Looking back as an adult, it can be surprising to remember things that used to terrify you as a kid.
In a recent online discussion, people shared what used to frighten them as children. Here are ten things they say frightened them the most.
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Going to the Bathroom At Night
A lot of childhood fears revolve around the dark, like going to the bathroom in the middle of the night or shadows in the dark corner of your bedroom.
One person said, “Going to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I always sprinted back to my room because I was afraid.”
Hand Under the Bed
One common fear of children is a hand under the bed at night, just waiting to grab them as they try to climb into it.
One man said, “My older brother once hid under my bed. Right before I got back in bed, he reached out and grabbed my ankles and yelled. It was the scariest moment of my life. An actual childhood nightmare come true.”
Killer Behind the Shower Curtain
You can’t really blame kids (or adults) for being scared of what might be hiding behind the shower curtain. If you’ve watched many movies, that’s frequently where the bad guy hangs out.
One woman said, “I’m almost 40 and I still check behind the shower curtain just to make sure a serial killer isn’t waiting to get me.” Another said, “I have a transparent/holographic shower curtain, so that I can leave it closed and not worry, while also being able to watch the door while I am actually showering.”
The movie Poltergeist was a common response to what frightened you as a child. It is scary! What were kids doing watching it in the first place?
One person said, “Somehow around six, I ended up watching it in the middle of the night. Or I should say part of it. To this day, I don’t like horror movies/shows.”
Someone else said, “My parents took me to that in the theater when I was 8. It was rated PG. My mom spent half the movie covering my eyes. That haunted me even worse than the family in the movie.”
Pool Drain Sucking You In
Another common childhood fear was being sucked down the pool drain and drowned.
One man said, “Anyone else terrified of the pool drain in the deep end at the bottom of the pool growing up? Because I sure was. I avoided that thing at all costs. To the point where if a pool ring landed on it I wasn’t getting it.”
Someone else said, “Forget pools. I was terrified of the drain in my bathtub.”
Another common childhood fear is monsters living in the basement that are out to get you.
One woman said, “When I had to go to the basement at night I always ran back up the stairs like there was for sure something behind me.”
Another woman said, “My dad’s basement stairs growing up didn’t have backs. So that monster that lives under the bed at night with the foot fetish moves to the basement during the day. I am 38 and am still terrified to have something grab my feet in his basement.”
Large Marge from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure was the source of nightmares for many children.
One person said, “The truck driver woman in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure scared me half to death.” Someone else replied, “I feel like those scenes gave half the kids in America nightmares for a week.”
Windows At Night
Another common childhood fear stemming from the darkness is what might be lurking out there, waiting to get you that you can’t see.
One commenter said, “I would always wonder if someone would watch me through my window.” Another said, “Thinking that at night at any time if I looked out the windows there would be a T. Rex eye looking in.”
The movie E.T. has been giving kids nightmares since 1982. You have to admit, he does look kind of creepy, even as an adult. One person said, “ET was my worst nightmare!” Someone replied, “Bro I used to have recurring nightmares about ET as a kid.”
Another said, “I’m 34 and if I stumble across a picture of him I still get spooked. It’s not a full jump scare but a ‘oh, hey,’ and like a sucking in through your teeth noise.”
The Wizard Of Oz
What was supposed to be a fun, family movie wasn’t fun for everyone. For some kids, it was terrifying. One commenter said, “The flying monkeys gave me nightmares for weeks. I haven’t watched it in 50 years. It still freaks me out.”
Someone else said, “I thought it was just me. The monkeys and when the witch is melting was always a guaranteed nightmare.”
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This thread inspired this post.
I’m John Schmoll, a former stockbroker, MBA-grad, published finance writer, and founder of Frugal Rules.
As a veteran of the financial services industry, I’ve worked as a mutual fund administrator, banker, and stockbroker and was Series 7 and 63-licensed, but I left all that behind in 2012 to help people learn how to manage their money.
My goal is to help you gain the knowledge you need to become financially independent with personally-tested financial tools and money-saving solutions.