1. Pet Cemetery. For some reason my parents let me read the book, then I saw the movie. The sister saying “Zelda!” haunted me for months.
2. Exorcist…. I noped out of the dark for about a week because of that movie. I think I was about 6 or 7.
3. The Mummy, the scene where some guy gets their skin eaten by beetles. Soooo gross.
4. The Grudge. That movie really fucked me up, when I was around 12. I remember some of my friends had to be followed home, because everyone was scared shitless (myself included).
5. Threads. It’s a 1984 British docu-drama movie based on the expected realities of the aftermath of a nuclear attack. It’s the darkest, most hopeless, depressing thing I’ve ever seen. And I saw it aged 12, during the cold war, when we expected the events portrayed in it to happen at any moment, which made it truly terrifying.
6. The Birds. No other film has made so many people scared of air rats.
7. IT (1990). Definitely made a whole generation afraid of clowns.
8. Gremlins. I wouldn’t go into a room without turning on the lights first for like a year.
9. Coraline – that movie hit me deep. I think I first was able to watch it without getting freaked out when I was about 15 yrs old.
10. Aliens. Dad let me watch it at 10 years old. The line from Hudson: “They’re coming out of the God damned walls!”
I laid on my bed that night in one of the purest forms of terror I have ever felt. Waiting for a xenomorph to come blasting through the plaster to grab me.
11. Poltergeist. Damn orange closet monster/tunnel to Hell.
12. The Good Son. Seeing Kevin McAllister go from young kid playing hijinks on a couple goofy robbers to some sadistic pre-teen who likes to kill animals with a homemade crossbow.
13. Child’s Play. I couldn’t walk by Spencer’s Gifts since they had the dolls in the window.
14. Friday the 13th. It was 1982, I was 7, cousins watching a movie at Thanksgiving, I walk in, they say it’s a movie about the woods.
Sit down just in time for Jason to start hacking up bitches.
Couldn’t look at a hokey mask for years, or go in the woods at night, and lakes freaked me out.
15. The Secret of Nimh. Don Bluth really knew how to make kids have nightmares.
That movie was intense and way too dark, and I yet it really stuck with me.
16. Thirteen Ghosts – looking back now it’s got some awful graphics and it’s really cheesy, but it still terrifies me like 17 years later.
17. Jurassic Park, when the goat leg hits the windshield. I could watch Newman’s face get melted by acid but good lord something about animals always hit me different.
18. Scream. I was still in grade school when I watched that one.
I was afraid of public restrooms/stalls for a few years after that.
19. The Witches... Messed me the fuck up when they turned from normal to their witch form.
20. Return to Oz. The whole thing is insane.
21. Jaws – afraid to going in the ocean. Grizzly – afraid to hike in forests.
22. Candyman prematurely ended my childhood.
23. Independence Day, when the alien starts moving and then wakes up at the autopsy.
24. Dawn of the Dead. We were at a thirteenth birthday sleepover that was hosted in a caravan/tent thing in the backyard of my friend’s house. During the birth scene, my friends asshole older brother proceeded to switch off the power to the caravan not only turning off the TV but also plunging us into complete darkness.
Cue 6 thirteen year old girls screaming and crying because we couldn’t open the zipper at the front of the tent to get out and it was around 10pm at night.
I was absolutely terrified of anything zombie related after that throughout most of my teen years but it somehow turned into an obsession of mine and now I love almost all zombie related media and books.
25. Fire in The Sky. I remember when the book the movie is based on came out, they put a sketch of one of the Grey alien’s faces on the front page of our fucking newspaper.
I was super young and thought everything that made it to the news was 100% true, so I thought that was proof aliens were real and going to get me. That’s what traumatized my childhood (or one of the things).
26. Arachnophobia. Couldn’t sleep afterwards and had nightmares about it for a long time.
27. Watership Down. Even though it’s a comic, it really scared me as a child.
28. Indiana Jones, Temple of Doom. The part where the guy pulled the other dudes heart out.
29. Jeepers Creepers! My little sister watched that as a kid and I used to fuck with her so bad and sing the song anytime she would annoy me.
Then I actually watched it in college (like 5+ years later) and had to call my mom when I was driving through rural east Texas at night cause I was sure that thing was gonna swoop out of the sky and attack me.
30. The Shining. I was spending the weekend at my grandma’s house and I slept in the living room with the TV on. I woke up to the scene with the old lady in the bathroom and I screamed and ran in the dark to my grandma’s room and I was banging on the door thinking this evil naked old lady was gonna get me and my grandma finally answered the door. I was crying and I eventually calmed down after eating an ice cream sandwich but I still couldn’t sleep because now I’m thinking, shit my grandma was old too and she might fucking kill me when I go to sleep! Horrible night. I’ll never forget that. I watched the movie in it’s entirety like a year later with my brother. Movie fucked me up man.