30+ Things That Were Incredibly Traumatizing For Millennials Growing Up

By Kirsty 1 year ago

1. Chucky The Doll

Image Source / The GuardianThere's nothing creepier than the nightmare of one of your toys coming to life, and we're not talking about Toy Story here. And Chucky the doll just took advantage of that fear. I mean, a killer's soul trapped in the body of a creepy-looking doll? Nightmare fuel we'll never get over.

2. The Original Pennywise The Clown

Image Source / Yahoo Movies UK
There has, of course, been a remake of IT since the original - which is creepy enough - but that doesn't mean the original Tim Curry version doesn't still live in our subconscious labelled NOPE. The first time we saw that darn clown with its true face (and teeth) revealed is not something we're likely to forget.

3. The Furnace From Home Alone

Image Source / Rescon Basement Solutions
Even as adults, most of us would be lying if we still didn't flee upstairs after switching the downstairs light off because we don't wanna be chased by a demon. And this furnace, for some reason, seemed to give off the same kind of terror vibes. Could you run from the basement fast enough?

4. The Sixth Sense

Image Source / Rotten Tomatoes
This is the GOAT of traumatising ghost films for a lot of us, surely? That moment when the poor kid pulls his covers up to his chin and says that he sees dead people? Yeah, it's hilariously quotable, but that doesn't diminish the original creeps.

5. Particularly The Little Girl Puking

Image Source / Gayly Dreadful
All the ghosts in The Sixth Sense were scary, but there was just something about this young girl in particular. Even though she was a good soul, that didn't change the fact she was utterly terrifying. Especially when she just appears in the kid's tent in the dead of night and just pukes everywhere.

6. Then There's Samara From The Ring

Image Source / Villains Wiki - Fandom
How many of us still look at our black TV screens to this day and wonder whether it's going to switch on? What would you even do if you saw something climbing out the front of it? Worst still, she made us fear the phone ringing even more than most of us millennials already do.

7. And Specifically
Girl In The Closet

Image Source / Reddit
And was there anything more terrifying than this shot? The first time we see what actually happens when your 7 days are up. The worst (and most genius) part about this was the way they shot it as a sudden flashback with the door opening. Yikes.

8. Gene Wilder's Willy Wonka

Image Source / Wikipedia
Willy Wonka was of course supposed to be a little eccentric, but there was just something about Gene Wilder's portrayal of him that was borderline disturbing. His wide eyes, his demeanour and not to mention him, ya know, luring kids into his chocolate factory with sweets.

9. Particularly The Boat Scene

Image Source / Slash Film
But nothing was more terrifying from the original Willy Wonka than
boat ride scene. Not only did Gene Wilder get even - well - wilder, but he started frantically screaming his little ditty while the lights flashed during what can only be described as a tunnel of doom.

10. Angelica's Brother From Rugrats

Image Source / BuzzFeed
So this fella was the protagonist of 'Angelica's Worst Nightmare', which quickly became all of our worst nightmares, too. He was aptly named Big Boy, which is terrifying enough, and the fact he was imaginary didn't help. He feels very real to us.

11. The Chokey From Matilda

Image Source / Notaro Windows
Many things were terrifying in Matilda when you actually think about it. Miss Trunchbull herself was nightmare fuel, the creepy old house with the apparent ghost (even though we knew it was Matilda's powers, but still) but nothing was worse than the idea of getting put in the chokey!

12. The Witches From The Witches

Image Source / The Guardian
You'd think back then that movie makeup and prosthetics wouldn't be as realistic as they can be these days, but boy did The Witches deliver. These terrifying features haunt our nightmares even now, and even the remake can't bring the same level of terror.

13. The Alien Lady From Mars Attacks!

Image Source / The Female Villains Wiki - Fandom
Mars Attacks! could be labelled an outrageous comedy, especially for the noises those Martians make, but there was something disturbing about this particular character. Even though she doesn't look particularly scary, the way she moved was enough to keep you up at night!

14. Every Single Goosebumps Book

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If you're a millennial thinking of what frightened you as a child, then any Goosebumps book ever has to come the top of the list. These books and stories were the pinnacle of growing up if you wanted to make sure you left the light on at night.

15. The Blair Witch Project

Image Source / BBC
When you think of horror movies, even now there's one that particularly stands out. The Blair Witch Project is iconic for its camera close-ups and it's build up of tension in a creepy wood and an even creepier threat. When you think of horror movies, you definitely have to think of this one.

16. The X-Files Intro Music

Image Source / The Toilet Ov Hell
The intro music to the X Files has stood the test of time, and many people these days may even start whistling it without even knowing what it is. The intro to this TV show was creepy as hell, and that tune is something sure to set the hairs up on the back of your neck every time you hear it.

17. Michelle Pfeiffer In The Bathtub In What Lies Beneath

Image Source / Decider
The whole of the movie What Lies Beneath was bone chilling, but this particular scene unnerved us all, and it's probably what you think of first when someone mentions this movie. Paralyzed in the tub, Pfeiffer's character can only lie there as she watches the water level slowly rise.

18. The Others Movie

Image Source / Variety
Another standout horror movie was The Others, starring Nicole Kidman. It's claustrophobic nature in one house made it creepy as heck, not to mention it was convenient that they could never let natural light in so it always had spooky vibes. And that twist though!

19. Particularly The Old Woman

Image Source / Zimbio
But nothing was creepier in this movie than the old woman. We spend the entire film thinking she's a weird freaky ghost, and those eyes didn't help. But nothing was more disturbing than when she was dressed as the little girl playing with her toys on the floor.

20. Mr Burns: I Bring You Love

Image Source / Frinkiac
You have to laugh at this now, but at the time, boy was this creepy. I think we can all perfectly recall just how the character said 'I bring you love' in their singsong voice. Just look at it! Those eyes alone are enough to bring all the nightmares back.

21. Any Truck With Logs On The Back

Image Source / Freepik
It's funny that this particular scene from Final Destination 2 could affect us more than any other, even from the first film. Maybe it's because a plane crash is something we've all been accustomed to, but driving behind a truck with logs on the back on the motorway after watching the second movie is something you can never do without switching lanes and overtaking rather quickly (and safely!).

22. The Horse In The Swamp From NeverEnding Story

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It's bad enough that we have to watch a horse slowly sink into a swamp - as children, nonetheless! - but the movie took it one step further by creating a whole Swamp of Sadness signifying depression, and how the horse gave up fighting and let the sadness take him. I mean, that's just horrifying, even to an adult.

23. The Theme Song From Are You Afraid Of The Dark?

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If you weren't afraid of the dark before, you will be after hearing this theme tune. This is scary enough even for a full grown adult. It's not so much the haunting melody but also the sound effects that come with it, like the creaks and children's laughter...

24. And The Rowing Boat In The Fog

Image Source / BuzzFeed
And of all the creepy visuals of the opening sequence alongside the haunting intro track, for some reason this creepy rowing boat in the fog is an image that just stuck with most of us as the creepiest of the lot!

25. The Police Sketches From Unsolved Mysteries

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There's always been something particularly terrifying about police sketches of murderers and criminals, and Unsolved Mysteries made sure to let us know that. The sketches from this show were on another level.

26. Slappy The Dummy

Image Source / Goosebumps Wiki - Fandom
Of all the things to come out of Goosebumps, Slappy the Dummy was one key (terrifying) character we all remember. Apart from the fact that dummies and dolls are terrifying anyway, a ventriloquist dummy with Slappy's distinctingly horrifying personality takes the gold medal.

27. The Destruction In The Day After Tomorrow

Image Source / Plugged In
There have been a lot of disaster movies in recent years, which means they probably don't have as much shock-factor as they used to. How many times have we seen New York destroyed by aliens, natural disasters or The Avengers? But the destruction shown in The Day After Tomorrow was relatively new to us back then, and it was hard to watch!

28. Gooey Gus

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Gooey Gus was not only a character on the TV show Ghostwriter, but he was also a villain - because of course he was. I mean, look at him! He might be just about bearable if it wasn't for the slow-leaking goo dripping from his mouth. And those eyes though...

29. The Blue Screen Of Death

Image Source / TechTarget
This horror was very much real, unlike the TV shows and films we watched as children. And that's what makes it even more frightening. The blue screen of death was a full system failure, which was never something you wanted to see. Especially as kids without a disposable income to buy a new computer.

30. Piranhas

Image Source / Animals | HowStuffWorks
There are a lot of movies out there that made us afraid of open water growing up - Jaws, we're looking at you - but the movie Piranhas was also terrifying in its own right. More so because of the pack sizes of these things and being overwhelmed by that many teeth. Nope!

31. Return The Slab From Courage The Cowardly Dog

Image Source / BuzzFeed
In one particular episode of the show, Courage finds an Egyptian slab near the farmhouse, which ends up being a relic stolen from a Pharaoh's tomb. So OF COURSE some creepy ghost curse dude comes along and tells Courage to 'return the slab' - and gives us all nightmares in the process.

32. The Theme Song From Unsolved Mysteries

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We've already mentioned those creepy police sketches, but this entire show is nightmare fuel, let's be honest - and the original theme music from the show is no different. There's no way that you don't hear that chilling tune in your head at night after you've turned out the lights...

33. And Robert Stack's Narration

Image Source / BuzzFeed
There's no doubt when you need someone to tell spooky stories about unsolved mysteries, you need them to have the right voice for it, and that's certainly what Robert Stack had. That husky, monotone voice is one we can still hear in our deepest nightmares.

34. Not To Mention The Ghosts From The Show

Image Source / BuzzFeed
Ghosts are creepy enough at any age, but there was something about those see-through spirits from Unsolved Mysteries that would just suddenly appear in people's living rooms, and you found yourself hoping they wouldn't suddenly appear in yours!

35. The Clown From Are You Afraid Of The Dark?

Image Source / BuzzFeed
They really knew what they were doing with that intro, didn't they? As if it wasn't scary enough, they then throw in the most terrifying looking clown, just for laughs. But of course, we weren't laughing, were we? We were crying.

36. And The Ghost That Would Say 'I'm Cold'

Image Source / BuzzFeed
There's something specifically scary about a ghost that says it's cold, isn't there? It just makes you think they've definitely been left in a room to die without a blanket, or they've been drowned or something equally sinister. And Are You Afraid Of The Dark was sure to let us know that particular ghost was very cold indeed.

37. But What About That Pool Monster?

Image Source / BuzzFeed
Another horror movie/TV trope is how scary swimming pools actually are at night, for some reason. All the terror of 'what's lurking beneath' while actually being able to see that weird, ominous shape in the water coming after you - that turns out to be the grossest looking pool monster you've ever seen. No thanks.

38. The Girl With Sloppy Joe On Her Face

Image Source / BuzzFeed
And now for a girl who could do with a dip in the pool if only to wash the gunk off her face. Honestly, what was up with this woman? That's a face you definitely don't forget, and we'd love to say it's because she's cute but nope - it's just gross.

39. Zeebo From Are You Afraid Of The Dark?

Image Source / BuzzFeed
You'd think when you've seen one clown, you've seen them all, and that maybe you're becoming desensitised to them over time - but nope. Are You Afraid Of The Dark did try major exposure therapy with its spooky monsters and clowns but they were all just as scary - particularly Zeebo.

40. And What About The Ghastly Grinner?

Image Source / BuzzFeed
This might actually be worse than a clown. Does it still count as a clown when it's a terrifying jester? Is there anything worse than a monster that has a gleeful grin and a very, very loud laugh to boot? Not to mention he can make you fall on the floor and drool slime.

41. Zeke the Plumber From Salute Your Shorts

Image Source / BuzzFeed
Zeke the Plumber would be scary enough anyway if he did have a nose, but the fact that he lost his nose and wore a massive bandage over his face just adds to the whole ominous look. This ghost would keep himself busy cleaning toilets at the camp - until a gas leak killed him.

42. That Terrifying Toilet From Look Who's Talking Too

Image Source / BuzzFeed
I'd say most of us already have a fear of sitting on the toilet with some small voice in the back of our heads from childhood saying 'But what if something down there gets you?' Well this toilet just made it a whole lot worse. Just look at it.

43. The Bermuda Triangle

Image Source / BuzzFeed
This urban legend scared us all as kids, let's be honest. We all heard tales of the Bermuda Triangle and what happened there, that mysterious spot in the middle of the ocean where planes and ships would just disappear like something out of a horror movie.

44. The Theme Song And Opening Credits From Goosebumps 

Image Source / YouTube
Alongside Are You Afraid Of The Dark, Goosebumps was also up there for scaring the bejesus out of us as kids, and also creeping us out before the episode even begins based on theme music alone. And we all remember that seemingly innocent looking dog that suddenly has glowing eyes.

45. That One Boy Meets World Halloween Episode

Image Source / Backstage
You'd think a spooky episode that has a cameo from our favourite teenage witch, Sabrina, would just be a fun time, but nope. That episode is nightmare material. The episode went heavy on the slasher scares, including creepy messages on the walls, ever so subtly saying 'NO ONE GETS OUT ALIVE!'.

46. Large Marge From Pee-Wee's Big Adventure

Image Source / BuzzFeed
When character Pee-Wee had his own movie made for a new adventure, you'd think it'd just be a rollicking fun time - but nope, not if Large Marge had anything to do with it. That particular character haunted our dreams, nightmares and every waking moment, let's be honest.

47. Zombie Grandpa From Arnold's Dream In Hey Arnold!

Image Source / BuzzFeed
During one memorable - for all the wrong reasons - episode of Hey Arnold! where Football Head takes a nap, we see a very disturbing zombie-version of Gramps who has a weird, spooky effect on his voice coupled with scary string music. To make it worse, he then LAUGHS and HIS JAW FALLS OFF.

48. And While We're At It, The Entire 'Haunted Train' Episode

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If there's one episode we all remember from the show Hey Arnold!, it has to be the Haunted Train episode. That entire episode just stays embedded in our skull, and you can definitely see it clear as day, even all these years later, when you close your eyes.

49. The 'You're Not Perfect' Thing From Courage The Cowardly Dog

Image Source / BuzzFeed
What even was that creepy thing that looked like a fetus that said, 'You're not perfect'?! But it didn't even say it, it WHISPERED it, which just makes it worse. That had to be one of the freakiest appearances on that particular show. It's up there with 'return the slab' guy.

50. And That Moment When The Violin Girl Turned Around

Image Source / BuzzFeed
Oh who's that nice blonde lady playing the violin, she looks so sweet from the - OH WAIT NOPE, NO THANKS. Why did she have to turn around? Why did she have to look like that? Why did we have to even watch that episode?!

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