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Name That Trauma:: Reader X on a Dead Soldier’s Kept Promise

November 11th, 2014 · 4 Comments

You were recommended to me by Sound on Sight.

First, there’s no kids in this movie I’m looking for.

I believe it was the movie of the week on ABC during the mid-70s.

It’s about this woman who’s about to be remarried. Her first husband died in Vietnam. She starts getting phone calls apparently from her first husband. All he says is, “Remember the promise.” She thinks it’s the promise she made to always be faithful to him. There are a couple attempts on her life. A buddy of the dead husband has been around during this time. And the climax is at a lake and the buddy is trying to kill her. Somehow he gets in the water. When he tries to climb out, something grabs his leg. Michael? I believe that was the dead husband’s name. The buddy gets dragged back into the water and drowned. After it’s over, there’s a flashback where the first husband is reminding the woman that he’ll always protect her.

For some reason I thought the name of the movie was, “When Michael Calls.” But, my research has shown that is another movie.

Any help would greatly be appreciated.

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Name That Trauma:: Mike J. on a Camera-shy Slasher Skit

November 8th, 2014 · 2 Comments

I’ve got this vague, traumatic memory of a comedy skit from the early ’80s. It must’ve been on some network or cable special. It may have even been a skit on the show “Fridays” for all I know (I just know it wasn’t SNL).

It was a pre-taped skit parodying the holiday home movie cliche. Someone with a video camera is walking around, taping family members at a gathering. It’s, like, a big, extended Italian family’s celebration (maybe a birthday, or Christmas). Parents and uncles and grandmas are all waving to the camera and mugging. But there’s this one lady — I think she’s an aunt — who isn’t into it. She keeps shielding her face whenever the video camera catches her, saying she doesn’t want to be filmed. She gets progressively more annoyed as the other family members laugh about it, tell her to relax, etc. Finally, she gets so pissed she storms out of the party. But the next scene cuts to her running down the street, with the POV of the camera chasing her. She’s still waving her hands and screaming that she doesn’t want to be filmed, but now it’s like a slasher movie.

Then gets chased to the beach and runs into the ocean to escape the home movie camera. Then it cuts to her drowned body washing up on shore.

I remember it as being really funny and absurd, but dark enough that I’m still curous about it to this day.

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Name That Trauma:: Kim R. on Floating Toys That Transform

November 4th, 2014 · 4 Comments

Hello! I have this bizarre memory of watching something when I was super super young, maybe 3 or 4 (1989-90?) and to this day I can’t figure out if it was real or not. I remember a small boy going to bed and then all of a sudden all the toys in his room start floating and form together to create a giant, scary robot looking chicken?? No amount of googling turns anything up. Would love to have this mystery solved if it’s real!

UNK SEZ: Thanks Kim R.! Hmmm, I guess this trauma happened way too early to have anything to do with the TV show ROBOT CHICKEN so that’s out. For some reason I keep thinking of 1985’s MAKING CONTACT even though I’m pretty sure there is no robot chicken in that movie. Oh Well, I’m going to put that bonkers flick below just in case somebody wants to watch it and I’ll also keep my chicken fingers crossed that one of our fine readers knows the answer you’re looking for!

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Name That Trauma :: Reader Tim B. on Clowns Under Siege & a Prison Plunger

October 25th, 2014 · 1 Comment

1. In my grandparents’ basement in the late-’80s, I watched the end of a movie where two men, one wearing a horrifying clown costume, are holed up in an old farmhouse that is under siege by, I think, the police. The clown guy is hanging out a window shooting a rifle. Before the shootout scene I think these guys had murdered the house’s occupants. And, though I can’t be at all sure of this, I believe the movie ended with a title card saying that the dramatized events were based on real events that happened in Texas. The clown guy haunted my thoughts for years after.

2. This one was truly traumatic: At a sleepover around the same time I watched a late-night movie set in a juvenile prison for girls. There is a horrible scene where one of the imprisoned is raped with the handle of a toilet plunger by a group of other girl prisoners. Just thinking about it still makes my skin crawl.

Thanks folks!

UNK SEZ: Thanks for the NTT, Tim B! I know the identity of your second one for sure. That has to be the LINDA BLAIR 1974 TV movie BORN INNOCENT. I know because that plunger scene clogged my brain too. The second one I’m less sure of but I’m leaning towards 1976’s THE CLOWN MURDERS which featured JOHN CANDY in an early role. It’s got clowns, rifles, a farmhouse and cops but does not close with a title card stating it’s based on actual events so I may be wrong. If anybody has any other ideas, please let us know! In the meantime both flicks are on YouTube, so I’ll place them below…

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Trauma Identified:: Popcornmonster on Up From the Depths

October 20th, 2014 · 2 Comments

Hello Kindertrauma! It’s Popcornmonster.

I recently had a very Kindertrauma-esque moment I would like to share. A little background and then I’ll explain the solution to the mystery.

When I was five years old, so this would have been around Summer of 1979, I vaguely remember playing with a friend who lived a few houses away. We were in the basement of his house and a puddle had formed on the floor from the washing machine. We starting pretending it was a lake. Then my friend started telling me about some new movie where the people can’t go in the water because the water comes alive and eats the people. Some time later, we were walking past the TV and the trailer was playing for the film. My friend pointed it out to me and said that was the movie he was talking about.

Fast-forward thirty-five years. Long time horror fan and filmmaker myself now. But I’ve never known what that scary movie was. I knew it wasn’t Jaws or Piranha. The time period doesn’t match up and I knew what Jaws was. So a few nights back I was watching Machete Maidens on Netflix. It’s a documentary about how cheap it was to make exploitation films in the Philippines during the late 60s through the early 80s. When suddenly they played a trailer for a film. I immediately recognized that trailer from that dusty old memory and now I had a title to go with it. A title that IMDb verified with the June 1979 release date. The film was “Up From the Depths“, which now I realize was a title that sat under my nose all these years. The poster artwork was a familiar site in the old video stores but I never bothered to see the film. Until last night.

It’s one of the dopier Jaws clones of the late 70s. They even managed to copy the mayor from Jaws with an arrogant idiot resort owner that refuses to heed the danger. The goofy kill scenes all look like the actors flopping around in a pool while someone bubbled red dye around them.

Ultimately it’s a dumb movie but now it holds a place in my memory for being “that movie”.

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Tags: Name That Trauma! · Traumafessions

Name That Trauma:: Ben from Australia on a Wooden Church Infested with Rats

October 18th, 2014 · 1 Comment

Hello Kindertrauma, I really hope you guys can help me with this little nightmare inducer.

When I attended primary school the library also functioned as the media centre (which in those days meant a big TV and a VCR player). Depending on her workload the librarian would sometimes plunk us down in front of the TV with a tape. One time we watched an animated flick that still haunts me, although I don’t remember a great deal of it. It was the first time I can remember literally being frozen from fear. The scene that has stayed with me is a slow pan down a dark hallway in what I think was a wooden church with a thoroughly awful portrait on the wall and red eyed rats lurking around.

Here are all the other details I can remember or deduce:

The animation style was hardly animation at all, but rather slow pans over dark and heavy hand drawn images of a style you might almost find in a children’s book. I’m not certain, but I think I remember narration, not unlike the audiobook recordings with still images that you get now on YouTube.

1995 is the latest year this could possibly have come out, but it was probably made earlier than that, likely in the 80’s.

I live in Australia so whatever this was had been released here and was possibly made here.

Finally, this would have been a short film, probably less than an hour long, likely not more than half an hour or so.

For the longest time I thought it was animated adaption of H.P Lovecraft‘s ‘The Rats In The Walls‘ but I’ve never been able to find anything that matches up with what I remember. If you know of anything that sounds like this (or of an obscure adaptation of TRITW) please let me know. This has been haunting me for the best part of two decades.



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Name That Trauma:: Suzie on a Cross-Dressing Killer

October 14th, 2014 · 6 Comments

Hello kindertrauma!

Your website is amazing. I can nose around for hours. I’ve got one for you that’s been really bugging me. I saw this on TV in the early to mid ’80s, so I think it was an episode of a TV show or a TV movie (we didn’t have any movie channels). I really just remember the end … it was a male serial killer who dressed as a woman and lured a man back to a room (might have been posing as a prostitute, I can’t remember, and I think it was a hotel room or the man’s apartment). The killer/woman was blonde (aren’t they always??). (S)he brings the man (I think he was a business man) back to the room, then excuses herself to the bathroom, where she proceeds to peel off her disguise. This was the part I remember as really creepy! Off comes the wig, the dress, the make-up…. and there stands a man in a dark shirt and pants, with dark hair and small black eyes (a little reminiscent of Anthony Perkins actually). He then pulls out a long knife, that I remember as almost like an ice pick. The killer finally emerges from the bathroom, and somehow manages to sneak up on the victim and stabs him repeatedly with the knife. The details here are hazy …. but a cop (or team of cops) is chasing the killer, and tracks him down … and I think soon after this encounter in the room the killer is cornered in an alley by the cops and is killed. He may have gotten back in disguise at that point.

I just have no idea what this episode or movie is! No familiar actors, and I can’t picture the cop or detective who was tracking the killer. I’m pretty sure I’d recognize the actor who plays the killer, but from various googling I can’t find it. Any idea?



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Name That Trauma :: Reader Maddie on a Table Top Torture

October 13th, 2014 · 7 Comments

Hey Kindertrauma,

My name is Maddie, I’ve just turned 18 and I recently discovered your website. I read something online that got me thinking about traumatic experiences from our childhoods that we either can’t remember or block out. I’m especially interested in disturbing media/cinema moments from childhood, so I’ve really enjoyed your website, but I also have a few of my own that I was hoping you could help me with.

I was watching a movie with my family as a kid, and one of the very first scenes (it seems like it was within the first ten minutes of the movie) was one of I guess, torture. There was a man on a table in a fire-lit room, with someone either beating or stabbing him, and his whole body like jerking and convulsing at the same time. I only have a vague memory because it’s been like 15 years since I saw the scene, but I clearly remember being disturbed by the visual effects and especially the convulsions that the man on the table (I feel like he was either not wearing a shirt or naked as well) was having.

Anyways, up until today, I had a vague memory of the movie being “Legend” but I found the movie online today and the scene I was so horrified by as a kid was nowhere to be found, and I ended up just watching 90 minutes of Tom Cruise make a horrified face through his long, dirty hair.

I would love your help in finding out what movie it was from, or if it was some sort of alternate scene from “Legend,” and if it was possible to find a clip of just that scene, I would be so grateful. I can’t give any more details about the movie, or confirm that it was “Legend” since I had to leave the room immediately and never saw it again, although I did see online that there is a torture scene in some versions of the movie, but I can’t seem to find it.

Thank you so much!

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Name That Trauma: Katy H. on a Skin Rotting Mummy & a Kid Killing Vamp

October 11th, 2014 · 2 Comments


Love your website and I have two different movies that I saw as a kid that I am trying to figure out.

1. Saw this movie with my dad but cannot remember the name and was so traumatized that I didn’t watch the whole movie. What I remember is that it is about a mummy, it must be late 70’s, early 80’s. The scene I recall is that there was a mummy that was uncovered by archeologists and it was taken to a research center or university or something and there was a young student that touched the corpse causing the skin on his fingers to rot like leprosy. I can’t find the actual title to the movie to find out what happened to the student!

2. I think I saw this on television, one of those Saturday afternoon horror films. This was probably made around the time of Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter and was in the same style but was not that movie. It looked like the Vampire Barnabas show with the 60’s hair and the Technicolor sound stages. The scene I remember is two young boys who follow a female vampire into a forest to a tree ??? or cave and she kills them and the next scene I think they are in coffins with bite marks. It was very creepy but I can’t recall a title or anything else about the movie.

Hope you can help, thanks!

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Name That Trauma:: KI Simpson on an Animated Short Based on Eugene Field’s The Duel

October 9th, 2014 · No Comments

Hello, I have a memory of a short that scared me as a kid that I have yet to find hard evidence of online. It aired on Nick Jr. in the early or mid-’90s, and it was an animated retelling of the poem The Duel. It was just the poem said to some simple animation, but the quiet voice and tense atmosphere made it very frightening. I originally thought it must have been on Grimm’s Fairy Tale Classics (there’s a TV Tropes entry stating it was, that was actually written by me), but researching the show further it did not seem to have short segments in the episodes. If anyone could identify this I would really appreciate it, thank you for your help. – KI Simpson

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