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Name That Trauma:: Matt S. on a Marked Witch Doll

October 4th, 2020 · 6 Comments

OK Obi Wan, i think you might be my last hope….

I have searched the internet for years. I cannot find or ID this film. Not sure if it was made for TV or not.

Here’s all I can tell you… it was a film shown on tv (may just have been local to the San Francisco Bay Area) at some point in the 70s. I have a vague feeling like it was aired at two different times…

But here’s all I remember. Witches. A sort of woods, kind of gray and maybe foggy? And a rag doll (possibly a Raggedy Ann) with a mark of blood on her forehead ( like someone marked her forehead with blood using their finger), and possibly people in 17th-century clothing? I feel like at least a glrl in a cloak in the woods.

That’s it. It’s driven me crazy for 40ish years. I feel at this point like I hallucinated it….. hellllp!
Matt S.

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Name That Trauma:: Michael From Minnesota on a Haunted House Book

October 3rd, 2020 · 8 Comments

Hi guys, Michael from Minnesota here. Love the site and hoping you and your readers can help with a memory that’s haunted me for decades. In grade school in the mid-80s, I remember watching a Reading Rainbow-type video that highlighted different children’s books. The one that stuck with me was a book about a family that moved into a new house and noticed some strange goings-on. In the end, it turns out a body was buried underneath the house and the restless spirit was causing the disturbances. I believe it ends with them giving the corpse a proper burial, and things go back to normal. I’ve gone through the Reading Rainbow archives and nothing has jumped out at me, so it might’ve been on a similar, knockoff program. If anyone can help, I’d love to find the book. Thanks!

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Name That Trauma:: Grayson K. on a Backwards Talking Boy

September 12th, 2020 · 2 Comments

I remember, on at least one occasion as a kid, seeing parts of a movie on TV which totally freaked me out. I mainly remember seeing a boy walking around on the roof of a house while talking backwards; kind of like the weird Twin Peaks effect where they rewind the voices. There were police or other adults that thought the boy was important and wanted to catch him, but he was wandering into hard to get places.

I think I saw it on TV a second time, which freaked me out again, and that’s when I learned he was the witness to some murder. Possibly of his parents. It may have even shown flashbacks to the murder (which I believe was in their bedroom). I think they were trying to get clues out of the boy and that’s why they were chasing him around. Although it’s probably good to get any child off the roof as a general rule.

I have no idea why he was talking backwards or why he was on the roof, but it was very unsettling to me. I thought for sure this would be an easy one to google with all the details I remembered, but none of the movies that came up sounded like the right one, or even mention a backwards talking boy.

Grayson K

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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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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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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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