Name That Trauma:: Reader Pixel Pixie on a Window Smashing Vampire, Salty Zombies and a Teen Witch

Since I have discovered this site last week, I’ve become completely addicted! Thanks for bringing up so many memories of my childhood and alerting me to movies I should have already seen.

But moving on, I have three traumas to submit. I’m afraid I don’t have a lot on any of them, but you and your readers have mad skillz, and answering any of these would be wonderful. Presenting them in the order in which they occurred:

1) Mid-to-late 80s: a trailer for a vampire movie that aired repeatedly on TV. The only thing I remember is what traumatized me: a female vampire jumps through a window (perhaps in slo-mo), completely unscathed by the flying shards of glass around her. I think she was wearing a nightdown-ish dress in a pastel color, and might have been non-Caucasian. I have watched a bunch of trailers from that era and have yet to come across it.

2) Late-80s: I checked out a book from the elementary school library. It was an anthology of folklore horror stories from around the world. It was illustrated, but definitely wasn’t any of the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books. The story that traumatized me took place somewhere in Asia (sorry, don’t remember which country specifically). There was a female ghost with long fingernails or claws and she was chasing a male. He stood in front of a tree and she charged at him. He lunged at the last second to get away. Her claws were embedded in the tree and he took off. Another story took place in Italy or France and involved a guy murdering someone (maybe his wife?) and making her into sausages, which he sold. This didn’t bother me at all; apparently cannibalism doesn’t traumatize me, but ghosts do. Those two stories were definitely in the anthology, but another jostles my memory that may or may not have been included. It had voodoo zombies that were controlled by salt or sugar (or maybe both?). One had been given whichever substance makes them work and, in a golem-like twist, works mindlessly on stuff around the farm.

The book wasn’t new when I read it and might have been as old as the 60s.

3) Early 90s: Another book I read, this one checked out from the public library. I think it might have been intended for teenagers, or even adults, because I never saw it in the children’s section again (or maybe enough parents complained). This one featured a girl, perhaps in her early teens, who started dabbling in black magic. She needed baby fat for a spell and wanted to sacrifice her little brother. I think she might have had a sister as well. I think her father was somehow not in the picture, and that might have been the driving force behind getting into magic. I checked out the book in paperback, and I think the cover was purple and had a pentacle or some other sort of magical symbol on it. Whatever it was, my mother saw the cover and told me I wasn’t allowed to read stuff like that. I had to return it to the library that day.

Many thanks to anyone who can help with any of these!

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Taylor (@joshacid37)
8 years ago

I doubt that either of these is correct, based on details you provide vs. these books’ content, but they’re the first things I thought of:

Could the horror folktales book be Short & Shivery ( It’s the only book of that kind I read as a child that specifically went international with its stories.

The magic book makes me think of Jay’s Journal (, which I’ve read about but never read.

Dustin (@dustin)
8 years ago

I’m not sure what the book about the girl getting into magic is, but it is NOT “Jay’s Journal”. That was about a boy who got into black magic and was tormented by a demon named Raul.

Very loosely based on a real journal. From what I understand, most of the “true journals” compiled by Beatrice Sparks are mostly fictional, with very little of the content coming from the source journal.

pixelpixie (@pixelpixie)
8 years ago

Thanks for the suggestions so far. The second one isn’t Short & Shivery. I have done more research, and I have concluded that it isn’t any of the following: Tales from the Midnight Hour, Horror Tales, and Monster Tales. I did remember one additional tidbit: I am 90% sure the illustrations were black & white.

The third is not Jay’s Journal. The book is a novel, not based on a true story, however loosely, and the protagonist is female. Since I did not finish the book, I cannot definitively state that there was no cult, but there wasn’t in the first third that I was permitted to read.

zoe (@zoe)
8 years ago

Number 3 sounds like it might be Phyllis Reynolds Naylor’s Witch’s Sister. I remember the bit about the fat of an unbaptized baby aka the little brother of the two girls.

pixelpixie (@pixelpixie)
8 years ago

Zoe, I think you’ve got it! A Google image search returned this:'s_sister. as the cover of the 1975 edition, which does have a good deal of purple and has magical symbols. Yay! Thanks so much!