Social Question

lillycoyote's avatar

Was there an book, a movie or an episode of a television show that truly traumatized you as a child?

Asked by lillycoyote (24835points) September 29th, 2011

I stumbled across this site the other day,, and it got me thinking.

Things were maybe little tamer when I as growing up; I know that the wicked witch’s flying monkeys terrified me when they showed The Wizard of Oz on television.

But, the only show that ever truly traumatized me was an episode of the original Outer Limits series, called Corpus Earthling, about hideous, jelly-like throbbing, telepathic, alien rocks that would attach themselves, if I remember, to your brain stem, at the back of your neck or something, and literally suck the life out of you.

Was there anything you watched that really traumatized you? It could have been a very personal trauma. Check out the site, one guy was traumatized by an episode of Scooby Doo he saw as a kid.

I’m not really sure how I was able to see the episode. I wasn’t allowed to watch the show, and for good reason, as it turned out. I think it may have been one of those dupe the baby sitter things that kids can occasionally pull off and I may have convinced a babysitter that I was allowed to watch Outer Limits.

Should you, off chance, want to watch it, Robert Culp’s in it, Corpus Earthling is available on youtube.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

43 Answers

digitalimpression's avatar

The 1968 version of “Night of the Living Dead” had me scared for weeks. I was at a summer camp and some of the older kids got a hold of it and I snuck in to watch… huge mistake.

Judi's avatar

The Birds was really scarry and made me scream
The worst was when I was home alone and not quite sure where my mom was. I was probably in 3rd or 4th grade.
A movie came on and I only saw the intro, but the music was scarry and the show was called “Picture Your Mommy Dead.”
I went on the front porch and started screaming at the top of my lungs.
My mom was about 3 blocks up the street at the neighbors and heard me screaming. She told the neighbor that if I wasn’t dieing she was going to kill me.
How could she stay mad to long though because I was afraid she was dead.


I never saw the film as a kid, but the advertisement for the horror movie “Whatever Happened to Aunt Alice?” scared me as a child. The movie came out in 1969, but my brothers used to scare me with an old promotional poster of it when I was a kid in the late 70s. They used to show it to me and whisper eerily “Aunt Alice, Aunt Alice, where are you?” Lol. Even to this day, I find the advertisment bizarre.

lillycoyote's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES Can you maybe post your image link again? It doesn’t seem to be working, at least not for me, as posted.


@lillycoyote Can you click on it now?

smilingheart1's avatar

A paranormal type show called “One Step Beyond” hosted by Rod Steiger? Used to have me tossing and turning all night long.

DominicX's avatar

I remember this segment in Sesame Street (I believe it was) where a boy was sleeping and there was a lightning storm and it caused the toys in his room to come to life and I remember a robot with red eyes and it truly scared me. I also remember something about a buzzing nightlight. I couldn’t have been any older than 5. I remember being afraid to watch Sesame Street after that because I was always afraid that segment would come on again. It never did. All the Google searching I’ve done has never led me to find any information about it. :\

Also, the first time I saw Homer’s evil clown bed in the Season 4 episode of The Simpsons “Lisa’s First Word” when I was about 11 or so, that scared me so much I did not want to look it when it appeared again:

GabrielsLamb's avatar

Dr. Smith from Lost in space saying “Creature” It still annoys the hell out of me…

Hee Hee…

lillycoyote's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES Yes, thank you. It works fine now. That is kind of disturbing. :-)


@GabrielsLamb I remember watching Lost In Space too, and there used to be a greenish female alien creature who used to appear out of nowhere and cry out “Weeee-Hooo, weee-hoo.” Scared the beejabers out of me as a kid. Do you remember the alien?

GabrielsLamb's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES Yes I do actually (Kinda) but when you said that, it also reminded me of this, and this always scared me silly!

*I hated sleestack! and Chaka was a little weirdo too.

lillycoyote's avatar

@GabrielsLamb Dr. Smith saying “Creature.” ROTFLMFAO, really, I did! I’d forgotten!

GabrielsLamb's avatar

@lillycoyote It’s kinda funny now, but I used to get the willies from him.

lillycoyote's avatar

@GabrielsLamb Yes, it’s a good thing we have all grown up and have been able to move beyond some of our childhood traumas. But it’s funny, there are still things that irrationally creep me out just because they scared me as a kid. It’s just that now I know that that’s why.

Sunny2's avatar

I have no idea what the movie was, but it involved a misty swamp and someone being swallowed by quicksand. I was really scared and that fear lasted until I was over 40 years old and actually _in_a swamp outside of New Orleans. The sun was out and the few alligators sunning themselves on a log seemed lazy and harmless. If it had been gloomy, it might have been different and I had learned what to do about quicksand somewhere over the years.

Jellie's avatar

I think you’re right about things being tame some 15 years ago. The most traumatic moment of my life was when Mufasa died. It was the first time I’d ever dealt with grief like that. Still etched in my memory how badly I wanted him to be alive again.

King_Pariah's avatar

Titanic, though it wasn’t the movie so much as it was what happened during it.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

The first movie scene I can remembering getting me pretty mad and upset I can’t remember other than it was a Western where someone got shot point blank in the end. The one I do remember was this one at the end of EasyRider. The way it ended it left you wondering if the rednecks got away with it. I was left thinking if you rode a chopper in the South, you could be simply murdered and nothing would happen to those who did it to you. Kinda still gives me chills today, when there are far worse scenes of murder out there.

lillycoyote's avatar

Thank you @Hypocrisy_Central. I was 13, a little older than the age I was going for in this question, when I saw Easy Rider, but you’re absolutely right. I had forgotten. I had the same experience, the same reaction to it, that you could just be generally minding your own business, being free and someone might be able to murder you simply because they didn’t like what you were all about and get away with it. That’s what’s chilling, not whether or not the murder was as graphic as some movies are now.


@Hypocrisy_Central That’s the first time I saw it, and even as an adult I am shocked by it. :(

Bellatrix's avatar

Dr Who and the Cybermen… I wanted to leave home because my siblings insisted on watching that.

zensky's avatar

The rape scene in A Clockwork Orange.

Ayesha's avatar

Stephen King’s ‘It’. Still scares the shit out of me.

Moonya's avatar

I saw this movie once that was called ‘the lift’ when I was 6 orso. Not really sure how, it was not intended for kids, but it was about a lift who had gotten beserk. And there was this scene about a beautiful little girl with a dolly. She plays by the lift (with 3 doors) and suddely the lift starts to ping. Lift doors are going open by random and the girl gets the fun of her life by chasing one door next to the other to see what is in there. All that suffused by a music a la Jaws of course. Then the middle door stays open and the lift goes up a few inch so you have a big gap between the floor and the bottom of the lift. Blond girly girl (dressed in pink with bow in her hairs) is about 6 (my age back then) and as curious as her ages describes so she draws near to check out the gap. Then you see a scene with mommy who is ehm doing things with her boss that I never would do. You hear a scream, and you think there goes the kid and next thing you see is the child with the poor dolly totally crushed. I had nightmares for years after that. When I saw the movie again at 23 years I really didn’t know why I had this nightmares for so long as a kid, it was just a very old horror movie.

The second thing that really had an impact on me was a book of stephen king (one of my faves). It was the book called ‘IT’ and when I was done, I really felt indisposed. I read the book many times after that, I still love it, but it never gave me the same feeling again.

augustlan's avatar

My parents let me watch any damn thing, so I saw lots of scary movies as a kid. Wait Until Dark scared the crap out of me. I saw Jaws while we were at the beach. I saw Terms of Endearment (about dying of cancer) while I was recovering from a lymph node biopsy, before I got the test results. My parents were sadistic bastards, weren’t they???

Honestly, though, the big ones I remember traumatizing me were Bambi and this one episode of Gilligan’s Island, where Gilligan died (it turned out to be a dream sequence, but I was convinced he had really died, in real life). Hey, I was like, 5.

lillycoyote's avatar

@augustlan LOL. I though the guy who was traumatized by an episode of Scooby Doo was something. I think being traumatized by an episode of Gilligan’s Island tops that.

augustlan's avatar

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was devastated, I tell you! I think I had a little crush on Gilligan. Haha.

talljasperman's avatar

Jaws 2… The part where the guys eyes pop out… Freaked me out for a few years… Sorry I can’t find a link.

wonderingwhy's avatar

I don’t know “traumatized” might be overselling it a bit but Texas Chainsaw Massacre (the whole thing, but it didn’t help that my grandmother lived in a farm house that reminded me of it), Shivers (it didn’t matter where they ran, that gave me nightmares), the Tall Man in Phantasm yep that did it, and Poltergeist (specifically the clown), I don’t think I understood a lot of Rosemary’s Baby when I was that young but I understood enough to think my parents were devil worshipers for a week or so, watching Michael Myers sit up in Halloween, and seeing Peter Weller’s hand get blow off in Robocop all left memorable impressions and several sleepless nights. I’m sure there were others but those are the ones that come to mind at the moment.
Hmmm, I do believe I’ll be popping one or two of these in over the weekend!

Kardamom's avatar

The Towering Inferno movie, left me with an almost unbearable fear of potential house fires, canyon fires, forest fires, and car fires that lasted into my early teens. I would get all scared and emotional every time I heard a fire truck or smelled any kind of fire that didn’t smell like a campfire.

It might have been the same year, but The Poseidon Adventure also gave me a free floating sense of doom with regards to drowning or being confined or lost, but it didn’t give me a fear of traveling on boats or swimming or water in general, which seems odd. That scene where Shelley Winters is trapped in the hull of the ship and all of that water was around her and everything was on fire, and then she heroically saved some other passengers, but then had a heart attack and died, really did a number on me. Same thing as some of the really graphic 9/11 footage that I watched a few weeks ago. Just a sense that something really horrible could happen to any of us.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

@augustlan Me too. *I love confessions. I dug the professor more though. Gilligan was a side dish.

@Kardamom: Yeah Shelley Winters Diver Down scene was a little disturbing!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Whatever happened to Baby Jane.
And I saw The Godfather when I was 13….

Bellatrix's avatar

I saw The Exorcist at about 13… had to sleep with the light on for weeks. My dad just rolled his eyes at me when he asked why I was wasting electricity. I think he felt it was fair punishment for sneaking in to such a film under age.

faye's avatar

@Bellatrix I saw the Exorcist when I was 18 and was so creeped out by the demon’s voice that I slept in an extra bed in my mother’s room!! I read the book when I was older and living alone. I laid it on my bedside table, then my dresser, then the kitchen garbage and then right out to the garbage can in the alley!

DominicX's avatar

@Bellatrix @faye My mom saw The Exorcist when she was 15 and it definitely traumatized her. And because of her stories about that, I’ve been afraid to see the movie and I never have…

Bellatrix's avatar

If you watch it now, it isn’t anywhere near as scary. Glad it wasn’t just me @faye and @DominicX.

faye's avatar

I did watch it a few years ago on tv with my daughters. I can’t believe I was so freaked out. The movie was slow and the scary parts few! The voice was still good though. When I was very little there was a movie about a mama grizzly whose paws had been burned in a campfire and cubs killed by the cowboys, so she was out to kill anyone sitting around a campfire. The plywood swirls in my closet looked like a mama grizzly rearing up to me, so I had to have my closet door left open. As an grownup, I knew this but still hated the closet door shut. Some serial killer could be in there. In the house I moved to at 26, I was thrilled to see steel bifold doors that could easily be open and are!

Sunny2's avatar

The movie of The Picture of Dorian Grey scared me so much I slept with my bedroom door open for a week, until my parents shut it. It was a black and white movie. We didn’t see the portrait after it was put in the attic because the face in the picture changed when Mr. Grey did something nasty. He continued to do very nasty things until the end of the movie when he died.
The film took us to the attic to see the portrait and, bang, there it was in color and and all his corruption showed on his body and face. It was a nightmarish portrait of evil. Then his still beautiful corpse changed into the portrait of his sins. Scare the hell out of me.

lillycoyote's avatar

@faye, @Bellatrix and @DominicX I saw The Exorcist when I was 16 and I couldn’t sleep for days. The movie made me afraid of my own bed! I was afraid that my bed would rise up off the floor and start shaking and spinning around! Yikes. It was terrifying.

martianspringtime's avatar

When I was a little kid, the forest scene in Snow White used to terrify me. I think I was also really afraid of wolves when I was really, really young (like cartoon wolves…not that I wouldn’t watch them on tv, but that I thought there was a wolf outside the window) but that was more of my brother’s fault than television because I think he used to tease me about it.

Pretty odd, considering the fact that most of my favourite books were about trolls or monsters.

Oh, and traumatized in a different way: I remember watching an episode of Bugs Bunny and it was a typical Elmer Fudd-hunts-Bugs episode but I was so traumatized by it…at the end Elmer carries Bugs away and he’s playing dead and you know he’s not actually dead, but for some reason I ended up sobbing. I remember even at the time I didn’t know why I was so upset by it, and I still don’t know.

Dutchess_III's avatar

What’s sad is that we’re so slammed with really realistic stuff today, that too many adults don’t realize how very scary something relatively “tame” today…like ‘Whatever happened to Baby Jane,” and probably “The Exorcist” now can scare the livin’ crap out of little kids. They’ll let them watch it and if the kids get scared, the adult will yell “It’s so obviously fake! How can you be scared???”

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

“The Wizard of Oz” scared the daylights out of us, and made us terrified of witches and monkeys.

Oldsmobileguy's avatar

When I was maybe 3 years old, back in the days of Saturday Morning Cartoons, I saw an episode of I think Bugs Bunny with Yosemite Sam. Not too clear on the show, but the episode was about beavers making a dam. The cartoon portrayed beavers as huge animals with giant teeth that could chew down a huge tree in one bite. I was absolutely terrified of beavers after that until my dad took me to the zoo and showed me a real beaver. No more getting my dad to check my closet and under the bed before bedtime after that!

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther