Strange Things That Scared You (But Aren't Obviously 'Scary')

AnonyJoolz

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Sorry for the odd title and if anyone can think of a more apt one, please change it!

I was talking with a relative a little while ago about things which scared or disturbed us when young, that weren't obviously 'scary' as such.

Mine was at the very end of the UK TV broadcasts of the original 'Muppet Show', when the saxophone-playing muppet blows his single low note, and the show is then finished. I have no idea why this scared me, but I do know it was the sound rather than the sight. I used to put my fingers on my ears and press so I wouldn't hear it!


My young niece was upset by encountering anyone wearing a hat of any kind, she didn't grow out of it until she was 6 or 7.
 

JamesWhitehead

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I recall an old website which used to classify the various network IDs, according to how scary they were.

Thames, Granada, Anglia etc.

Maybe half the horror lay in the unsteady soundtracks of these much-played clips of film.

More wow than flutter, in the days when wow was a bad thing. :yellowc:
 

brownmane

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My grandma used to wiggle her eyebrows at me.:pop: I would run away from her cuz it scared me. I don’t know why. I don’t know if she knew it scared me. I think she thought that she was just being funny. She would never intentionally scare nor be mean to me.
 

IbisNibs

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Sorry for the odd title and if anyone can think of a more apt one, please change it!
No, the title is perfect! It jogs the memory, among other things.

I used to be afraid of how the fluorescent light in the bathroom flickered as it came on.
I had a whole ritual about it to protect myself while the light flickered. I had to stand perfectly still until "they" decided I was just a statue, and then "they" would leave me to brush my teeth in peace. I think I was around 7.
 

gordonrutter

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Sorry for the odd title and if anyone can think of a more apt one, please change it!

I was talking with a relative a little while ago about things which scared or disturbed us when young, that weren't obviously 'scary' as such.

Mine was at the very end of the UK TV broadcasts of the original 'Muppet Show', when the saxophone-playing muppet blows his single low note, and the show is then finished. I have no idea why this scared me, but I do know it was the sound rather than the sight. I used to put my fingers on my ears and press so I wouldn't hear it!


My young niece was upset by encountering anyone wearing a hat of any kind, she didn't grow out of it until she was 6 or 7.
Just as an FYI the saxophone playing Muppet is called Zoot.
 

TangletwigsDeux

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So years ago we had a cat, and one of those curved corner settees. The cat discovered it loved running around the curved back of the aforesaid settee and hurling itself into a large brown paper bag placed at the opposite end. Anyways, one day I got home from work and flung myself down to watch something mind numbing on the box. Picture the scene, all was serene and peaceful, until the brown paper bag spontaneously lept into the air and the little monster cat shot out, over the back of the settee and onwards to where ever mad cats go. I think I bumped my head on the 8 foot high ceiling.
 

catseye

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In our living room, above the dining table, there was a lump in the ceiling. NOW I know that it's just where the electrics went up to the next floor (or to the ceiling light) and had been papered over when the ceiling was decorated. But this lump, right where the ceiling met the wall... I couldn't even look at it. It terrified me. I think part of the problem was that nobody would tell me what it was. Presumably they didn't think I would understand - they MUST have known what it was! I just used to get 'oh, it's nothing' (what, couldn't they see it? Was it only me?) or 'it's just part of the house'.

If someone had TOLD me what it was, I would have been fine. But, as it was, this 'thing' made me scared of the living room (our only 'liveable' family room) for years.
 

blessmycottonsocks

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In our living room, above the dining table, there was a lump in the ceiling. NOW I know that it's just where the electrics went up to the next floor (or to the ceiling light) and had been papered over when the ceiling was decorated. But this lump, right where the ceiling met the wall... I couldn't even look at it. It terrified me. I think part of the problem was that nobody would tell me what it was. Presumably they didn't think I would understand - they MUST have known what it was! I just used to get 'oh, it's nothing' (what, couldn't they see it? Was it only me?) or 'it's just part of the house'.

If someone had TOLD me what it was, I would have been fine. But, as it was, this 'thing' made me scared of the living room (our only 'liveable' family room) for years.
Funny you should mention ceilings.
When I was very little, my parents were renting an old house down in Cornwall.
The front room had a very ornate light fixture, with grotesquely curled arms branching out to (I think) 4 light bulbs.
I caught the measles and, lying on the sofa and in a feverish state, felt like I was floating up towards that light fixture.
For years afterwards, I would then have a recurring nightmare about being drawn up to that horrible old light. I was convinced that, if I ever reached it, there was another world in there with weird old wagons and things circulating.
Ewwww! I got a faint shiver thinking about it now all those decades later.

My sister, a few years younger than me, was terrified by the theme music for The Saint TV series, that my dad and later me, liked watching.
Even the sight of the "pin-man" Saint logo would make her shut her eyes and cover her ears:

 

Bigphoot2

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A factory siren near where I lived as a kid used to scare me. I always thought it was some sort of monster. And I never liked the puppets in Supercar, I just found them really creepy. I was ok with later Anderson shows though.
supercar-characters.jpg
 

cycleboy2

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A factory siren near where I lived as a kid used to scare me. I always thought it was some sort of monster. And I never liked the puppets in Supercar, I just found them really creepy. I was ok with later Anderson shows though.
View attachment 34580
I'm not going to sleep tonight! They're terrifying!!
 

catseye

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I was also afraid of the sound of the toilet flush. It was just so sudden and loud, I used to try to get back down the stairs and back with my family before it stopped doing the initital 'raaaaaah' sound...

So much of the fear arose from not knowing what things were. If someone had only explained the ceiling lump and showed me how a toilet worked, I wouldn't have been so terrified. As far as I knew the toilet was just this 'thing' that made horrific noises. I know the fear lessened an awful lot after I watched my dad change the ballcock.
 

catseye

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Two separate things, Scargie! Ceiling lump downstairs, completely unrelated scary toilet upstairs. At least, I think it was unrelated. In our house, it was sometimes hard to be sure.
 

escargot

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Two separate things, Scargie! Ceiling lump downstairs, completely unrelated scary toilet upstairs. At least, I think it was unrelated. In our house, it was sometimes hard to be sure.
Oh right, I've now looked and found your lump.
 

brownmane

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In our living room, above the dining table, there was a lump in the ceiling. NOW I know that it's just where the electrics went up to the next floor (or to the ceiling light) and had been papered over when the ceiling was decorated. But this lump, right where the ceiling met the wall... I couldn't even look at it. It terrified me. I think part of the problem was that nobody would tell me what it was. Presumably they didn't think I would understand - they MUST have known what it was! I just used to get 'oh, it's nothing' (what, couldn't they see it? Was it only me?) or 'it's just part of the house'.

If someone had TOLD me what it was, I would have been fine. But, as it was, this 'thing' made me scared of the living room (our only 'liveable' family room) for years.
I have a lump in my ceiling at the same place (ceiling meeting wall) lol. It's the plumbing pipe for upstairs bathroom. I can totally envision what you are talking about.
 

AnonyJoolz

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A factory siren near where I lived as a kid used to scare me. I always thought it was some sort of monster. And I never liked the puppets in Supercar, I just found them really creepy. I was ok with later Anderson shows though.
View attachment 34580
Blimey! I'm not surprised, those character puppets are scary AF now!

I think odd and/or unexplained noises have a LOT to answer for - I just remembered an occasion when I was allowed to watch the BBC TV version of Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy, and the day after the first(?) episode I was at primary school, there must have been some kind of building/agricultural machinery working away nearby and I was convinced, by the sounds, that it was alien craft come to attack the earth!
 

Jepra Peld

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The scampi in Fingerbobs. I just couldn't figure out what animal they were meant to be and that freaked me out a bit. Hilda Ogden but I am not sure why that was, it wasn't the curlers which folk think when I mention it.
 

Schrodinger's Zebra

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A couple of things I can remember:

I actually made a passing reference this on another thread just t'other day, but my parents had an LP of 'household sounds'. Don't know what it was called or what evil entity decided to make such a collection, but the 'hoover' sound frightened the daylights out of me, it was loud and horrid.

The ITV schools countdown clock - I was terrified that when the last segment disappeared, the television would blow up. This was even worse at school because unlike our black and white telly at home, the school telly was a colour one and it had a larger screen (and was awfully loud) so the strange blue background and yellow segments seemed even more terrifying than the at-home version. (To this day I cannot watch the end of that countdown clock on youtube, even though I generally love tv idents and things of that nature).

Oh and the Pink Panther theme tune. The bit where the trumpet/trombone/whatever goes loud, I hated that.
 

Jepra Peld

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A couple of things I can remember:

I actually made a passing reference this on another thread just t'other day, but my parents had an LP of 'household sounds'. Don't know what it was called or what evil entity decided to make such a collection, but the 'hoover' sound frightened the daylights out of me, it was loud and horrid.

The ITV schools countdown clock - I was terrified that when the last segment disappeared, the television would blow up. This was even worse at school because unlike our black and white telly at home, the school telly was a colour one and it had a larger screen (and was awfully loud) so the strange blue background and yellow segments seemed even more terrifying than the at-home version. (To this day I cannot watch the end of that countdown clock on youtube, even though I generally love tv idents and things of that nature).

Oh and the Pink Panther theme tune. The bit where the trumpet/trombone/whatever goes loud, I hated that.
It was the Near and Far Theme tune for me, but I think that is genuinely terrifying.

I have remembered another one. In among my parents photographs was one of a man leaning over the side of a ferry about to be sick. It was at quite an odd angle and it wasn't immediately obvious what it showed and until I knew what it was it didn't bother me, but as soon as I was told what it was it terrified me. The more I think about it, the more it unsettles me. Why had they kept it? Neither of them were on it, there wasn't anything interesting in the background, they didn't know the man. I haven't seen it for decades and I am too scared to ask if my mum still has it but every now and then I awake in the middle of the night thinking about it.
 

EnolaGaia

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Swifty

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Chewbacca used to scare me. I could never work out how anyone would want to hang out with a half werewolf, half sasquatch even if he was a decent bloke. He looked/looks absolutely terrifying.
 
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