I love the site and it’s become one of my favorite spots to pop in every few weeks during a lull at work. I always get hours of enjoyment reading about everyone’s creepy childhood scares and thought I would share my own vivid memory. I almost sent this in as a “Name That Trauma” but after 25 years of wondering I was able to figure it out a few months back.
My twin brother and I were fairly insulated as children and didn’t interact much with anyone other than our parents. Mom and Dad only had one or two “date nights” for the entirety of my childhood, so the simple fact of being left home alone with a babysitter I didn’t know was traumatic enough. I vividly remember that my parents went to see KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN during their night out, so that places the event squarely in 1985 when I was four years old (the film always sounded scary and became amalgamated with my trauma and stuck in my memory.)
The babysitter, as they often do, plopped my brother and I down in front of the T.V. but didn’t turn on any lights in the house once it got dark. This created a very weird, alien atmosphere in my house that was entirely different than the way my parents kept things. Then it happened, the babysitter changed the channel to G.L.O.W… THE GORGEOUS LADIES OF WRESTLING and I saw something that absolutely scared the hell out of me.
It was a ladies tag team match and one of the women proceeded to hypnotize a member of the other team and force her to attack her own partner. She had some sort of black magic gimmick, and I was positive someone was going to do the same thing to my parents and make them violently beat me when they came home. To a four year old, this scene, both the wrestling and the hypnotism, were unquestioningly real.
Thanks to the powers of the internet, I was able to find out recently that the woman in question was a masked wrestler known as “The Princess of Darkness.” Not only that, but I found the actual match (The Princess of Darkness and Palistina versus Olympia and California Doll, obviously not dubbed into Spanish when I saw it). It’s strange to revisit it now, and I can see how it could be pretty unsettling to a four year old.
Another very vivid memory from around the same time period was that during Halloween my teachers would inevitably pop in the THE SKELETON DANCE video from Disney, you guys know the one right? The old black and white cartoon from 1929… I’m sure a lot of kids have been horrified by this thing over the decades.