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5 Horror Moments That Ruined My Childhood!!

As an adult horror fan I have a bit of a stronger stomach than I did as a child. I’m able to parse through images with a centered awareness that keeps me sort of numb (hey – maybe this is the “desensitization” the media warned me about) to the whole thing unless I see a truly remarkable gag.

But when I was a kid there were some moments I just couldn’t get out of my head. Looking at these now, some of them feel kind of random, “why did I freak out to this?” But there’s no denying they made an impact on me anyway. Whether if it was because they were so gross I couldn’t eat for a week or because they brought me closer to understanding how quiveringly weak my own mortality was… they messed me up for a bit.

Head below for 5 Horror Moments That Ruined My Childhood!!

PET SEMETARY: The Eye Socket

Ugh. When poor Dale Midkiff reanimates the body of his dead wife (played by Denise Crosby) we know the outcome won’t be good. But did they have to go with the eye socket? That slimy glob of pus running out of it? I remember watching this at a friend’s house and his dad would make sound effects as it happened, “Gloop!” Parental supervision!


After our antagonists run over the bicyclist then back over head head, crushing it like a melon, they hop out to snap polaroids of his brain. Forgive me if I’m describing the scene somewhat incorrectly, I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch it since I was 10 years old. Because of this scene I literally stopped eating Life cereal (I watched this on VHS during breakfast) for years.


I was at the multiplex with my parents waiting for what I’m sure was a perfectly PG movie when I snuck away and poked my head into this theater. I happened in there just in time to see a zombie munching on one of the head of one of the paramedics. I still remember that vibrant yellow rain slicker burning into my brain. Funnily enough, I thought this was a serious movie at the time.


Another film I snuck into for a few minutes. I was obviously too young to understand the marionette work Leatherface was performing with that body, but the way everything goes wobbly and herky-jerky when he grabs that chainsaw freaked me the f*ck out.

THE LOST BOYS: Mohawk Bite

Perhaps the most mainstream film on this list, I couldn’t wait until this hit Blockbuster because my parents were actually gonna let me rent it. I still had to close my eyes during the surf punk kill, particularly when one of them gets the center strip of his scalp peeled back.



  • UndeadRaziel

    Nothing has freaked me out more than watch Freddy kill that chick in that sticky bug box thing. I haven’t watched it since I was a kid and then I saw the Nightmare on Elm Street Documentary. I completely forgot about it and when I saw it, all the fear I had as a child came rushing back. Not cool.

    • divisionbell

      That bug scene disturbed the hell out of me as a kid!!

      Also the spider scene at the end of the original fly
      That damn oil slick in Creepshow 2
      The scene where the kid’s arm comes off in the blob remake

      Possibly the most traumatizing thing as a kid was the dog scene in the original The Thing

      • Darkness69

        Oh, yes, that oil slick – was the part called “The Raft” or something? Damn, that was creepy!

    • HostelTakeover

      Little kiddie Angel is saying FUCK YOU!!! But adult Angel is saying OH HELL YEAH!!!

      • divisionbell


  • Lion7718

    When Linda Blair spun her head around in ‘The Exorcist’ freaked me out…still does to this day.

    • WalkWithMeInDarkness

      You and me both!

    • skinwakers

      my mom is still freaked out by her crawling down the stairs backwards and I think the only reason she is disturbed by that movie is the weird body things. personally i’m fine with it,but i probably haven’t seen the uncut version.

  • joesey

    showing your age their ay evan? lol. Watching The Blob(1988) was a pretty gross out and traumatizing movie for me to watch as a kid, until I saw The Hellraiser movies and The Gates of Hell but I was allowed to watch whatever I wanted as a kid, as long as I didn’t cry to my mom :-p

  • 905Justin

    pet semetary and candyman freaked me out as a kid….the zelda scene in pet semetary still gives me the creeps

    • SonOfVoorhees

      Candyman, candyman, candyman, candyman, candym….cough. See i said it. Has anyone ever said Candyman 5 times in a mirror knowing that its fake?

      • WalkWithMeInDarkness

        It took me years to actually do it. I finally finished as a teen and I’m still here. The kid who was with me, however, was later found mutilated in his bathroom… I’m serious…

      • Darkness69

        To this day I can’t say it. Better safe than sorry!

  • mountain twin

    I remember being so stoked to watch TCM2 on Halloween night and that opening scene made me woozy with fear. I didn’t quite understand what was happening at the time either, I thought it was really frightening two dudes strapped together killing in unison. Who was driving? Chop top?

  • DarrelDreadful

    The Burning, when all the kids get massacred on the lake. That was the first movie to give me nightmares as a kid, it scared the crap out of me. I spent years trying to figure out what movie I had seen because I could never forget it, then I miraculously came across it on Netflix. Still love it lol

  • WalkWithMeInDarkness

    Walking in on my grandmother using a dildo when I was six. I still have nightmares…

    • SonOfVoorhees

      Even though you were kidding, youve now ruined my adult hood. Damn my imagination. 🙁

    • Marty McFly

      Better than walking in on your grandfather using the dildo….

      • SonOfVoorhees

        Damn it. Ok ok, atleast they wernt both using the same dildo. Oh crap.

        • WalkWithMeInDarkness

          Well, when she was done, I used the dildo. Consider your adulthood completely destroyed!

      • WalkWithMeInDarkness

        No, I caught him with 400 pound male prostitute.

  • WalkWithMeInDarkness

    Just kidding! It really happened though. Not! Moments in Halloween, Scream and most DEFINITELY The Exorcist fucked me up really bad. Oh, and when Tina gets levitated and dragged across the ceiling in the original Nightmare. Talk about a long period of bad dreams. And I can’t forget the first Pumpkinhead. The old witch scared me worse than the actual monster did! “Goddamn you, goddamn you!” “He already has, son.” Still gives mt the creeps.

  • WalkWithMeInDarkness

    Sorry, I meant “me the creeps.”

  • SonOfVoorhees

    Was born in 1977 so watched many horror movies. Only one movie ruined my childhood, American Werewolf in London. Mostly because i was young maybe 8 to 10 years old and i had to walk across a park in total darkness. Very uneasy feeling, but thats no longer a problem movie for me anymore. Even now, amazing transformation sequence.

    But other than that, me and my friends would boast about the movies we watched. The blood and guts like in Deadly Friend in which a woman had her head destroyed with a basketball. lol. Was awesome fun. Glad my dad loved horror movies, as i would watch them early in the morning with the sound turned down. 🙂

  • Marty McFly

    Pet Sematary for me. That was the first actual horror movie for me when I was a kid. Everything about it freaked me out and gave me goosebumps, the kid that gets killed in the beginning of the movie and returns as a ghost to warn to Louis, that creepy Zelda lady, scarred me for life. I am proud to have this be one of first horror movies to take my horror virginity when I was a child. Also, I remember the very first time watching Return of the Living Dead when I was 12 and I was absolutely terrified to go downstairs in the dark at night when everyone was asleep. (Leave it to me to watch it in the middle of the night)

    • WalkWithMeInDarkness

      Fuck yeah. I forgot that. That Zelda chick still creeps me out when I watch that movie.

  • HostelTakeover

    The Stuff, because I had an ice cream addiction when I was a kid. My parents put in the VHS tape for that when I was like 8 (in 2000) and when I saw it I couldn’t eat ice cream for a while. Now I want to see that movie. I’ll look it up online.

  • wildgator25

    Day of the Dead. When the zombies tore Rhodes in half. I can still remember the screams he made and how they got higher in pitch as he was being torn apart. Fucked…me….up!

  • One moment is from The X-Files.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think it was the debut episode. I BARELY remember anything else from the entire episode, but the last shot showed this CREEPY monster/creature/alien or whatever looking up from a sewer. His eyes were all black, he had fangs, and a lot of blood around his mouth. Scared the shit out of me.

    Another would be The Shining. I think it was on HBO or something one day, and the scene where the river of blood came out the elevator FREAKED me out. And the scene where Jack starts making out with the seemingly attractive young woman…..and then she turns into the old, ghostly woman with scabs and wrinkled, deformed skin. Ugh, still makes me cringe, when I look at it now a days.

    • EvilHead1981

      X-Files had some scary ass episodes. Humbug comes to mind. For the while, in my household, it was referred to as “The Demon Baby”. It wasn’t a demon, nor a baby, but particularly to my younger sisters, it was a thing to be feared. I was older around that time, so it didn’t scare me as much some of the other stuff I listed, but I DID use it to scare my sisters. We’d walk into a dark room and I’d say, “There’s the demon baby!” and I’d run and leave them alone as they screamed and cried, running after me. I was a fuckin’ horrible brother!

      • WolfQueen

        Scariest X-Files for me was the one with the creatures in the forest with the glowing red eyes and then one up under a bed in the end scene. Yeah, not a lot of sleep after that one.

  • oneofthosedeadfckers

    The opening scene of American Werewolf in London. I saw it with my dad when I was 4 years old and was so freaked out by the werewolf coming out of the mist and ripping David’s friend apart.

  • Canucklehead

    In the late 70s saw the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Woke up in the middle of the night and was so convinced that I heard a chainsaw outside that I called 911. Good times

  • Boonraiser

    I remember renting Evil Dead 2 when it first came out on VHS and I was about 8. When Ash first meets the Grandmother in the cellar, she freaked me out for a while already having a fear of dark basements.

    The smaller, hallway crawling creature in Hellraiser 2 fucked me up a bit when that came out on tape.

    I was quite young when Superman 3 came out, but at the end that old woman villain gets trapped in Luthor’s super computer and turns her into a cyborg/zombie thing. That did it to me too.

    The pool/mud pit scene with all the dead bodies in the water at the end of Poltergeist was a lot for for a little kid too. I could keep going…

  • thezombieepidemic

    I found a Sleepaway Camp VHS when I was 6 and the ending to the film is seared into my brain for eternity. I watched it not too long ago, and while I found it a lot more tame than I did as a child, the ending still reaches into my inner child and gives it a mean-spirited tickle.

  • lovezoid

    Totally agree on TCM2 opening, it’s the jerky motions of that corpse, it makes me feel nauseous. I also find Chop-Top picking his head with the coathanger really wince-worthy. I’d also nominate the scene from original TCM when Grandpa is feebly trying to hammer Marilyn Burns’ skull, it’s an ordeal to watch.

    Other mentions are all final scenes:

    1. Invasion of the Bodysnatchers (Donald Sutherland version) – final shot – I’d seen a thousand parodies of it but when I finally saw the source, it was seared into my brain

    2. Don’t Look Now – see above. Hm, maybe it’s just Donald Sutherland that freaks me out.

    3. As mentioned above, Sleepaway Camp final shot, creepy as shit.

    4. Requiem for a Dream – Injecting the infected arm.

    5. The Stoning of Soraya M. – The unflinching stoning scenes are nearly unbearable to watch

  • Darkness69

    Nice one, Evan! I guess there are plenty of fucked up horror moments in my childhood too – what comes to mind at first is the scene in the original Nightmare when Freddy spreads his arms unnaturally across the whole alley! That’s scary to me even now! I chime in with the Zelda from Pet Sematary, and the biting into the boy’s skull in the Lost Boys is cringe-worthy as hell.

    Sadly, there are also two movies that I don’t know the title of. I watched both when I was 5 or 6 years old and they scarred me for life. In the first one, there’s this evil man with a name beginning with P. (I remember “Picasso”, but I don’t think that’s it, lol), who dies and is buried in a mausoleum in the basement with green fog coming out of it (yep, not really dead there). A new family moves in and then all sort of crazy shit starts happening.
    In the other one, there’s a bunch of people trapped in a house that doesn’t let them leave. I especially remember a scene where one of them goes out and thinks he escaped, only to be eaten by the quicksand in front of the house. There’s a Devil statue moving and laughing, the other one gets electrocuted by the heating pipes, etc.

    Anyone knows the titles of these two movies? I’d LOVE to see them again!

  • EvilHead1981

    Funny people list The Raft segment of Creepshow 2. I think it’s a valid scare. Good horror makes you question the safety of normal things. When something presents to you an thing that looks basically like an oil slick(or a giant plastic sheet in the water) that kills you and eats you(in horrific painful ways), when you are THAT young, you start to wonder, “Well, I see oil slicks sometimes… I think I might avoid them, because a lot of them might be real oil slicks, but WHAT IF one isn’t?”. That sense of doubt and fear that normal can be abnormal is really what horror is all about! It’s not about if it’s real or if it’s fantasy, but “What if it DID or COULD happen?”.

    For me, my top five scenes that fucked me up as a kid:

    5. “You’ve been a bad boy!” scene from The Gate. We think everything’s normal. The parents are home! Then the dad picks up his son and starts to shake him while spouting that demonic line. His sister, her friends and his friend scream and the boy attempts to free himself by clawing at his father’s face, which starts to ooze gunk. All the while, demonic mom is laughing her head off at the terror these children are witnessing. I think the boy and other kids make it for the door as the dad chucks his decapitated head at them.

    4. Dr. Channard’s killing spree from Hellbound- Hellraiser II: I innitially felt someone disturbed as a kid seeing the transformation from human to cenobite via the Lament Configuration elevator(almost was like a live embalming procedure), then after he emerges somewhat normal(just cenobite-looking), the penis scalp saw drills into his head and makes him an unwilling vessel for Leviathan. Then his little romp around hell and the asylum leads to him killing a bunch of mental patients, killing the other “lead” cenobites(which results in them becoming human again, which is quite disturbing in itself) and then turning Pinhead human just to kill him.

    3. Toss up of “In the drain” monsters, particularly Pennywise visiting Eddie in the boys’ showers and the Blob sucking the cook down the drain, from Stephen King’s It and The Blob(1988 version). Damn, some of that stuff really stuck with me as a kid. Like I said, good horror takes ordinary things, in this case, a drain, and makes them a focal point of pure terror. It makes you question, “What’s down there?” and “Will it get me? If not tonight, tomorrow night?”. We all have to take a bath/shower(I hope we all do) sometime.

    2. The demonic transformation and possession of Rosemary, from Demons/Demoni: Really, the movie was pure nightmare fuel for me as a kid, but this one part really stood out. The whole demon transformation was pure gross out, and didn’t look like something I’d enjoy. Pus boils popping green ooze and vomit stuff(even looks helluva more painful seeing Carmen’s teeth falling out and being replaced by sharp demon fangs). Then, after Carmen goes to check why her friend is taking too long in the restroom, we see Rosemary all creepy with her demon eyes. Carmen panics and runs away as Rosemary is hot on her heels(looking even creepy as she’s on the hunt).

    It’s a Gusher, from A Nightmare on Elm Street. Freddy is my favorite horror icon, but as a kid, he was also the most terrifying horror character of all. Not only did he use your own fears against you, he gets you where you are presumed as being safe, in your dreams. So that alone used to scare the shit out of me, because knowing Freddy’s face and what he was(the first movie fuckin scared the shit out of me as a kid), I actually had REAL nightmares with Freddy chasing me. So, in a way, he WAS real. He didn’t kill me(or at least my nightmare death, as he DID stab me and shit, but it didn’t result in me dying in real life), but the fact you COULD dream about HIM(really), made him something more than any other horror character out there. That being said, the scene where Johnny Depp gets sucked into his bed actually made me sleep on my floor for a while as a kid. It goes with my statement of horror being about normal things being abnormal. A bed is comfort. But imagining a hand rip out of it and pull me in, resulting in some gastly death(left to your imagination, but I always imagined Freddy going to work on Glen liks some sort of human meat grinder) and shooting your remains(with more than needed gallons of blood) out of your bed and splattering your room with gore…. urgh! I remember as a kid, one time I woke up(this happens to me), and it was in the middle of the night, maybe early in the morning, and it was just so fuckin still. Then the bed started to shake. As a kid, when you have Freddy on your mind and the fact that he could fuckin suck you into your own bed, you fear the worst. It was an earthquake(LOL). But still, even though earthquakes can be scary(and deadly), the fact you think about something else(be it fantasy horror) makes your realize how much of an impact these movies have on you. Interestingly enough, I still wake up before an earthquake happens(if it happens in the night).

  • ThunderDragoon

    I don’t really have any specific moments, but I know I had a lot of nightmares having to do with Michael Myers and Chucky. And now they’re my best buds lol.

    • skinwakers

      I love Michael Myers! too bad he scares my sister (she’s 11 but was scarred when she was around 8)

  • Nightflyre9

    The Exorcist freaked the hell out of me when I was a kid. The first time I ever stayed home by myself, it happened to play on one of the movie channels. And since I had already been watching the channel (and was only vaguely familiar with what the movie was about), I sat there as it began . . . and let’s just say that was probably the most terrifying night of my life. I didn’t move from the sofa (or barely breathe) until my mom got home. To this day, Regan’s face is a mind-fuck to me.

    The original Friday the 13th screwed with me, too. Where I lived growing up was a very secluded neighborhood, so we were always walking through the woods and playing manhunt. I can’t think of another movie that affected me so much for such a long time. Every time I was in the woods, I felt like I was being watched and stalked. I don’t know how many times I got to my best friend’s house after dark, sweating and out of breath from fear and paranoia. That movie (and the first three sequels, to a lesser degree) provided me YEARS of terror.

    And the last one for me is Dawn of the Dead. As a kid, I was pretty traumatized by this film. The scene where the elevator opens and the zombies come busting through for Stephen is forever imprinted on my brain. Also traumatizing were the arm being ripped off during the blood pressure scene, and the biker who has his guts torn open. Horrifying! Many sleepless nights came from this movie.

  • CTHL

    My childhood traumatizers (as per the 80’s):

    Poltergeist’s child-molesting clown was my first. Always remember your first!

    Pet Semetary’s bizarro Zelda in bed pop up…

    Tourist Trap… in general. Mannequins are the devil. Still.

    Trilogy of Terror’s Amelia/voodoo doll. Couldn’t sleep in my bed for a month after.

    And embarrassingly, Evil Dead 2’s laughing deer head. Had no problem with the actual scarier moments/1. Just one of those what was I thinking at the time moments…

  • Mayday

    Jaws, when Hooper is investigating the giant tooth and Ben Gardner’s lifeless body pops out of the hole. I had nightmares for a week after seeing that.

  • christiandunks

    killer klowns from outer space is the only film that scared me when i was about 6 took awhile to get over that one lol now watching it i’m not sure why 🙂 also the original black christmas i remember watching that when i was very young on christmas eve because i could’unt go to bed till i knew the killer was stopped so the ending really freaked me out lol now i watch it every christmas eve for the last 20 odd years 🙂

  • christiandunks

    but also my brother was scared to death of the talking toilet in look whos talking too lol scary stuff 🙂

  • Evil_Flip

    What f-ed me up was Mo’s death scene in Hardware and the dream/transmission in Prince of Darkness.

  • judd

    There was a movie called Don’t go to sleep from the early 80’s. It was about a family that has a daughter die in a car accident. Turns out it was the parents fault. The family moves into a new house. The daughters ghost starts to kill them off. There was a really creepy scene with a pizza cutter going up a handrail up the steps. The end was very scary when the mom is the last one alive…she is laying in bed and hears someone saying mom… she awakens to see hear dead daughter floating at the end of the bed…smiling at her. The movie def gave me nightmares.

  • IconOfSin

    In Pet Cemetery when the little kid kills the old fella(can’t remember their names), that really scared me. Child’s laughter can be creepy & it really freaked me out. Friday the 13th part 2 scared me as a youngster, no one particular scene just the whole film. Night of the living dead & A nightmare on elm street also. Funny what scares you when you’re young.

    • skinwakers

      that last thing you said made me think of when i was 4ish and couldn’t watch the beginning of Tarzan the cartoon movie because the baby was abandoned.any movie like that i would cry.i don’t anymore but i don’t like those types of movies anymore either (why else am i here?)

  • skinwakers

    my mom is disturbed by Reagan crawling down steps backwards, my sister that’s 11 Michael Myers (i love him-BEST KILLER EVER), and my 7 year old sister is scared of The Exorcist (me and the 11 year old kind of forced her to watch it-more like threatened to eat her candy and delete her game profile if she didn’t and convinced her it was a documentary about wherever that place is at the very beginning- we both got grounded)and anything else,including the WASP song Chainsaw Charlie (Murders In The New Morgue).i have a fear of birds, but The Birds i don’t think caused them-i never was scared of that movie (it was the cats killin em and us findin the corpses and eggs that fell,sometimes revealing the unborn corpse and the way they look…i once accidentally kicked a dead bird and thought i would have a heart attack.the flappin of the wings…i can’t handle it).Puzuzu from The Excorsict II scared me real bad.I had to get a shower at night right after that and the room i was in was dark (my mom was sleeping in there). when i first saw her i had to turn my head and cover my ears, but if i closed my eyes i saw her and if they were open i saw her, so i was pretty scared.out of everything my youngest sister is scared of, Puzuzu is not one of them. she’s scared of me if i put my head down so my hair covers my face, but with Puzuzu,”oh she’s just an old lady”.i get scared and all, but not of one specific thing or person.i’m 100% okay with gore and blood,but not live birth or pregnant can tell i’m going to be overjoyed if/when i get horror moment that destroyed me is when my younger sister and mom would watch Baby Story as a younger child (before i was 6,probably 3 or 4).that was horror.i can’t even watch pandas give birth(something else they like to watch).doesn’t our YouTube history sound interesting?

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