Most adults with phobias inherited those deep-seated fears from negative experiences in their childhood. It could’ve been a dog barking at you when you were a mere baby, a sibling thinking it would be funny to scare you with a mask, or a book you read late at night that you were sure wouldn’t scare you because you were a big kid. Unfortunately, many of us still carry those terrors and fears with us. It’s an evolutionary psychological adaptation: as small children, we were certain these threats, whether real or imaginary, were potentially life-threatening, so we’ve held on to them to this day.
If you were a child of the nineties, you almost undoubtedly spent some of your reading time with the children’s horror series, Scary Stories to Tell In the Dark. Our teachers and parents were happy we were reading, but really, we were hurriedly scarring ourselves for life while rushing through the pages of these books. We’d watch shows like Goosebumps and Are You Afraid of the Dark?, and very rapidly, we would have goosebumps and require nightlights if we ever planned on sleeping.
Ready to relive some of your childhood nightmares? You should be because we’ve got fifteen of the creepiest childhood stories here for you. Sure, some of them aren’t as terrifying now that we’re watching movies like Paranormal Activity, Oculus, and Sinister, but let’s be honest: these are the stuff of nightmares, what continue to wake us up in cold sweats and make us hesitant to look under the bed after dark.