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

Mooka

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Cruel bugger! I hope he got you back in some way! My dad used to chase me with those great big hairy house spiders and my best friend at school around the garden with worms. Still to this day I hate spiders and worms.
 

SimonBurchell

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I can certainly see how a young mind might find things like door handles with their spooky little ‘faces‘ scary. I think the impression of eyes (even if they aren‘t actually eyes) looking at you is a very common fear. Material can certainly be creepy too with the different shapes it can form, especially the billowing nature of curtains and how they appear to move on their own. Regards curtains, when I was young I always had to check behind my bedroom curtains at night before I went to sleep (along with looking in my wardrobe and under my bed!). I couldn’t settle until I knew there wasn’t somebody/something lurking, waiting to pounce when I got in bed.

That’s certainly true @catseye, a fear could be nipped in the bud this way. What’s worse is when you get an adult who likes to tease a child about their irrational fear or manages to exacerbate it in some way. As somebody who suffers with phobias I know how important it is dealing the right way with fears in children.
There is a different state of consciousness when you are a child. I was thinking about this the other day when I was in a loo where the grain of the woodwork formed a face (like those terror wardrobe stories that used to crop up in the newspapers in the 1980s). I looked at it and thought "as a kid, that would have terrified me" and remembered similar instances, doors or cupboards with naturally formed "faces" - and for a minute or two actually remembered the mindset I used to have - when you stop looking at the object as an object, and rather see it as the manifestation of something else that is pretending to be an object, hard to explain, but like it's flowering out of another dimension... I give up, I can't find the words!
 

catseye

Old lady trouser-smell with yesterday's knickers
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There is a different state of consciousness when you are a child. I was thinking about this the other day when I was in a loo where the grain of the woodwork formed a face (like those terror wardrobe stories that used to crop up in the newspapers in the 1980s). I looked at it and thought "as a kid, that would have terrified me" and remembered similar instances, doors or cupboards with naturally formed "faces" - and for a minute or two actually remembered the mindset I used to have - when you stop looking at the object as an object, and rather see it as the manifestation of something else that is pretending to be an object, hard to explain, but like it's flowering out of another dimension... I give up, I can't find the words!
I think a lot of it is because, as a child, so much of the world just doesn't make sense. For all a small child knows, a door really can suddenly break down and reveal a dreadful 'thing'. And there's so much that adults just don't talk about, or won't explain, with the 'oh, you don't need to know about that.' WHY don't we need to know? Is it because it will keep us awake or having nightmares?

I remember taking my very very small son to a birthday party where they had a magician (the party was for an older child). The magician did the usual tricks, pulling bunches of flowers out of the air, taking a rabbit out of a (revealed to be empty) hat. My son was singularly unimpressed and quite bored during the whole proceedings. It was only later, when he said that he wanted a rabbit that was really a hat, that I realised that, to him, none of this was 'magic tricks'. It was the way the world genuinely worked. He had no experience to compare it to. And I think that's what happens in children's minds. They don't know what's meant to be 'normal' or what's meant to happen. So they are afraid, perpetually, of the potential.
 

Giant R

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My sister was terrified of spiders and when she was sitting on the sofa eating baked beans on toast once my older brother tied the stork of a large tomato onto a piece of cotton and dangled it in front of her face from behind the sofa. She launched the plate and tray into the air with a scream and chased him from the house threatening to kill him...
 

brownmane

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Speaking of kids seeing faces where they aren't, when I was young, my grandma had a metal decoration hanging on her bathroom wall. I always saw it as a lady's face and really thought that that was what it was. Nothing scary, but what else do you do while sitting on a toilet, but look at the decor:)?

Anyways, one day I was staring at it and suddenly it became two birds in flight. And that was what it really was. From then on, I couldn't figure out how to see the lady's face.
 

Ronnie Jersey

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There is a different state of consciousness when you are a child. I was thinking about this the other day when I was in a loo where the grain of the woodwork formed a face (like those terror wardrobe stories that used to crop up in the newspapers in the 1980s). I looked at it and thought "as a kid, that would have terrified me" and remembered similar instances, doors or cupboards with naturally formed "faces" - and for a minute or two actually remembered the mindset I used to have - when you stop looking at the object as an object, and rather see it as the manifestation of something else that is pretending to be an object, hard to explain, but like it's flowering out of another dimension... I give up, I can't find the words!
Children just accept everything for what it is, they think it's just the way things are and how the world works.
I remember a dream I had at 7 years old about a wishing well - I was on line behind six other children, so I was number 7 - they were all making their wishes at the well, and when it was my turn, a Monster popped out of the well.
It's the silliest thing, but I never got over that ridiculous dream, and to this day whenever I see a wishing well in someone's front garden, I get the creeps.
 

Ermintruder

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rather see it as the manifestation of something else that is pretending to be an object
This sounds almost like the principles (or effects) of apotropaic magic, rather than just conventional perceptual pareidolia (intriguingly, we tend at least in the western world to almost-always perceive these imbued/implicit faces as being male).

For children (which we all still are, in so many ways) it's safe to predict there will be a high degree of consensus in detecting and categorising these 'threats' in shape & shadows. It also of course raises the contendable phenomenon of thought-forms: as in the theoretical materialisation of sustained shared ideas, in at least some semi-tangible metaphysical sense.
 

Iris

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When I was little we used to visit my Mother's brother's house.
There was one of those fake African face type stands that absolutely scared me.
I don't know why maybe because I didn't like my uncle's wife.
I remember being tormented that if I went out the back gate a black man would come and get me.
I thought that might be interesting, someone to play with, so off I went.
I ended up down the street at a neighbour's house where they put me in a porch swing till I was fetched to go back
 

catseye

Old lady trouser-smell with yesterday's knickers
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This sounds almost like the principles (or effects) of apotropaic magic, rather than just conventional perceptual pareidolia (intriguingly, we tend at least in the western world to almost-always perceive these imbued/implicit faces as being male).

For children (which we all still are, in so many ways) it's safe to predict there will be a high degree of consensus in detecting and categorising these 'threats' in shape & shadows. It also of course raises the contendable phenomenon of thought-forms: as in the theoretical materialisation of sustained shared ideas, in at least some semi-tangible metaphysical sense.
I think this is true. Children would have to be more attuned to danger, as it takes more to keep them safe!
 

Ermintruder

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Pink Panther theme tune. I don't like the loud bit, terrifies me for some reason.
I understand exactly what you mean. As a child, I found it slightly-hypnotic and more upsetting than it should've been... I think awaiting the horn crescendos was a bit like trying to prepare for the unavoidable plummet-over-the-edge on a roller-coaster.

https://www.moviemusicuk.us/the-pink-panther-henry-mancini/
Henry Mancini and Edwards had collaborated on a number of films, and Edwards believed that his jazz sensibilities would be a perfect compliment for the film. Mancini understood that Sellers’s performance would bring the requisite laughs, and so chose to support the story telling with music that was playful and mischievous. For the film’s primary themes, one stands as the most iconic and instantly recognizable themes in cinematic history, one that has since passed unto legend. I speak of the Pink Panther Theme. This minor modal theme emotes as a mysterioso in that it serves as Sir Charles Lytton’s secret identity as The Phantom. Its jazzy, syncopated music has a swagger, which showcases the talent of virtuoso tenor saxophone of Plas Johnson who mimics the soft footfalls of the stealthy Phantom.
The score is a celebration of dance, with Mancini infusing his soundscape with swinging mambos, cha-chas, and tangos. He would also feature accordion, sultry piano, sparkling horn flourishes, after hour’s jazz, and a classic smoky big band sound to round out the score. Mancini brought in some of the finest jazz musicians soloists of his time, which showcased the skills of Plas Johnson on tenor sax, Phil Woods on alto sax, and Carl Sanders on trumpet. Lastly, the score is listed as #20 in the American Film Institute’s 100 Years of Film Score list.
“The Pink Panther Theme” offers the score’s highlight, which showcases Mancini’s immortal theme. It is rendered in classic ABA form and supports the animation, which unfolds as a silly and slapstick cartoon. We observe the hapless inspector Clouseau searching for clues with a magnifying glass, a pink panther, which symbolizes the diamond prancing here and there, and an animated white glove, the Phantom’s calling card. The A Phrase of the theme is classic Mancini jazz, syncopated, full of mystery and swagger, and showcasing Johnson’s virtuoso tenor sax. The B Phrase hits us with classic big band horns, which power up the theme
 

Schrodinger's Zebra

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I understand exactly what you mean. As a child, I found it slightly-hypnotic and more upsetting than it should've been... I think awaiting the horn crescendos was a bit like trying to prepare for the unavoidable plummet-over-the-edge on a roller-coaster.

https://www.moviemusicuk.us/the-pink-panther-henry-mancini/
Yes, thank you , that's much more descriptive than what I said, and tis what I meant but did not say quite so eloquently.
 

Trevp666

It was like that when I got here.........honest!!!
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Lockardian

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@Lockardian - did anyone ever take a door handle to bits to show you how they worked? Or unpick the lumpy bit of curtain to show that it was just rubbish stitching?

No they didn’t, but to be honest I’m not sure how much it would have helped in my case. I mean, deep down I knew it was just a curtain hem or door handle but that didn’t stop the object looking scary. Similar to how children (and adults) can be scared by loud noises, particularly when alone - they know it’s just the furnace starting up, or the toilet flushing, but that doesn’t stop the sudden noise from scaring them.

As an adult, i can still look at certain door handles (not so much curtain hems!) and see exactly what I found frightening.
 
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Floyd1

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Sutton Common BT tower. Heaven knows why though. It just seemed menacing somehow. Perhaps more so on a dark winter's day.
Sutton Common.png
 

Lockardian

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That reminds me. A few years ago I used to hate driving near these masts and towers in the dark, with only their red aircraft warning lights visible. I didn’t even have to be particularly close, I just felt they had some kind of “force field” I was driving into while in line of sight.

I’ve totally overcome that “fear” and drive right up to them in day and night now - in fact I’ve became something of a transmitter anorak!
 
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Floyd1

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That reminds me. A few years ago I used to hate driving near these masts and towers in the dark, with only their red aircraft warning lights visible. I didn’t even have to be particularly close, I just felt they had some kind of “force field” I was driving into while in line of sight.
Yes that's it. I wonder if the lack of windows is something to do with it?
I also struggle to walk past lift shafts (or any unknown door) in multi-story carparks too.
 

mortal_immortal

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Sutton Common BT tower. Heaven knows why though. It just seemed menacing somehow. Perhaps more so on a dark winter's day.
View attachment 60925

I live in South Cheshire, about 15 miles from Sutton Common, and have a view of it and Mow Cop from my bedroom window. There's a very apocalyptic look to them - I often try to imagine what future archaeologists will make of these odd monoliths.
 

Floyd1

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I live in South Cheshire, about 15 miles from Sutton Common, and have a view of it and Mow Cop from my bedroom window. There's a very apocalyptic look to them - I often try to imagine what future archaeologists will make of these odd monoliths.
You also probably have a view of my mate's canal boat at Scholar Green too then.
 

MercuryCrest

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I may have mentioned this before, but when I was a child, there was "The Nerd". I don't know why I called it that, but it was this weird-ass sculpture piece my dad bought my mom before they divorced. She kept it hidden away in the garage, but every once in a while, she'd pull it out and I would freak. I must have been 7 at the time. It was some formless bust with weird things poking out of it. I hated it.
 

Mooka

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I find large wind turbines very creepy. When I see lines of them on the horizon I’m always put in mind of The Langoliers, like they are some type of metal creature coming to eat the day away. Either that or some sinister machine as in The War of the Worlds.
 
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