6 Terrifying Horror Movies From My Childhood

Herner Klenthur

Yes I am willing to admit that some horror movies truly scared me stupid as a kid. I recently asked you all on our Facebook page what Top 10’s you would like to see us write next and one of the suggestions was to list horror movies that truly scared us as children and I figured I would open my black heart and share them.

So with that all said here are six films that scared the hell out of me as a kid and left me traumatized and dysfunctional. Ok that might be a stretch but they definitely left me more handsome.

Stephen King’s IT

Right out of the gate we have IT. Stephen Kings IT was a fantastic film and outside of The Stand mini series its one of the few film adaptations of his work that was any good back in the day.

I saw this film as a young un and although going into it I thought a fear of clowns was just plain silly, after leaving the movie I had a new found terror of people with face pain, small dogs and balloon animals. Stephen King’s IT of course is about a psychotic clown and is easily one of the scariest damn horror movies I saw as a kid.

George A Romero’s Night of the Living Dead

Next up we have the classic Night of the Living Dead. This movie scared me in a whole bunch of ways and actually came out when I was not even born yet. When I did finally see it it was playing on late night TV and it was one of my first introductions to zombie movies.

I was young enough I did not know what a zombie was and spent most of the night cowering in the corner of my room with a wiffle bat. The black and white, the groaning, and eating… the whole movie was every element of ‘holy crap scary’ and left me fearing funerals for weeks.

Night of the Living Dead


Next on the list is Tremors. This is one of the greatest movies I have in my collection and one that I also enjoyed when I was a wee-un. All bet it an older pre-teen wee un. This movie scared me and I loved every single minute of it. One minute I was laughing and the next minute I was horrified as the evil sand worm from hell was eating up the local inhabitants in a small town.

I quite literally had a thing for not eating strawberry jam for a week and was unable to walk across my lawn. I shit you not I was walking on pavement.. or not going there. Gotta love being 12


Children of the Corn

One of the thing as a child that we always rely on is that when that other kid bullies you at school you can always turn to your parents for the answers. This is also why Children of the Corn is particularly scary. The movie is of course about a town where the parents are all dead and the ‘corn children’ are responsible and out to get you.

The killer kids in Children of the Corn were freaky, terrifying and really made me rethink the theory that if in doubt the mature and responsible adults will save the day. Not so if they are dead.

The Shining

Playing into the similar theme of the Children of the Corn The Shining terrified me as a child because it once again takes a protector away from us. Where I look to my father to protect me in The Shining he becomes a homicidal axe wielding maniac.

Added to the fact there is complete isolation making escape impossible The Shining left its mark on me for a very long time.


Last but not least comes Critters. Critters is a movie my parents rented to watch when I was very young and I was allowed to sit in. Critters is easily one of the scariest movies I have seen as a child. I had a new found fear of laundry lint from the dryer, the dresser and anything round that looked like it might spit ‘spikes’ at me or grow as big as a house and make me lunch. Critters is a fantastic movie now of course but at the time when I was a child this movie redefined the word ‘go hide under the bed’.

So those are six films that left me horrified as a child what are yours? What movies left you screaming in the middle of the night as a wee un?

Honorable Mentions

Whenever you do a Top list it is very very hard to not forget movies and Kieran Masterton hit me on Twitter and mentioned two films I 100% agree’d with. so my two honorable mentions are Candyman starring Tony Todd and the truly terrifying Arachnophobia. Indiana Jones might hate snakes but I for one am TERRIFIED of Spiders!


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      1. chubungie August 7, 2012 at 2:33 pm

        All good ones.  I have to say Motel Hell, Texas Chainsaw original, Two Thousand Maniacs (1964), and Basket Case – to name a few!

      2. Michael August 8, 2012 at 3:12 am

        Stephen King’s IT takes the #1 spot for me but Tremors did not seem scary to me.

      3. MsGorefiend August 8, 2012 at 10:17 pm

        Even after all these years, the music for Children of the Corn still freaks me out 

      4. Mike S August 8, 2012 at 11:31 pm

        “The Changling” (with George C. Scott), John Carpenter’s “The Fog,”, John Carpenter’s “Halloween,” “The Woman in Black” (1988 BBC version), “The Stepford Wives” (1972), “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (1978)

      5. Jeff Rittenour August 9, 2012 at 4:22 am

        WOW! Finally someone gives IT the praise it deserves. SCARIEST performance EVER. I had to skip the picture you posted lol This movie scared no SCARRED me for years – YEARS! I remeber one time I was at the mall with a buddy and he goes “look it’s pennywise!” I turned expecting to laugh at something and there’s a clown there… I jumped literally out of my shoes and he laughed and laughed and laughed lol Worst thing about IT was that Curry got no awards for that performance. As soon as those yellow cats eyes and yellow fangs appear it’s SH*T YOUR PANTS SCARY!! I hate the idea of a remake – even if only to make an ending that makes sense to anyone who didn’t read the book (the giant spider)… No one will top Curry. I’d much rather we see a Dark Tower movie and Tim Curry play Dandelo…that would be awesome!!!

      6. Katie Perano Doherty September 5, 2012 at 4:42 pm

        *shudder* “It” almost made me shit my pants until I was 18. I had always had an irrational fear of clowns, so how better to get over it than seeing this movie when you’re 6? I had nightmares for years. Tim Curry was fucking PHENOMENAL. Perfect casting. My fear, as an adult, is now more of a “please go away before I punch you in the face” type of feeling, but I always wonder about people who choose to be clowns. Friggin’ weirdos.

      7. samheia September 6, 2012 at 3:59 pm

        Alien and Terror on Elm Street :)
        Watching the first movie being 6 years old sure left a mark by he gets you in youre sleep 😛

      8. RatcheK August 2, 2015 at 12:37 pm

        Predator scared me :)

      9. Todd Barwick August 2, 2015 at 2:36 pm

        What scared me most were the tv promos for the movies. Phantasm, Friday the 13th, Piranha, etc. However, a made for tv movie, Dark Night of the Scarecrow, had me terrified and added to my chronic insomnia.

      10. Anthony Caputa September 18, 2015 at 12:53 pm

        Childs Play absolutely terrified me as a kid. I had been watching NMOES and Friday the 13th for years, loved those, but at age 6 nothing was more terrifying than Chucky.

        The part where he’s moving slowly down the hall, burnt to a crisp and wielding that knife still gives me chills to this day.

      11. Becca May 13, 2016 at 7:21 pm

        When I was in grade school, I went over to a friend’s house one afternoon. Her parents had rented Halloween 2 to watch themselves, but when we went over, the house was empty. We got this “brilliant” idea to watch the movie by ourselves. My first exposure to Michael Myers and the Halloween franchise came before I had ever hit puberty. I could not watch a single Halloween movie for years. I finally got over that fear when I was pretty entrenched in loving the horror genre in my 20s and decided it was finally time to get over it. I bought the entire Halloween franchise and watched them all back-to-back and now Halloween is one of my favorite horror movies and I make sure to watch it every Halloween.