What’s your worst nightmare? That’s always been a topic of conversation that everyone has an answer to. For me, being buried alive is my absolute worst nightmare, but I don’t even have recurring dreams about it or anything, I just get crazy with the thought of it. I wouldn’t consider myself a true claustrophobic but I once bugged out in an Irish pub because it was too crowded and I was feeling faint and having loss of breath. But that’s neither here nor there. A bridge breaking and falling into the ocean while I’m driving on it seems to scare me a lot too. (Think Mothman Prophecies)
As a kid, I was scared by very specific things. This is a list of various scary things and as I outline them for you, keep in mind I was just a little kid. As a fun Halloween activity for you and your family, make some pumpkin cookies, play a round of Parcheesi and then see you if you can come up with 10 things that scared you as a child. I was kidding about that last part, unless Michael Jackson molested you, then you should definitely tell someone.
15. The Wheelers from Return to Oz
– This highly disregarded sequel to Wizard of Oz was actually more inspired by the L. Frank Baum Oz stories than the original Oz movie itself. So if you want to see a more faithful version, then see Return to Oz. And if you do watch it, do it just because it’s Disney’s bastard child. They shunned it and pretended it wasn
’t even theirs for like 10 years. Now that they realize it’s a good movie they decided to make some cash on it, and NOW you can find it on DVD. If you like headless women, crumbling stone cities, pumpkin heads, and shock therapy then this movie is for you! There’s even a flying contraption made from a couch, even Martha Stewart couldn
’t have created that. Well, maybe now that she’s got a lot of time on her hands, who knows what she could accomplish.
14. Flying Monkeys – Ok, I know that I already mentioned the sequel, but my first experience with anxiety came from these wacky monkeys. It only made things worse that they worked for a green faced wicked witch. All of it together really made me uneasy.
13. Large Marge from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure – You may think it sounds stupid, and it really wasn’t scary but this scene used to freak me out. When Marge is telling the story you know her face is gonna go ballistic soon, so I think it’s the anticipation that got to me. Go ahead into your local watering hole and tell ‘em Large Marge sent ya. I-mockery has a great animated .gif toward the bottom of the linked article.
12. Ghosts from Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion Ride – To the average person and even children these ghouls aren’t the least bit scary. Heck, some of them serenade us! But they are ghosts for a reason, and they are there to haunt. The ride has a definite creepy atmosphere. Because of the light blue tinge that the scarier ghosts had to them, I named them the “Blue Guys”. One of the most frightening moments of my childhood came when a ghost appeared to be sitting next to my mother and I on the ride. I wrote Disneyland because that was where I had my first experience on the ride. Linked is the best site for the Haunted Mansion, DoomBuggies.com.
11. Clue Video Board Game – Playing the game Clue wasn’t scary, but if you were fortunate enough to have the first edition of the video board game, you got to enjoy a “made strictly for the game” CLUE movie. It wasn’t as silly as the original CLUE movie, it was pretty eerie, and narrated by the butler. You played along after watching sections of the film. It was the game I played with my sister on stormy days.
10. The Intro to Tales From The Darkside the TV show – It still sends chills up and down my spine ’til this day. The narrator was so spooky, and the visuals were so eerie. “Man lives in the sunlit world of what he believes to be reality. But… there is, unseen by most, an underworld, a place that is just as real, but not as brightly lit… a Darkside.” See if you can YouTube it, it’s worth watching. Don’t watch it when you’re tired and half falling asleep though because then you might have to throw your pants in the washer.
9. The Lost Boys – I can almost hear you through the computer saying that any movie with the 2 Corey’s can’t be that scary. I don’t care what people say, they were the shit in the 80’s. If you really get into this movie, it is frightening. A cult of vampires terrorizing the new guy. The movie was made with style, and a good budget so it is light years beyond other films that have similar plots. It also has great makeup, effects, and comic relief. The finale is awesome, and so is the scene where the vampires are surrounding the house and trying to grab Michael. To think it was directed by Joel “I fucked Batman in the butt” Shumacher, this movie is far from gay. Well, except for Tim Capello (the jacked guy in the band who was all oiled up singing and playing the sax.)
8. A Nightmare on Elm Street – The 1st installment was chilling. The Music, the house, the little girls with the jump rope singing “1,2 Freddy’s coming for you” terrified me as a child. But I loved it. I couldn’t get enough. Nowadays it doesn’t hold up well from a SFX standpoint, but the part where Freddy elongates his arms out really got to me. Now it’s almost laughable. But Freddy still rocks. He should have totally been the clear cut winner in Freddy vs. Jason.
7. Lady In White – (movie from 1988) Ok, Ok, Mona from Who’s The Boss wasn’t scary, more like the annoying mother in law. But then again, I’d rather Mona then Angela, now she was obnoxious. Plus Mona had that sly sense of humor which is sexy when not used against you. In this spooky story, Mona played a ghost and when she struck she looked scary. After I saw it, she haunted me every time I closed my eyes.
6. Psycho – The first time we actually see Anthony Perkins in drag with the knife in his hand as he’s about to spaz out. It was my first experience seeing a transvestite, way before I saw Rocky Horror. I was perplexed as to why such a scary, nerve racking movie like Psycho would end that way. As I grew up, I came to appreciate the horror in transvestites.
5. Darth Vader – Never before has a character been created who emanated such a presence, one I haven’t felt since…since the last time I watched the movie! You feel like you are in his presence when his scenes come around. It’s freaky. You can feel Luke’s fearfulness along with him as Vader approaches. Two scenes come to mind: In Empire, when Luke is on Degobah and has the imaginary encounter with him, as well as in Jedi when Vader activates Luke’s new saber. I almost shat.
4. Snow on a TV screen – In the 50’s I bet no one ever thought that a fuzzy screen on a TV might spell certain dreadful doom. Poltergeist is to blame for giving me the willies. As a child I would watch videotapes late at night and fall asleep only to wake up to snow on the screen because the tape finished and rewound itself. It was easy to start believing that there was ghosts in the screen especially if you stared at it for a while.
3. Halloween – The shot where Jamie Lee Curtis is looking out the window and Michael Myers is standing in between the sheets hanging on the clothesline and then POOF, he’s gone just like Houdini and shit. That’s one of the best scenes in the film. Rob Zombie alluded to it in his remake.
2. Gene Simmons of KISS – I know what you’re thinking. Jay ties everything in his life back to KISS. Well, yeah I guess I do. But that face, and that blood! When you are 5 years old, you don’t give a rats ass about the music, you just see the album covers and this demonic face staring back at you. I didn’t understand that they were wearing costumes, I though they really looked like that. What a silly boy. What started out as a little misunderstanding turned into a fixation.
1. End of Michael Jackson’s Thriller video – When MJ flashes those scary yellow eyes. I hope he doesn’t do that to the children when he’s done with them, that would be plain wrong. This really disturbed me for years. I know the Thriller video used to be #1 on every MTV top 100 countdown but it really freaked me out along with Vincent Price’s maniacal laughter. I used to think that a werewolf lived on the top shelf of my closet and when I opened the closet all I saw was those yellow eyes staring down at me. I think it was all because of being terrified of werewolves. Not Universal’s “Wolf-Man” but scarier ones. Like the TV show called “Werewolf” from 1986. It horrified me when I was a kid. I saw a copy of a few episodes recently and now it just doesn’t hold up. It was a completely awful show and not scary by today’s standards, but pretty frightening for a 6 year old. Nowadays werewolves don’t scare me unless they’re real.
I know what you’re probably saying, “I don’t think any of these things are scary” or “there’s so many more scarier things.” Well, we all have our own things that horrify us so let me know yours!!