It’s my job to publicly admit my embarrassing secrets, so here’s one to laugh at over the long holiday weekend: I was once terrified of the show Unsolved Mysteries… and sometimes still am.
My fear of the show stems not from my distaste for the creepy and unusual — in fact, some of my current favorite shows deal with exactly that. Instead, I believe my lingering aversion to Unsolved Mysteries stems from the scarring episodes I watched as a wee tot.
My parents were always pretty liberal about my television viewing — there were never any particular rules regarding rated-R movies or age-inappropriate TV programming. I’m not sure why. (Based on the pictures of my parents when they were newlyweds, I think my parents’ liberal approach to parenting is a result of their hippie spirit, but I have never confirmed this theory.) While this generally made for a pretty cool childhood (take that jealous grade-school peers!), it also often backfired, resulting in numerous irrational fears that are still in me today. Example: Occasionally being terrified by Unsolved Mysteries.
I remember being particularly disturbed by an episode about a UFO abduction. My mother, of course, responded, “Well, that’s not true. But if it scares you, don’t watch the show anymore.” I continued to watch anyway. And last week, when I went seeking episodes in a fit of nostalgia, my mom’s words echoed through my head. I watched anyway. Thankfully, the music was the worst part… I thought.
That night I woke up from a UFO nightmare. Yes, really. Don’t worry, I berated myself for subconsciously being a spineless dork. But I also am honest enough with my self to admit that I was, to some degree, still scared.
Now your turn PopWatchers: Are there any shows that scared you as a kid that — on some level — still scare you?
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