What was your childhood boogeyman?

Me first.

In the late fifties, there was a TV program called “Shirley Temple’s Storybook.” Stories told were typical fairytales with actors playing the parts (as opposed to animation). Wonderful stories like Rapunzel or Beauty and the Beast. Well, I must have been 3 or 4 at the time when they showed one about a guy with a clock for a head. Really, he had a grandfather-type clockface perched on his shoulders. This clockman would kidnap little kids from their quaint village and presumably do BAD things to them. Parents would tell their kids to be good, or else the clockman would get them. Of course, you could tell when he was about, from the ticking of his head. You couldn’t see him, but you’d hear tick…tock…tick…tock, getting louder as he got closer. And then he’d nab you!

This scared the piss out of me. And after the show, I had to go to bed. To my room. In the dark. With a clock.
Now you.

I’m not sure why. I have just always been frightened of them. I THINK it’s because when the “IT” mini-series first showed on TV, I sneaked in the hallway and caught a glimpse of the clown for about 1 minute. That was all it took.

This seems to be a really scary thing for everyone I know between the ages of 18 and 22. Was IT shown on television enough that many years ago that it scarred half of America’s now-teenage population?

Mine was this vivid image of our living room lamp come to life. It wasn’t particularly attractive, but it wasn’t ugly either. I’d fall asleep, and feel like the lamp was coming up the stairs to get me.

I don’t know what it WAS, but it lived under my bed, and as long as I didn’t move and didn’t let my arm hang off the side of the bed, it wouldn’t realize I was there, and it wouldn’t devour me.

Can you tell I’m STILL scared?


Oh God Scotti!
I totally know what you mean!!!

NOTHING could hang over the side! And if you got out of bed…it had to be FAST!

Thanks to a movie called ‘Bad Ronald’, I was always scared someone was living in my walls.

The people who danced around in my clothes that hung in the closet. To this day I can’t sleep if my closet door is open. Dumb asses, they still wear my clothes.

There was a book about a boy with long nails and wild hair that got his fingers cut off as a punishment or moral.
That book fried me every time! The Strumplepeter or something like that.

I had yellow curtains in my room with large orange and red flowers. At night the flowers would morph into monsters. I can still picture how the center of one daisy changed in to a toothy gaping maw while the petals changed into mane, like a lion has only this looked spiky and dripped blood.

There was a calendar at the top of the stairs, that had a photo of some Japanese woman on it. Well, it appeared that this woman was ALWAYS STARING AT ME no matter where near the stairs I was at. I realize why NOW, but at the time it terrified me. I used to walk up the stairs with my hand over my eyes so i wouldn’t see her.

I was also terrified to look out my bedroom window at night after watching a TV show about UFOs. I was afraid I’d look out and see space aliens!!

We lived about 3 blocks from a factory that made auto parts. During the day you couldn’t hear anything from it because other sounds of the city would drown it out. but at night you could hear some kind of giant punch press "BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM! I would have nightmares that a giant hammer was after me. At least once a week until I was 6 years old I would wake up screaming “The hammer. The hammer is going to get me!”
So my boogeyman was a sound! Can you believe that? A sound!

When I was a kid I was afraid of having my window open at night, because everyone knows that burglers wear those striped shirts and just come in open windows, like in cartoons, right? It could be 100 degrees inside and as soon as my mom kissed me goodnight and went downstairs I was out of bed and slammin’ that window shut and throwing the latch. Of course this made so much racket that she’d come back in after I fell asleep and open the window again, leading me to awaken in the morning and think we’d been burgled regardless of my hard work! Aaaaaaagh!

Overflowing toilets. I was terrified of overflowing toilets, and if a toilet even looked like it was not flushing right, I’d leap to turn off the water. Imagine a little kid knowing how to shut off the water flow to a toilet - but I knew.

Long story about how I got terrified about overflowing toilets as a child. Had something to do with a neighbor girl getting her toilet to overflow by messing with it, and the water gushed out, onto the carpet in the hall and kept on going… I screamed and screamed and ran home, convinced that the nasty toilet water was following me, and going to “get” me, like in that movie “The Blob”.

No, I am not kidding. Overflowing toilets still freak me out.

A big, fat DITTO here…had to have at least a sheet covering me, too…
As far as the clown thing goes, they started scaring the living crap out of me after I saw Poltergeist way back in, what, '82? Remember when the clown doll disappears from the chair and then grabs the kid and pulls him under the bed? Major heebee-jeebies…

Right. 'Cause wherever you’re covered by the sheet is safe. Have you ever seen the Far Side cartoon that advertises the snorkel so you can breathe and at the same time be totally covered by your sheets so the monsters can’t get you? Brilliant.

For me, it was Medusa. (Where’s Cal?) Clash of the Titans did me wrong as a child.

Stephen King’s short story The Boogeyman just did it very nicely for me.

To this day I cannot sleep with my closet door open. Not even if it’s open just a crack; it has to be closed completely.

Clowns are just creepy. Why are they so popular? I don’t believe I have ever met anyone who actually enjoys them.

My biggest fear (there were many, including the need to cover all parts of myself while sleeping) came from a television show. My mom used to let me watch things like Night Gallery when I was only 8 or 9. One of those shows (Ghost Story maybe?) had an episode in which a child discovers a Frankenstein-like monster floating somewhere. My memory tells me it was in the bathtub, but I don’t see how a full-sized monster would fit, so perhaps it was actually in a pool. In any case, I was well into my teens before I could go into the bathroom without opening the shower curtain. I had to keep an eye on it too, turning around to face the tub while I brushed my teeth so I could continually reassure myself that nothing was there.

pkbites wrote: my boogeyman was a sound!
You aren’t the only one. I had a tiddlywink set that came in a wooden mushroom. The wood was unfinished and made an awful squeak when you twisted the top on or off. My little brother was terrified of this sound. So naturally, I would hide in the darkened hallway and wait for him to walk past so I could make the noise.

By the time IT came around i was ok with clowns. BUT the one that scared the hell out of me was the clown type doll in poltergeist. Actually that whole movie freaked me out but the clown with the big eyes was the worst.

The only other thing was the attic. I would not go in the attic without protection. There was nothing in the attic, it was a new house so it wasn’t particularly dirty or creepy looking… I just did not like it. Maybe it was my sisters always telling me that they would lock me in there? yeah that could be it

Frogs and turtles…the sheet kept me safe as did the closed closet doors and drawn drapes. Throwing the sheet as far as it will go, jumping outta bed while hitting the ground running on tippie toes helped me get to the bathroom, but I had to keep my feet off the ground while on the toilet. I still hate and detest frogs and turtles although I have learned to look at 'em now. I can sweep those ugly little frogs out of the my garage or patio with a broom now.

I don’t know who likes clowns - I hate 'em as well as circuses after I saw an old time movie called “Circus of Horrors”. “It” only confirmed it for me. Luckily Cirque du Soleil cannot possibly be considered in the same class as those horrific tent circuses with pychopathic clowns.

I do remember Brachy’s fear of Clock Man. Ha! it was fun watching her reaction to “tick tock, tick tock”… mommmie!

Shockheaded Peter! This is a play now…I just saw it, at my mom’s theater (American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco). VERY dark comedy.

For me it was "the things that went bump in the night"

Those words (I forget the poem) would send chills down my back!