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Author Topic: What scared you when you were a child?  (Read 14562 times)
Demonspahn
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« on: November 23, 2001, 04:13:00 PM »

First post here, so Hi everyone.  

I'm sure this has been discussed before but I couldn't find it on the archives.  There has been a lot of talk lately it seems about Little Fears, real world horror vs. "fantasy horror".  So, what scared you most when you were a child?  Bullies? Monsters? Adults?  

How did you deal with these fears.  Did (does) anyone else have an "imaginary friend" for protection and companionship?

In answer to my own questions, for a while I had a recurring dream about sinister stork-like creatures flying into my bedroom each night.  They would gather around my bed, peering down at me.  The storks would rip off any part of my body that was uncovered by blankets.  Only my head and neck were somehow "safe".  So, each night, my mother would tuck me in like a mummy to protect me.

Just curious to know what other people were afraid of.  There's got to be a wealth of adventure seeds out there based on this.

Pete






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Jared A. Sorensen
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« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2001, 07:28:00 PM »

I had an imaginary friend, out of boredom more than fear. His (its?) name was Bee-Bug and he looked like a giant bumblebee with butterfly wings. No wonder I'm a fan of Daniel Merriam's artwork these days... :wink:

Fear-wise, I had re-curring nightmares about a dead man who would grab me whenever I went downstairs to the basement to get cans of tomato paste for my parents. Also, the blue wolf from Seseme Street appeared in more than one nightmare.

The weirdest of them all was a monster who would chase me along a ruler (12 inch measuring type). He looked a bit like Count Chocula. Strangest of all was that the nightmare always happened as if I was watching myself being chased, like on a 2d screen...
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Uratoh
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« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2001, 09:44:00 PM »

I used to be afraid that if I cleaned my room, the pirannah plants (from the pipes in Super Mario Brothers) could come out and bite me if I tried to walk across the room. And NO, it wasn't an excuse not to clean my room, I didnt like stepping on things, but it was better than pirannah plants!!!
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peteramthor
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« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2001, 08:22:00 AM »

I always had the fear of being locked in a dark room with no lights or very little light.  Probably rooted into me with something that happened in my childhood I just don't remember it.  I'm still a bit claustrophobic today even.  

All fears are learned either through things that happen to us or are taught to us by others.  The only two fears we are born with are falling and sudden loud noises.  The sudden loud noises is argued to be a startled effect more then fear.  Guess sometimes the few college classes I took actually gave me some useful info.


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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2001, 12:08:00 PM »

Hey,

I was scared of being in a darkened room with a mirror. It was very important to me sometime around age eight to be actually out, or nearly out, of the bathroom, before flicking off the light. I had to do it really fast to withdraw my hand "ahead" of the darkness, too.

I could not, and cannot to this day, say WHAT would happen if one were "caught" in the dark in front of a mirror. That aspect of the fear, i.e., of WHAT, was totally irrelevant.

Best,
Ron
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Ben Morgan
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« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2001, 04:43:00 PM »

Quote
I could not, and cannot to this day, say WHAT would happen if one were "caught" in the dark in front of a mirror. That aspect of the fear, i.e., of WHAT, was totally irrelevant.


I think Ron has hit upon an extremely salient point here. Most of the fears and/or superstitions that I can remember having as a child didn't have any specific consequences attached for failure to perform them. They simply were. Frex, I seem to remember something about symmetry and balance when I was very young. If I turned around in a particular direction, I'd have to turn around the opposite way to "straighten things out". If I didn't do this little ritual, I would eventually get emotionally distressed, but there was never any conscious thought on my part as to what would happen to me if I didn't. (I realize this falls more in the category of superstitions than fears, but I can see the ties to Belief Magic there.)

As far as what I was afraid of, I distinctly remember seeing the shadows in my darkened room move at night. Though, in retrospect, that was probably due to something as simple as the fact that they were being cast by light coming through my window from passing cars out on the street (See, I've lost my Innocence, and am Blinded to these Fears now. I rationalize them away as everyday occurences).

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Demonspahn
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« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2001, 05:51:00 PM »

Quote:
-------
See, I've lost my Innocence, and am Blinded to these Fears now. I rationalize them away as everyday occurences.
_______


Haven't we all.  :sad:  

I can remember laying in bed, holding my breath and making a wish each night.  For some reason, if I counted 11 "one thousands", then mentally phrased the wish identically three times in a row, then counted 11 "one thousands" again before exhaling, the wish would come true.  I'm sure I didn't get all my wishes but I am equally sure that I was able to rationalize why the wish "didn't work" each time---I must not have phrased it right, I must have breathed without knowing it, something (or someone) was blocking my wish power because they knew it would be better for me if I did not get that particular wish, etc.

I used to think I was a weird kid, then I read Little Fears and now I understand that I have been Blinded.  In fact, I can barely recall a time when I was "Innocent".  :smile:

Pete
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unodiablo
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« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2001, 10:24:00 AM »

Hi Pete and All,

When I was young, I had bad nightmares about being chased around endless alleyways in a never-ending maze where the walls smelled terrible and were made out of garbage and other nasty refuse. My first stepfather would be chasing me, with this insane look on his face, or with a scary mask on, but I always knew it was him. Sometimes he had a big knife, or a wood-splitting maul.

Damn, I haven't thought about that in a long time. That guy sucks ass.

Sean

[ This Message was edited by: unodiablo on 2001-11-29 15:00 ]
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nEo
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« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2001, 11:20:00 AM »

There is a great short story by Robert Sheckley, about men who set up a company that adapts planets and their task is to adapt a planet the atmosphere of which causes hallucinations - making them face their childhood fears once again - only this time they are much TOO REAL... The story is entitled "Ghost V" (the name of the planet) or sth alike... Recommended.
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Demonspahn
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« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2001, 02:10:00 PM »

Sean,

I'm glad I'm not the only one that can say "my first stepfather".  :smile:

Speaking of which, mine was also an ass.  He was of the impression that "might makes right" and what he says goes...at least until my mother came home.  When he died at the ripe old age of 35 (from complications with his quadruple bypass surgery among other things) I was 12 or so and I had several nightmares about him coming back to kill me.  In the dreams he would always say something to the effect of "You think I'm dead, but I'll haunt you forever."
Scared the hell out of me.  

I hope people keep posting to this thread because it is giving me (and helping me remember) a ton of ideas for a Little Fears game.  I still haven't actually played a session yet, though.  My gaming group is about 1/2 and 1/2 convinced---some are itching to play while the others can't see how playing a child can be fun.  

Oh well, I'll win them over sooner or later.  

Pete


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joshua neff
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« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2001, 11:19:00 AM »

I remember having this recurring fear that there was a "bad detective" (basically Humphrey Bogart in a trenchcoat) hiding in my closet. Not sure what he would do to me, but boy was I scared.

I used to sleep on my back with the covers pulled up to my chin. The covers were to protect me from vampires who would bite my neck. The sleeping position is a bit weirder: after seeing the episode of The Brady Bunch in which Bobby gets obsessed with Jesse James (or was it Billy the Kid?), who they say shot his victims in the back, I was terrified of getting shot in the back by the gunslinger's ghost. I rationalized that if I were sleeping on my back, he couldn't shoot me.

When I was 10, a friend of mine told me about the movie Halloween. Just hearing about it made it difficult for me to get to sleep for about a month, scared that a kid in a mask with a kitchen knife was hiding in my room, waiting to kill me.

Also, I had a severe phobia of being stung by bees & wasps (I got stung by a wasp when I was 6) that lasted up until early adulthood, but was especially strong as a kid.
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Mike Holmes
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« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2001, 02:26:00 PM »

The Phantom of the Muppet Opera.

Hideous.
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Zak Arntson
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« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2001, 07:39:00 PM »

Here goes ...

My grandmother had these dolls made of naugahide. They were little cute monsters. I then had a dream that one popped out from where the bed hit the wall. I leaned over the side of the bed (it was a bunkbed) and the bottom bunk was filled with 'em.  For years I slept with my back to the wall so I wouldn't be scared.

I had another dream where my bed was in a swamp, and there were brontosauruses all over, but if I pulled off the sheets, they'd eat me.  So I always tried to keep the covers over my head.

But then another dream happened where a gigantic seahorse monster lifted the sheets and said, "Peek-a-boo!"  I wasn't kept safe by covers anymore.

I used to keep my teddy bear behind my neck to keep vampires from biting me. (I still get uncomfortable sometimes when my neck is exposed to the edge of the bed)

Umm, I was never afraid of being outside in a forest. I still feel safer outdoors than indoors.

I used to have nightmares of being in the car without my mom, and the car would start driving, and I'd either a) be unable to steer, or b) drive around, but be totally lost and unable to find my mom again.

I also had a couple nightmares where my teddy bear would run away. One of those happened in a carnival setting. When I saw that atrocious A.I. movie, and that Teddy Ruxpin ran through the carnival, I burst into tears. It was like reliving childhood trauma. Weird, eh?

I was always super anxious and afraid of interacting with adults in public places. Like asking for ketchup at McDonalds.

Hrmm ... and I had a pretty mellow childhood ...

Anyway, hope that fuels somebody's Little Fears game.
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mahoux
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« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2001, 06:23:00 AM »

You know, I find it a little reassuring to see some of the things that people have posted.  My own fear was vampires (much like several other folks apparently).  I took to sleeping with crosses, and once a friend of mine told me that if a cross fell on the floor, it was no longer effective.  That really helps a kid's dexterity.  I still do keep the covers up around my neck as well, some kind of subconscious security thing I suppose.

Another thing I've noticed in this post is most people seem to have had some fear rooted in the sleeping/darkness vein.  There really does seem to be something to be said about our fear of the dark, and the unseen forces that lurk in it.
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mahoux
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« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2001, 06:27:00 AM »

This just came to me as I posted:  With all of the nighttime fears we had, does anyone realize just how ridiculous the idea of tucking us in really tight is?  If there was something out there waiting to get us, we would have been child burritos.

I understand the comfort of it, but in an adult practical kind of way, Good God, what WERE our parents trying to do to us???

[ This Message was edited by: mahoux on 2001-12-03 14:15 ]
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