UNK SEZ: Halloween came early to Kindertrauma Castle when we recently opened our gates to the ultimate treat! The wisest of the wise, AMANDA BY NIGHT dropped by for some spiked cider and ginger snaps. Being the ultimate source for all things television related, we also got her to fix our reception by climbing up top the west tower and nudging our makeshift, clothes hanger bunny ears! Always the charmer, before she took off into the night she was kind enough to leave us with something we had been dreaming about all evening, an AMANDA traumafession! Aunt John whipped out a peacock quill and diligently took down her every word. Here is what she told us…
I have thought long and hard about my Kindertraumas after finding this great site. I have so many of them! And a lot are mentioned here already, so to be all unique and stuff, I really went into the recesses of those blocked traumas… you know the ones you purposely forget because they are so absolutely terrifying that you still get chills to this day? Well, I dug pretty deep and came up with a doozy.
I was under 7 years of age. I know this because I was still living in our house in Ventura, CA. But how much younger is in question. All I remember is going into my parents’ bedroom and they were watching television.
* A note about my parents who both passed away in 2005 – First of all, they were terrific and they also loved the creepy stuff, although they would never admit it. My dad read true crime and my mom secretly indulged in horror films every so often with me, and was a devout fan of all mysteries in all forms of media. They also worked at Camarillo State Hospital which was one of the largest mental hospitals in the ‘70s. I remember that for a time my dad worked on the violent ward (talk about traumas!). They were really involved with the darker aspects of life, so it’s kind of funny to think that they were so perplexed as to why I ended up loving horror movies so much. They pretty much gave me carte blanche on what I saw too, just as long as they had some idea of what I was putting into my head. However, they never warned me about what they might be watching!
So, back to my story… I came into their bedroom and they were watching their usual hoity toity PBS stuff – I had no idea what it was at the time – and this guy is somewhere… I dunno… maybe he’s running, I can’t remember. And this giant balloon comes down upon him… and I think he’s screaming! The guy, not the balloon… but that would have been even creepier!
Uh, aren’t balloons a childhood symbol of joy? This balloon was, like, killing this guy or something. It was absolutely horrifying. Still is when I think about it.
I’m not even sure when it was that I discovered it was a scene from the popular British series THE PRISONER, but I did and I have avoided that show ever since. I just looked it up to see if I could find any images or information about the balloon. The most shocking thing I read was a definition of Rover (i.e. the murderous balloon) on Wikipedia:
Rover was depicted as a large white inflatable balloon, not quite fully inflated, with a flexible skin. Rover would often produce a muffled roar sound when attacking. It would also sometimes emit a strange light display / luminescence from its interior. Once released, Rover could bounce and glide across the land and sea for a long range and at high speed, faster than say a vehicle or boat.
Rover is pure evil. Like, totally. But at the same time, remembering him reminds me of my parents and that makes Rover’s deadly blow not so bad.
NOTE: The amazing AMANDA BY NIGHT knows no bounds! Besides her endlessly useful hideout/tribute to all things tube-related MADE FOR TV MAYHEM, she’s also got a killer column over at PRETTY SCARY called LIFETIME KILLS, a drop-in-anytime stint at the ever praiseworthy HORROR YEARBOOK (Check out this spot-on post LITTLE KNOWN HORROR TREASURES) AND she’s known to keep the blood flowing freely over at the inimitable RETRO SLASHERS BLOG! How does she do it? We’ll never know. All we know is that if she rocked any harder, she’d be Stonehenge!