Television Nightmare Confessions

August 21, 2015

1413572511_poltergeist-zoomWe saw our first sneak peek of fall-like weather these past few days. For me, this means the season of scary movies is near. For those of you who feel you can’t handle watching anything remotely spooky, I want to comfort you in the fact that I, too, am not as tough as I say I am. I’ve decided to confess the top movie, TV show, and even music-video moments from my childhood that have had a long-lasting effect on me.

“Ghost Dad”
In 1990, Sidney Poitier directed Bill Cosby in a film about a workaholic dad who dies after accepting a ride from a psychotic taxi driver. He comes back as a ghost and hangs out with his family. Therefore, “Ghost Dad.” Fun! Now, before Cosby’s death scene, there is a foreshadowing/ psych-out moment when he’s at work. He’s in an elevator with too many people, and it cuts back and forth to images of the elevator cables snapping. It falls as soon as he leaves. Elevators are awful. Thanks a heap, “Ghost Dad.”

Ghost Dad Trailer
[It is, in fact, a real movie]

My family owned a VHS copy of “Scream.” I watched it when I was 7 years old. I convinced my best friend to watch it with me because I’m such a good friend. “Don’t be a baby! You’ll be fine!” I didn’t mention to her that after I watched it the first time, I had woken up drenched in sweat and tears from a nightmare where Bugs Bunny was chasing me around with a knife — dressed as the “Scream” killer, of course — and trying to lure me into a boiling pot. Bugs Bunny and I have a complicated relationship.

Evil Bugs

I don’t know who created this, but bravo. This is a good enough representation of my nightmare- minus the drooling Daffy Duck.


“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” Episode: Hush
My brother and sister, who are a couple years older than me, watched “Buffy” together. I could handle vampires. No sweat! (I was convinced that a vampire lived in my closet for short time. He never bothered me, so vampires were okay by me). But anyway, one night my brother was watching an episode called “Hush.” The premise of the episode is that the town loses the ability to speak due to The Gentlemen. This allows for them to break into your room and cut out your organs. They hover a couple inches off the ground in their suits and pale grinning faces. Not okay. As a result, I have never been able to sleep with my bedroom door open.

The Gentlemen

“Are You Afraid of the Dark”
The introduction to “Are You Afraid of the Dark” sure is eerie. If you’re feeling up for ‘90s nostalgia, here is the episode that made me cry. I begged my sister not to make me watch it. Lakes are terrifying for the fact that you can’t see what’s under you. They decided to put a monster in a swimming pool. “Jaws” didn’t affect my love for swimming in dark waters, but a kids’ television show made me skeptical of swimming pools. And I loved swimming pools! Summer bummer, dude.

The Tale of the Dead Man’s Float

Did anyone else cry because they were that terrified of this video? Was that just me? Well, my brother and sister knew of my fear of zombie Michael Jackson. And those two would call me over, tell me that “Thriller” wasn’t on TV, and surprise me with the music video while I broke down crying because they tricked me, again. Why couldn’t the groovin’ zombies just keep on dancing?

Thriller Ending

“Poltergeist” made me forever uneasy about chicken, the suburbs, trees, and clowns. But I will tell you all this right now: I am never okay with a TV being left on at night. If I ever wake up to static on a TV screen again, I will flip out.

The Poltergeist Clown

I’m quite embarrassed to admit this movie scared me. I couldn’t handle the demons that take the bad guys away after they die. I see now that the demons are hilariously awful, and yet I still wouldn’t want these demons to take me away. Their singing voices are poor, and they appear to tickle you as a way of making you surrender. Check it out. Also, hi ghost Swayze.

Bad Guy Carl Dies in Ghost

Three Men and a Little Baby
Once I saw the figure behind the window curtain in the scene below, I was convinced it was a ghost. If I remember correctly, the story is that a young boy was either shot or shot himself where the movie was filmed. Turns out it’s a cardboard cut-out of Ted Danson. Yet, it took me awhile to believe it. My VHS tape is still on this scene because I would show my friends the ghost and freak them out. (I was pretty cool)

Three Men and a Ghost

The Shining’s DVD Menu
I was a bit older for this one, but figured it’s still worth mentioning. I was sick one school day, and I figured what a perfect time to watch “The Shining.” At this point, I had seen it numerous times. After it was over, I left the DVD menu on. Mistake. I left it on too long, and the music started to get to me. Don’t underestimate DVD menus, folks. They’ll get ya.

The Shining Score