Name That Trauma:: Auto on a Porcelain Doll PSA


I’d like to let you guys know about a weird PSA from the early to mid 90s (perhaps made in the 80s, since these things often have an odd shelf life) which aired in upstate NY.

Now, I’d like to preface by saying that I’ve not seen this myself but I’m hell-bent on tracking this down based on the anecdotes I’ve heard. I was wondering if you or your readerbase might be of assistance?

Here’s a description from someone who has seen the ad, Reddit user Necrosynthetic:

“When I was about 6 or 7, there used to be a lupus PSA I’d see usually early in the morning around 6. I’d see it before jack Hannah’s animal adventures came on and it always creeped me out. It would be this very rusty wall in the background of a room in what seemed like an abandoned factory and a woman in a doll dress with an oversized babydoll head, and she was on a swing kind if half swinging in the foreground. The movements of the woman were twitchy sort of like the ghosts in the house on haunted hill remake which came out years later. Her mask was all cracked and aged like a doll left to the elements. Then her arms start flailing around and wrapping around the mask. And then she slumps over in the swing lifeless at the end. I to this day don’t know wtf this has to do with lupus at all. I don’t remember any of what was said during the PSA because I was too scared to pay attention. But I remember there being something about lupus at the end. Maybe it was about lupus and pregnancy? Now I’m in my 30s and I love horror movies and I’ve been trying to find this forever to show my wife and other people but I’ve never been able to find it anywhere. I know it wasn’t a dream either because I saw this EVERY Saturday morning for about a year and then once in a while until I was about 8 or 9. SOMEONE has to remember this besides me. If someone has a link to what I’m talking about please please please let me know”

I’m a massive fan of obscure PSAs, the creepier the better, and tracking down oddities is a hobby of mine. This one, however, seems highly elusive despite being right up my nightmare-fuelled alley. I hope this is of interest!


Name That Trauma:: Martin F. on a Dominatrix in a British Castle

I’d first like to say I love this website! My childhood trauma is this:
1) a British film that at least takes place in a British castle.
2) guy staying in said castle for a night.
3) he rings a bell and a dominatrix walks in accompanied by a little girl.
4). the little girl walks over to a bar and says “Would daddy like a drinky?”
5) The girl’s costume looks exactly like Rhoda from The Bad Seed, blonde pigtails etc.

Any help is much appreciated, I’ve never been able to find this film. Nobody I know knows the title. Please help!

Name That Trauma:: Update on Carol & PSA Mannequin

Hi guys!

About six years ago (HERE) I sent in a Kindertrauma about a PSA that discussed hearing loss, to find out if anyone else experienced it and also got the creeps!

I found it by accident today, in a compilation of WPIX Channel 11 promos and commercials uploaded just a year ago. I thought I should share it so the post can be updated AND for others to tell me if I was exaggerating too much!

(HERE IT IS) time stamped for your nightmares.


Name That Trauma:: Arletta on Pilgrims & Possession

Please help me if you can! This trauma has been skirting the edges of my memory for the longest time. I have searched and searched and keep coming up with nothing. I believe it is a movie, probably made-for-tv, but it could very well be an episode of an anthology show. When you’re a kid everything seems to be movie length if it’s longer than the Brady Bunch. 

I am presuming that I saw this in the mid-1970s. Even though we only had three stations back then, I can’t remember what network it is. I do know that it was about possession. It featured three characters. One was an older man, then there was a younger man and a younger woman. I think she may have been the older man’s daughter. I am pretty sure that this was set in New England. 

Now this part is very vague, of course, everything else has been vague so far as well. They were renovating a property and I think they were going to turn it into a restaurant or bar. The basement had a dirt floor. After they started digging up the floor is when this possession started. Flashbacks showed these three people in historical clothing. The child me would have probably thought they were Pilgrim clothes, but I’m pretty sure we’re looking at the 18th century, maybe 19th. The ghostly trio were involved in some sort of love triangle, I believe, which resulted in the death of at least one of them. As they became possessed they began acting or re-enacting the arguments of the past. 

This is not the movie in Japan with Doug McClure, the Samurais, and the demon crabs. This is definitely set in the United States. For the longest time if you would have asked me who was in this I would have said Ernest Borgnine and Martin Milner. But I have searched their works and found nothing that sounds remotely like this. I even checked out Doug McClure. For some reason I was thinking Sally Struthers might have been the woman. But again, I found nothing on her. 

This is really bugging me. Any help you could give would be so much appreciated. I would love to see if I could see this again just to see if I remembering any part of it correctly. Thanks for your help. Arletta in Pennsylvania

UNK SEZ: Arletta! I’m hoping I have your answer! This sounds like it has to be the 1970 TV movie CROWHAVEN FARM starring Hope Lange, Paul Burke and Cindy Eilbacher. It’s got pilgrims, flashbacks and the couple with daughter you describe. I also know that it played a lot on TV back in the day and has a reputation for causing kindertrauma! Check it out on YouTube HERE! I’ve got my fingers crossed. I’ve been wrong before but this seems like a match!

Name That Trauma:: JLopo on Quicksand & a Burning Bed

So, I’ve never quite been able to figure this out for 37 years or so. I live in metro Detroit and back in the 1980’s they used to show 3 horror movies between 2 local channels on Saturday afternoon. This movie was on during that slot though it seemed more like a thriller.

All I can really remember is the following:

1) Someone is murdering people from a family either for revenge or inheritance
2) It had the look of an Amicus or Hammer period piece (like the Gilded Age)
3) 1st scene that has stuck in my head since: Someone is set on fire in a room with a canopy bed
4) 2nd scene that has stuck with me: The villain (i think) dies in quicksand. Quicksand that looked like oatmeal in water quite frankly, not that it didn’t freak me out as a kid.

Hopefully someone has an idea. I was able to figure out my other 2 traumatic childhood movie mysteries: Don’t Go to Sleep and Strange Behavior.


Name That Trauma Solved:: Dexterpie on The Undead (1957)

Once upon a time, way back HERE we got a Name That Trauma from Dexterpie that went a little something like this:

Hello Kindertrauma, I’m trying to find a movie that I saw as a child. It had two witches in it. The ugly witch was good and the pretty witch was bad. The pretty witch could turn into animals and ended up burning the ugly witch’s house down. I’m pretty sure the movie was in black and white. Any help would be appreciated, I’ve been looking a long time!


Sadly though, this was one of those rare instances when are readers could not provide the answer. All seemed lost but then a happy ending finally materialized! Dexterpie found his own movie and it’s the Roger Corman directed 1957 flick, THE UNDEAD! I’ll let Dexterpie describe the movie further…

I saw this movie as a child. I liked it because it had witches. Since then for thirty or fourth years I’ve been trying to find it. Not even the internet could help. One horror movie buff suggested I was thinking of The Blue Bird. A Shirley Temple movie. Puh-leeze. Another suggested Hocus Pocus. The fools. 

This psychiatrist hypnotizes a hooker so he can travel in time through her. Confusing. But it is done. And Satan is there. A couple witches. This pretty girl needs help. Who will help? Meg Maude, the ugly old crone witch living in a witches cottage in the woods? Or Lydia the beautiful shape shifting witch who is not so nice. Hint: do not judge a book by its cover. 

Made in 1957 it’s got a whole lot of shit going on. They cut off heads in this movie like it’s going out of style. It has satanic dancers. 

The owls in the trees turn into lizards. Then into an evil imp and a cat. The cat turns into pretty Lydia. Billy Bartley is her evil imp. She wants the innocent girls man and is framing her for being a witch. 

Time travel.  Witches. Imps. Satan. A singing grave digger.

She has to decide. Does she die here as a witch tonight and live future lives?  Or does she live and marry her beloved but never live again in future lives?  

Every bit as wonderful as I could have remembered it. 


Wow, Dexterpie! That sounds great! Thanks for keeping us up to date on your Name That Trauma! Folks, if you want to check out THE UNDEAD, it looks like it’s free on most major streaming services (Tubi, Pluto et el)!

Name That Trauma:: Michael from Minnesota on an Enchanted Sword & a Maternal Witch

Hello Kindertraumaniacs!

Michael from Minnesota, here for a third time. You guys have done a dynamite job helping me in the past, now I come to you for a friend who recently asked me to identify a couple of movies he remembers watching in his adolescence. The first I knew immediately (Empire’s “Eliminators”), but this one has me scratching my head. Here’s how he described it:

Lower-budget fantasy flick. The hero is a stock Conan/Deathstalker/Beastmaster type who lives in the woods with an old witch. He goes on some sort of quest, and ends up in possession of the fragments of an enchanted sword. When he reforges the sword, it reveals to him that he is heir to the throne; his memory had been wiped by a villain years ago. It also reveals that the old witch is his mother, and restores her youth and beauty. That’s all he gave me.

This sounds like it could be any number of Corman-backed fantasy flicks from the early-to-mid-80s, but I’m not much of an expert on that subgenre. He’s positive that he saw this on cable (his dad worked for the cable company and they received free service), and that it would have been in either the very late 80s or very early 90s. Thanks in advance, you beautiful people!

Name That Trauma:: Tracey B. on a Crying Cleaver Killer

Greetings from Chicagoland!

Circa 1980, I’m flipping through a black-and-white horror mag, title unknown, and see a bit of story involving a man with a cleaver cutting up a conscious woman. A big panel shows her arched backwards over a table or butcher’s block, her arm cut off at the elbow, while he’s holding her down with one hand, cleaver upraised in the other. A few panels later, his attack is over. Another small panel shows him mostly offscreen; he’s standing before her head, now split in half lengthwise at the front, lying on the table / block. Cleaver hanging at his side, he cries(??!?!??!!?), with dialogue saying, “Oh, Ellen…. Ellen….” (Could’ve been Helen, but I think Ellen is correct.) The last panel I recall shows him clutching a struggling bird while splitting it with the cleaver. I quit reading when he started going after other animals.

I’d like to know what the hell this made-up murderer’s problem was and to get some satisfaction in seeing him suffer. Thank you, thank you, thank you for any leads.

Thank you more for helping humanity, one Kindertrauma at a time!

Name That Trauma:: Beth From Georgia on a Sickly Escapee

Greetings! I’ve enjoyed the site for many years, but I believe this is my first request for help identifying an old trauma of mine.

It’s my hope that someone can help point me to a movie/show that deeply disturbed me as a young child in the early ’90s. I know it had to have been made prior to 1995 because of the house I was living in when I saw it, but I have no idea if it’s a movie or TV show. Someone in my family was watching something on TV on one of the broadcast stations in northern Virginia (I don’t remember if we had cable in that particular house at the time) circa 1992, and I saw a portion of it while going through the room a few times while doing other things. Pretty sure it was on a channel with commercials. The snippets I saw made a big impression.

In the movie (just gonna call it a movie for simplicity’s sake), there’s a sick young woman on the run. She’s just recently escaped from some kind of hospital where she was in quarantine for some kind of horribly contagious disease. She has been accidentally exposed and doesn’t realize she is spreading a terrible disease, but doesn’t trust the hospital staff or authority figures for reasons I don’t recall. Her state of mind is confused, and she is getting worse. The woman has shoulder length or short hair and is wearing a white hospital gown or house coat (pretty sure it opens in the back), and she keeps pausing in her flight from the authorities to vomit. Every time she gets sick, there’s an ominous music chord and stock footage of bacteria multiplying is shown. She looks sweaty and sick, and keeps desperately trying to stop people on the street to ask them for help (and getting sick on them). The music stings and bacteria clips keep happening, illustrating that she’s spreading the disease. Each time, the bacteria pile increases more and more until the single bacterium splits into hundreds and fills the entire screen with them. I think she collapsed before it cut to something else or a commercial break, and I never saw anything further or learned her fate in the end. The whole thing was absolutely horrifying to me. Even today, I think of these few scenes every time I see a clip of bacteria multiplying.

I think the movie may have also played from the point of view of the people trying to catch her and stop the spreading of the disease (maybe police or detectives?). The tone is more like a ’90s TV police procedural thriller where you’re following the characters as they track down a suspect. Like, they keep being one step behind and are trying to get to her in time before she succumbs and infects everyone. Production value may have been akin to something like an episode of In the Heat of the Night, and it may have said something about being based on a true story so it might have been a TV movie or a TV show of the era. I think an ambulance crash happens at some point, with her escaping from the back of the vehicle (possibly right before the scene of her escaping I described above). I also think the color grade of the movie leans a little more to the red shade of the spectrum when following the sick lady, to help show her deteriorating health.

Who is this lady? Did she make it? What was my family watching?! I must know, fellow trauma enthusiasts. Can anyone help identify this horror from my past? Please and thank you!

-Beth from Georgia

Name That Trauma:: Mike W. On a Magic Ball & Killer Toys

Hello from South Africa!

Long time fan, first time writer. Thanks to your site I was able to relive the memory of a movie that scared the bejesus out of me as a kid, “The Haunted” about the Smurl Haunting. I’m hoping you can -please- point me in the direction of another childhood trauma. Here are the deets, bit of a read, but I hope you will find it interesting.

In South Africa we had an early subscription based TV channel called M-Net. One of it’s regularly scheduled program slots was K-TV. (Kids television.) During the school holidays they would have “the K-TV holidays special” which meant extended broadcast hours and also movies that we would never have a chance to see otherwise. (This was the late 80s to mid 90s)

Thanks to them I saw so many weird movies that I may need to revist Kindetraumas services in the future. The titles I do remember catching were “Robotech the movie” (That weird butchered one which flopped in the cinema) the Robotech Sentinels pilot episode, The Peanut Butter Solution…that kind of stuff.

One of the films we saw was about a spoiled upper middle class kid (live action film) who had a ton of cool toys and basically could regularly pick any toy he wanted from the toy store. He offers his Euro friend the opportunity to get a toy, but his friend turns him down and shows him a ball with lights on it. The friend tells him he needs no other toys except this ball. So of course our “hero” steals this ball for himself.

That night his mom has to go out, leaving him home alone. The ball activates and his toys come to life and try to murder him. I remember a cackling skeleton and an almost Tyco looking train set that tried to shoot him, as well as others. The vacuum cleaner also tries to murder him and then he hears his friends distorted voice coming from the ball taunting him. (the movie starts to veer into wtf territory)

He heads downstairs and encounters his mom, except it’s not his mom it’s actually a freaky killer cyborg version of her. (no reason for it..just insanity.) This thing chases him out the house and his real mom arrives home and runs it over.

I know it sounds a bit like a fever dream, but I have a buddy who also saw it. We connected via our love for the film on the he-man forums. Coincidentally he is in the toy design biz himself now. Helping design action figures for Battletoads.

I have tried EVERY source, from repeated word combos on google and youtube, to keyword trawling on IMDB and am now searching I find it worrying that there is no sign of it as I think it would be insansely popular online with the ongoing trend of adult toy collectors and retro revivals. I mean, not a single hint of it??? It was definitely not a South African production, I think possibly it was dubbed into english which means the original title might be very obscure.

It is not a holiday themed movie, it is not part of Silent Night, Deadly night…I have no idea what it was.

Sorry for the wordy mail, thanks for reading. Any help at all would be so very appreciated.

All the Best!
Mike W