Name That Trauma :: Reader Cath on Outerspace Plant People


I was on your site, led there by a Google search as I was trying to find the name of a movie that traumatized me as a child. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find the name of the movie.

When I was young (in the very early 1970s), my father let me watch a movie on TV. I don’t remember it that well, but it was a black and white movie, and the men seemed to be on some kind of spaceship. There were plant people attacking them (and the special effects were bad because the plant people were people with ivy draped around them). The plants would grow and reach out from the plant people, and sometimes when someone wasn’t looking, or was asleep, then the plants would turn the normal person into a plant person.

I was so traumatized that I had trouble getting to sleep at night, and I kept waking up my parents with my nightmares. My father eventually came up with a plan: if I slept with my covers completely over my head, then when the plants dropped out of space, they wouldn’t be able to get to me. (I don’t know why I trusted my blankets more than I trusted the ceiling and walls.) I slept that way every night for years. Then in the early ’80s, I had to read about the “Bell Witch” of East Tennessee for a school assignment. According to the book, she liked to go through the house and pull the covers off people while they slept. I was again traumatized, haunted by the thought that some witch could come along and pull my covers off, and then the plant people would get me. I was in high school by this time.

My children would like to see the original movie that has caused me so much trouble. (They are hoping that it will be on MST3K since the visual effects were so bad.) If you have any ideas what this movie could be, I would appreciate your help.

Thank you for a great web site and blog.

By the way, I’m now almost 50 years old, and I still sleep with my covers over my head.

Best wishes,


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Eric Eddy
10 years ago

That sounds suspiciously like Invasion of the Body Snatchers. However, that wasn’t the only movie that follows that plot line.

David Fullam
10 years ago

Could this be it? It features a space station being overrun by a space fungus.

Philip Mertz
10 years ago

Seems like a long shot, but at least the time period seems to match with Day of the Triffids from 1962.