Sure, sure....go on an laugh, but Matlock scared me as a kid. There was ALWAYS a creepy murder that started the show, at which point Andy Griffith would try to solve the mysterious murder within sixty minutes. I remember watching this every Monday night with my mother.....scared the crap out of me every time. I remember one episode in particular that bothered me for a long time was about a killer dressed as Santa Claus. Looking back, I'm not so sure it was a good idea on Mom's part to let me watch that show....
You know, now that I'm thinking about it, there were a lot of TV shows that I watched as a kid that were really kind of over my head. You wouldn't think that an 8 year old kid would be terribly interested in a politically themed sitcom, but man, did I love Benson. The episode in which the mansion is apparently haunted by the ghost of a former Governor really spooked me out as a kid. There is also an episode in which The Governor and Benson are golfing at night when a UFO appears and abducts Benson! You KNOW how I am with aliens! Scared the everlasting gobstoppers out of me.
The whole damn series!
It started out as The UFO Report: Sightings. Then came The Ghost Report and The Psychic Report. Then Sightings became a full fledged television show that aired on Friday nights. I've mentioned in a much older post about the Friday night tradition of old. Things changed slightly when my sister started high school and joined the marching band. Every Friday night in the Fall, she would playing the band during the Friday night football games. My mother would leave me to watch my baby sister while she went to pick up my older sister from the high school. She would usually leave just before 8:30 to be able to get a decent place to park and wait from my sister, who usually got back to the high school around 9pm (barring of course the game going into overtime). Sightings would come on at 8:30 and I would sit there alone in the living room (my baby sister would already be asleep) and would be rooted in fear to the spot as reports of UFO's and mysterious creatures sightings would be reported every week. My mother and sister would get home and I was so relieved to not be alone anymore.....of course I couldn't let them know how freaked out I was and had to play it cool.
The Facts of Life
Seven Little Indians
This is one of the more embarrassing scares of my youth.....and I've written about it before, but I would be remiss if I didn't include it when talking about things that scared the crap out of me as a kid. I went into the plot in detail before, so to short version is that this episode plays like a slasher movie narrated by a Rod Serling clone. I was even afraid of him! He really creeped me out! I'll never forget lying in my bed, trying not to look at my closet door (which was never able to close fully....always stuck open about an inch). I swore there was a killer lurking in my closet and the minute that I fell asleep, he was going to get me. I'm pretty sure that I was convinced it was the Rod Serling clone in my closet. My mother had to comfort me for at least 45 minutes to an hour while I freaked out about the whole thing. Every now and then she'll still get a smirk on her face and simply say: "Tootie." (The Rod Serling clone had a running gag in the episde where he liked to say Tootie's name....)
I think we'll stop here for the night. The sun will be up soon and the shadows will retreat into the underground for another day. I hope you enjoy these Childhood Trauma Flashbacks......it's quite cathartic going back and revisiting my childhood fears!