Traumafessions :: Rev. Austin of They Call Me Potato on Super Natural’s “The Doll” & The Watcher in the Woods

Hello Kindertrauma!

I’d like to share with you a couple of things that scared the holy whatsit out of me as a kid, if I may. I was reminded of the first one by your recent post about Super Naturals – here in the U.K. we had a Super Naturals comic, and there was a separate strip in it about an evil ventriloquist doll, just called, I think, “The Doll.”

If I remember correctly, a young boy goes to live with foster parents, and discovers the ugly doll in his bedroom. I think it belonged to the foster carers’ dead son, and the dad goes mental and chucks the doll in the bin, and the image that always stays with me is how the doll scratches him as he throws it away…brrr!

The other thing that had a deeply unpleasant effect on me as a kid was Disney’s THE WATCHER IN THE WOODS. I only managed to gather up the balls to watch the full film a few years ago, and discovered it to be a weird sci-fi thing, but the idea/image that always bothered me was the parts of the film which used the POV of some invisible force watching people…in the woods!

I couldn’t go in or near wooded areas for YEARS; I even had to avoid large front gardens with a lot of trees in them, because I was certain the “Watcher” was in there, being all creepy.


Rev. Austin

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13 years ago

If The Watcher in the Woods gave you a “POV of an invisible force in the woods” phobia, then it’s a good thing that you probably didn’t see The Evil Dead at that age…You might never have recovered!

13 years ago

I saw WATCHER IN THE WOODS as a grown up. I rented it for my nieces (Im sure 9 outta 10 of THEIR “kindertraumas” stem from me!) The ONLY PART of that movie that “worked” for me was the Funhouse Mirror scene!  The movie is pretty shoddy – even if it does manage to pull off the coolest feat EVER: Having both Bette Davis AND “That Chick From ICE CASTLES” in it!

By the way, go on YOUTUBE and watch the Alternate Endings. They are a hoot! I dont know whats funnier: The Craptastic Alien Dude or the scene where a female charactors MALE double runs around dressed like a woman!

13 years ago

WITW is one of those fairly craptastic films that I just can’t get enough of.  I think it’s the late 70’s/early 80’s vibe – it really takes me back.  It’s like Conan the Barbarian – I love it but can’t recommend it (unless I really know you).
The alternate ending on the DVD is very far out.

13 years ago

Revisiting childhood kindertrauma  isn’t necessarily therapeutic, but it does give rise to retroactive respect to any and all instances in which you find the source of your fears has not only aged well but appears not to have aged at all. Example: regarding the teaser for Disney’s “The Watcher In The Woods,”  which had me running up to the TV to switch it off when I was a child, I daresay it would have the same effect on the adults of today.

The methodically paced voice-over that urges “Look closely. What do you see? What do you think you see?” over an electronic drone holds up today with sphincter-clenching effectiveness. Scared me then, would scare me now.

I acknowledge I do score Candyass Points for being scared by a trailer for a Disney film, but, hey, at least it was for a movie that was supposed to be scary. It’s not like I was scared by a trailer for a Disney film made to be an adventurous romp for children.

Oh. Shit. Wait.

Cue up “Return From Witch Mountain”

Alright, it’s not quite the climactic battle from “Scanners,” but that’s not the part that terrified me. The single scene where the kid is strapped to a gurney while electric sparks flash was just one more bit of warning that all adults want to do terrible things to you. With things.

13 years ago

A trailer voiceover from Percy Rodrigues made every horror movie look (and sound) good…

13 years ago

The WITCH MOUNTAIN movies freaked me out as a kid. The MUSIC was scary and to this day when I hear it I get goosebumps! Theres also a scene where the kids are using telekinis to make things like brooms and shit fly around…that always freaked me out. AND usually any movies where the grown ups were pretending to be nice to kids to use them for evil purposes (FIRESTARTER! and the recently mentioned FALLEN ANGEL!) right there screwed me up and stamped “trust No One” on my brain.