That said, I was once a kid, and therefore was once stupid. It's not necessarily their fault, they just haven't had enough life experiences to tell them that what they're doing/thinking is
I grew up with a morbid fascination with horror movies. My parents weren't super excited about this, so I usually had to wait until they went to sleep or go to the neighbor's house to give myself nightmares. I also frequently checked out Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, whose illustrations were always scarier than the actual stories. So let's see, I was a stupid little kid and my brain was full of cheesy horror plots... Needless to say, I had a lot of irrational fears as a kid, and the evidence shows that horror movies were a big contributing factor.
My parents had some friends they hung out with fairly regularly and I would always tag along as I was only about 3 or 4 at the time. There are three things I vividly remember about going to their house. For one, their ceiling was popcorn-textured, but it was sparkly! It had glitter in it or something; it was absolutely incredible. Here is an example of this glittery wonder. I remember just laying on the couch and staring up at the ceiling, and considering glitter popcorn it was popular in the 70's I imagine that was its intended purpose. Really, if you've never seen this stuff, I recommend you do.
Another thing I remember from those visits is that they had lots of good toys. Their son had a Nintendo Entertainment System with Excite Bike! And let me tell you, that game did make me excite. He was a lot older than I was and I would always beg him to hook up the NES so I could play it. If he were smart he would have just left it plugged in all the time. They also had these stupid little puzzles in a box where you would have to get the balls to go into their respective locations. They had tons of them.
My labyrinthine childhood
The thing I remember the most from going over there is their supreme television viewing options. They had a satellite dish, so they had all the channels I normally didn't get to watch. I remember watching lots of MTV over there, back before they changed their name to
MTV. I remember one day they all went outside on the porch and they let me stay inside and watch the TV. I browsed until I found Child's Play. I vividly remember a scene where Chucky came out of the wall, jumped on some guy's back, and sliced his throat. I searched and searched on Google and YouTube to try and find this scene, but I can't find it at all. Considering I was a stupid little kid it probably doesn't even exist, I probably just made it up or something. But even still, every night before I'd go to bed I was SURE Chucky was going to come out of the wall and slice my throat, and I was ready for it every night for many many years after that fateful day.
So that sucked.
I used to sleep on the top bunk of a bunk bed, and the room I was in had a vaulted ceiling with a ceiling fan at the top and every night my dad would turn on the fan before lights out. It was not very balanced and so it would kind of sway from side to side and make a ting-ting-ting noise as I slept. Well, for a long time I was afraid that fan was going to fall down on me and chop me up into pieces. An irrational thought, I know, but need I remind you I was but a wee stupid child? I knew that ceiling fans could chop people up because, again, I saw it in a horror movie. And, again, I cannot think of what movie it was, but in the movie the fan may or may not have had sharp blades attached to the fan blades. While trying to search for the movie, I stumbled upon someone else who is scared of the exact same thing! You have no idea what a relief it is to not be the only crazy person out there.
As a kid, urban myths were very popular. The quiet kid who sat in the back would say at recess, "Guys... my cousin flushed his lizard down the toilet and a few years later he went to the sewer and he grew into an alligator." And being stupid kids, we all believed it. One of my personal favorites was Bloody Mary, where if you go to a mirror and say "Bloody Mary" 13 times, the murderous Mary would appear in the mirror and kill you. Some friends and I would always play the "game" and we would sometimes get all the way up to 12 iterations and ALWAYS get too scared to continue.
Well in the movie Candyman, if you said "Candyman" in the mirror 5 times you would summon a black guy who is made out of bees.
Clearly an original story. So one day I decided to try to summon Candyman, and this time I would NOT chicken out. I was too small to see the mirror over the sink, so I had to either stand on the tub or jump to see my own reflection. Well, I got to 5 iterations of "Candyman" but much to my surprise I didn't see him! Why I was trying to summon an otherworldly murder, I do not know. Anyway, I tried jumping up to get a better look and holy shit! "I saw him, Dad, I swear I saw him, I saw Candyman!" Turns out, I only saw my own reflection as I jumped up to see. Man, I was dumb.
Lastly, and perhaps the most irrational, was my fear of a robot on one wheel. I have no idea where this fear came from as I don't remember any scary movie about a robot on one wheel, other than maybe Rosie from the Jetsons. No, what I was scared of looked more like this:
Some scary shit
The one I was afraid of was about 1.5 feet tall and yellow. Again, no idea where this stemmed from, but I refused to let any of my limbs hang off the bed for fear that the stupid robot was going to cut them off. If I woke up and my hand was over the bed, I quickly pulled it back in and cursed myself, "HOW can you be so careless! You KNOW that thing will get you! You're lucky... THIS time." Clearly, the smartest option would be to move to the top bunk where I would be safe, so I did just that (remember the falling fan...?). That worked. For a while.
There was a yellow ladder that went up to the top bunk which I considered as the only means of access to my helpless, sleeping body (this was before I was aware that Chucky busted through walls like the Kool Aid man). I was certain that the robot could switch out its wheel to one that could grip onto the ladder and wheel itself up and "get me." So then I started pulling the ladder up with me when I went to sleep. Up until embarrassingly recently, I didn't sleep with my hands or feet over the edge of the bed.
While other kids had the Boogeyman under their beds, I had the tiny unbalanced robot under mine. Pretty sure I've never told anyone about the robot. Once again, you're welcome, Internet.