The Creepiest Stories We Read As Kids
Geeks and Gaming
On 3rd April 2017
Most adults with phobias inherited those deep-seated fears from negative experiences in their childhood. It could’ve been a dog barking at you when you were a mere baby, a sibling thinking it would be funny to scare you with a mask, or a book you read late at night that you were sure wouldn’t scare you because you were a big kid. Unfortunately, many of us still carry those terrors and fears with us. It’s an evolutionary psychological adaptation: as small children, we were certain these threats, whether real or imaginary, were potentially life-threatening, so we’ve held on to them to this day.
If you were a child of the nineties, you almost undoubtedly spent some of your reading time with the children’s horror series, Scary Stories to Tell In the Dark. Our teachers and parents were happy we were reading, but really, we were hurriedly scarring ourselves for life while rushing through the pages of these books. We’d watch shows like Goosebumps and Are You Afraid of the Dark?, and very rapidly, we would have goosebumps and require nightlights if we ever planned on sleeping.
Ready to relive some of your childhood nightmares? You should be because we’ve got fifteen of the creepiest childhood stories here for you. Sure, some of them aren’t as terrifying now that we’re watching movies like Paranormal Activity, Oculus, and Sinister, but let’s be honest: these are the stuff of nightmares, what continue to wake us up in cold sweats and make us hesitant to look under the bed after dark.
#1. The Dream
And just like that, we’ve jumped right into it. The Dream is a story in one of the many compilations by Alvin Schwartz (who, we’ve decided, is a professional tormentor of small children and some adults). In the story, a young woman is a traveling salesman and plans to move on to a town called Kingston. Before she leaves, she has a dream that a pale-faced woman with stringy black hair and black eyes comes to her bed in a strange house and says, “This is an evil place. Flee while you still can.” So the woman wakes up and reasons out that even if it was just a bad dream, she would just skip Kingston and move on to the next town: Dorset. However, Dorset turns out to be exactly where her dream was set, and in the middle of the night, she actually wakes to the terrifying figure as she did in her nightmare.
In essence, not so scary right? But think about it: the premise of the story is that if evil is in our future, it’s inescapable. No matter what we do to avoid it, it’s going to find us. THAT’S A HORRIFYING IDEA TO PUT IN A CHILD’S MIND.
#2. The Red Spot
Here’s another one of Alvin Schwartz’s messed up stories, one that’s probably developed a fear of spiders in an entire generation of young people. It’s a simple story involving a tiny spider bite. But not the cool kind of spider bite that gives you superpowers.
Little Ruth was sleeping when a spider crawled across her face. The next morning, she had a little red spot on her face that her mother said was probably just a spider bite; no need to worry about it. But it got bigger and bigger, and eventually, it grew to be a painful boil on her face. One night, after a hot bath, it burst — and millions of little baby spiders poured out of the red spot on her face and crawled into her hair and mouth and eyes. And from that moment on, every child ever was terrified of spiders, pimples — and trusting their mothers.
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