Traumafessions :: Reader Jenna P. on VHS Covers & Simplicity Sewing

I just found your site today, and it’s great.

Around 1987, when I was 5 years old, I have very distinct memories of being in the video store with my mother. I didn’t look at the children’s movies though. She would always find me in the horror section, looking at the back of the VHS movies. I remember one picture in particular, a woman in a bathtub holding a toaster. I’m thinking there had to be another picture, such as a leg sticking out of the tub, and the toaster was next to it, maybe. I have no idea what this movie was (I doubt I was a very good reader at 5 anyway), but I don’t remember being scared of the picture, just interested. I enjoyed the back of other movies too; I do remember THE THING, MONKEY SHINES, and a movie about flesh eating ants. I’m pretty sure this is where my fascination with death began. I believe the term is death hag. I can view death pictures, like Nikki Catsouras, and there’s no problem. It’s pictures like the entry on MR. SARDONICUS that terrify me, to this day, at 26 years old.

Another thing that scared me to death was the cover of one of my mother’s Simplicity Sewing magazines; I’m guessing from late ‘80s/early ‘70s. The picture was of a young woman with long brown hair (no bangs of course), her mouth was making a small O shape, and her hand was up in front of her. The fingers on her hand turned into a pair of scissors, a thimble…a little rolly wheel thing on her middle finger (this was in front of/below the O of her mouth). The mouth shape and the fact that her fingers “became” scissors is what scared me. Early Photoshop I guess. I would beg my mom to make that face and then it would freak me out and I would make her stop. Funny. I found that picture online once but unfortunately I can’t find it again. I hope I find it before I have a kid so I can scare her with it.

Also the usual fare: Wicked Witch in the WIZARD OF OZ (actually, the monkeys), Chuckie, FIRE IN THE SKY, and IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS are the movies that really got to me, that I lost sleep over or slept with the light on. Today, of course, I love horror movies, esp. zombies. I think we can all agree the scariest part is when the characters lose the local T.V. and radio stations. At that point, you’re on your own. The end is nigh, huh? This is why I keep a shotgun under my bed and drive an SUV.

I sure wonder about that toaster lady, though.

LAST MINUTE UPDATE: Hey, look! Aunt John somehow found that cover!

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12 years ago

When I think of Simplicity magazine, I think of how Lecter gives Starling an oblique clue as to Buffalo Bill’s objectives…

Dr. Lecter: I’ve read the case files, have you? Everything you need to know to find him is right there in those pages.

Clarice: Then tell me how.

Dr. Lecter: First principles, Clarice. Simplicity. Read Marcus Aurelius — of each particular thing ask: What is it in itself? What is its nature? What does he do, this man you seek?

12 years ago

I remember seeing that when I was a kid! I don’t think it freaked me out that much because I forgot about it until this very minute, but it must have had some effect on me because it just kind of came flooding back. It’s amazing, the memories that come back when I read this site.

ms scrappy
ms scrappy
12 years ago

You know, every time I think a brain cell has died this site just jolts it back to life! I’d forgotten about this cover. My mom had it too and I used to spend alot of time staring at it trying to figure out how they did what they did with those yellow scissors. Thank God for Kindertrauma! I really love you guys.

12 years ago

I get a scare now and then also, like when I unsuspectingly turned to your site and saw my nemesis, Mr. S, on the page! ARGH what a fright!

Just an FYI to the Original Poster of this one, I feel your pain about Mr. S.