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Media that Traumatized/Scared/Creeped You as a Kid

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After watching IHE's take on this and with me currently watching his playlist of other YouTubers talking about it, I thought it could be nice to look at stuff that made us scared or at least creeped out as kids. I'll start.

Movies:

Spirited Away really creeped me out when I little. In particular, the scene where the main character finds her parents and discovers that they're pigs really messed with me, as well as that Giant baby. Another movie that scared me as kids was Finding Nemo, specifically the scene where the scuba diver first appears to take Nemo. Seeing it in theaters was horrific to say the least. Also, Chucky and the Grudge scared me as kids

TV shows:

Wormy from Spongebob traumatized me given the close ups of Wormy as a butterfly. I'd often had to get out of the room or stay a distance away from the TV when it happened.

Video games:

While I'm no longer a fan of the series, Zelda often freaked me out. First there's Twilight Princess, where you had to fight Twilight Beast with a unsettling song accompanied by their appearance, the scene where you first see Link's friends as specters or something in the Twilight inflected Kakoriko village especially with Barnes scaring the kids, you have Zant, and then there's the infamous interloper scene *shudder*. In addition, some of OoT scared me with the Great Deku Tree's dungeon song and the attack of Kakoriko village. Oh and the trials from Skyward Sword.

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Not really media aimed for kids, but I first saw Half-Life at the age of six and suffered nightmares from it for many years to come. Now don't get me wrong, I loved the game back then and it's still a top favourite of mine to this very day, but as a kid who was very paranoid about the concequences of techincal faults, it was certainly something to feed those fears.
 

I actually have a script for a video I want to make about experiencing the game as a small child, I've just not got around to it yet.

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Just now, Little T said:

Not really media aimed for kids, but I first saw Half-Life at the age of six and suffered nightmares from it for many years to come. Now don't get me wrong, I loved the game back then and it's still a top favourite of mine to this very day, but as a kid who was very paranoid about the concequences of techincal faults, it was certainly something to feed those fears.
 

I actually have a script for a video I want to make about experiencing the game as a small child, I've just not got around to it yet.

Yikes, that sounds terrifying. 

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THX always scared me as a young 'un with that deep note and menacing black atmosphere. And the Pixar variants with Tex sometimes falling from the sky suddenly was pretty much the very first "jump scare" I've ever seen in my 5 year old life.

Took a long time to become apathetic to it and appreciate the genius of the Deep Note and how it's a great way to demonstrate the capabilities of the sound system.

Also, on my old Ninja Turtles 90s movie DVD it had a teaser for Son of the Mask.

But let's be honest, that fear is very warrented. It is Son of the Mask, after all.

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11 minutes ago, Failinhearts said:

THX always scared me as a young 'un with that deep note and menacing black atmosphere. And the Pixar variants with Tex sometimes falling from the sky suddenly was pretty much the very first "jump scare" I've ever seen in my 5 year old life.

Took a long time to become apathetic to it and appreciate the genius of the Deep Note and how it's a great way to demonstrate the capabilities of the sound system.

Also, on my old Ninja Turtles 90s movie DVD it had a teaser for Son of the Mask.

But let's be honest, that fear is very warrented. It is Son of the Mask, after all.

Yeah, the THX was pretty scary at times and the scene in Son of the Mask where Loki sticks a plunger on the woman's arc was unsettling to me.

10 minutes ago, Bloxxerboy said:

I don't know why, but every time I see a part in media where the main character(s) get in trouble, I just get scared and either change the channel or run to somewhere else. Admittedly, I still end up doing that from time to time.

It can be understandable depending on how attached you are to the characters. 

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I remember it so vividly.

It was about...2006 or so, I wanna say. It was around Halloween and super late at night. I remember trying to turn on Cartoon Network to see what Adult Swim had in store (I was in first grade, stuff like that was super off limits for me) and I think I entered the wrong channel number because one of the Halloween movies came on. I don't remember which one, but Michael Myers was chasing this little girl around, and Dr. Lumous was using her as bait. He got Michael caught in a trap and started hitting him with a baseball bat.

I remember that sticking with me for a really long time even though nothing really that scary happened in that scene.

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16 minutes ago, Tornado said:

They shouldn't have showed NGE on Toonami, and I probably shouldn't have watched it when it ended up on AS a year or so later. That's stretching the definition of kid a bit, though, I suppose.

Oh man, that must have traumatic to say the least. 

I remember being young and watching an episode of FLCL where this girl's head turned into a spider and it really creeped me out.

Also, watching Sunny kill his family in the Amityville Haunting 2 was horrific. 

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I don't think I'd go as far to say "traumatized" as I think that's a massive overreaction but in terms of what scared me enough to remember it to this day, I've said it once, I'll say it again. Kingdom Hearts, ironically considering my love for it now used to scare the absolute shit out of me when I was a child and playing it for the first time. And to be absolutely honest, I don't think the fear was unwarranted it. The game with the Disney elements is very much sold off on being somewhat light-hearted and filled with these beloved characters and then you get what could basically be seen as an hour long jump scare.

I'm not giving Kingdom Hearts any shit for this, and lord knows I grew out of it years later but as a child, the game's opening can be very creepy. You start off in this blank empty void with creepy images of the Disney princesses while you're attacked by these monsters made out of pure darkness, with yellow piercing eyes. That's off-putting, but not a deal-breaker. You then get to having fun wacky item-collecting adventures on Destiny Islands while getting a few cutscenes of Donald, Goofy and various "main" Disney characters. Then it happens...

The bright island you spent the last hour running around in as Sora is completely swallowed up in this massive void of darkness. You can barely see your surroundings, and there is an infinitely spawning barrage of the same creatures that attacked you at the beginning of the game, only because now you have no lighting on the island whatsoever, all you can make out is the same yellow piercing eyes, surrounding you. 

What makes this even worse is that because of the story - you can't do anything yet. You don't have the keyblade yet, and your wooden sword does literally nothing to them. Your attacks literally phase through these heartless while they surround and try to kill you. You then have to make your way around this island to progress the story. Your first stop takes you to a hidden place that was earlier established as a safe area for Sora and Kairi that they used to visit as kids. Now inside of it, Kairi is there with a dead-eyed expression, before saying Sora in a dead voice and flying towards him, phasing through him as a massive gust of wind and darkness sends Sora out of the cave.

You then see your best friend - Riku on top of an island where you could sword-fight him earlier. You make his way there and instead of the friendly-competition voice and cockiness he was throwing out earlier, he acts very ominously and creepily talks about random things about the attack, before being swallowed up by this large amount of darkness and vanishing while holding his hand out to Sora to get him to join him. All of this ends with Sora finally getting the keyblade and fighting a giant heartless named Darkside as massive voids of purple swirl around you like a tornado, before the island vanishes, and suddenly Sora is in the back-ally of a world named Traverse Town.

And while Traverse Town is a lot less intense, it can still be creepy, with the streets abandoned, several areas being pretty dark and filled with heartless, and more. But that first encounter on Destiny Islands, even if it has no effect on me now, it surely had an effect on me when I was a child playing this for the first time. I'm honestly surprised that KH1, a game that could get pretty cheesy with writing managed to make something so legitimately creepy and unnerving.

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The horror game Illbleed on Dreamcast features a parody of Toy Story as one of its stages, where instead the Not-Woody goes to 'Toy Hell' in pursuit of Not-Bo-Peep. 

The boss of the stage is a gigantic demonic Sonic doll. Never mind as a kid, that thing still fucks me up. Every so often it suddenly pops up on my social media feeds or something with someone like "huh huh did you guys know about this?" and at that point I go into an outright panic attack. And it's dumb because I guess it's not really that scary to most people, but to me? Literally my greatest fear to this day. Pretty much nothing just shuts me down quite like it. 

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While I don't like the series anymore, at least 2 or 3 of the Persona games scared me. Persona 3 FES was a frightening experiences at times, with one of the earlier cutscenes having a guy be conscious during the Dark Hour and being turned into goop. Oh, and the Fall cutscene, that made me so uneasy that I think I was having a panic attack. Persona 2 Innocent Sin was a very unsettling game regarding its themes and music. It didn't help that things got very intense near the climax.

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As a kid, I developed this weird uneasiness whenever I watched moving storyboards for animated films. To this day I’m not really sure why. Perhaps it was something about the way they were formatted, usually with no music, for example, or because raw pencil drawings had a tendency to look creepy.

If I had to pinpoint the thing that gave me that fear, it’d have to be the deleted alternate opening to Disney’s Tarzan:

Tarzan was the very first movie I had on DVD back in the day. On the special features were three deleted scenes, this was the first. And after watching it for the first time, I never selected it again. This sequence terrified me. The lack of music, the eerie drawings, the overall nature of the scene (the death of Tarzan’s dad). I didn’t attempt to watch this scene for years, except for one time, as a kid, where I ended up covering my eyes for the whole thing.

I can watch it now, of course, but to this day I feel a bit creeped out whenever I do.

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ECCO. 

THE.

DOLPHIN.

I checked that game when I was five by accident while checking Mega Drive games, I liked dolphins so why not? ... EVERYTHING ABOUT THE GAME CREEPED ME OUT. The sounds, the enemies, the atmosphere, I hate it so much, never playing it again

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24 minutes ago, JosepHenry said:

ECCO. 

THE.

DOLPHIN.

I checked that game when I was five by accident while checking Mega Drive games, I liked dolphins so why not? ... EVERYTHING ABOUT THE GAME CREEPED ME OUT. The sounds, the enemies, the atmosphere, I hate it so much, never playing it again

Dude, I saw the opening for that game and man was that insane.

These books cover and images scared me. I got these at a book bin at 6th grade.

And this channel adapted these stories: 

https://www.youtube.com/user/MoonRavenTales

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Some of the things I'll be talking about, I wouldn't nessicarily say traumatized me... but they certainly moments that stuck with me. 

Admittedly, when it came to Disney movies or childhood cartoons, I wasn't easily scared. I was pretty much one of those kids Don Bluth talks about when questioned about how scary or sad his works got... As long as there's a happy ending, kid's can handle most anything. That rang true for me... I'd be scared of certain things, on my first viewings, such as the reveal of Judge Doom being a toon in Roger Rabbit, but after that I thought the combination of cartoon and real actor was the most awesome thing out there...

That being said, while still on the topic of Roger Rabbit, there is a scene that I still can't watch to this very day, and that happens to be the shoe being "dipped" by Judge Doom. 

Basically, what happens is a crate of living cartoon props is spilled in a certain scene, and the main antagonist, Judge Doom, picks up a living cartoon shoe who's nuzzling against him like a cat. About to demonstrate a way to kill cartoon characters, Judge Doom picks up the shoe, and dips him into a barrel of "Dip" which can instantly melt toons. The scene that really gets me is the absolute horror on the shoe is in, trembling and making puppy-like whimpering sounds as he's slowly dipped into the dip, until he's nothing but thinned ink and paint. Just... Gah, just thinking back on that scene gives me chills. I think it's the fact how innocent and pet-like the shoe acts that gets the reaction out of me... and if the rumors I heard are true, the shoe was initially planned to be a cartoon kitten or some other animal.

 Oof, man. As a kid I figured that this scene wouldn't disturb me as much when I grew older... There's a lot of things I'd love to tell my kid-self but, telling him that the scene is still unsettling and even a little depressing is not one of them.

Going onto TV...

As I've said before, I wasn't really frightened by many Disney movies... But if there was anything that came out of Disney that kind of stuck to me it was a scene from the Little Mermaid tv series. 

There was an episode where Ariel goes to explore the deep sea, despite her Father warning her not to... that was pretty much many of the episodes of the Little Mermaid in a nutshell: Ariel gets curious about something, King Trition tells her said something is bad, Ariel goes off to explore anyway, gets into trouble and learns her lesson. Anyways, back on topic, from what I remember in the episode, Ariel is in awe by the wonders of the deep sea, but things start to get more and more unsettling... The scene that I remember the most in this episode was a part where after escaping sea monsters, Ariel runs into a sea witch (Not Ursula, mind you) who is carrying a bag. The witch tells her the bag is filled with something magical and offers her a look into it. Immediately, the witch opens the bag, to which glowing comes out and screams are heard. Ariel reacts with horror and quickly swims away.

Now, it's not so much the scene that was scary, the scariest thing about it was me wondering what in the world was in that bag the sea witch had. It's that kind of scary moment where your imagination fills in the blanks, and it makes the situation much more scarier than it is.

Moving on from that, There was a show on Cartoon Network called "What a Cartoon" which basically was a showcase of a bunch of pilots. Shows like Powerpuff girls, Johnny Bravo, Courage the Cowardly Dog, came from this collection. Hell even a prototype Family Guy made its first appearance on this show. It was really interesting seeing all these new shows and I always felt a bit of excitement when they were picked up as a full series.

Then there was one short however, that actually made me change the channel. I can't remember the name of it exactly, but it involved the main protagonist is trying to prepare a dinner for a date. There's a scene where he's chopping carrots, and ends up messing up a chop when he hears the doorbell ring, from his date. What ended up happening was he ended up chopping his thumb off, and they actually showed blood coming out... Not a fountain of blood, but a splurt of it with every cartoony throb of the thumb. Looking back, somehow that's more grotesque than a fountain of blood you would see in any other cartoon. Antics continue as the protagonist runs into the bathroom and reattatches his thumb with gauze, only to find that he mistakenly attatched the top of a carrot to his stump rather than his thumb.

Needless to say, my disgust towards blood was a lot stronger than it is now, and I switched the TV in revulsion. For a long while, I was afraid to go near any knives, and to this day, I still watch my hand closely if I'm chopping up food.

Finally, Video Games...

Kirby has always had a place in my heart as being one of the first video games I was gifted to. I recall having Kirby's Dreamland 2 for the gameboy and loving everything about it... The levels, the music and especially the animal friend mechanic. In this game you could hop on an animal, (A hamster named Rick, an owl named Coo, and a sunfish named Kine) and get different abilities when combined with them. I loved all of them and I was always careful not to get them killed.

Then I ran into this little bastard.

This guy, Propeller Bomb according to the game's monster roll call in the bad ending, seems like another Kirby enemy that seems so innocent that you almost feel bad for killing... They simply float in the air, minding their own business and giving you a happy smile every now and then. That is, if you're by yourself as Kirby. If you end up passing by this monster when you have an animal friend, then prepare for a fright! Once I was minding my business playing through a level with the hamster, Rick, when as soon as the Propeller Bomb appeared on my screen, his face went from a cute smile with little eyes to a maniacal one with bulging eyes as he flew straight towards me. Before I could process what was going on, I found that my animal friend had been killed in one hit, and now I was just by myself as Kirby.

And sometimes they would be placed in areas I wouldn't expect. One time I was flying too high with the owl, Coo when all of the sudden that little freak popped out of nowhere and took my owl companion... Augh!  The enemy would appear in later Kirby games even as recent as Kirby Star Allies. But none of them ever filled me with the amount of dread as their initial appearance

Going back to it, this is a scare that I find more funny nowadays rather than still be unsettled by it... But I admit, I'm still hesitant to go up high in levels whenever I have Coo as my Animal friend. 

Lavender Town and its tower was another gaming experience that frightened me as a kid, as it did to many others. This one was partially because I was being raised in a pretty strict, religious household at the time, and I was afriad that my parents catching me battle posessed trainers actually calling out for blood would get the game banned in my house. The other reason was... well the fact that you were in a tower with posessed trainers, running into ghosts that scared your pokemon from fighting, and that damn music in the town itself... oof. There were nights where I would lay in bed with that song stuck in my head, and I would have trouble going to sleep.

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Playstation 2 startup sounds. Come on, Sony, little me didn't need to be so goddamn terrified by that.

And beside that comes a big one:

Return to Castle Wolfenstein. I've got no problem with it now, but back then as a lil' stupid boy, that game terrified me.

The crypt levels with different kinds of undead creatures, your first glimpse of it are a bunch of Nazi soldiers trapped in the crypt, but they talk about how they know a way out. ‘Should be easy,’ they think, then they spot something walking through a doorway. It's a zombie, several zombies, with no skin or hair and visible bones, as the Nazis panickedly shoot at them. They all do not survive. You're now given the indication that even the enemies you've been fighting this whole time were terrified by this new threat, so now you're freaking the heck out.

You go to fight these shambling zombies, who have PROJECTILE ATTACKS, by firing ghostly skulls at you that quickly drain your health and black out your vision. Okay, but now you've killed them. Then they get back up a few seconds later, because turns out, you need to blow them up to kill them for good. Continuing on, there are 4 long crypt levels in a row. And they introduce new zombies, such as one with a shield that sends your bullets back at you. And zombies that get lit on fire by Nazis in the crypt (who also die), which you find that the ones on fire have more health. And all these different zombies will randomly crawl out of different crypts and coffins.

AND NOW YOU'RE OUT OF THE CRYPT, you made it to some occult Nazi manor with... Sultry Nazi ladies for enemies...? You find the headmaster of the manor, who tries to summon a demon to make themself stronger or something. It fails, they die, you have to fight a boss.

The boss being a HUGE GODDAMN ARMOURED ZOMBIE WHO CAN CHARGE AFTER YOUR WEAK ASS, with other zombies fighting you as well. Oh good lord, nightmares for weeks on afterwards.

 

 

Then you have the monster experiments the Nazis have made :D

A story for another time, but they're no less terrifying. I can deal with them now, though.

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The first official episode of Courage the Cowardly Dog, called "The Shadow of Courage."

Everything about the episode is Ok except for one moment...

...when the Shadow pretends to be Merial and takes her own head off with her hand. It would been Ok if not for the veins sticking out and the blood drops.

They didn't need to do that...

Spoiler

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Also that episode of the Powerpuff Girls where they fight a zombie magician.

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Finally, there was a Action League Now short called "Rock-A-Big-Baby" that appeared with (IRCC) Good Burger and it featured a giant baby doll called "Big Baby".

The way it moved and acted like a monster eating up some of the other toys was very unsettling...

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7 minutes ago, ThePrinceOfSaiyans said:

This fucker right here.

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Snacker mostly kept me out of the water but ultimately wasn't too bad, but the first time I saw Clanker, swimming through a dim underwater tunnel and suddenly seeing giant teeth and bloodshot eyes staring back at me was a real "NOPE" moment. I turned my ass right around and left the level, didn't even try coming back until probably a couple (attempted) playthroughs later.

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Honestly, he's still a bit freaky from the front. You can't easily tell he's a whale/shark thing from head on so things get a bit uncanny valley-ish.

Also that one Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episode with the gas that turned people inside out. That's a scene that would keep coming back to me years later when I was trying to sleep.

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