I love your site! Brings back a lot of pleasant and, well, a few not so pleasant memories of things buried in my memory. Glad to know I am not totally neurotic or nuts! I wasn’t scared of too many things on T.V. as a young child since my parents monitored my viewing rather judiciously. The few horrors were, for the most part, educational other than a Charlotte Rae commercial for an oven cleaner that terrified me and sent me from the room in screams.
My mother was a nurse and often watched medical shows and one gave me nightmares for weeks. It showed a young boy about my age having open heart surgery — his beating heart exposed. It was horrific to a child who was about the same age as the youngster having surgery. The same show also featured — don’t ask me how — x-ray videos of bursting blood vessels accompanied by creepy music.
My dad was a horror aficionado and I was watching “Friday Nite Frights” by the time I was 11. I am also a Stephen King fan although my viewing habits run to true crime type shows rather than horror. When I was 16 I saw one show about a gentleman in the 1800′s named Phineas Gage who was unfortunate enough to have a large metal rod blasted through his head and survive. His howls of pain as the wound was cleaned were grotesque to my teenage ears and his personality change was something out of Frankenstein although this was a true story. I was so terrified that I spent the night in the tv room adjacent to my parents’ bedroom with all lights on and listening to the radio with a headset. My parents weren’t too happy about this and even after my attempt to stay up all night failed at 5am my mother sent me to school. I slept with the lights on in my room until I went away to college.