of as a child in descending order of terrifi-cation:

1.) The creepy black-cloaked, spindle-fingered monster in my closet named "Yucky Got-nough" who I imagined chewed on my Barbies' fingers in the night.

2.) Aliens. And the idea that they would kidnap me in the night. I vividly recall shuddering every time an airplane passed over our house past 8pm.

3.) My downstairs "formal" living room full of old, dusty furniture… and, of course, monsters. We never used it and it had no overhead light. Past dark, *anything* could be hiding in there!

4.) Bathroom sink drains, sewers, and drainage ditches. I saw parts of the televised Stephen King movie, IT, when I was about four years old. That scene with the blood coming up from the drain? Yeah. Scarred for life.

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Natalie

The weirdest thing I was ever afraid of as a child was the letter U from Sesame Street. I don't remember why, but whenever the letter U would do his little song or whatever, I was terrified, haha.

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katie d.

OH man. The better question would be what DIDN'T wind me up as a child. But I really hate (to this day!) clowns and bugs of any kind. I freaked out when I'd hear the beginning music to Twilight Zone or Unsolved Mysteries. I hated when people came to the door when I was home alone. . . . . Hmmm… I was a highly suspicious child who was terrified of strangers. Seriously, I was afraid of everything. Really, it's a miracle I'm a functioning adult.

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Chelle Lynn

#1: Pumpkin innards. I've never carved a pumpkin because I was scared of pumpkin insides as I child. Let us not be confused – they did not gross me out, I was actually FRIGHTENED of them.

#2: The whale from Disney's Pinocchio. I thought he could be in any body of water at any time.

#3: The Borg (a cyborg race in Star Trek that went around attacking and "assimilating" people.) I knew they were not real, but the thought of the Borg coming through my bedroom window kept me awake at night until I was 12.

#4: Leeches. After watching Stand By Me, I thought they would find their way into my bed. I obviously didn't get the whole natural habitat thing.

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Mrs. Grievous

My first fear was "the tricycle monster" which was my friend's Batman Big Wheel. It would appear in the night in the wall my bed was against and beckon me into a swirling vortex. I think this has something to do with my seeing Poltergeist way to early in my life.

The second one I remember was watching Tremors 2 and being terrified to let my dog out at night because the Graboids might come out of the ground in the dark, and Shriekers could be anywhere downstairs ready to get you because THEY HAVE A HEAT SENSOR AND CAN SEE YOU IN THE DARK!!!

D:

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Melissa

As a kid? I try not to think too much about that time, but I'm still afraid of everything!

Pretty much anything I saw in movies. Tornados, machines, electricity all still freak me out. We had to board a tiny ferry once but it was next to a sawmill. There was a HUGE saw blade bigger than I am on the end of this robotic arm that kept swinging around and cutting logs. I just screamed, LOL!

And the dentist most of all. Last week I had to go for a simple cleaning and I just sobbed like a baby the whole time. So embarrassing.
When I was a kid my parents used to instill so much fear into me about the dentist and it worked. Plus, my old dentist loved to drill and never used anaesthetic, so if I started crying and shoving she just had this assistant hold me down into the chair instead.

dentists are mean, terrifying monsters.

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Kelsi

The Viacom V logo. For reals. It would come flying at me after The Andy Griffith Show and I'd run out of the room.

I also used to be afraid of looking at a digital clock right on the hour. I hated seeing the two zeroes after the number. I have NO idea where this came from. It doesn't bother me anymore.

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Laura

That horrible bat-devil-monster thing at the end of Fantasia absolutely terrified me. My grandfather has mad editing skillz and he somehow took that part out of my VHS tape!

I distinctly remember something hiding underneath my bed on the very night my dad was trying to watch Bill Clinton's infamous "I did not…" speech. He grumbled about missing it but went to my room to check it out anyway.

We had a plastic tarp underneath our deck in the backyard for reasons I'm still not sure of, but ants built a ginormous bed underneath the tarp and I swear it looked like a body. It was that huge. And terrifying!

Then there was the threat of "If you don't go to church, the devil will get you." Seriously. I WISH I were making that up.

I had a nightlight for a long, long time!

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Stylish Thought

Let me tell you, I was and am still afraid of the dark! lol. I've learned to manage it better, but when I was younger I would turn on all the lights in the house if I was by myself. It got so bad that I once called the police at any little sound. I'm a big fat whimp and things that go bump in the night terrify me…

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Michelle

It's so sad, I was afraid of everything, quite an anxious child. However, there is one that people find ridiculous and laugh at, maybe because they still terrify me today – Oompa Loompas from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I can't look at them, can't listen to the song, just talking about them gives me the chills. I have a fear that one day I will go to a Halloween Party and someone will be dressed as one. It would be so traumatic! I would probably leave.

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Liv

This post and these responses are absolutely hilarious! Hahahaha… the Viacom logo and the letter U?! Awesome.

I remember being paralyzed with fear when I first saw Michael Jackson't Thriller video, I couldn't have been older than five. That black-goo-spit-up zombie in particular really did a number on me.

http://idlefascination.blogspot.com/

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Anonymous

When I was really young, I had a poster in my room of different fairly tale characters, one of which was a wolf that I always thought was way too creepy to be on a children's poster.

Also, I've still never seen E.T. because I was terrified of the alien as a kid.

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Johanna

I can add to the Sesame Street terrors – I was afraid of the baker! After some song about counting, a baker would come to the top of a stoop and sing "10 coconut cream pies!" and then promptly fall down the stairs and drop the pies. I was completely terrified and had to hide behind the door or the sofa. (In some defense, I was 2.) My mum has no idea why this bothered me so much!

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stackingpennies

My bedroom was in our (finished) basement, and I still was scared of it. Ghosts, mainly.

Someone mentioned this movie, but Pinocchio terrified me. Getting eaten by a whale and kids turning into donkeys? Ursula from little mermaid was also scary.

Kidnappers. Was sure they were always around despite living in a very safe area.

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Marie

I was afraid of being bombed, and if I heard an airplane coming in low, I was sure it saw a bombing. The fear was even worse if my parents were out; I was sure we would get bombed and not be able to see each other.

We also had large bushes on the walkway to the front door that I was determined someone was hiding in.

And last, one of the more ridiculous; I thought ghosts came out of the toilet if it was flushed in the dark. If I went to the bathroom at night I would have to either close the lid, flush, and run, or flush and wait with the light on until it was done.

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Julia H.

Haha, I got the biggest smile when you mentioned the story record about the squirrel. I used to have a Sesame Street spooky story book recording, and part of it had wind noises that scared me to death! I remember thinking I was so strange for being so afraid of those sounds, so it's funny to hear that you had a similar experience!

I also used to be (and still am a bit) afraid of porcelain dolls. They're creepy. End of story.

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Megan

Ghost trains. There was an episode of are you afraid of the dark which featured them, and up until recently, whenever I crossed a quiet, desolate street I was terrified of being run over by a ghost train.
Also, the eyelids popped off of my Teddy Ruxpin, so that was really scary, especially when he tried to blink and at night when the hallway light reflected off them.

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Lulu

I was in sixth grade when I received my very first essay assignment. I chose earthquakes as my subject and went to my neighborhood library to check out some books. One of the books covered both volcanoes and earthquakes, and I loved that it had lots of charts and photographs since that meant I would have less to read.

As I thumbed through the book later that night, I saw something in the volcano section that shocked me. An entire page was filled with the plaster casts of the victims of Pompeii. One was a of mother attempting to shield her child from the falling ash.

It had all the makings of the creepiest movie. The remains of victims who had been forgotten and the blank faces that begged for salvation. I could still imagine them when I went to bed that night and I couldn't muster up the nerve to climb out of bed, imagining them on the floor of my bedroom, their frozen hands reaching up to snatch my foot if I dangled it off the edge of my matress.

For the next year, the minute the light went out, I was too scared to climb out of bed. If I was thirsty, that was too bad. And heaven forbid if I need to go to the restroom. :S

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ladypantsdance

A lamp. Yes, a lamp. It was one of those 70s laminate tables with a huge lamp growing out of the middle of it. I was convinced that when the lights went out, it turned into a wolf and lay in wait for me. So I refused to go in that room unless someone turned on all the lights first.

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Flight Attendant Extraordinaire

I was another one of those super anxious children, afraid of pretty much everything. No one had to tell me about the Boogey Man…I made one up myself. In my mind, he would come and take the roof off of my house and reach in & pull me out of my bed, but whatever I was touching would come with me. So I would sprawl myself across my bed, trying to touch my little blanket & little pillow & all my stuffed animals. When I got a little older, I cured myself of this by telling myself that I was touching the bed, which was touching the floor, which was touching the rest of the house, which was touching the WHOLE PLANET.

I was also scared of ninjas coming in my window.

If I had to get up in the night to use the toilet, I would flush and RUN back to my room because there was a monster who would be awakened by the flushing.

The usual ghosts-in-the-basement fear.

And the one that I am most embarrassed of…Whenever I walked alone, I felt like I was being followed. I would get a really tight, panicky feeling in my chest and I would have to start running to wherever I was going. And somewhere along the way, it got into my brain that I was being chased by lesbians. I had no idea what a lesbian was. I don't even know where I'd heard the word, but I assume the way it was said made Little Sarah think it was something bad. My family was friendly with the gay man who worked at the gas station across the street, so I can't imagine I heard it at home. I probably heard it in a movie. But yes. I thought lesbians were chasing me when I was a child.

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Anonymous

I hated sleeping in the dark as a kid, thanks to all the nightmares I kept having about monsters chasing me or catching me. Later, it was a fear about being abducted by aliens (too much X-Files sometimes). Also, Large Marge in "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure" still makes me turn away from the screen.

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G.

Still afraid of the dark. I was also really really afraid of Hulk Hogan. My brother had my room before me and his life-size, to Baby Gillian, poster of Hulk Hogan was still at the foot of the bed. I thought he was going to jump out of the poster and kill me.

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Ange

Oh man oh man.
The song "The Cat Came Back" turrrrrrrriffied me. There was this National Film Board animated short version they used to show on TVO or PBS, and it just creeped me out so much. I loved cats in general, I think it was just that this cat had some kind of horrible, otherworldly ability to ALWAYS COME BACK. And the way the singer went, "he just wouldn't staaay a-waaaaaaaaaaaaaay," really menacingly? Shivers. Still.

Also my mom used to sing that song about the ghost of John, specifically to scare me (she's really actually a very nice mommy in all other respects haha). But I mean, "have you seen the ghost of John? All white bones with the skin all gone….Wouldn't it be chilly with no skin on?"

Yes. Yes it would be. ALSO HORRIFYING.

I guess I had some kind of song phobia?
The Mummers' Dance by Loreena McKennitt, and Building a Mystery by Sarah McLachhlan creeped me out too. Yeah.

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Haddock

This was interesting especially the green eyes in the basement.
I remember the times I had actually fought with the devils using the horns of the dead devils that were lying around……

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