What famous people scared you when you were a kid?

The boogeymen of my childhood (as far as actual people were concerned):

Charles Nelson Reilly as Hoodoo from the show Lidsville gave me the first nightmare I can ever remember having. He was chasing me in his hat and throwing cats at me. For a year or two I was scared of that show as a result.

When I was still in elementary school I watched Helter Skelter (the miniseries). Mistake. I was terrified of Charles Manson for years and years (basically until I read the book, when I realized he wasn’t as demonic a character as the movie portrayed but rather a psycho little man who had charisma enough to charm drugged up losers into killing for him).

For some reason though my biggest nightmares came from Jim Jones & Guyana. The images on TV of the actual murders/suicides gave me nightmares, then later in Junior High when I saw Powers Booth in his phenomenal performance in The Jim Jones Story it made it all fresh again. For some reason evil in a particularly dirty and miserable environment (such as the People’s Temple Agricultural Project) really bothers me more, just as I found tales I’ve heard about the ghosts of crack mothers scarier than tales of the ghosts who haunt mansions. (Again as with Manson, finding out that the movie took major liberties, especially with the airstrip landing [that scene, where Ryan is killed, particularly bothered me] helped; for whatever reason, learning that there were several escapees from that airstrip unlike in the film where it’s a complete slaughter somehow helped with the fear factor.)

Who are some famous people (actors in roles count) who scared you when you were a kid?

I can’t think of anyone specific right now for myself, but I’m sure there were a few famous “boogeymen” out there who freaked me out. I’ll come back (with pie).

However, my dear mother, when she was just a toddler, was frightened half to death of the Beatles. You see, she saw all those people in the audience, screaming and clawing at their own faces. The only reason she could think of for anyone to react that way is if they were seeing something horrifying. So she thought the Beatles were the scariest people in the whole world, who made people tear themselves up in fright and horror. If she saw them on television, she would run into her room and hide, covering her ears.

She seemed to recover, though, since in her teenage years she was madly in love Paul.

Billy Graham. He still scares me. He’s creepy.

Liza Minelli was always the Vampire Lady when I was growing up. Other than her generally pale skin and short hair, I can’t think why; she never played a vampire to my knowledge.

Micheal Jackson

I was like, 6 when I saw the video for “Thriller” (it was an old video at the time)

That’s one of mine, too. “Thriller” scared the bejeebus out of me as a child. I’ve hated Michael Jackson ever since, and he’s only gotten scarier. :eek:
I remember seeing the video for… was it “Leave Me Alone”? Where he dances with the Elephant Man? Also scared the hell out of me.
I don’t know what kind of videos he’s making today, but he lost me when I was a kid. He was just too scary.

Darth Vader.

I had a little rubber figurine of him when I was about 4. I always kept it buried as far down in my toybox as possible because I thought he was a witch who was going to eat my soul. It never occurred to me to throw it out.

He’s only gotten scarier, especially for kids. I don’t know if he’s making videos.

The creature on the plane wing from the William Shatner Twilight Zone episode. It gave me nightmares for weeks.

James Arness as The Thing. I had a nightmare the night after I saw that for the first time.

Annie – I saw that episode of Twilight Zone when it first aired, and it freake me out, too. Now it just looks silly


Thriller an old video? A Darth Vader doll when you were four? My God, you people are young!

Robin Williams. I was terrified of Robin Williams, and now, I’m still a little wary of him.

I was about seven years old when Mork & Mindy came on TV (really, that’s enough right there to traumatize anyone, don’t you think?). I saw another show where he was a featured guest, with clips of his stand-up. It was the usual Robin Williams sort of thing – loud, fast talking, big gestures, funny voices. I think he has since said that he was coked out of his mind in the 70s, right? Anyway, part of stand-up routine involved a story about his wife, and I was horrified. Hearing about his wife made me imagine a life living with Robin Williams at home, a crazy man who was always yelling and waving his arms around. I didn’t think there was anything at all humorous about this, I thought it was scary and violent.

Okay, as I’m writing this the whole thing sounds kind of silly, but I was seriously upset and frightened out of my wits, and would avoid the television whenever he was on.

Ronald Reagan.

When I was a kid, like in the early 80’s, I was totally convinced there would be a nuclear war.

Long Chainie?? Dont know how to speall it - in The Hunch Back of Notre Dam. Even now years on I get the shivers just THINING about him!


See!!! Even all my spelling went haywire just POSTING about him! :smiley:

It’s properly spelled “Long Chinney”. He was the villain in Don Martin’s “Captain Klutz”.

And you accidentally left the “K” out of “THINKING”. And the “e” out of “Dame”

“Lon who? Nahhhhh…”

Don Rickles.

When I was a preschooler I remember my mom telling me he was mean to people and then I had a dream that he was hitting people with a whip. This was, I don’t know, 38 years ago. I’m not scared anymore, but I remember the dream vividly.

I’m also afraid of a world where the mother of an adult was scared of the Beatles as a toddler, but that’s another story.

I vaguely recall as a wee child being scared by Senor Wences & his head in the box- my parents told me I totally freaked out. Also, I explicitly remember having a nightmare in which my family turned into the Munsters- scared the hell out of me.

However, I have no clear conscious childhood memories of being scared of Senor Wences once I got a little older & I loved the Munsters.

Nikita Khrushchev scared me silly. Not exactly an irrational fear.

This doesn’t really count as a famous person, but when I was a kid, my friend and I watched a special on tv about Jack the Ripper. Everything was fine until they said that he’d never been caught. My friend and I freaked out and were totally convinced that he would come and get us that night.
The best part was that her brother laughed at us for being afraid, and said: “What are you afraid of? He only killed hookers!”

I can remember watching Magnum, P.I. as a kid and being totally creeped out by Burt Reynold’s mustache. I still don’t know why I kept watching it.