Category Archives: Tot Terrors

TOT TERRORS: DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK (1973)

I often get asked about what influences my work as a writer. Inspired by the amazing website Kindertrauma–which is right up my alley–I’m compiling all of my childhood (and some adult) terrors.

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (1973) 1

I first watched 1973’s Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark on a Sunday afternoon in the late 1970s—at my grandmother’s house, on one of the channels that always ran repeat made-for-TV films.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, which aired on October 10, 1973 on ABC, stars Kim Darby as a nervous homemaker who inherits her grandfather’s massive—and decrepit—mansion, complete with a caretaker who’s constantly warning her that “some things are better left alone” when she finds a tightly sealed fireplace in a shadowy room under the staircase. Which, of course, she opens in the name of “updating” the home. Soon, she’s Read the rest of this entry

Advertisements

TOT TERRORS: THE LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK

I often get asked about what influences my work as a writer. Inspired by the amazing website Kindertrauma–which is right up my alley–I’m compiling all of my childhood (and some adult) terrors.

Legend of Boggy Creek 1

The menu of my DVD edition. I have no idea which edition this is, but I know I got this at least a decade ago, maybe more. What I love about this menu is its featuring of what I think is the scariest episode in the film: the creature’s assault on the Fords and Turners.

I wouldn’t be surprised if 1972’s The Legend of Boggy Creek—an In Search Of…esque docudrama chronicling the hair-raising encounters of the people in Fouke, Arkansas with a sasquatch-like creature—spawned an entire generation of Bigfoot hunters: it certainly inspired me to not only fall in love with Bigfoot, but with what-none-of-us-knew-then-would-be-called found footage.

Legend of Boggy Creek 2

I remember seeing this title card on my grandmother’s kitchen television set — and it totally creeping me out. I’m thinking I could also attribute my love of found footage to this film.

This is yet another of those movies Read the rest of this entry

TOT TERRORS: THE BERMUDA DEPTHS (1978) – and wow, is there a SEQUEL in the works?

I often get asked about what influences my work as a writer. Inspired by the amazing website Kindertrauma–which is right up my alley–I’m compiling all of my childhood (and some adult) terrors.

TV GUIDE BERMUDA DEPTHS

The full-page ad that appeared in TV Guide. Those old ads were very effective in enticing people to watch things. I don’t think ads today have the same kind of power.

In 1978, the ABC Friday Night Movie aired The Bermuda Depths. It was billed, in the original TV Guide full page ad, as a frightening mystery surrounding the Bermuda Triangle—a hot topic back in the In Search Of-cryptid-paranormal-UFO-obsessed decade that was the 1970s. I didn’t know this then, but it was written by Alan Rankin, produced by Jules Bass (yes, the Rankin/Bass behind Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer) and directed by Tsugunobu (Tom) Kotani of 1977’s The Last Dinosaur fame—which meant creatures and creepy imagery, and it would certainly deliver.

Bermuda Depths 1

THE BERMUDA DEPTHS is a Rankin/Bass production that aired in 1978.

In the 1970s, Read the rest of this entry

TOT TERRORS: WHY MOSQUITOES BUZZ IN PEOPLE’S EARS

I often get asked about what influences my work as a writer. Inspired by the amazing website Kindertrauma–which is right up my alley–I’m compiling all of my childhood (and some adult) terrors.

Mosquitos 1

One of the things that lead to my becoming a writer was my extraordinary love of reading, and this was instilled in me by my parents, who read to me every night before bed and sometimes during the day (they also taught me to read before I was in kindergarten, so I could disappear into my room at any time and read on my own—which I’m sure they did for their benefit more than mine, actually).

I have a number of favorite childhood books, among them Rabbit and Skunk and Spooks, The Penguin that Hated the Cold, The Monster at the End of this Book, and The Courage of Sarah Noble (this last one was hugely popular in our area because it was about a real event in my hometown). Each left an indelible impression on me, but one that frightened me—but made me understand a few things about death, moving on, and taking responsibility for your actions—was called Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears.

The book, written by Verna Aardema and illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon, is a retelling of a West Read the rest of this entry

%d bloggers like this: