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Films That Scared You Sh**less as a Kid


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What films scared the crap out of you as a youngster? It doesn't matter if they were intentionally scary or ludicrously camp with hindsight. What was the first film to give you nightmares? Can anybody own up to some embarrassing childhood memories?

The first film I remember scaring me senseless is absolutely laughable with hindsight but still - 20 odds years later - I feel a physical sense of dread watching the ridiculous trailer:

A B-movie horror film about an evil sentient brand of yoghurt. This film put me off yoghurt from years and I still remember a traumatic scene where a character pours a pot of the evil sentient yoghurt down the loo to get rid of it, only for a different person to sit on the loo and be murdered by yoghurt-based anal rape later on. I refused to sit on the toilet for weeks afterwards and held myself above it in cold sweats. My elder sister showed me the film. Said it was supposed to be funny.

I also seemed to have a phobia of small creatures as the other two movies that terrorised by young self were:



Fuck, man. Just looking at the Critters image gets me jittery. I'd panic like man turd if I watched it now. Gremlins is just pure sadism because it has Gizmo, which kids love - awww, he's so cute, but then they turn into flesh-eating monsters who CAN HIDE IN CHRISTMAS TREES. It's not on. The scene where the old man is squished by a JCB and that aforementioned Xmas tree scene terroised me. I used to see shadows of Gremlins on my bedroom wall as a kid.

As for Critters, well this was back in the days of local video shops where if you knew the owner well enough you could let him rent you anything other than porn. It was my first fifteen rated movie. I thought it would be funny - about spacemen blowing up evil things. Jesus Christ. Critters hiding under the bed, eating my face. In the end my mum was so angry at my constant nightmares she took me to the videoshop and told the guy what she thought of him. I was never allowed to rent a video too old for me again. :(

So what scared the pants off you?

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Jaws, but it wasn't so much the film (though it did scare me at the time) it was when a family friend told me to be careful when having a bath as Jaws would come up through the plughole and bite my dick off. Of course you think of that now and you're like 'Get the fuck outta here' but it scared the fuckin hell out of me as a kid until of course I was told the truth a while later (ie my mum gave him a bollockin and told him to tell me the truth :D )

Another one was John Carpenters The Fog. The film did freak me out but it wasn't so much that. I had been watching the film late with my dad and it was quite late when I went to bed. About 45mins after getting into bed, my dad knocked on the door in the same way as the film. I jumped out of bed and screamed :lol:

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I'm just going to mainly repeat what I said in this thread: The first film to truly scare me (i.e. mentally scar me so much it took me 12 years before I could watch another werewolf film) was watching the transformation scene in American Werewolf in London when I was 4-years old. My elder brother was babysitting me and I came down at night whilst he was watching it and it really did scare the shit out of me.

The other film was actually a kid's comedy, Ernest Scared Stupid. The troll in the movie was really quite freaky. If he captures a child he instantly turns them into a wooden doll which he then keeps in his tree lair. There is one particular scene when a young girl looks under her bed to make sure he isn't there. She lifts the valance and there is nothing there and just as she relaxes back on her bed she finds the grinning troll lying next to her.



Oh yeah and Ghostwatch but that is a given for anybody of my generation.


Pipes is gonna get ya!

Zelda from Terrahawks used to unnerve me too but that was neither a film nor did it quite scare the shit out of me.


Apart from that I was normally pretty good with stuff as a kid. By the age of 8 I was regularly watching horror films at a friend's house and just got used to them.

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I was just thinking about this the other day as Monkeyboy had reviewed it in the movie watchers blog...

When I was about 12 my older brother and I went to watch a film one weekend morning. In the VCR we found a tape we hadn't heard of before called Lifeforce. Intrigued we pressed play. Oh man, it looked AWESOME! Space shuttles, Halley's Comet, Golan Globus, this was going to be amazing! Five minutes into it my mum walks into the room and sees what we are watching. "Oh no, you can't watch this one, sorry" she said, without saying why. My brother didn't give up and she eventually agreed to let him watch it later (he was 15). I was gutted. That afternoon I was doing some homework in the dining room while my bro and mum were in the other room watching the film. I had no idea why I couldn't watch it, it was just some awesome sci-fi film and I'd already seen Predator and Robocop and this point in my life! So I sneaked throuugh and peaked through the door and this scene was on (best clip I could find, it's not great sorry)

That bit scared the shit out of me. I don't know why, I think it was a fear of dead or inanimate things coming to life (I'd never liked the Talos bit in Jason and the Argonauts as a small child because of this). I honestly never slept for a month, every time I closed my eyes I saw that thing on the operating table open its eyes and heard its terrible groaning. Looking back it looks fucking awful :lol: And of course I later found out that the reason I couldn't watch it was because of the gratuitous tits and bums on show, not because it was scary :(

I still get chills watching that scene above.

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Evil dead aged 7 from behind a pillow was not a good idea.Didnt watch another horror film for another 5 yes. Not watching and just listening was a serious mistake.

Hammer house of horror house that dripped blood episode, which was briefly seen when I was about 5-6 also stayed with me for years

Dr Who episode Castrovalva with the Master shrinking Great Aunts and nice Policemen when I was a lad also really scared me.

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Alien left an indelible mark on my psyche, but what I remember most is watching the start of Aliens and chickening out when they're searching through the colony. The tension combined with my now-ingrained phobia for the damn creature meant I went and read a book of stats about the Apollo missions instead.

Edit- When I was, like, 9 years old. Not last week or anything.

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Ah, American Werewolf: the gateway horror film. Come for the flash of Jenny Agutter's tits, stay for the years of trauma. Even worse than that, I saw a trailer for it before - I think - Superman II (way back before trailers were rated) when I was five years old. Needless to say, after several nights my Mum gave up and just bought brown sheets.

I watched an obscene amount of horror as a kid, some of them totally traumatic. I saw The Omen aged 8 and was mortally terrified and couldn't sleep for a week. I tried watching The Twilight Zone when I was 10 and got about five minutes in, saw this bit:


The only scary bit of the film, but what an amazing, horrible scare. I switched off the TV literally shaking with shock and fear. Skip to 6 mins 30 secs for the scare, but if you haven't seen it and never want to sleep again, watch the whole thing for the buildup.

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Alien, in black and white, when I was... six? Maybe seven. My mum and her brother watched it IN THE ROOM I WAS TRYING TO SLEEP IN. I still can't watch it in a single sitting.

When I was ten I was completely freaked out by Terminator 2 (twice: the nuclear holocaust, and the surprise murder of the uncle), and a few years later by Event Horizon. Which, thankfully, I can't remember at all - proper traumatising that was.

I'm still massively bothered by horror movies (and games - no Project Zero/Silent Hill/System Shock 2 for me, I've tried. Though, confusingly, Amnesia had no effect on me - just not the right type of horror, I guess).

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The Witches. I think I caught it towards the end, I just have vague (read: suppressed) memories of a kid hiding from them in a school or something. For weeks after, every time I went to bed, that image would come in to my head, I have very clear memories of thinking that I would never be able to shake that image.

and I was right.


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For me, it was Q The Winged Serpent. When I was a kid, I was a complete pussy when it came to horror films. I watched the film at a friends house, and had to leave after the bit where the window cleaner gets his head taken off outside the skyscraper, and the bloody stump of his neck hits the glass. At least, that's how I remember it. I haven't watched it since.

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When I was a nipper I got taken to the cinema with my folks to watch some kiddy film, I can't remember what it was.

It was a two screen cinema and the movie was shown in screen one. While queuing for the film, my infinite childlike logic assumed that Halloween would be shown after my family picture; the poster I saw in the foyer that had a big number 2 above it.

When my movie finished I ran screaming out of the exit before anyone else had the chance to stand up. Still remember it vividly which is really weird given I don't remember much else from that time.

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Lifeforce is a great film! Seen it many times.

For me - like many in here - I watched lots of horror when I was far too young. A Nightmare on Elm Street (where the girl is crawling on the ceiling), The Thing (all of it!), Black Christmas...

There are also some innocuous clips in films that got me - in The Twilight Zone Movie, the bit where the camera cuts to the girl with no mouth always disturbed me; the figure in the church doorway in The Prince of Darkness unsettles me (even now) and the very end of The Blair Witch Project haunted me long after I saw the film (and *almost* made watching it worthwhile).

But perhaps one of the biggest films to crap me up was one I haven't even seen - The Dolls. My dad had rented it and I think I only caught a non-violent clip of the Mr Punch-lookalike doll and one of the China dolls. And they scared the living crap out of me. I couldn't sleep well, had nightmares...it was awful, and I never have seen the film.

I also read a lot about Ringu, and the buildup to finding the first body had me really, really tense and uncomfortable (I actually prefer the ending of the American version though for both the video itself and when she comes out of the telly).

I did find that as I got older I watched less and less horror, and haven't watched any now for many years. Not because I'm easily scared, but partly because it all became torture-porn (which doesn't appeal) and because I just prefer light-hearted stuff. That said, I do fancy watching Lifeforce and The Thing now...

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My stepfather thought it would be a good idea one night when he was pissed out of his face to show me Aliens. I was about 7 years old & absolutely fucking terrified for months afterwards.

My mum ripped him a new arsehole over that one, but he obviously didn't get the message because he also did a similar thing with The Company of Wolves about a month later. This transformation scene is inprinted indelibly on my memory forever more:

I mean Christ, watching it back now I can't even imagine how that must have completely torn my fragile mind apart at the time. He really was a sick alcoholic lunatic, my stepdad.

I saw about 10 minutes of one of the Chuckie movies when I was about 9 & it scared the absolute living shit out of me for years. On my way to school I used to pass a video-rental shop & I would actually dare myself to look through the window & see if I could see it on the shelves, my heart skipping & a cold sweat breaking out as the flash of orange hair & evil grin leered out at me.

I have vague recollections of being terrified of the Rancor monster in Return of the Jedi when I was about 6, too.

I hated horror movies when I was young & was scared of blood & guts of any description.

Like many others though I came to absolutely love all that shit as I got older.

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Dark Crystal. Haven't seen it since I was about 6 and all I remember of it was it scared the crap out of me.

Return to Oz. Awesome film but so many things that freaked me out as a kid, the Nome people, the Wheelers, Princess Mombi's creepy clattering outfit and the screaming heads, not to mention the asylum at the beginning.

The Secrets of NIMH - The Origin of the Rats of NIMH, Nicodemus, The Great owl...Terrifying but brilliant.

The Water Babies - Not really the film itself but the scary woman in it, she's the housekeeper in the posh house at some point and the black witch thing that convinces the boy to jump to his death. Freak.

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The part at the end of The Last Crusade and he drinks from the wrong cup gave my 6 year old self nightmares for weeks. PG.

There was an episode of the Outer Limits on BBC2 where the boogeyman or something took the form of children's toys. Theres a bit where the kid checks under the bed, and this teddy with red eyes calls out to him, then the next shot this huge, demonic arm lunges out from under the bed and drags him under...

Also that episode of the X-Files with the green bugs in the forest, I was convinced when i opened my curtains that there would be a huge swarm of them outside, seeping in through the windowframe.

Oddly I loved Critters- i thought it was fucking hilarious! Especially the 'they have weapons' scene. Class.

fuckin hell, i found it!

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Getting back to The Exorcist for a moment, I remember being fourteen or so when the Cameo cinema in Edinburgh had a screening of it. Not sure what the status of the film was at the time- this is maybe twenty years ago now- but all I knew was that was it had been banned and was meant to be a bit scary. And I've seen it many times since in cinemas with different audiences who sometimes laugh at bits in it or whatever... but that night I saw it, nothing has ever put the shits up me so much. It felt like such an extreme invasion of the senses- the sound, the pacing, the subliminal flashes- I've never been that physically affected by a horror movie before or since.

I was absolutely fucking terrified. There's a bit where the two priests are sitting outside the bedroom, on the stairs, and they're totally exhausted, and they just sit there and don't say anything, and they're just fucking knackered by the whole exorcism, but even worse, they know they've got to go back in. And you can hear, low on the soundtrack, the guttural noises of the girl, and you know that this little break time can't last forever and they're going to have go back in there and face this thing- and I felt exactly the same thing- a small break and for fuck's sake, do we really have to go back in there..?

The other one was The Thing which I think I've posted about before- I watched it with my mum- I was only ten or so, so during the creature scenes she'd cover my eyes with her hand. But of course I heard everything and for years I had nightmarish images about what the hell was actually going on in those scenes, based on the sound. And when I finally saw the film in it's entirety years later it was even more horrific than I'd thought. :)

But The Exorcist,,, utterly terrifying for me.

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Alien - not so much the alien itself, but when Ash loses his head. I was only 8 or 9 and had heard amazing things about the film, but it was the total shock of that reveal that shit me up for months.

American Werewolf - opening the curtains...

Salem's Lot - that bit, yeah, you know the one.

The Hand - an old Michael Caine horror film, just have vague memories of that disembodied hand groping its way around

Space 1999 (Bringers of Wonder) - where the aliens look human to everyone but Commander Koenig who sees them for what they really are, bloody terrifying on a Sunday afternoon


A more recent scare that has stuck was the quick cut to the first girl's death in the American version of The Ring.


Are you sure...? It's pretty freaky.


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I once saw Aliens when I was very young on TV (around the age of 7-8 I think), it made me fascinated with the film and all I wanted to do was watch it again. A year or two later after hampering my dad to get me the tape of Aliens so I could watch it again I was greeted with a telephone call from my dad saying I can have either Alien Or Aliens.

"Alien? I said, what's that? My father proceeded to tell me that Aliens was the second film to Alien and therefore I immediately had to see it.

Queue the first scene, I was fucking terrified:


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