When I was a kid I was scared of all kinds of things. That is one of the problems with having an overactive imagination. I mean sure it’s great now. I can use it to write this amazing blog that gets me all the chicks.
Not as many chicks as the band Imagination gets… but pretty close.
Back when I was a little kid though, my imagination was doing its best to scare the shit of me. Let me give you an example of some of the strange and irrational things I was scared of.
The Basilisk is a mythical creature with the head of a rooster, the body of a lizard and the tail of a snake. Supposedly it’s hatched from a snake egg that is incubated by a chicken and it can cause death with a single glance. When I was a kid I had this book of mythical creatures that I got at Coles book store. I don’t know who did the illustrations for that book but I think at some point they had a glimpse of hell. There were a number of monsters in that book that scared me but none more than the Basilisk. The picture of it in that book makes the picture above look like Barney. And it was looking right at me! I was convinced that if I looked at that picture for more than a second I would die. I was also convinced that these creatures were real and that one was going to come in our backyard at night and I would see it and I would die.
There was only one thing I could do. It said in the book that Basilisks were afraid of weasels. So when our local church had its rummage sale I bought up as many of those ratty old mink stoles with the heads on them as I could find.
I thought they were weasels.
And I wrapped them around myself at night to ward off the Basilisk. Funny, now it’s looking at those minks that gives me the heebie jeebies.
Yep, I was afraid of escalators. It wasn’t so much the height thing it was the disappearing steps when you reached the top. I was sure that a stray shoe lace or rugby pant cuff was going to get caught in there and I would be sucked in and slowly ground into hamburger, my high pitch death screams echoing throughout the mall and settling in the nightmares of the other shoppers for all eternity.
That’s why whenever we went into Eatons at the Burlington mall I always insisted that we take the elevator. Even though Eatons only had 2 floors their elevator had elevator music. If you were lucky you could catch the opening base line of Another One Bites the Dust. For some reason that song always used to be playing in the Eatons elevator. Hey remember that Coffee Crisp ad with Another One Bites the Crisp?
The Album for Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of the War of the Worlds.
My Aunt & Uncle used to have this record and it scared the shit out of me. Not actually listening to it. The record its self is more weird and bad than scary.
It was the album art that scared me. First there’s that horrible robot spidery thing on the front flame throwing a ship. Then when you open up the album you get a picture of this quaint little seaside village all destroyed and flooded with bubbling guts!
What the fuck is that?! Not only do these big robot spidery things have flame throwers but they also have human liquefier rays or something! You can’t put pictures like that in records for unsuspecting little kids to find. Adults always kept their records low down too. Right in the path and eye level of children. And if you think the liquid guts village is the worst picture in that album, you’re sorely mistaken. The picture that creeped me out the most was this one.
All the robot spidery things are dead and having their meaty insides pecked out by crows! How fucked up is that?! I think the guy that drew these is the same guy that drew that Basilisk. This image has stuck in my head for over 25 years. I actually kind of like it now. If I had this picture now I think I’d frame it and put it on my wall. Not the Basilisk though. That still scares me.
The Vacuum Cleaner.
I’m still kind of uneasy around vacuum cleaners. But I have reason to be. When I was young I used to follow my mom around while she vacuumed. Every once in a while she would run over a marble or a screw or something and the vacuum cleaner would grind to a halt and make this horrible jarring noise. I hated it. Once she ran over a rubber band and not only did it make the noise but it also filled the room with this disgusting burning rubber smell. I hated that smell too. But that’s not even the reason I’m scared of vacuums. When I got a bit older my parents would pay me to vacuum the house. One day I was vacuuming the living room in my bare feet and I accidently rolled the vacuum cleaner back over my foot and my toe got stuck in it! That vacuum cleaner sucked the skin right off my toe! If I hadn’t switched it off quick I would have ended up like this:
To this day I will not vacuum unless I’m almost forced. I also don’t like being in the room when someone is vacuuming and I don’t like having my feet on the floor when someone is vacuuming. I’m basically the opposite of that little creep that collects vacuums.
What a weirdo!
The Movie Maniac.
Yes, I know horror movies are supposed to be scary but I think this was the first horror movie I ever watched. My cousin and I rented it from Video Flicks when I was 7 or 8. There was something wrong with the tape so it had all these weird lines in it and the sound was all warped which made it even scarier. The part I was most scared of wasn’t even the shotgun scene.
The Maniac Headshot
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I was into action movies and ninja movies that had all kinds of good stuff like that. It was the weird conversations that the maniac guy had with his human scalp wearing mannequins and dolls that scared me.
Yeah, the video store guy never should have rented that movie to us. I think if that happened now he could probably be arrested for some form of child abuse.
So there you have it. A bunch of weird stuff that scared me when I was a little kid, some of which still scares me today. What were you afraid of as a little kid? Praying mantises? I bet it was praying mantises. They’re the only insect that can turn its head.