Traumafessions :: Reader Larry H. on Sesame Street’s “There Once Was a Hand”

there once was a hand!

Okay, sure. There were many things found on T.V. that gave me many sleepless nights as a child. But how unfair was it that of all the things that could send me running and screaming from the room, the one thing that had me running the fastest and screaming the loudest was from, of all things– SESAME STREET. The segment was called “There Once Was a Hand.”

Now at the time, I couldn’t say exactly what it was that terrified me so badly about this clip. I just knew I didn’t like it one bit. To add insult to injury, my family thought it was funny. They got quite the chuckle from it. Something got me to thinking about that the other day; I’m not sure what. But I thought I would look it up on YouTube just to revisit this appendage that haunted me so.

My God, no wonder I was so creeped out! Of course I am now 43 and can watch this clip without covering my ears and screaming from the room. But still I was sitting there watching it with a slight turn in my stomach and an unsure desire to look away.

Seriously, is this guy the best they could get??? Try educating small children about a hand that is first of all disembodied and self motivated, and secondly, is pissed off because it doesn’t know how to make a sound. Its fingers are unusually long and bony and its skin is ghostly pale. Back all of that up with creepy organ music and the narrative of a man with the unsettling voice of a pedo on Prozac. Hell that’s all enough to scare an adult LET ALONE a small child.

Anyone remember this?

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12 years ago

Good LORD did this give me nightmares for years!! I used to dream about hands reaching up from the side of my bed to grab me, and it all came from this segment. Thanks a lot, Children’s Television Workshop….

unkle lancifer
11 years ago

My two older brothers informed me that there was a giant hand living under my bed. I think we even had an Alfred Hitchcock ghost story book that had an illustration of a giant hand under the bed. I’m going to have to see if I can find that book again. I believed in that floating giant hand for years!

11 years ago

I haven’t thought of that segment for years!  Can’t say that it ever frightened me though…