Name That Trauma :: Reader Chad on a Fungus-Eared Family

O.K., this will probably be a lay-up for most of the folks that read this site, but I’m going out of my mind trying to remember this one. I definitely saw this on T.V. and I want to say on PBS about 25 years ago. It was a half-hour black and white show from the ‘60s, possibly THE OUTER LIMITS or some U.K. counterpart. In it, a family discovers some kind of mushroom in their back yard. If I recall correctly, the mushrooms were extraterrestrial, but I can’t be certain.

In any case, the Kindertrauma moment is at the end of the episode. The entire family has been taken over by these things, except for one person, possibly Dad. You can tell because their ears(!!!!!) have turned into mushrooms. Dad looks up at the top of the stairs to see the silhouette of his son with the mushroom ears telling him to ‘join them’ or something equally freaking terrifying. Then the episode ends.

I tell people this and they think I am nuts. Well, if I am nuts it is due to seeing a kid my age be consumed by ALIEN MUSHROOMS.

Thanks in advance,


UPDATE: NAME THAT TRAUMA SOLVED! Credit where credit is due to the unstoppable senski who got it with ALFRED HITHCOCK PRESENTS “SPECIAL DELIVERY.”

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13 years ago

Apart from the mushrooms on ears element, it sounds like it could be from Alfred Hitchcock Presents – “Special Delivery” – from a Ray Bradbury script. That was also re-done for Ray Bradbury Theater in 1989 as “Boys! Grow Giant Mushrooms in Your Cellar,” but that wouldn’t be b&w…

13 years ago

Well here’s the plot on the Alfred Hitchcock:

Young Tom Fortnam is thrilled when he receives his guaranteed to grow mushroom seeds by special delivery mail. His father Bill is then approached by a friend, Roger, who thinks people are disappearing. Bill isn’t quite sure what to make of it all until Roger’s wife calls him to say that Roger has vanished, as has all of his clothes. When he visits Roger’s house, he sees that Roger’s son, who is the same age as Tom, is also busy growing mushrooms in the basement. Convinced there is a connection, Bill confronts his son – with fantastic results.

And also, here’s another thing:
Matango (1963)

A group of friends are sailing on the yacht when a storm blows them off course and damages the boat. They soon land on a deserted island where they find a deserted, fungus covered wreck. They then find out that it was a research vessel examining the effects of radiation on plant and animal life. However, they also discover a strange fungus dubbed Matango. They also find out that the crew ate some of the fungus and were somehow driven mad. The group then goes about trying to find food and water without succumbing to the lure of the mushrooms. However, one by one they soon are driven by their hunger and desires to eat the mushrooms with disastrous effects.

13 years ago

It’s definitely not Matango because that took place on an island and had no kids in it and no mushroom ears.  But Matango was one of my own Kindertrauma’s and well worth checking out.