Sunday, August 3, 2014

Childhood Trauma Flashbacks Part VI: Prime Time Scares

Back in February of 2013, I posted the first Childhood Trauma Flashback in which I talked about various Television theme songs that scared the crap out of me.  Tonight we're going to take a look back at the various television shows that spooked me.  Sometimes it was a whole series that gave me the willies....sometimes it was just a specific episode.  In any case, let's step in the way-back machine and visit Young Matt in 1980-something and watch as he cowers in fear in front of the glowing pictures being emitted from a cathode ray.....


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....

"Ghost Story"

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's quite cathartic going back and revisiting my childhood fears!


  1. It amuses me that a post titled Prime Time Scares prominently features a shot of Mindy Cohn. Nancy McKeon was always the one I thought would go postal some day. Lotta rage there.

  2. Ha ha ha! That is rather amusing! I'll tell ya what though, I had a serious crush on Nancy McKeon back in the day! Love me some Jo!

  3. I must confess that The Brady Bunch had en episode with Greg sleeping in the attic. Marsha wanted the room, so she rigged a ghost to scare Greg off. Many other generally harmless shows had pretty spooky (at least for the kid in me) episodes. I am glad you are bringing back all these memories!

  4. Oooh yeah! I forgot all about the "ghost" episode of the Brady Bunch. My favorite was always the UFO episode! That's the one where Greg rigs up a UFO to scare Bobby and Peter....then Bobby starts having nightmares about aliens. I'm pretty sure that almost every sitcom\tv show has some sort of "spooky" episode, whether it's an outright Halloween Special or just something with a spooky element to it (such as the aforementioned Brady Bunch episodes).

    Glad you're enjoying it, Carl! I always enjoy taking a spooky stroll down memory lane and revisiting episodes that I haven't seen in a long time! This particular post I thought long and hard about whether I was going to put it under the Unexpected Horrors banner or keep it in Childhood Trauma Flashback. Ultimately since they are all shows I haven't really watched since childhood, Flashback won!

    Just for shits and giggles, here's the link to my write-up of The Brady Bunch episode Out of this World, where Bobby and Peter see the UFO!