Name That Trauma:: Found!

Unk Sez: Hey, check this awesomeness out! Many moons ago (I’m talking eleven years) we received a duel NTT (HERE) from the great & powerful Senski, one of which concerned a PSA on the danger of swimming pools…

“The second PSA I only saw once, but it left an indelible impression. This would be late '70s-early '80s, and it aired on CBS right before the 10pm news. It was all of ten or 15 seconds in length. Sunny day, camera in the trees, beginning a slow pan down and to the right. A radio announcer is carrying on about what a gorgeous day it is, ending with something along the lines of, "…so get outside and take a dip in that pool!" By then the camera has descended upon a swimming pool, with a long shot of a body lying face down in the water, motionless, presumably dead. The Voice of Doom then warns the audience about swimming alone or unattended. It was chilling to see a PSA with an actual body. I often wonder if it aired so infrequently because of viewer calls. It was as late as late could be and still fall within prime time.”

Now, all these years later and our old pal Daniel has unearthed Senski’s grim, never forgotten NTT (which you can view HERE)! How amazing is that? Eleven years! Thanks, Daniel for the reminder that it’s never too late to be revisited by a Kindertrauma!

Name That Trauma:: JDS on a Foggy Western Children's Book

Dearest Unkle,

when I was a kid (circa 1993) I had a spooky children's book that I'd like to describe to you to see if anyone can name it so i can locate a copy

It was a western. The town had the word "Gultch" in it which I think may have also been in the title. There was a fog so thick in the town I believe the narrator says you could hammer a nail into it and hang a picture. Someone spooky comes to town, a tall Frankenstein's monster looking character and something spooky happens.

That's all I can remember. I've searched for spooky children's books online, books with the word "Gultch" in the title, books about fog.

I come up with nothing.

Can your readers offer any help?? 


My Kindertrauma:: Dittimus Rex on a Kerosene Monster PSA

I recently came across this PSA or PIF as it’s known In it’s country of origin, about a gas leak in a kerosene tank looking for a way out until it find an opening.

It pours out into the living room and when the resident turns on the heater, BOOM.

I was curious how many people from Britain remembered the ad and how it effected them as children.

Here are some pictures from the ad along with a sculpture I did of the main antagonist.

Enjoy.  Big fan of your site 

Dittimus rex 

Name That Trauma:: G. Trout on Black Eyed Fire Safety Children

I remember a PSA from the 70s which involved a woman presenting two children with a tray of matches, a silver platter as a matter of fact. The narration said something like ‘don’t leave matches where kids can find them , it’s like handing them to them on a platter’

The utterly creepy thing I remember is for some reason, I don't know if it was the film stock or the poor photography but the two kids seemed to have black eyes liked the fabled black eye children. I also remember the source noise being particularly loud

I was sitting on the floor at a friends house with his parents in the basement on a weekend. Probably watching Hee Haw or something. When the ad concluded the room was stricken with dead silence. 

I’ve scoured YouTube and the like for this and was wondering if you or your evil minions have ever heard about this?

G. Trout

Name That Trauma:: Helpful Jones on an Evil Tree


Reddit pointed me to you and it looks like you may have the most in-depth horror movie knowledge base and knowledgeable fans, so I hope you will recognize this movie.

I only have brief scenes in memory. I watched it on broadcast TV in the late 70's or early 80's. The setting and fashions made me think it was made mid to late 70's. Outdoor scenes make me think far north-east US (Vermont to Maine), but it could also be the Ponderosa region of the western US.

All I can recall is that it was a movie about a young girl (early teen or pre-teen) and the villian was just a regular ol' tree. I want to say it was an evergreen tree. It stood maybe as tall as the eave of a house and no taller than a single story roof-peak. 

The tree was never shown to move (other than a gentle breeze moving the branches) and it made no sounds, but it could change locations and was stalking the girl. Anytime the tree was shown, it was just a tree planted in the ground.

What was vivid in my memory is that at the end of the movie, the tree was covered by a rock slide and killed, or so we thought -- there was a final scene where it showed the rock pile with a sprout sticking out of the rubble to let you know the tree still lived.

I've tried to search for this movie from time to time, but I've always come up empty.

It's not "The Guardian" from 1990, or "From Hell It Came" from the late 1950's. It was definitely pre-1983 as I remember watching it before I moved to Europe.

I wish I had more/better description and I hope it rings a bell with you or your fans.

HelpfulJones (wishing I could be more helpful)

Name That Trauma:: Jason S. on a Floating Father & an Exploding Statue

Hey! Ran across your site and was hoping you could help me solve this mystery that's been haunting me for almost 40 years:

I saw this on TV on a mid-summer's night, probably in June, probably around 7-8 pm, probably 1988 but possibly as early as 1986. We were watching a movie or show on TV at home, possibly on HBO since I think we had it at the time, but also possibly another cable or broadcast channel. A neighborhood babysitter was watching me (age 14-17?) while my parents were out, so possibly a show geared toward the babysitter's age. She might have also brought over a VHS.

The show was about a family in the suburbs. I remember the plot was divided into two distinct parts (?) In the first part, the show was about a family and the dad was possessed by an evil spirit or something. I remember this one scene where the dad floats flat on his back out of bed down the hallway of the family's home, upstairs. Eventually/somehow the family works together to rid dad of being possessed and everything returns to normal. In the second part, dad is fine but I remember some evil dude from beyond the grave who was possessing the dad comes to life and starts wreaking havoc on the town, and the family tries to stop him. I remember this one scene where the evil dude busts out of a statue in the graveyard in the middle of town (?)

I've seen zero horror movies since (yep, scarred for life), so would be interested to know if this is easy to identify or another curiosity lost to history.

Thanks for the opportunity to contribute!

Name That Trauma:: Lighthouse Ghost on a Dead Wife, a Cabin, & an Attacking Puma

I can't be certain what year the movie was made, but I and my entire 7th grade class saw it in 1982. Our teacher seemed to think she'd reserved a Disney movie or some other kids' film. I have searched and searched to find the name, production company, country of origin, anything, because I would love to revisit this weird short film with no dialogue. Here's what we saw, as well as I can remember:

We see an old man bringing home his beautiful new wife, who looks about 30 yrs younger than he is, into a one-room cabin in the woods. The entire thing is set inside this cabin. They clearly have her expressing innocence with the eyes and the shyness, and then we see them living life. She's cooking for him, etc, he looks happy, there seems to be much emphasis on her beauty. She dies- I can't remember why/how. He's devastated but lays her on the table and brushes her hair, puts her prettiest dress on her, etc, readying her for burial. But there's a puma outside and he can't go outside. He's trapped in the house with his dead wife. The puma then seems to be stalking him, trying to get in, yowling outside, and eventually, the cougar breaks through a window, into the house, knocking over the lamp, and the man grabs his gun, but can't see where the puma is. Then in the darkness, there's a huge ruckus, the man's breathing all freaked out, the puma screaming, and then silence. The man's breathing is still (understandably) freaked out. His shaking hand finds and manages to light a candle. His dead wife is still on the table but the cougar is gone except for the bloody paw sticking out of the dead wife's mouth. He gasps, which puts out the light again. The movie ends.

This is where the class, a mix of silence and uneasy laughter, just sat there, and my teacher said, "Maybe you all don't need to tell your parents about that." And said she'd be reporting the movie to get it out of the school catalog.

Name That Trauma:: Cam on a Meat Cleaver Murder

Hey Folks!

I got a bit of a weird one. When I was a very little kid in the 70's or early 80's I remember seeing the opening to a movie that really scared me. It was an animated title sequence that the closest thing I can think of is very similar to Moon Zero Two (HERE) and Catalina Caper's (HERE).

The scene that stuck in my head during the opening was a little impish man with a giant meat cleaver cutting an old lady in half, As she sat in an easy chair knitting something. There were several murders like that during the animated credits but that was the one that really stuck with me and sent me scurrying out of the den in a panic.

The movie I was told was a horror/suspense comedy. So my dad admonished me for being so scared of it. But my overactive imagination just couldn't let it go!

Anyhoo! Thanks for letting me submit this and I adore your site!


Name That Trauma:: Julie B. on a Bedridden Corpse

Hello Friends!

I have been trying for a few years to find the film that terrified my sister when we were kids, but with no success. It was shown on Sammy Terry's show, our local late night horror host here in Indianapolis, and we had snuck downstairs to watch it. It was well past our bedtime, and we were never allowed to watch anything that awesome, so this was a covert operation.

It was the opening scene of the film (or very near the beginning) and the setting was a very creepy, very dark Victorian mansion (or a castle?) on a stormy night (Classic!) People are gathered around the curtained bed of an old woman who had recently died, and when they pull back the bed curtains for the reveal, she is in full rigor mortis, eyes staring directly into the camera with a rictus grin.

My sister shrieked and bolted upstairs, we got in trouble, and that was it for Sammy Terry for a while. I was able to torment her with that face for a long time afterwards though, which felt like appropriate payback for ruining a good time!

That was decades ago, but I'd love to find the film to see if it's as terrifying now as it was then, and because (obviously!) I need to retraumatize my sister.

Thank you so much for your help!