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Is It Just Me Or Were Halloween Specials Too Traumatic As A Child?

Updated: Jan 3, 2021

On this week's special Halloween episode of the Misfits and Mysteries Podcast Emmy and I discussed T.V. Halloween specials we were afraid of as children. Check out our Halloween Special, dropping this Thursday at 12am to hear more about our childhood fears, and some urban legends.

As a child I had a lot of irrational fears. One of the things I was particularly afraid of as a kid was T.V. Halloween specials. While we discuss some of the particular Halloween specials that frightened me as a kid in this week's episode, I thought it would be fun to create a more extensive list of some not so scary Halloween specials that I was very afraid of as a child. These movies are not ranked in any particular order, but the final 3 I found the most frightening as a child.

It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.

I’m going to be 100% transparent here, I have absolutely no idea what happens in this movie, though I have a good feeling it was objectively not a scary film. My only real memory of this movie was one time when I was little, my family was at a dinner and they had “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” playing for the kids in the other room. I can’t remember a second of this film aside from being absolutely terrified of it. I used to think there was a giant evil pumpkin that tried to eat people and that really freaked me out. After doing the bare minimum research I do not think that was the plot at all and I have no idea where my overactive imagination came up with a far more interesting and scary plot. My only guess is either another kid or one of my older siblings was trying to scare me and told me that's what happened.

The Batman vs. Dracula.

This one I get why I was afraid of it, vampires. When I was a little kid Vampires were definitely a top 10 and maybe even a top 5 concern in my daily life along with Werewolves. As an adult I would have to say Vampires have dropped down to a bottom 1,000 concern at best, though they’re still on my radar. I remember being afraid of this movie because Batman was fighting Dracula and that was just too spooky for little Steve. Also the art style freaked me out a lot. Random piece of trivia, the average price for Google Search Ads for the Keyword “batman vs Dracula” is $0.06. I’m surprised anyone is still targeting this straight to DVD Batman movie that came out 15 years ago.


As a child I was very afraid of the Goosebumps books, mostly because the book covers were scary, not because I ever actually read any of them. What’s even sillier is that I was not only afraid of the book covers, I was very afraid of the silly Canadian Goosebumps T.V. series. Goosebumps is a funny franchise because it’s scary to kids and literally no one else. The stories and their premises are laughably awful, yet comically perfect. If you have a Netflix subscription I highly recommend checking out the Goosebumps T.V. series it’s a fun time. If you also enjoy making fun of the Goosebumps books and T.V. show, you should check out our friends at the “Geesbumps ( a did you mean Goosebumps ? Podcast.” Also stay tooned for a special Goosebumps episode coming soon.

Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman.

Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman scared me as a child. I don’t think I actually watched the whole movie, however I still have PTSD from the faithful day I watched about 15 minutes of this film in Blockbuster Video. I kid you not, thinking about this god awful film brings back memories and the feelings of confusion, disgust, and fear I experienced watching this movie as a child. I think what scared me about this movie the most was that one of the Chipmunks (I don’t know any of their names) was turned into a werewolf and as I stated above that was easily a top 10 concern in young Steve’s little world. My other hypothesis is that I was terrified of the giant chipmunks singing awful songs on the TV in front of me in their annoying voices. Regardless, that movie scared me as a child. A really spooky fact about this film is that for some reason Universal Cartoon Studios thought it was a good idea to release this thing on August 29th, 2000, it’s clearly a Halloween movie why wasn’t it released during Spooky Season?

Scooby Doo on Zombie Island.

Scooby Doo on Zombie Island truly gave me nightmares as a child. I was so afraid of this movie that It took me around 17 years to finally rewatch it and let me tell you what it’s still a bit spooky, but not nearly as scary as I remembered it. This is a very good scary Halloween movie. I’m not sure it is actually a “Halloween movie,” however, I originally watched it on Cartoon Network in October so as far as I’m concerned it is. This movie truly scared me and gave me nightmares because unlike other Scooby Doo movies and episodes, the bad guys were actual zombies and actual magic stuff was happening. No guy in a mask, or zip-lines, or special effects, real zombies. As someone who was a devout Scooby Doo fan this shook me to my core. After preschool I used to come home and eat Scooby Doo Mac and Cheese and watch Scooby Doo Where Are You during lunch and it was the absolute best. It’s a real shame that they no longer make Scooby Doo mac and cheese because Scooby Doo is the best pasta shape hands down no contest.

Scooby Doo and the Cyber Chase.

Scooby Doo and the Cyber Chase was emotionally scarring and was responsible for many many years of nightmares and a fear of a monster living under my bed. A few years ago when Emmy and I were in College we watched this film again with a few of our friends and let me tell you what, I have absolutely no idea how this movie gave me nightmares. After watching this movie when I was about 4 or 5 years old I was scared shitless. For a year or 2 I was so afraid that the eclectic villain in Cyber Chase moved into the drawer under my bed that I could not sleep until my parents searched it to make sure no one was in there. I also used to investigate with my flashlight before I was comfortable falling asleep. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, the Cyber Chase guy plagued my nightmares. This movie is really not that scary as an adult and is rather enjoyable, however, it somehow caused a ton of emotional trauma when I was a little kid.

I hope you guys enjoyed reliving my childhood trauma with me, it had a blast writing about it. If you want to hear Emmy and I discuss my fears more in depth check out our Halloween 2020 special coming out this Thursday October 29th at 12am.

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