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Name That Trauma:: Glenn B. on a Bad Trip TV Special

April 18th, 2020 · 3 Comments

I was born in 1961, so was a fresh, damp and impressionable target for some of the upsetting TV material of the 1960s and early 1970s. One of my more vivid memories is of a television special clearly intended to scare the audience away from ever experimenting with illegal drugs — and from LSD in particular.

In my jumbled recall, this program is linked with radio/television personality Art Linkletter, whose daughter Diane committed suicide by jumping out a window in 1969. The story bruited about (and encouraged by the Linkletter family) was that Diane had been tripping at the time, and jumped believing she could fly. According to Snopes.com, this was not the case, but Art Linkletter became a prominent anti-drug figure.

Anyway, I have a couple of distinct (well, distinct-ish) memories of this show — which had the intended effect on me at the time because it frightened the shit out of me. I have thought about these again and again in the intervening years, though the memories got blurrier and no doubt less reliable.

Memory 1: there was at least one simulated ‘bad trip’ sequence. The specific bit I recall was a vision of what looked like skinny Giacometti-like sculptures, but made out of glass — and they were vomiting copious streams of glassy puke (not animated, though the sculptures might have been on rotating bases or something like that).

Memory 2: the worst memory I have of this delightful program was of it showing photos of the horribly deformed faces of the children you would have if you ever dropped acid. The layout of the shot I recall was multiple-row, like a page of a school yearbook from hell: I recall one-eyed faces, faces with trunk-like appendages proceeding from foreheads, real monsters. The photos had a somewhat blurred, distressed and artifacted look, which made them even worse.

I’ve searched for the film on Youtube, and while there are a number of examples of this *kind* of thing there, most of them are films that would have been shown in the classroom and I definitely remember this one being on TV.

Note: a number of people have asked me if I was remembering the movie Go Ask Alice, from 1973. I have watched it, and although there are frightening things in it (e.g. Shatner with a moustache, waka-jawaka music, the oily colors of the 70s) they are of a different nature.

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Name That Trauma:: Paul K. on a Tortured Family and a Television Trap

April 5th, 2020 · 2 Comments

This happened when I was living in northern Minnesota during the ’70s to the early ’80s. We had 4 tv stations to choose from. I turned the channel to PBS and watched something strange. A dad, mom, boy and girl sat like crash-test dummies unmoving at a table. The room they sat in (maybe a kitchen) had very little in it. A prompt would come up saying something like “wind”. A giant wind storm would blow through the room as the family just sat there and took it.  Another prompt would come up like “quake”. The room would reset itself as if the wind storm never happened. The quake would shake everything out of place but when the next prompt came up everything would be back in its place. This would go on for many prompts. The only time the room didn’t reset was after the prompt “sand”. A foot of sand blew into the room and stayed there even after other prompts. It was almost like I was watching an immobile family subjected to various torturous conditions that were removed after each testing except for the sand.  This might have been from 30 to 60 minutes long.  That is all I know.

I also remember something on PBS during the same time period where a young good guy gets transmitted inside a TV by a young bad guy. The good guy pounds on the TV’s glass screen. The good guy’s girlfriend risks getting stuck inside the TV trying to save him but is able to get the good guy out. She traps the bad guy in the TV and they leave him in there fearfully pounding on the glass screen.  It isn’t John Ritter’s film “STAY TUNED“. That too is all I know.

I hope my memory is correct and I hope you can help.  The bad guy stuck in the TV had extreme fear and made the good guys look amoral.

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Name That Trauma:: Amanda Z. on a Madman’s Torture Tunnel

March 26th, 2020 · No Comments

Hey there and thank you for reading!

This has been driving me mad for thirty years. I caught a brief moment in a movie when I was very young, and all I can remember about it is that there was a madman who was murdering people in various ridiculously complicated ways (sort of like The Abominable Doctor Phibes) and one way was to force a person through a small tunnel or a hole or something. I think the contraption was set up like a model train table and a conveyor took the person along a track where they were compressed or pushed through this hole.

This would have been on network TV some time in the early 1970s. Could have been a TV show, or a movie shown on TV. I’m sorry I can’t be more specific. I caught just enough of it to flip out, at which point my parents sent me back to bed. Does this ring any bells? Even remotely? Thanks in advance for your help. 

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Name That Trauma:: Ruben V. on a Tree Contraption Death

March 5th, 2020 · 2 Comments

Hey there,

I stumbled upon your website the other day after seeing a Facebook post. I’ve been enjoying the content, and even found a few movies I may check out. I noticed that you, as well as your fans have a deep knowledge of horror flicks and I was wondering if you could possibly pin down a movie that I only remember one exact scene from, which is quite brief, but ill give it a shot. It was on TV I believe when I was a kid (early to mid ’90s possibly) and all I remember is a man running in the woods away from something/someone. He then leans against a tree and a vice contraption goes over his eyes and squeezes them. I’m not sure if this is completely made up or an actual film, but if you possibly know of a film similar to what was described that would be great. Thank you for posting great content, and I will be continuing to follow your posts.

Take care

-Ruben V.

UNK SEZ: Thanks, Rubin! I’m glad you found us! I may be wrong but that sounds like the death of Eddie Kelso in FRIDAY THE 13th: A New Beginning. Strangely, I just watched that the other night! Check it out HERE and let us know if that’s the case. Otherwise, we’ll keep looking. If any of our readers can think of any other possibilities, please comment!

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Name That Trauma:: Unk on a Pig-Faced Litterbug

March 4th, 2020 · 3 Comments

I wasn’t exactly a child when I saw this commercial but I’m going to write about it anyway. I’m hoping that maybe there’s someone out there who has seen it as well and needs confirmation that they didn’t imagine it. From what I recall this environmental PSA played frequently because that is exactly how it got permanently lodged in my head. I’m guessing it’s from around 1990 because for some reason my memories of the year the eighties ended are especially vivid.

In the commercial you see a man looking up at the camera and I think he’s sitting in some kind of black void to make things even more creepy and surreal. A woman’s accusing voice bellows at him, “You’re the one who throws trash out of your car window” (or something like that) and the guy’s face changes a little and becomes slightly more pig-like. Then the woman accuses him of something else regarding pollution (maybe dumping garbage into the ocean) and his face becomes a little more pig-like. This happens several more times until the man has a total pig face. It’s possible he turns into an actual pig at the very end.

In general, I find it absurd and ignorant when folks describe bad (and particularly human) behavior by comparing people to innocent animals. I’ve never met a pig but quit sure they are charming animals in real life. Having said that, the Dr. Moreau-style hybrid presented in this short ad was truly hideous and disturbing. I’ll never forget how the woman’s voice quivered with such exaggerated contempt as she barked at the guilty-looking monstrosity. After many years, I’ve never seen this spot pop up on YouTube and it may very well be an only East Coast-thing. Hopefully, someday I’ll meet another human who has experienced this. It was so very weird that I’m surprised that I can’t find a reference to it anywhere.

And that reminds me: When I was small and living in California my across the street neighbor had a poster hanging in his garage that said, “Hell yes, I male chauvinist Pig” and it was an image of a scary man on a motorcycle with an actual pig face so maybe my aversion to pig faces has a long history. I also remember being especially taken aback by the issue of Fangoria with MOTEL HELL on the cover.

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Tags: Name That Trauma! · Traumafessions

Traumafession:: Richie C. on a Curse of Frankenstein Mask

March 2nd, 2020 · 5 Comments

Hi there, My big bro takes me to see Curse of Frankenstein with the immortal Christopher Lee in 57, maybe–I’m 6—and as a give-away they had masks of the monster with eye holes and an elastic band–I remember my brother wearing it after the movie and scaring the bajesus out of me, as up to that point it was the scariest image ever, followed shortly after by Mr Sardonicus, etc—anyway, my older brother doesn’t remember the mask and I’m sure I’m not misremembering –do you or any of your fans remember such a mask?–thanks, love your site—ghoulishly yours, Richie

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Tags: Name That Trauma! · Traumafessions

Name That Trauma:: Ashley M. on a Family Staircase Stabbing

February 26th, 2020 · 7 Comments

Hi!
Hoping you can help! Some idiot managed to take me to a scary movie when I was about 5 years old. I’ve thought of it many times and I can’t figure out what it was. 


It was in a movie theater in probably 1987 or 1988, Kansas City. All I know is that generally, it was about a family, no monsters or magic or anything. There were several stabbing scenes. The worst I can remember was on the stairs in the family house. There were dead family members all over the house and I believe when the last female is killed the movie ends. Or maybe she survives…?

Let me know if that sounds familiar at all. It’s hard to do an effective search when you don’t know any specifics.
Thanks, 

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Name That Trauma:: Kevin M. on a Cyclops Cat Children’s Book

January 7th, 2020 · 4 Comments

I read a children’s picture book that must have been published sometime in the mid to late ’70s. 


The book was about the size of a magazine, it had color illustrations and was about a young cat that went to sea. The cat stood upright and wore blue pants and a white shirt, along with some kind of a headband/kerchief. 
The body of the book includes mild adventures, but the kindtraumatic part comes on the last page: the cat departing for a scary nautical adventure, he’s looking at the reader but behind him, you see all kinds of frightening stuff in the distance, including an island with large cyclops cats. 


It’s *not* Ricard Adam’s The Ship’s Cat. 


Any help tracking down the name or images from this book would be a huge help. 

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Name That Trauma:: Luke C. on a Circular Saw Safety Short

January 7th, 2020 · 1 Comment

There’s this child safety video that we were shown multiple times in grade school in the 80’s that terrified me as a small child. A kid making popcorn outside with a raggedy extension cord that catches his house on fire, someone sawing off their finger with a circular saw, stranger danger, etc.

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Tags: Name That Trauma! · Uncategorized

Name That Trauma:: Xminus on an Avalanche and a Talking Rock

November 27th, 2019 · 1 Comment

I need your help as winter approaches. I have a movie stuck in my head and I can not find the name of it. All I have to go on is it was on TV, not sure when or what channel, and it might be a made for tv movie, I am not sure. All I can remember is that there was an avalanche, and someone is dying , and up to their neck in snow and they start hallucinating and talking to a rock of all things. I remember the guy naming the rock rocky and the rock had a mouth that said I have always been here and always will be. Then the mouth on the rock vanishes and the guy gets a little frantic and the screen fades to black shortly after. I need to know I was not just making this up, and any help will be appreciated.

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