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I totally have to thank beerkitty for this one.

Things that scared the beejeezus out of kids in the 1970s.

I kinda agree about the Heat Miser; actually, hell, when I was *very* small, even the Abominable Snowman from the old Rankin & Bass "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" scared me. I loved all those shows too, but there was always something about the character design or the animation or a combination of both that made me feel uneasy.

So I'll add another genuine childhood fear inspired by television: the Sleestack, from The Land of the Lost.

Honestly, they terrified me. I already kind of hated the show -- I have never been fond of any product from the Sid & Marty Kroft studio (so let me add here that I was also kind of creeped out by "Sigmund and the Sea Monsters"), and the fact that the girl in the program was named "Holly" actually didn't help, because of course, she was a *TWIT*. Marshall, Will, and Holly...on a routine expedition... I hope to god that you *DO* get eaten by a tyrannosaur. But even if I'd been able to stomach the two twit kids, I would have avoided the show like the plague, because of the Sleestack. Effective villains, I'll give them that. Maybe... maybe *TOO* effective.

Oh, and I became irrationally frightened by an episode of the "Flintstones" that I recall involved some weirdly evil villains and a volcano. I think it was just that I was irrationally scared by volcanos (of which there are not many, growing up in Pennsylvania). To be honest, I was not that fond of the Flintstones, anyway.

Go ahead! Share *YOUR* media-inspired childhood fears!

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
trickofthedark
Aug. 25th, 2004 09:56 am (UTC)
The first time I saw the Charlie and the Chocolate factory movie, oh god. The poor girl that they fed poison to and she blew up and turned purple. I thought she was gonna die right there and then and I ran out of the room screaming.

I saw that movie again recently and I still think Wonka is a sociopath of the vilest kind, the top-hatted, tooth-rotting sugar mongerer. Oompa loompa loyalty, my ass.
beerkitty
Aug. 25th, 2004 10:26 am (UTC)
fuckin' hell! the sleestack scared the ever-livin' crap outta me.
another thing that always scared me was this porky pig cartoon from the 40s probably, where he received some special shoes that danced him into the evil world of the leprechauns. it was psychedelic and really freaky, and i used to think i imagined it until i found it on a looney tunes video.
glad i could help bring back the evils of childhood!
raqs
Aug. 25th, 2004 10:56 am (UTC)
i agree that willy wonka and the heat miser are scary motherfuckers.

fortunately, i avoided most of these things when i was a child, having a good sense of what would scare me and avoiding the hell out of it.

i WAS desperately damaged by several of those scary shows at 2 pm on saturdays. i still remember one where this guy's secretary turned into a vampire, for no reason i recall. also, some rasputin-esque person on a train. upsetting.

anyway, i say stay the fuck away from sleezaks.
eregyrn
Aug. 25th, 2004 11:20 am (UTC)
I was going to mention this up top, but couldn't remember enough details to make it worthwhile, but yeah -- there was this one show that was on TV, my parents were watching it, and I must have been *really* young. I was playing in the same room, though, and kept getting glimpses of the TV. I saw this snatch in which some guy and some woman were having a screaming fight, and the guy...grabbed the woman and, like, forced her head into a garbage can. Or what looked like one to me, or what my brain processed as one. But I don't know why. Except I had the feeling he'd killed her.

I was so distracted by this, and I guess my parents figured out I was too young to be watching it, so they made me turn around and focus on my game (I think I was playing, like, Battleship with my brother, so they made me scoot around until my back was on the TV). And it's like -- nice try, parents! But a disturbing image is already seared into your child's mind!

I think that, ever since, the space on the other side of a bed, between it and the far wall of a bedroom, especially when it's narrow, like it sometimes is in hotel rooms, has bothered me. Because I think in the show, they were in a hotel room. And I think that's where the woman's body fell. I don't like that space, even now. I always have to check it.

Wow. That was some really deep recess of my brain! I almost wish I knew what program it was from, or that I could see it again, just to get all the half-remembered stuff out of my head and to prove to my brain, "Look, it wasn't all that scary or violent; it was kinda lame, actually". Knowing my parents, it was probably an episode of, like, "Columbo". Or, um... maybe "McCloud". One of those detective-y shows, which they watched. That would logically feature some dramatic moment in which a guy killed a woman in a hotel room, you know?

(Not in the "scary" department, but in the "weird things you half remember from when you were very small" department -- I'm thinking it was the title sequence from "McCloud", but I have this image of one of my parents' favorite shows, and it involved a very dark place with a lot of floating mist, and a guy in the distance walking towards the camera sweeping a flashlight around, which lit up the mist; and his shape was backlit. I could have sworn that was from "McCloud", but then, I could also have sworn the guy was wearing a fedora and a trenchcoat, and "McCloud" was about a cowboy-detective. Hmm. Why does the brain keep such useless stuff?)
okojosan
Aug. 25th, 2004 11:04 am (UTC)
Media-inspired...

Okay, when the movie Alien came out, my mom did not take me to see it (of course). I think I was 9 when it came out. But one day when we were in the grocery store, I found a magazine with photos from the movie Alien. Actually, I think it was the whole story/script with photos from the appropriate scenes. I saw the facehugger over John Hurt's face and I could not sleep for a month without the light on. I'd constantly wake up during the night and go sleep on the floor at the foot of my parents' bed.

The Sleestacks were fairly creepy too, but they did not inspire the terror that that facehugger did.
saffronhouse
Aug. 25th, 2004 11:06 am (UTC)
Well, it's not a TV terror, but I read King's "The Shining" in 1976, at the tender age of, um, wow, 13, and when I got to the part where the kid pulls back the shower curtain and sees the dead woman in the bathtub and she opens her eyes, I gained a life-long phobia about closed shower curtains.

I don't like to see the shower curtain closed in my own house, far less when visiting a friend and oh GOD never in a hotel room.

Closed shower curtains. Brrrrrrrr. 'cause who knows what could be lying there behind in a tub of stagnant water?

eregyrn
Aug. 25th, 2004 11:11 am (UTC)
Oh man! Stephen King-inspired nightmares could be a whole long thread on its own!

I went through one of those Stephen King-reading periods in junior high (did everybody?), and I think the two things that got to me the most were...um...the demon that took over what I think was a clothes-pressing machine in some factory and then would suck people in for horrible death between its rollers. No, seriously. I distinctly remember that the fix involved an exorcism with belladonna and a vial of holy-water tossed into its rollers. Big machinery is scary anyway, but the idea that it *is* acutally out to get you...

Brrr. But on a more personal note, I think it was the story called "The Bogeyman" or something, about the thing in closets, that really both terrified me, and made me swear off reading Stephen King. Unto this very day.
okojosan
Aug. 25th, 2004 11:13 am (UTC)
The Mangler!!! I remember that one. It was from Night Shift, I think. :D I still recall the description of the man's arm as it ate him. *shudder*
saffronhouse
Aug. 25th, 2004 11:27 am (UTC)
Oh, my, yes. Both those stories were in the same collection, I believe. Nightshift, maybe? And they were bad ones. Good ones. Scared the crap out of me, too.

And for some reason the belladona stuck with me as well.

But the only other story that did permanent psychological damage comparable to that dead woman in the bathtub was a Ray Bradbury short story, of all things about a monster in a wooded culvert who didn't really exist, but the little kids in the neighborhood were scared of it all the same, and always ran past that culvert as fast as they could, and finally their sheer belief brought it into existence, and one dark night it tore to shreds a little boy who couldn't run fast enough to escape.

So, I'd be walking home after dark, passing one of the many wooded culverts on both sides of the road in my neighborhood, too dark and overgrown for the streetlights to penetrate, and I'd think, don't be scared, don't be scared, because if you are THE MONSTER WILL GET YOU!

Ah, good times.
my_tallest
Aug. 25th, 2004 11:32 am (UTC)
I have to give a "hell yeah!" to Salem's Lot, as many of you already know. But I was suprised to see Heat Miser and not "Bumble" the Abominable Snowman from Rudolph. Up until like two years ago, "Bumble" scared the crap out of my nephews, too; a timeless frightener of children.

Heat Miser just has a cool song.
telepresence
Aug. 25th, 2004 03:14 pm (UTC)
The Sleestak were too slow to be scary. And after you realize what had happened to them, all I felt was pity.

The Skeksis in The Dark Crystal, especially the scene where they stripped the one of his robes...*shudder*

Willy Wonka was creepy (and when it wasn't creepy, it was depressing).

Hm. There was an unfortunate "viewing of Alien+coincidental stomachache" night that was bad.

I can't think of anything else, in terms of stuff I watched when I was a kid. Probably just forgetting.
jenlev
Aug. 25th, 2004 03:17 pm (UTC)
basically any horror movie scared the dren out of me. i checked out so quickly that i can't even tell you the name of any of them. heee.

i was more terrified watching the news every night than anything else though. seriously.

and as much as i love dr. strangelove it still devistated and scared me.
(Anonymous)
Sep. 21st, 2004 11:22 pm (UTC)
So I'll add another genuine childhood fear inspired by television: the Sleestack, from The Land of t
Peter DeLuise said that Chaka the Unas is named after Chaka from Land of the Lost, just in case you weren't aware....
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )