Things that CREEPED you out as a kid

A few things that creeped me out as a kid…

[li]On The Electric Company there was a little musical cartoon that scared the hell out of me. I forget most of the song, but part of it went:[/li]
“…you feel pretty silly
when you run willy-nilly
When a lollipop follows you!
When a big yellow lollipop, golly,
Follows you!”

And throughout the cartoon this poor little girl was desperately trying to outrun a giant jagged-toothed yellow lollipop which, even as a little kid, I knew meant to kill her.

[li]The Abominable Snowman (the Bumble) from the old Rankin Bass “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”. I can’t be alone in this. The creature looked ten feet tall and had a mouthful of shark’s teeth. Watching it gave me a horrible mental image of the Bumble peeling Rudolph’s girlfriend’s skin off like a banana which lingered with me for years afterward.[/li]
[li]There was a show that came on after Sesame Street, I think it was called “The Body Carnival”, which was a child-centric introduction to human physiology. The opening titles featured illustrations of little rosy cheeked children cavorting with skeletons at a circus. One of the pictures showed a little boy accepting a red balloon from a skeleton, and that freaked my ass out!! As a kid there were two thinks I knew for sure: You don’t accept candy from strangers and you don’t accept balloons from skeletons! What’s worse was the lady who was the host was very skinny --almost skeletal.[/li][/ul]

Air raid sirens. Even though I knew they were tested monthly. I would hear the neighborhood sirens go off and wonder if it was really a test, scan the sky for aircraft, and kind of hurry home. Cold-war creepy in the seventies.

One thing that creeped me out (that I can recall) is the basement. I think everyone gets creeped out by it… and I still do. Also I either have to sleep with my closet wide open or closed. It cannot be halfway. That way nothing can hide in there or something can hide but it can’t get out.

Those are both holdovers from when I was small.

Fiddlehead ferns. Hell, they still creep me out. I had a big sandbox in the backyard, and these things loved the dry, sandy soil. They’d grow up with their weird green sprouts, and they always remind me of some sort of half plant/half worm thing. I can’t believe people eat 'em. Yuk!

When I was a kid, one of the local independent stations would show back-to-back cheesy old horror movies every Saturday afternoon. It was called the “Double Chiller Thriller” or something like that. Anyway, they used that psychedelic bit from the middle of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” as their theme song, and they played it going to/coming back from commercial. That creeped me out so much that I would actually run from the room and wait out the break. To this day, I still find that part of the song a bit creepy.


Scared me shitless. I remember coming back from the theatre with my parents and begging for them to let me sleep with the lights on. Eventually, I took my blankets and pillow and curled up on the floor next to their bed. Lasted for weeks. I still had the image of the alien-dude comin’ after me. shudder

Also… my grandma’s dentures…

I was 6. She was babysitting me, my parents were away for the weekend. I got up in the middle of the night to get a glass of water. I went to my bathroom, took my semi-opaque pink drinking glass and turned on the tap. I brought the glass to my lips only to see my grandma’s dentures in the bottom of the glass… they were gonna bite me! I’m still CONVINCED they would have bitten me if I’d let them!

To this day, I haven’t been able to see that glass without breaking into a cold sweat. Great story for my future kids, I suppose…


When I flushed the toilet I would never turn on the faucet in the sink until the flush was completely over. I was SURE some strange plumbing gremlin could switch the pipes and my recently deposited feces and urine would come out.

The overhead light in my bedroom had a circular brass colored metal washer thing in the center of the frosted glass “shade” and when the lights went out, the light from the streetlight outside came in and it looked EXACTLY like a eye staring at me.

Monsters lived under my bed, of course, and the lightswitch was on the other side of the room. I leapt from three feet away to get on the bed, knowing the monsters arms were not that long and it couldn’t grab my foot. My brother and I had actual fights over whose turn it was to turn off the light. THEN I had to contend with the eye looking at me!

I have no idea how I survived and became the fine, well adjusted adult I am.

…from the Wizard of Oz. Creeped me out completely. I just couldn’t watch that movie, for fear of flying monkey nightmares for weeks. And it was a big family tradition thing; get together and watch Wizard of Oz. I’d do anything to get out of it.

Yeesh. You just had to bring that up, huh?

Bill’s eyeball light reminds me of something.

The wood grain pattern on the closet door of my grandparents house looked just like a snarling clown face. There was also a wierd goblin face in the plaster patterns of my bedroom ceiling as a child.


An old Popeye cartoon where the sailor is devoured by the Sphinx.

The exoskeletons left behind on trees by molting cicadas.

An illustration of a monster by Boris Artzybasheff that was on the spine of a book in my home. I used to rush past that bookcase with my eyes averted. Inside the book was another Artzybasheff illustration of this line from William Allingham’s poem The Fairies: “He shall find the thornies set in his bed at night”. The reproduction of this illustration was monochromatic and somewhat crude, so I didn’t see the actual “thornies” and to me, the unfortunate man in night-clothes was not jumping up because he sat on some prickers, but rather he started because of an unseen something that was probably under his bed. Of course, underbed creatures were a pressing concern at that time in my young life.

Speaking of Sesame Street, they had a (fortunately rarely-seen) monster on that show that looked kind of like the Cookie Monster on steroids. His utterances consisted of inarticulate grunting but he got his message of fright across quite well.

My shadow.

Dragonflies. (“Sewing-needles”, they’d sew your mouth shut if you uttered a swear-word).

The movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

A mole that ate our extensive frog collection. When I found the creature, it was sleeping with its head tucked under, and I had supposed it to be some kind of huge gray caterpillar.

Hey! We had “Creature Double Feature!” The movie that always freaked me out was about a guy with x-ray vision. It kept getting more and more powerful and finally he couldn’t even sleep because he could see through his eyelids.

And remember that song about James Dean in the 70’s? I have no idea who sang it, but they way he sang it gave me major willies. It sounded so sinister. Same with that song “Fly Like an Eagle” by Steve Miller. “Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ . . . into the fuuuuture . . .” That was just too much for me. It was so evil.

The worst creep-out I had was one I did to myself. For some reason my mom hung an 8"x10" picture of me in my room when I was little. It was like a kindergarten school picture or something. When I was around 7 or 8, I’d stare at in in the dark at bedtime (I had a nightlight) and after a while, the mouth would start to smile and move like it was talking to me and the eyes would wink and blink. I did this a bunch of times and it really scared the bejeesus out of me. I finally had to take it down.

I don’t think there’s any drug trippier than the mind of a child.

Two pictures in my room (when I was 4) -

One was of “Little Red Riding Hood”, very pretty, somewhat 3D, made of pieces of felt. LRRH was okay, it was the BIG BAD WOLF that scared the bejeebers out of me. The artist had made it in such a way that if you stood back from the picture, the trees and grandma’s house would become a snarling wolf. And of course, my bed was just far enough from the picture so that the picture melded itself into the wolf and not the trees and house, thank you very much.

The other was “Little Bo Peep” - again, inncuous enough, but I swear when the lights were out and the streetlamp shone on the picture, I swear the sheep’s mouth was moving like it was talking.

And of course they were given to me by relative so I very well could not hide them or break them. Still very eerie to me these [sub]mumblednumber[/sub] years later.

Broken fire hydrants covered with burlap bags

::ducks under the desk while everyone laughs::

I know, it sounds weird. But there’s something about seeing a hydrant covered up by a bag that really creeped me out. I wonder if it was something related to termite tenting - when you see a house tented, you know there are wicked chemicals and things dying in there. Must be something eeevil going on under that burlap bag.

OOH, that reminds me of another. When we’d get our house sprayed for fleas, I’d always avoid the areas on the carpet that the guys had set the cannister on. They’d leave indented rings in the carpet, and I was convinced that because the poison cannister had sat on that area, that it MUST have a deadly concentration of residue that would kill me if I put my foot on it.

God, I’m weird.

Ooh, DeskMonkey, you’ve reminded me of a couple more.

Yeah, I used to watch “Creature Double Feature” (WLVI, Channel 56 in Boston), and one movie that creeped me out was about some kind of blob-like creatures that, if I recall correctly, ate people’s brains (or something) and they reproduced by splitting like amebas. They thought they exterminated them, too, but at the end of the film, one of those suckers emerged in a Japanese restaurant.

And as for songs, the ones that got to me were Moody Blues’ “Knights in White Satin” (especially that eerie spoken part) and the intro to ELO’s “Fire on High”.


Nothing, and I mean NOTHING was creepier than the thought of going on one of Rex Trailer’s dude ranch vacations with your grandparents. :slight_smile: (this’ll be a good test of your age)

Isn’t it awful what some adults think children must think of as whimsical?

During a visit my grandparents decorated a spare room for me in a clown motif. Two sad faced Emmit Kelly-type clown paintings that, for sheer ability to bring down the mood of a room, could only be surpassed by a full size plaster Jesus.

There was also a small table lamp shaped like a clown clutching a “XXX” booze bottle hanging drunkenly to a streetlamp.

I grew up in a small town in Southern Oregon; our house was on a hill. When I looked out of my bedroom window, I could see a church about a mile or two away, also atop a hill. There was a huge illuminated cross on the side of the building. At night, all you could see for miles was a big, glowing cross on the top of this hill.
…I used to envision the Romans torturing Christ to death there. Worse, I wondered if people were still being crucified. Still gives me chills, although I don’t honestly think anyone’s dying there, just to let you know.

Were your grandparents Mr. and Mrs. John Wayne Gacy? Clowns are the scariest thing EVER!

You realize that the image of your room is going to make me laugh all day, don’t you? Especially the liquored-up clown lamp. See, I giggling as I type this.

I made the mistake of going to Poltergeist when I was about 11 or something. SCARED THE CRAP OUTTA ME!! That kid getting eaten by that tree warped me, as well as all the bodies coming out into the pool.

No kidding!

The grandfolks were great, but I think grandma developed her decorating sense from those 4-H Club model rooms you see in old 1950’s era County Fair newsreels.

Have you ever seen a Simpsons episode where Homer makes young Bart a terrifying clown bed? When I saw that I was on the floor, laughing so hard my stomach muscles ached.
Evidently I’m not alone in this.