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Official Article

Childhood Fears

As children with a limited understanding of life in general, it was easy for the world to look like a supernatural place with seemingly inexplicable events happening all around us. Dad left the room? Ahhhh! He must have been captured by Zombie Ninjas! Oh wait, he was just in the kitchen making a sandwich. What is that eery wailing coming from down the hall? I knew it, Poltergeists have come from the netherworld to terrorize us! Wait, it’s just the toilet running again. Today I’d like to share some of the childhood fears that gave me the willies in my formative years. Maybe you can relate.

Moving Shadows

Something about the darkness of my bedroom growing up really activated my imagination in a frightening way. I remember staring across the room at my open closet and swearing I saw my Teddy Ruxpin doll moving his mouth on his own. No words coming out, just a silent incantation to some evil demon that talking teddy bears worshiped, being summoned to burst through my window at any moment. I took to closing my closet door at night after that.

Sometimes the fear came from the simple act of staring the ceiling. Out of nowhere shapes and images would swirl around to form a dark spectre that slithered around the asbestos filled popcorn terrain above my head, slowly making its way down the wall to the foot of my bed. Often it would start out innocent, “Hey that looks like Scooby-Doo”, but the blurry black blob would soon morph into one of Zuhl’s terror dogs from Ghostbusters and I would have to hide under my covers. Of course this all could have been avoided if I just shut my eyes and went to sleep, but somehow that that didn’t always occur to me.

Hairs

This is kind of a weird one, but the thing that caused me to cringe as a kid was loose hairs. More specifically, hairs in the bathtub. I’d be happily playing with my Fisher-Price pontoon boat when a thin, snakelike shape would stealthily float towards me. I could see its slight shadow gliding beneath the water on the bottom of the tub and then I would just lose it.

Suddenly I was a helpless victim in a horror movie, squealing and screaming at my mom, “Get it away! Get it! Get it!” She would then have to try and grab the stray hair as I huddled in the corner of the tub to prevent any contact. Heaven help her, if it somehow attached itself to my skin in a lapsed moment of vigilance. Honestly I can’t think of any single incident that started this repulsion, but it was always my #1 fear at bath time.

Blinds

There’s nothing scary about mini-blinds, right? They are the most mundane part of the home. Maybe, but it’s what can be hiding between the blinds that terrified me. The dining room/living room/kitchen in my childhood home barely had any solid walls to speak of. Instead I was surrounded by giant windows with long rows of mini-blinds attached. It wasn’t so bad in the daytime, but once night fell, I had no idea who or what was out beyond the windows peering in. I always had this fear of turning my head away from a re-run of Happy Days to see a pair of crazed eyes staring in at me through the blinds. 

To me there is nothing so frightening as to realize that someone was watching you without your knowledge and that you have been vulnerable to attack by machete or chainsaw that whole time. Because of this, as I entered every room I always grabbed the little plastic wand and twirled it until the blinds were safely closed. But some rooms had bent or broken blinds from my childish moments of carelessness and now left me open to the dangerous leers of psychotic voyeurs. If some movie studio ever hires me to write a “Hithcockian” thriller a la’ Rear Window, it will definitely be titled, “Through The Blinds”.

So those were some of my fears of years past. What frightened you as child?

Tweet at me on Twitter @hojukoolander

Learn more about my new podcast at www.sequelquestpod.com

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DirtyD79 Posted on Dec 11, 2016 at 09:51 AM

When I was a little kid I used to walk past this one church on my way home from school. The thing that scared was there was this giant art deco style copper Jesus on the side of the building. The Jesus statue or whatever was copper at one time but had turned green due to years of oxidation. Because of it's weird shape and green coloring people in the neighborhood would call it "The Grasshopper."

I was always afraid it would fall off the wall and crush me on the sidewalk below. While I eventually got over my fear, the only things I've ever really been to that church for are either weddings or funeral services. Mostly because we don't live in that neighborhood anymore. I know most people would think it's weird how anybody could be scared of Jesus but most people don't have the extremely overactive imagination I had as a kid and still do to this day.

comic_book_fan Posted on Oct 30, 2015 at 12:58 AM

well what really convinced me that they were aliens was that i had a dream like that then when i woke up i found my mom and my sister whispering to each other alot like they didn't want me to hear something so i assumed they were i found they weren't when i was listening in through the door and heard what they were talking about the neighbors playing there drums to loud at 1;00 am and people shinning there headlights through the window and how to handle it without being rude.

Hoju Koolander Posted on Oct 29, 2015 at 11:40 PM

@Vaporman87 Empty Haunted Bathroom? That's a pretty awesome fear right there.

@echidna64 Of course as a kid you'd never think of the obvious solution: Take the trash out in daylight.

@comic_book_fan What finally convinced you that your family weren't aliens? It's very possible they just used a mind control ray on you and are still plotting to take over the Earth.

comic_book_fan Posted on Oct 27, 2015 at 06:11 PM

i had the ceiling thing and same with walls i could look at the walls and see all sorts of patterns and pictures and even sometimes words an overactive imagination and to much times indoors and no tv and my mind would wonder all over the place one time i convinced my self that my family had been captured and replaced by shape shifting aliens.

echidna64 Posted on Oct 27, 2015 at 05:03 AM

I hated having to take the garbage out at night. We had an area at the end of our driveway that was completely dark and covered by trees. I was always scared that while I was fumbling with the garbage can I would get ambushed from behind. I used to run there and back as fast as I could!

Vaporman87 Posted on Oct 26, 2015 at 06:31 PM

I definitely shared your fear of blinds (and still do). I hate the idea of somebody out in the dark being able to plainly view me in the light. So I typically try to turn off any lights at night in rooms that aren't being used.

Hairs, strings, grass, anything in a tub bothered me (and still does). I NEVER take baths, and I HATE swimming for this reason. I don't like floating in my own filth, let alone a bunch of other peoples'. Nope. I'm strictly a shower only person.

Some other fears of mine in childhood included the attic. The attic in our home had only one entry/exit... the closet in MY bedroom. So naturally when I heard anything, from the house settling to mice doing what they do up there, I was certain something was making it's way into my closed closet, just waiting to spring forth and do me in.

I also feared our garage level floor. Our house had four levels; The basement, the garage/family room/wash room level, the main level, and the upstairs where our bedrooms were. The garage/family room level frightened me whenever I was alone there. At one end of the family room was the entrance to the wash room and a complete bathroom which was RARELY used. I always envisioned something with lightning speed popping out from the wash room area and following me up the flight of stairs that led to the main level. So much so, that I routinely had nightmares about it. It still creeps me out now just thinking about it.

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