Traumafession:: Lorraine Anonymous on Twister & Dante’s Peak

Hey there, Kindertrauma! I found your site by pure chance, having heard someone mention it in the comments on Youtube. I’m really glad that I did, and I’m still browsing through the pages. I saw that you let readers submit their stories of things that scared them as a child, and I just had to share my own. I know that these movies come a bit late in time compared to others on the site. I’m a 90s kid, you see. That doesn’t make them any less traumatizing, though.

My first trauma was from Twister. As a kid, I was fascinated by tornadoes, and I still am to this day. Knowing this, my parents decided to pop in Twister, and we decided to watch it as a family at dinner. I was so excited! Well, that excitement didn’t last too long… As you all probably know, the movie opens with a flashback of Jo Harding, one where her and her parents have to take shelter from an oncoming tornado. Well, the door to the storm shelter starts to come off, and the father tries to keep it from doing so, getting sucked up into the tornado in the process. Cut next to Jo screaming for her daddy. I began to cry and cry, distraught by the idea of losing my own father in such a way. My parents cut off the movie, and I subsequently ran to my dad, sobbing and holding him tight. Eventually, I decided to go through with watching the movie, but we fast-forwarded past that part. Being the kind of kid that I was, having no real friends whatsoever, my family doubled as my friends, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. You can see why a scene like this would affect me to such an extent, which brings me to my next trauma, Dante’s Peak.

The trauma comes in at the scene where the family must escape from the grandmother’s house, which was now being destroyed by lava. There was a lake nearby, and they were going to try and get away by boat, but the lava starts to leak into the lake. The lake became acidic, dead fish everywhere, the acid now eating at the bottom at the boat. The motor died, and the boat stalled, so the grandmother got out of the boat and into the lake so that she could push it to shore. Her legs were burnt to a crisp, and she later died. After that scene, I had to call my grandma. When I did, I was absolutely blubbering, asking if she was dead. She assured me many times throughout that call that she was alright, and that she loved me. I was satisfied, but I was still crying after the call was over.

Sunday Viewing:: The Keep (1983)

Today you should watch THE KEEP! Even if you’ve seen it before you should watch it again because with each viewing it makes a little more sense. Right? Maybe not. Who cares when you’ve got that TANGERINE DREAM score going on? Read me making an effort to communicate my feelings more fully HERE and check out the eye and ear munchies below! I’m in the middle of a book.

Traumafession:: Woody Monster on E.T. & The X-Files Intro

You guys have helped me twice with Phantasm and Magic Island, it’s time I give back and tell the stories about what scared me as a kid.

When I was younger than ten, my family decided they were going to put on E.T. Everything was going fine at first. I was sitting in the living room, eyes fixed on the television when I felt uneasy. At the beginning where the UFO is discovered and E.T. makes a break for it, is where I was scared out of my wits. There was something about when he was rushing through the bushes, with the creepy UFO lighting in the background and the distressed noises from the alien. I ran out of the room crying and screaming I was so afraid. It took me years to finally watch E.T. without being frightened, and my family still makes fun of me for it.

Another tidbit from my early youth will probably make you laugh. I admit as a child I was terrified of the intro music to X-Files. As soon as the first note hit, I was in my room covering my ears. I’d stay in there until the intro was over, then go back into the living room to watch the show. It was just the music that scared me so much. The music! How lame is that?? These days, I love theremin music.

I’d tell you the story of my first time watching Pet Sematary, but it involves a family that wanted to scare me, a haunted house, and nearly hiding under the couch. Perhaps another time.

Thanks for listening,

Woody Monster

Name That Trauma:: Philip W. on a Short Train Trip to the Cemetery

Hey everyone!

One day back when I was in (yes, really) kindergarten during the late 70s, our teacher showed us a creepy little film that has stayed with me over the years and I was wondering if anyone else remembers it. It was in black and white and was basically footage of a train trip, but there were no actors or actresses. It seemed like stock footage that would be used for advertising or movies, and there was a voiceover track with various people talking – but you never saw these people. So the train pulls out of the station, moves through the countryside and everything is fine and dandy as the passengers chat away. Except the train eventually wrecks. Here’s where it gets fuzzy: I don’t recall how it crashed and I don’t believe the crash was actually shown, but I remember the people hollering and panicking and shots of the train moving fast at night. After a fadeout, the camera pulls back to show a cemetery and the film ended.

Yes, this was actually show to us in KINDERGARTEN (and yes, our teacher DID have issues as well as a wicked temper). It seemed like the film was made in the late 50s or early 60s given the trains featured and the manner of speech on the soundtrack. And it was an actual filmstrip that was loaded onto a projector. I’m not sure of the length, but it seemed like it had to have been over 10 minutes long.

Despite this, I really dig trains and am big on model railroading!

Traumafession:: Popcornmonster on the Stop Motion Swiss Miss Spokespuppet

I have a new traumafession that has recently resurfaced after lying dormant for decades.

Thanks to the marketing folks, my old nightmare fuel from Swiss Miss has been resurrected.

In the 1970s Swiss Miss ran ads with a disturbing stop motion doll. She always gave me the creeps and contributed to at least one early childhood nightmare. I think part of it is simply the evil smile and dead eyes but the way she would yodel and the way it would echo was another contributing factor.

I remember being relieved when the company moved away from using her image in their advertising and switched to the more cartoonish version of the girl. However while shopping recently I spied her scary face once again as she is back on the packaging with the old advertising artwork. Let’s hope if she makes new commercials they are CGI.

Name That Trauma:: Bud on Body Swapping Oldsters and an Occult Mystery Solving Rock Band

My dad was the associate pastor and song director of a small Baptist church when I was growing up in the 1970s, and on Sundays he would take me to a nursing home to visit elderly shut-ins. Some suffered from senile dementia, and one particularly spooky lady carried a small baby doll around, presumably because she thought it was one of her children from the past. She had wild white hair that she refused to let anyone groom, and it stood out very much like those old Troll dolls from that period. I was horrified of her, and the fact that she resided in a small room in the nursing home where the shades were always drawn and the lights were always out made her especially creepy. For some reason, though, she adored my father; he had copper-red hair, and maybe that was why, because he stood out, but she didn’t seem to like me much (I had black hair like my mom). Regardless, my dad was the only person she let touch her “baby,” and one time she let him hold it and he decided to see if she would allow me to do the same. No dice. When she saw him pass the doll to me, she leapt up in her hospital gown and slippers, and started screaming, and the nursing staff ran in to calm her down. I can still hear the piercing wails that emitted from her to this day. I was a nervous wreck for the rest of the evening after that, I can assure you.

At any rate, with that story as a back drop, I remember seeing one of those late-night TV movies back in that time period that revolved around an elderly couple who could somehow transfer the youth from others and entrap their victims in their old bodies. For some reason this horrified me as much as the “Aunt Ada Has Come to Stay” episode of NIGHT GALLERY I wrote about earlier this year — and thank you guys for helping me find the very movie I had been hunting down for over two decades: HORRORS OF THE BLACK MUSEUM, and the comic where Santa’s sleigh hangs that crook as it flies in front of a full moon (I’ve written a blog post about the help you all gave me, and I really appreciated it — the fact that I found these things on my birthday made it all the better). At the end of the movie (and I’m sure it was one of those 90-minute deals, and ran on either CBS or ABC), the victims of these body or energy swappers are looking down from an apartment window at the now-youthful villains, and I was too horrified to see what the now-old couple looked like…I’ve always wondered, too, and now I wish I could see it. Any idea what it was entitled?

Another movie from that period I’ve often wondered about dealt with, I think, a rock band that gets into a plane crash, and survives, and they somehow get super-powers that help them solve occult mysteries. I want to say they sang something like, “Don’t be afraid of the dark/When it’s a Full Moon,” because my sister and I used to sing that about that movie all the time — it was British, and I seem to remember someone developing the ability to read minds, and maybe someone else developing telekinesis…not sure…sorry for the rambling, but if anyone could help me out, it would be you good folks!

Traumafession:: Chanter on Sesame Street’s Stranger On The Field

Hi again Kindertrauma,

It’s been a while since I’ve sent in a Traumafession, so I figure it’s time for another episode of ‘Bizarre Snippets That Terrified Tiny Chanter’. Not surprisingly, this one’s a Sesame Street short, specifically Stranger On The Field.

Watching this particular clip now, it’s painfully clear it was made in the ’80’s – oh wow, the music! I knew nothing of songs dating themselves when I was a tiny, though. All I knew was that the keys this particular song was played in creeped me out, and that effect hasn’t diminished much to this day. Holy cow is it ever ominous! I didn’t have the vocabulary to explain it then, but that’s precisely the feeling it evokes. That’s not the worst of it, though the foreboding reaction is plenty bad on its own.

I can’t find the bit that truly terrified me anywhere, and I’ve tried combing cyberspace for it. No luck. There must be two versions of this sketch out there. I would swear to you that in one, after one boy says ‘give him a chance, let’s see what he can do’, the same, or at least a similar, voice to the one expositing about the stranger being given a look of dooooooom (gah, that’s creepy too!) speaks over near-silence. He’s calling the game, but in the tones of Dr. Claw of Inspector Gadget infamy. The sound of that monsterish voice snarling ‘strike one, strike two’… tiny Chanter was suitably frightened to the soles of her slip-on shoes, I can assure you.

At least the last few lines redeem the song a bit, but there’s the eerie key to factor in yet. This always unsettled me as a little girl, and it hasn’t stopped doing so to this day. I may have the vocabulary to explain why now, but the fact remains–brrrrrr!

Does anyone else remember the extended sketch, or did I concoct it somehow? Maybe this short really did rattle tiny me so badly that my brain distorted it to worst effect. I don’t think so, though.

Sunday Viewing:: Razorback (1984)

Today is so beautiful that it deserves a beautiful movie. How about the criminally underrated heaping pile of gorgeousness known as RAZORBACK? This wonderful slab of cinema cake is directed by RUSSELL MULCAHY which means it looks like a DURAN DURAN video except instead of SIMON LeBON and NICK RHODES you get GREGORY HARRISON and a giant killer pig! Read my full blown review HERE and watch the incredibleness unfold below! Your eyes and ears (what an excellent score!) will thank you!