6 Movies That Scared The Shit Out of Me When I Was a Kid

A lot of movies are scary for kids whether they’re supposed to be or not. Some are understandable – when I saw Gremlins for the first time, it was terrifying (I love it now, though) and when I caught a glimpse of the room 237 bathroom scene in The Shining, I was way too young and that was… not ideal. Here’s a few other movies that scared the crap out of me as a kid.

101 Dalmatians

Not even the live-action one! The 1961 animated 101 Dalmatians scared me because of one specific scene – when the puppies are born and Cruella de Vil arrives. I remember being worried when you could hear her car coming. She’s not necessarily that frightening, even though she is evil – but she kills puppies! Doesn’t even try to pretend she doesn’t kill puppies! Just shows up and offers to buy them like it’s no big deal. No thank you.


I know Signs is a somewhat scary movie regardless, but I was only maybe 12 or 13 when I saw it (without parental guidance, probably). I love it now, but I’ll never look at corn fields the same again. I was particularly afraid when you could see/hear the aliens walking by the boarded up windows and again when you could hear them in the attic. I was equal parts afraid of and obsessed with this movie – the way everything ends up being connected. My cousins and I would pause and replay certain scenes so many times. When the hand grabs Morgan we would try and pause to see the hand before it moved. Basically any movie where a dog dies was a hard no for me (basically still is).

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

This is probably somewhat common, and like Gremlins, I love it now. I’ve seen so many Buzzfeed lists about how traumatizing the movie is. E.T. being sick and dying? Yeah, traumatizing. I was more afraid at the beginning, though, before you even see E.T. Even though throwing the baseball back to Elliott is pretty innocent and cute, the idea of not knowing what was in the shed had me on edge. I remember one time sleeping in my sister’s room for some reason, and the lights were off but my door was open and the light was on in the hallway, and I was SURE that E.T. was walking down the hallway towards my room.

Pete’s Dragon

I can’t really explain this one. I remember almost nothing about the actual movie. I couldn’t tell you what the plot is. Young orphan boy who is friends with a pink-haired sometimes-invisible dragon named Elliott? Sure, great, wonderful. The thing that scared me about this is that everything was live action with real people but the dragon was a cartoon. I am well aware that this doesn’t make any sense, but my young mind was wary and did not care for it.

The Witches

This one I know is common – again, thank you Buzzfeed. I don’t even remember how old I was when I first saw this. I never read the book as a kid, and the movie came out a year before I was even born. This movie is downright terrifying. I mainly remember the moment the Grand High Witch takes off her face at the meeting. This moment alone is PLENTY, but after doing a little googling I realized there’s so much of this movie that I forgot about (probably on purpose). The kids turning into mice. The Grand High Witch turning into that terrifying gross mouse. The baby carriage being pushed down a hill. This is for kids?? Rated PG?? No amount of parental guidance could have saved my young mind from this nightmare.

FernGully: The Last Rainforest

Hexxus. The evil pollution monster who wants to kill all the fairies and destroy the forest? Enough said.


What movies scared you when you were a kid? Let me know in the comments!


2 thoughts on “6 Movies That Scared The Shit Out of Me When I Was a Kid”

  1. Nice list, altho a bit later than mine I feel. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’s The Child Snatcher scared to bejeesus out of me. Still can’t look at pictures and not shown my kids the film. Don’t want to inflict it upon them!

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