Traumafession:: Eshbaal of Horrible Horror on Grizzly Tales for Gruesome Kids

Greetings, Unk and Aunt. It has been a while since I last wrote to you with a Traumafession. But sometimes, it simply takes a while before you suddenly remember just how creepy something was, or that it existed at all.

When I was a child, there used to be a little show on TV called “Grizzly Tales for Gruesome Kids” – a very crudely animated children’s horror anthology show. The concept was really quite simple: it was an anthology show, akin to Tales from the Crypt, with self-contained stories introduced by a host, in this case “Uncle Grizzly,” a stop-motion (although the rest of the show was 2D animation), hunchbacked theatre owner who would show film reels detailing stories of bratty children getting their comeuppance for their bad behaviors – such as being liars, talking back, being lazy and what have you. Apparently, this show was adapted from a series of British children’s books. Like I said, the animation was very crude, the art style rather childish, and every voice was essentially just the narrator doing bad impressions. By all accounts, this sounds like a fairly innocent little Aesop-filled show, right?


This show was completely batshit crazy, and I only just truly realized that a few weeks ago when I happened upon a few episodes of it on YouTube and gleefully went “Aaaw, I remember this!” and started to watch. While I did remember the show having some unnerving atmosphere surrounding it, I must have repressed the rest in some dark corner of my mind somehow, because I was in no way prepared for the carnage I was about to witness.

Either the British really hate children, or British children are considered insanely tough, because things would get just as grizzly and gruesome as the title promises. These children, while definitely bratty and annoying, would be punished in ways that go way beyond simply telling them off for being snot-nosed little bastards: they’d get killed in the most insane ways, such as the boy who refused to eat his dinner being ground into spaghetti by a shadowy “spaghetti monster”, or the “Bunny Boy” who refused to eat his salad (opting to feed it to a bunny in the fields instead) and got run over by a combine harvester in the field and got sewed together with said bunny.

Did I mention said harvester scene features blood splatter and limbs flying at the screen? And these are just two out of a ton of examples. From being forever caught as a golden statue to being burned alive to eaten by trolls or to being pressed into cider, there was no gruesome death that the children in these episodes didn’t suffer – and if they survived, they usually weren’t much better off, with one particularly lazy girl turned into a giant worm because she refused to leave her sleeping bag during a camping trip.

Whatever went through the creators’ heads, I do not know. But it definitely makes me want to eat my veggies, talk nicely to people and never go apple-picking – when I re-watched it in my mid-twenties.

-Bjarke “Eshbaal” Johansen of Horrible Horror.

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