{Top Ten Tuesday} The Shudder Years: Things Which Scared Me As a Child

Posted October 30, 2018 by Leah in Memes & Features, Top 10 Tuesday / 28 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Happy (almost) Halloween, everyone! It’s my favorite time of the year and I can’t wait to celebrate it. After kicking around some ideas for this much-anticipated topic (Monsters? Scary places? Creepy quotes?), I had a flash of inspiration. There’s nothing like reading a scary story or watching a scary movie. There’s also nothing like doing the former and the latter as a kid. For today’s Top Ten, we’re going back to my formative years and exploring all the things which had me

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Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark was the obsession of my elementary school. I was first introduced to the books in the third grade. The stories are fun and pleasantly creepy…but the illustrations are nightmare fuel. My copies were full of napkins, paper, anything so I wouldn’t have to look at them. They’ve since been republished with new illustrations, which, to me, do not inspire the trauma the originals did. (Also want to add that the audiobooks are very good!)

It sounds silly now, but there’s one story in R.L. Stine’s collection that crept under my skin and has stayed there ever since. It’s called “The Cat’s Tale”, and the whole premise had me pulling the bedsheets up to my ears at night because I was afraid of hearing something I didn’t want to hear. I still love cats though.

When I asked my parents to buy me a copy of Edgar Allan Poe’s works as a kid, I was excited to get reading. I was immediately entranced by his exquisite writing and wasn’t even scared. Then I read “The Cask of Amontillado.” Then I read “The Black Cat.” Then I read “The Masque of the Red Death.” There’s a reason Mr. Poe is the master of suspense and horror. He’s also a favorite author of mine.

All the catchy music could not make up for the horror that is Disney’s take on The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. When Ichabod learns about the Headless Horseman, followed by a slow burn, marvelously creepy trek home through the woods, this short film proves a very scary experience.

While most of The X-Files is about conspiracies and finding the truth, there are some truly scary episodes sprinkled throughout its original 9 seasons. Several standalones are. Absolutely. Horrifying.

Pee Wee Herman was one of my childhood heroes, but there’s a scene in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure that had my sister and I running and hiding. On his quest to find his stolen bike, he hitchhikes and is picked up by a trucker called Large Marge. That’s all I’ll say about that.

I’ve only seen parts of the original Poltergeist, but of course it’s all the scary parts. The little girl saying, “Theeey’re here!” had the hairs on my arms standing up. “They?!” Who’s “they?!” It just got so much more worse for me. Aside from supernatural forces, there’s also a clown.

I used to wake up at 6 a.m to watch Real Ghostbusters even though 99% of the episodes scared me. One episode in particular is still stuck in my mind–the Ghostbusters’ little sidekick Slimer is kidnapped by this giant of a ghoul…I shudder to think of it.

Sharks are awesome and, unfortunately, misunderstood. I like sharks now, but as a kid watching Jaws, not so much. I was afraid to take baths or shower after I saw this for the first time!

Ah, The Brave Little Toaster looks harmless, but it’s chock full of traumatic moments. An AC unit that loses its cool. A junkyard of worthless cars. Appliances being taken apart. A dream involving a clown dressed as a fireman. Someone help me!

Now, off to banish those bad memories.

What are some things which scared you as a child? 



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28 responses to “{Top Ten Tuesday} The Shudder Years: Things Which Scared Me As a Child

  1. I loved horror novels when I was a kid. Goosebumps was cool, but I graduated to Fear Street pretty quickly. I also loved the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books.

    Also, and this is really dorky, but I started a paranormal club with the kids in my neighborhood. Mostly we just tried to spit UFOs.

    • Leah

      Fear Street is pretty cool, too. I didn’t read as much of them as I should have.

      That paranormal club sounds awesome!

  2. Nathan

    I watched Brave Little Toaster when I was little. For scary, I would say Jurassic Park when I was in 3rd grade. I never read Goosebumps because as a kid one of my epilepsy types was (and still is) centred in the part of my brain that deals with fear. So, as a kid a few times a week my brain would tell me basically “YOUR LIFE IS IN DANGER RUN” The whole idea of intentionally scaring yourself didn’t catch on really until my epilepsy got better when I got older. I still did Halloween but, yeah, why try to scare yourself when your brain will do that all by itself?

  3. Louise

    I used to be so scared of Jaws when I was younger but for some reason at my school it was the movie that we always watched when there was nothing to do before break so it eventually stopped scaring me. And I’ve never seen a single episode of The X Files (apart from the Simpsons episode with Mulder and Scully) but the theme song used to scare me so much when I was little 😱 I used to be scared of really weird things too, like the logos that would appear before movies or after TV shows 😂

    • Leah

      Constant exposure to something, that’s a great way to overcome fear. The X-Files is so fun…except the creepy episodes.

      I had irrational fears to some things, too, like rollerbladers. I always thought they would run over me. 😆

    • Leah

      I still haven’t worked up the nerve to see Poltergeist in its entirety, LOL. The Scary Stories books are excellent.

    • Leah

      I tried reading the books with the new illustrations and they do not hold up at all. I need the trauma of the old illustrations. 😆

  4. Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure was my sister’s favorite movie when we were kids. And I hear you on Large Marge! And Poltergeist. Even as an adult, Carol Ann creeps me out. But – The Cask of Amontillado and The Tell-Tale Heart will always be my favorite Poe stories.

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday. Thank you!

  5. Great twist on this week’s topic! Goosebumps freaked me out when I was little, too; I remember watching an episode of the TV show where a boy thought his house was haunted, only to realise he was actually the one who was dead and that freaked me out to no end. I’ve never watched The X-Files and that’s something I want to rectify, because it’s always sounded so fun.

    Jess @ Jessticulates recently posted: Top Ten Tuesday | My Horror TBR
  6. The X-Files! Nothing like liver-eating freaks and vengeful witches to spice up your Halloween. And The Brave Little Toaster did do a number on me when I was a child. Love your list.

    Check out our Top Ten Tuesday 🙂

    • Leah

      Oh my goodness, yes! Tooms, the Flukeman, the substitute teacher, and the Peacock family were so traumatic to me as a kid. Thanks!

    • Leah

      Oh my, yes! Monstro was very scary. Lampwick turning into a donkey kind of scared me too, even though the scene was wonderfully done. But I do love Pinocchio, LOL.

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