My Countdown to a Horror Holiday
When I was a young boy, all kinds of things frightened me. Still do. Christmastime was no exception. My wild and distorted imagination would conjure all kinds of terrible thoughts, ideas, and images whenever I encountered anything even remotely strange. I guess that’s why I can come up with so many story ideas to this day, but I digress. The focus of this countdown is to examine all the creepy, supernatural, paranormal, and downright bizarre things about Christmas. And today is part two of my Childhood Scars of Holidays Past…
5. Elves. I know. They’re small and cute and they help Santa all year long by making the toys that he gives to all the good girls and boys. I know. And when I was three, I knew. But that didn’t change the fact that they were scary to me. Their beady eyes. Their pointed ears. And it frightened me to think that even though they were tiny, they lived hundreds of years. Anything that lives that long is creepy in my book.
4. Bumble the Abominable Snowman. You know Dasher and Dancer and Comet and Cupid…We all know Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. And we’ve all seen the claymation special that runs on TV every year. It was a staple around my house when I was a little lad, and I own it today. I love the story, the characters, and the moral behind it all. But when I first saw the animation, back in the early Seventies, the part with the Abominable Snowman scared the willies out of me. Those gigantic teeth. That menacing roar. It was enough to give me nightmares for weeks.
3. Stretch Armstrong. If you’re old enough, you might remember this fellow. It came out in the Seventies and was widely popular with us kids at the time. I understand it made a resurgence recently, but I don’t see them around any more. I’m talking about Stretch Armstrong, a doll, made of rubber, that would–you guessed it–stretch. It boy would it stretch. We’d get that puppy reaching across the room, both arms and legs plus the neck! Loved that thing. What I didn’t love was the day we stretched poor Armie too far and he burst open like the victim of a massive knife wound. It was ugly, all this reddish, sticky goo spilling out like someone had eviscerated him. The grotesque realism freaked me out, and I never played with one again.
2. Weebles Haunted House. Okay, this was a favorite toy of mine, and I must say that I have no really terrible childhood memories about it. Remember Weebles? Not the lame version they have today, but the Seventies ones. They were soooooo cool. I had all kinds of sets, and the Haunted House was far and away the best. It had a trap door, boarded windows, a spooky distorted mirror, really fun decals, and, best of all, a glow in the dark ghost Weeble! Man that thing was a blast. The only scarring memory I can think of is that I don’t own one anymore.
1. Santa. How could anyone be afraid of Santa? I think that now, but a lot of kids cry when sitting on his lap. When in my formative years, the whole idea of Santa freaked me out. What was he? A supernatural being? A regular man with magical abilities? A sorcerer? All I knew was that he saw me when I was sleeping, and that was scarring. Bad enough he sneaked around in the middle of the night in my house. Oh, sure. He brings presents. But so do child murderers. I used to think about that kind of stuff. Seriously.
There you go, my top ten Childhood Scars of Holidays Past. What about you? Do you have any frightening memories of the Holidays you would like to share? Feel free to leave a comment.