213/366: 10 Things That Scared Me When I Was a Kid

The Golden Gate, it ain’t

Yesterday’s antique store post, which included an image of a box of 45 records, reminded me specifically of a few records which scared the bejeezus outta me. Which then inspired me to do this post.  Here is a peek into my warped mind through 10 of my childhood fears, not necessarily listed in any particular order:

 10. Toilet

So yes, I’m starting with a toilet. When I was little, I had this (seemingly irrational) fear that whilst I was perched atop the porcelain throne, a snake would come through the pipes and bite my tush. This seemed so ridiculous even to me that I didn’t share it with anyone. Until…THIS  happened.

9. The Walt Whitman Bridge (pictured above)

I used to have recurring nightmares about this bridge, and it’s no wonder since its official paint color is Nausea. In these dreams, I’d usually be looking over the edge, far, far down into waters that were an even more sickening shade of green. I still hate going over this bridge (it’s tied with the Platt Bridge, actually), especially now while they’re doing construction and you see signs like, “Open Hole.” Gee, thanks.

8. Queen News of the World Album Cover

Image credit: Google

Though I dug the music, this album cover (which was a gatefold design with an equally horrifying image inside) scared me into believing that giant killer robots were going to crush all the humans.

7.  All the members of Kiss, but especially Gene

Image Credit: Totally Awesome Teen Pinups and Magazines (Which, by the way, advertises this poster as: “Gene Simmons pinup – crazy looking with blood on his booby fat!” Best copy ever.)

OK, and then there was Kiss. The least frightening was Paul Stanley with the star over his eye. I remember being fascinated by their platform boots, but oh my God, the makeup and that bloody mouth and tongue! Nowadays, the most terrifying thing about Gene is the helmet of Brillo pads he calls his hair.

6. “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” song

This has to be one of the creepiest songs of all time. I remember listening to this 45 and getting the chills every single time, even though I couldn’t fully understand the lyrics. Starting with my literal interpretation: OK, all the lights being out in the entire state of Georgia?  Not a good thing. I did understand enough to know the rest of the song was full of murder: the judge “had blood stains on his hands,” and I could envision the brother “slipping through the back woods quiet as a mouse” in the pitch-black night and seeing this Andy guy in a puddle of blood. And then somebody was hanged. *shudders*

5.  Fantasy Island

Image credit: Google

Because this show appeared immediately after Love Boat, was set on a tropical island, and featured cute little Tattoo announcing “De plane!  De plane!”, you thought it was going to be all happy times and the place where, well, fantasies came true.  Wrong!    There always has to be a stinkin’ lesson.  And sometimes those lessons involved supernatural stuff like ghosts or demons.*  (Quite a popular theme in those days—Rosemary’s Baby, The Omen, Amityville Horror, etc.)

4.  Land of the Lost

Image credit: Google

This show really stressed me out, and I’m guessing it probably shouldn’t have since, unlike some of the other things I watched, it was specifically created for kids by Sid and Marty Croft. (These guys, fortunately, were responsible for other much more enjoyable projects like The Bugaloos and Sigmund and the Sea Monsters.) This show was all about survival in a world dominated by dinosaurs and those God-awful Sleestaks. Ugh, that sound…I can still hear it.

3.  Poltergeist

“They’re heeeere.” Image credit: Google

The possessed clown, the killer tree, the chicken crawling with maggots, spirits communicating through (gulp) the smallest child in the house, being in an empty pool crowded with skeletons…these are images that haunted many a nightmare for me!

2. The hollow stump where Flash Gordon stuck his hand

The other day, while briefly watching a TV show I had not known existed called Hillbilly Handfishin’  (for the record, brother-in-law had the remote), I instantly thought of the scenes with the “wood beast.”  Ick ick ick!

(On a side note:  I sooo wanted to be Dale!)

1.  Things in the ocean 

Image credit: The Living Ocean

Oh sure, Jaws scared me to the point where I didn’t even want to go in the pool (and I know I’m not alone on that…right?)  But my fears went well beyond that.  Let’s talk about the horseshoe crab for a moment because I was so, so afraid to go in the ocean for fear that I would step on one of these, and it was not very fun when you did.   I also feared the jellyfish because it was also not very fun when you made contact with these things. Years later, my fears expanded to include hypodermic needles and tampons (thank you, New York, for dumping your crap on us). So basically, things in the ocean which can stab you.  Actually, come to think of it, the ocean itself is pretty intimidating.  Ever see  Das Boot?  Or Open Water?

Alright, well, so I don’t feel too ridiculous here, what were YOUR fears as a child?   Please comment below.  (Or I’ll send the wood beast after you.)

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5 thoughts on “213/366: 10 Things That Scared Me When I Was a Kid

  1. The clown from Poltergeist was terrifying, and I can still remember being in your pool alone for like two minutes watching for someone to come back out and thinking Jaws was gonna get me! Maybe now I’ll be able to swim again.

    • Haha! Great book about the Jersey shore shark attacks of 1916 (which inspired Jaws) written by a SJ dude. It’s called Close to Shore. But I made the dumb mistake of reading it on the beach one summer. DUH! 🙂

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