25 Movies That SCARED Us As Kids

25 Movies That SCARED Us As Kids


With the dawn of home video, a big part
of growing up was watching countless movies. Most kids’ movies are supposed to be colorful,
funny, and safe entertainment for impressionable minds to enjoy. However, in the 80’s and 90’s, that wasn’t
always the case. With wild, untamed imaginations, kids can
be scared of almost anything. What parents thought was a harmless, G-Rated
movie actually scared us half to death. Other times, we might have been over at a
friend’s house and walked into a room at the wrong time, witnessing a movie not intended
for us and unable to shake the horrific images from our brains. Whatever the case may be, these movies left
a lasting scar, and we’re forever changed because of it. I’m Mike with List25 and Here are 25 Movies
That Scared Us As Kids. 25. Legend (1985)
Those of you who grew up in the 80’s and 90’s probably at some point witnessed the horror
show known as Legend, starring everyone’s favorite running man, Tom Cruise. Creepy, eerie, surreal, bizarre, there’s really
not a good enough adjective to describe this movie complete with weird looking hooked-nosed
goblins and a villain that looks like Satan. 24. Terminator 2: Judgment Day
No one thinks this movie is meant for kids, but that didn’t stop you from walking in while
it was playing in the living room at exactly the wrong moment. That nuclear apocalypse scene showing Linda
Hamilton’s screaming, fiery skeleton clinging to the chain-link fence still haunts your
nightmares. 23. Labyrinth
Oh boy, where to start with this one? From the creepy, talking hands that get all
handsy with Jennifer Connelly to the old gremlin lady in the giant trash dump, this nightmare
fuel, compliments of Jim Henson’s crazed mind, had you wrecked for weeks as a kid. On top of that, things certainly got uncomfortable
when old man David Bowie was hitting on the very 16-year-old Jennifer Connelly. 22. Watership Down
Perhaps at one time, your parents called out and said, “Hey kids, let’s watch this movie
about bunnies. It’ll be great fun!” Instead, you watched an hour and thirty-one-minute
bunny bloodbath. From dogs violently turning the rabbits into
roadkill to Holly’s traumatic dream of the warren’s destruction, this hare terror likely
induced another awful bout of childhood bed wetting. Thanks, Mom and Dad. 21. Bambi
Similarly, this Disney childhood cartoon of frolicking woodland creatures seems innocent
enough until Bambi’s mother is gunned down. The feeling of being lost and alone is terrifying
for any child, so watching it happen to a helpless deer likely sent you wailing to your
mother, clinging to her leg, and refusing to let go. 20. The Witches
Just because a movie was adapted from a Roald Dahl book doesn’t mean it won’t have you crying
underneath your bed for days. Case in point, the scene where Anjelica Huston
takes off her human skin and becomes a grotesque witch. 19. The Brave Little Toaster
With a story about a cute little toaster, you’d think this would be a safe bet. You’d be wrong. From the fire dream sequence where a malevolent
grinning clown rises from the flames and unleashes a wave of deadly forks to the death scene
where all the appliances slowly sink into an inescapable bog, it’s like one big practical
joke on kids. Except, no one’s laughing. 18. E.T. This is a tricky one. For some, E.T. was a beloved, whimsical
and fun coming-of-age movie. Others, however, were instantly freaked by
E.T. and even as adults don’t want to go near it. From the weird way E.T. said, “Ouuuucccch”
while holding out a glowing finger to the scary scene where E.T. is dying and calling
out for Eliot, to some degree it makes sense why kids might be a bit uncomfortable around
this movie. 17. Dumbo
For the most part, this movie is just about a floppy-eared elephant that people mock,
except when you get to the scene where said child elephant gets accidentally drunk and
witnesses an eerie display of pink, smiling elephants, nightmarishly parading around. If you’re like us, you probably repressed
this memory. 16. The Neverending Story
This movie had its fair share of odd and creepy moments, but what truly scared us to death
was when Atreyu and Artax went through the Swamp of Sadness. If you recall, Artax refuses to move and slowly
descends into the deep while Atreyu desperately tries to save him. He fails and Artax dies. Excuse us while we go have a good cry. 15. Pet Sematary
Here’s another one we probably shouldn’t have watched as kids, but nevertheless, here we
are. From the sister Zelda to the demon cat to
the terrifying resurrected boy, you probably never looked at animals, or cemeteries for
that matter, the same way again. 14. Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory
Everyone agrees this movie is a fun, magical time full of chocolate and wonders. That is, until Willy Wonka, the children,
and their parents, take an LCD-laced boat ride down a tunnel into madness. At first, everyone foolishly pretends they
aren’t sitting before a psychotic lunatic, but then Wonka whispers an eerie tune that
grows into a manic yelling. With flashing red lights all around and horrific
video in the background, all that candy-like ecstasy from your childhood mind is stripped
away and plunged into a barreling hellscape. 13. Tremors
Remember in this movie where Kevin Bacon and his co-star Fred Ward find a farmer’s horrified
face in the ground, or when one of the Tremors sucks an entire car underneath the earth? Yeah, we do too. If you were like us, after watching this film,
you stuck to walking on pavement for quite some time. 12. The Haunting
In this film, a group of people take part in a sleep study at a mansion and learn about
its haunted past. Looking back, it’s not exactly all that original
or scary, but for a young kid who went to the theater to see it with his friends, it
was pretty stinking scary. 11. Beetlejuice
This one is just overall weird, dark, and spooky, but the one scene where Beetlejuice
turns into a weird looking snake and freaks out the houseguests put it over the top. 10. The Dark Crystal
Returning once again to the demented mind of Jim Henson, we find ourselves witnessing
horrors beyond all reckoning. From “podlings” strapped down and having their
essence drained to the deadness behind the heroes eyes, who in their right mind thought
this would be a good kids movie? Jim Henson, apparently. 9. Wizard of Oz
From tornadoes to witches to flying monkeys, what wasn’t terrifying about this movie? Of course, the wicked witch of the west takes
the cake as the most terrifying part of the movie, especially when she starts to melt. 8. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Putting aside the awful title, this movie about a car inventor taking his family into
a magical fantasy world has one of the most terrifying scenes of all time. The scene involves a long-nosed creeper dressed
like a jester riding his carriage of wonders down the street. With a high-pitched voice, he lures little
kids with lollipops and ice cream, calling out for them like an innocent candy man. Once he successfully lures two children into
his carriage, he reveals it’s actually a den of horrors and swiftly kidnaps the children
while they scream behind metal bars. 7. Fun and Fancy Free
Acting as a sort of Disney cartoon compilation, for the most part, this movie is harmless
and full of fun Mickey Mouse cartoons. Then they had to ruin it with the creepiest
ventriloquist dummy act of all time, thrusting a fun movie into a very weird place. 6. IT (1990)
This TV-miniseries they made into a 3 hour and 12-minute film chronicles the terrors
of Pennywise the Clown and his savage efforts to kill and consume every member of the Losers
Club. Without a doubt, Tim Curry as Pennywise haunted
our thoughts for weeks after witnessing this movie. 5. The Garbage Pail Kids Movie
In an attempt to cash in on the Garbage Pail Kids trend, Hollywood made one of the creepiest
kids movies of all time. The weirdos, it turns out, are the garbage
pail kids, bringing out a whole new definition for the Uncanny Valley. With weird animatronics and scary puppet designs,
what should have been a cute kids movie turned into a total horror show. 4. Jaws
We all know the ominous music. With a pretty silly looking animatronic
shark, this film took advantage of viewer imagination to scare them. Since kids have an imagination kicked into
overdrive, it didn’t take much to scare us into never wanting to swim in the ocean again. 3. The Secret of NIMH
On the surface, this G-rated children’s movie about a mouse trying to save her village shouldn’t
be too scary. But the gloomy atmosphere and the particularly
creepy owl, not to mention the mouse’s constant fight for survival, really put it in a dark
place. What most kids don’t know is the story was
based upon disturbing lab experiments with mice at the National Institute of Mental Health,
a.k.a. NIMH. 2. The Indiana Jones Movies
With a PG-13 rating, most little kids probably shouldn’t have been watching the Indiana Jones
films, but we did anyway. From faces being melted off, Indian shaman
ripping hearts out of chests, and child slavery to hideous ghosts and heads getting lopped
off, it’s safe to say every child was considerably scared while watching these films. 1. Fire in the Sky
An alien abduction horror film from 1993, if you were a child that casually ended up
watching this, there’s no doubt your life was considerably changed and there was no
going back. Though slightly cheesy in hindsight, this
movie still has some pretty frightening scenes, including the strange alien experimentation
scene on a human. So, what movies sacred you the most as a kid? Let us know in the comments below, or tweet
your answer to us @List25. Enjoying our lists? Be sure to click that subscribe button on
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  1. I don't think I was scared when I was a kid watching some of this movies.. The movies that scared me right now as a grown up are Insidious and the Conjuring..
    Thanks for the awesome list..👍👌

  2. "The Wizard of Oz " scared me to death as a six year old. It was the first movie I ever saw too, and I didn't want to see another for quite a while. Margaret Atwood's laugh can still get my attention, though I'm 76 now.

  3. pet sematary is my favorite from Stephen king his movies are awesome I have the book of pet sematary I also though thought the original movie of it was creepy and disturbing I could never watch it

  4. Oh I see the part when he turns into a snake ok I can see why that would freak anyone out maybe I shouldn't watch it lol 😂

  5. omg The original movie IT was just plain creepy and disturbing I would never ever watch it I use to have dreams about him

  6. Jaws really freaked me out. I lived in Illinois and nowhere close to the ocean, but I scared to swim in a lake close to my house. Then my older brother made it worse when I finally did get in by swimming under water and biting my leg.

  7. I am older than most, so here is my list: The Exorcist, The Birds, The Blob, Frankenstein, The Fly and the Collector. Anyone?

  8. Interestingly, about Pet Sematary…this made me thinkg about one night a couple years ago, I was home alone since my wife was visiting her mother in another city. I decided to go to the cemetary to lit a candle at my grandparents' grave. It was late at fall, so it was very dark (I live in northern Sweden and at late fall and all through the winter we have very few hours of daylight before it gets pitch black).

    Before I went, I took the dog out for a walk, and I thought he might as well come along with me in the car, as he loves to go for ride in the car. When I walked towards the garage, his tail was wagging a lot as he knew what was about to happen. I entered the car with the dog, exited the garage and drove off to the cemetary. The time was, I guess, around 8:30 – 9:00 PM.

    It's not even a 10 minute drive from the apartment complex where my wife and I live, and once I arrived at the place no lights at all were lit on the small road leading to the church where the cemetery is located (this is the Alhem cemetery in Skellefteå, Sweden). "This is odd", I said to myself, as I have never seen the street lights not being lit at that time of day, as it is a pretty narrow road, with lawns on each side. Then you eventually pass a small parking lot, and then a little further up ahead is the Alhem church, surrounded by graves. It is a very beautifully placed church and place for the eternal rest, but this evening I felt a little bit uneasy about something. I couldn't put my finger on it, but something was making me feel a little uneasy this night.

    I arrived to the part where my grandparents are buried, left the dog in the car, as this would only take a couple of minutes, but I left the interior lit and I locked the car – from their grave, I could still see my car and the dog could se me also. I lit the candle, surrounded by almost complete darkness. I said a little prayer for them and blessed them before I left

    This is where it got strange… I felt warmth when I said the prayer and blessed my deceased grandparents, but as soon as I left and re-entered the car, I felt really cold. The drive back to the church, the dog was on edge all the time, looking out the window nonstop – and when I slowed down by the church to make a turn back on the road leading out of the perimeter, the dog instantly put his paws on the window, looked at a certain place in the dark, right beside a tree near the church and growled and showed his teeth. I was a bit surprised, to I looked at that direction but I couldn't see anything at all. I thought there may be people hiding in the dark, as somethimes there has been vandalism on tombstones, so I didn't turn, rather I kept driving forward and turned around to pass the same place again, and now I had a strong flashlight and I cruised very slowly – and once again the dog did the same; growled and showed his teeth and refused to stop staring at that very place…

    I have never seen him act like that, so I rolled down the window just enough to stick the flashlight out so I could see better and hollered "I know you're out there. Show yourself or I will call the police". No answer, but the hair on my arms stood right up and I have never felt so cold in my entire life, and my dog growled more intensively by now as if to say "back off!" to the unseen presence. It was completely silent. So silent you could almost touch it physically. I tried to call out again, but there was literally nothing there, but I could feel a presence, as this kind of cold is not normal – and it was not even a cold evening.

    Now I decided to leave… cruising away slowly, and my dog still would not stop staring right beside that very tree, but he wasn't growling as intensively anymore, and he didn't show any teeth either. Now I looked in the rear-view mirror, and I could almost have sworn I saw a transparent figure moving towards the tree and disappearing behind it and the interior of the car was now freezing – and it didn't stop until I reached the main road, and left the cemetary.

    I have never returned at that time of evening since.

  9. Cmon man let’s be just be honest some of these movies weren’t “scary” weird as fuck if you ask me my opinion, two or three that are on the list I will agree are frightening but what about nightmare on elm street, candyman, Halloween, Friday the 13th, hell raiser, tales from the crypt, American werewolf in London shit I could go on and on lol

  10. My parents took me to see the first Jaws when it was in theaters as a 2 year old because they couldn't find a babysitter. They had to bathe me in the sink for a month.

  11. None of these were scary at all must have had some people who were creampuffs as kids think this list up. No Howling or night of the living dead, I saw real movies when I was a kid.

  12. The original iteration of The Haunting of Hill House scared the crap out of me as a kid, even though the first time I experienced it I didn't even see it. I was lying in bed going to sleep, listening to it while my parents watched it on tv.

  13. E.T. adorable it's the scientists testing on him that are terrifying…. the scary thing about NE story is the wolf not the horse dying, that's just sad

  14. I remember when I was a kid one of the scenes in Young Sherlock Holmes where the girl was wrapped like a mummy and then nearly was sacrificed to some Egyptian God by way of molten acid being poured slowly onto her, that entire scene and the cult music playing in the background terrified me. It doesn't scare me nearly as much anymore but back then it did. I also remember the scene at the beginning of Mortal Kombat, the one where Liu Kang is dreaming about his brother being beaten to death by Shang Tsung. Just the looks of agony on the brothers face and the look on the actor who played Shang Tsung's face and the crunching noises was just really scary to me.

  15. Not a movie, but I remember going to my Grandparent's house as a kid and I had a tv in my own room. Their cable package must have come with HBO because I'm certain they didn't realize they had it and wouldn't have watched it anyways. I would stay up super late and at some point, I discovered Tales From the Crypt. Man, the intro to that was so scary, I would change the channel until it was over.

  16. I can't believe you didn't add jeepers creepers in there. I was 5 or 6 when I watched that and it traumatized me. I Waz wrecked for weeks.

  17. The Exorcist", I saw the revamped version in theaters, and it scared tf out of me!
    "Watership Down" 🐇 is depressingly sad.
    "Bambi" is great, except for when his mother dies… Still traumatized.
    "The Secret Of Nimh", may be why I am an animal activist. 🐁
    "Never Ending Story" Artax dies… 😭

    Ok "Pet Cemetery" scared me. That cat looks like my cat looked… And the kid!
    Parts of "Haunted" scared me a bit.

    "It" rocks in the corner trembling Clowns!
    Jaws…. There was never gonna be a big enough boat.

    Most of the rest I enjoyed immensely.
    I've never heard of the "Fancy Free" one, but I'm freaked out by dolls, so it would have scared me. Never heard of the "Fire In The Sky" or "Garbage Pail Kids" movies either.

  18. I'd have to say that "The Exorcist" was the movie that scared me the most as a kid. I still can't watch it to this day without having nightmares.

  19. bambi??? come on, really? and e.t., dumbo? who the fuck was afraid of these movies. Willie wonka!!! I am really stunned at what pussy came up with this list

  20. Ok, a couple of these were a little scary but come on… Sad, yes, creepy maybe, but none of these were out and out scary. 80's kids are better than this, come on. lol

  21. I don't know why but, at the beginning of a two week stay on Long Beach Island, my father took me to see Jaws in the theater when I was 9. Thanks Dad.

  22. never actually scary but Jumanji, jutassic park, the black couldron, and the headless horseman. also the fantasy movie with the horse caught in a huge web cocoon

  23. What about "Child's Play"? I instantly threw away all my sisters dolls and she helped me after watchin that shit lol but i shared some of my stuffed animals instead to keep her happy.."Chucky" Scarred us for life we hate dolls.

  24. Pinocchio, Alice in Wonderland, and The Black Cauldron should have made this list. Pinocchio
    Pinocchio scared us because of its sinister villains and the infamous pleasure island and donkey scenes
    Alice in Wonderland scared us because of its creepy like characters and atmosphere
    The Black Cauldron scared us because of its lack of real Disney charm and the undead army and the horned king too!

  25. Labyrinth. I watched that movie as a 7 year old. Rented it from 'Video 2000' when it was an overnight VHS. Scared the absolute shit out of me!

  26. No movies scared me as a kid 😕 horror films have always been my thing, first one I ever watched was American Werewolf in London, I was 4 years old lol. 😊

  27. Seriously?? Who was actually scared by these movies
    I was scared of Poltergeist, and Freddy Kruger, and the one that freaks me out to this day are the final destination movies. I'm still afraid of getting behind a log truck or getting into a tanning bed.

  28. When i watched pinocho when i wasa kid my parents said that they loved the movie but when i watched it i was so scared at the feeling of being turned into a donkey and never to see my parents again i dont know why they thought there 7 year old son should watch it. I am now 35 got two girls and a wife i have never showed one of them that weird movie

  29. Ok… I love how these movies scares pretty much every little kid but me. The thing is ever since I was 2 yrs old and over… (that's all u can remember) I was watching r rated movies, because of brutal death, violence, blood and bones, blah blah blah. But I would go to the basement and my dad would be watching a horror movie but then I'd be to scared to go back upstairs so I would be stuck in the basement watching a horror movie… now there pretty much all I'll watch🤣🤣🤣

  30. Legend was my FAVORITE movie when I was a kid!!! I watched it over and over and over!!! I love it!!! Secret of Nihm was another favorite!!! Labyrinth, Dark Crystal & Never ending story (I even know someone who named her son Atreyu) were favorites too. E.T. & Wonka are classics! Dumbo makes me cry cuz his mama was in jail for something she's posta do as his mama. Never seen 24 or 22. I had a whole collection of garbage Pail kids. I even had #1A. The 1st one ever made however I would not allow my kids to collect them . WTF was wrong with my parents? 🤔 Lol

  31. Child's Play 2 scare the living crap out of me when I first saw it as a kid. My dad was sitting down watching TV one day and he asked me if I wanted to see Chucky and I assumed he was talking about the Chucky from Rugrats but I was dead wrong. To this day I don't look at dolls the same way again.

  32. I watched Bambi over and over again as a child, it was the Frozen of my childhood. The shooting scene was very sad, but never scared me.

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