Disturbing Childhood Media - Guest 01
Nov 29, 2020
Something that really scared me was those infamous set of garfield comic strips where only garfield is left. garfield is left alone in an abandoned house after they fell asleep for too long. And the resolution is that garfield deludes themselves into believing that jon and odie are still around. The author says it was a one off non-cannon strip but the way it returns to the regular comic format immediately after you can read the implication that every comic after that is just garfield's delusion. I even wrote something like "do not turn this page, go to the last page and turn backwards till you see `okay to continue reading`" in the book because i really didn't want to see it again.I had quite a few garfield books.
There's also the weird thing in garfield how one of the early characters (lyman) just disappears at one point without explanation never to be seen in the strip again. Especially weird is how the dog odie was lyman's pet and suddenly odie now became jon's pet without explanation.
the abandoned comics are all here
RJ: Death of Garfield
I copied the text from here as it was relevant
The October Storyline
In the fall of 1989, Jim Davis produced a series of Halloween-based comic strips about Garfield waking up to an abandoned house. When Garfield finally accepted that he was alone, he's suddenly brought back to his owner Jon's house. Naturally, this storyline had several readers question the meaning behind these series of strips. Because of the strip's surreality regarding the Halloween story arc, it is commonly believed that Garfield had either died, or that he's slowly starving to death, and that the entire strip is his dying dream. This theory does make sense in some places. Throughout the strip, Garfield would often have dreams regarding food, and he would constantly beg Jon for his trademark dish, lasagna. When the creator of the strip himself, Jim Davis, heard about these rumors, he was reported as to have laughed for quite a long time. According to him, he had created those series of Halloween strips, because the most common fear among several of his readers was being alone. He also confirmed that Garfield was very much alive, and that the Halloween strips weren't canonical to the main strip.
there was a joke about lyman being tied up in the basement in a flash game on the garfield website (garfield scary scavenger hunt).
^ it looks like they're missing a finger but i think they're just throwing devil horns.
there's an unrelated strip where garfield has a grave.
there's a 1986 garfield tv special where they sacrifice a car to a "volcano" to stop it destroying an ooga booga tribe. (garfield in paradise) i had some nightmares and fears about volcanoes as a child, maybe it was from that, dunno.
this scene from the 1966 batman movie scared me as a child.
Batman: The Movie (1966) - The Villains dehydrate the Security Council!
people turned into a pile of powder by a "dehydrator ray" weapon. i don't think i saw them ever get changed back (probably only saw some of the movie on tv) which made it worse. it was a lingering fear that popped up in my head from time to time. maybe even existential dread, like if you can get reduced to a pile of dust what really are you.
dehydrated powder screenshots
rocky and bullwinkle movie 2000 had a kinda similar thing where people's heads got turned into vegetables. their minds were mush and were in a vegetative state only mumbling or something. i forgot about that till now.
plankton implanting spongebob's brain with a controller to control their body
there's also the one where spongebob has their brain removed and implanted into a robot to be plankton's slave.
new spongebob from 2016.
i never saw the episode but when looking i saw that there's this really bizzare episode where spongebob removes their brain and flies it around like a drone, really creepy
there's the invader zim episode where zim steals people's organs. one of them turns into a foaming vegetable after losing their brain. lots of brain worship & lobotomy fear programming. i remember having a nightmare about losing my brain or something.
lion witch wardrobe
last book of narnia has all the characters (implied to?) die in a train crash. the author plays it off as "it's okay, they go to heaven" or something. people say narnia is "Christian fiction or an allegory" but arslan is a lion and you know who is roaring like a lion.
in one of the books there was a character that said they were under a curse at night were they turned into an evil person and they had to be chained up to restrain them. but the twist was the day person was the evil one and the one chained up at night was the good one. the idea that you could unwillingly turn into another person is scary.
series of unfortunate events
the idiot snake person named a harmless snake species "the extremely deadly python" as a joke and then they died and the snake had to be put down because it was called deadly. calling a harmless animal deadly sounds like a pretty masonic thing to do.
i liked the busy world of richard scarry tv series as a child. don't remember much about it though. i think they had fake history segments. like they put their own fake spin on a fake historical event to turn it into a story.
there's this weird garfield spinoff called "garfield: his 9 lives"in the movie adaption garfield has a life as an escaped lab animal. they run away and using the scifi serum they were experimented with they morph into a dog to escape detection.
in the book there's one where they connect with their "primal self" and snap and it's implied garfield kills their elderly owner.
i didn't find this scary but others said they did.
YT: Soupe Opera
just the constant birrage of noise and visual was too much for young children probably. tv is a noisy assault on the senses, a bombardment.
rugrats movie had a collapsing bridge or something. i don't remember much i don't think i found this scary but it's pretty intense for what was a mundane childrens sitcom thing. (though i did have a bit of a fear of heights and had fears of slipping off a bridge and hanging on with my hands, so maybe i'm mistaken)
it's like if they made a seinfeld movie about a terrorist attack like die hard, it's just strange and more intense than you would expect. the rugrats were also lost away from their parents and fought over milk, or wasted their rations, or something.
inspector gadget episode where gadget gets remote controlled. or maybe they just got pulled up by a magnet. or both, i can't remember. i think i never saw the end of the episode, had to leave for something, and that's why i remember it. without a conclusion things are just left hanging in your head indefinitely.
i remember in the sabrina teenage witch movie after the martin love interest finds out sabrina was a witch they started screaming at them to stay away and that they didn't want to get pregnant from them. which was bizzare at the time and uhhhh in hindsight---
i never saw watership down so i don't have an opinion on it. i agree that it's insane that people see a talking animal and they blindly assume it's child friendly.
it's just, weirdly, that seems like an intended mindset to have, and it's intended for people to subject their children to obviously not child friendly media with the paper thin justification "it had cute critters on it, therefore it's not my fault" or "it was drawn, therefore it was a moving children's picture book". like they have this avenue to subject children to trauma based mind control. really it's a moot point though, teaching (lying to) children that there are bombs that can blow up the world and about fake massacres and prisons does way more damage than exposure to cartoon blood.
gahan wilson's ultimate haunted house
i know this is specifically designed to be scary but it is aimed at young children at seems to be designed to get under their skin.
there's an npc that is sometimes friendly and sometimes angry and mean. unless if you know a really obscure tell there's no way to discern the difference between the npcs before you interact with them. if you interact with the wrong one they say something like "you are so easily decieved, now you shall suffer the consequences".
monsters appear and if you don't exit the room quick enough they scream and curse you. the curses can have the colors go weird, replacing all the game sounds with grunts and screams, or hamper your ability to grab and move items.
it seems like the game just randomly decides what the npcs do without logic. npcs sometimes want items and will give you something in exchange for it other times they get angry at you for showing it to them. there's some consistensy but there's a lot of inconsistency too.
i didn't find the game super scary, i remember playing it a lot. though the game does tell you there's a game over condition of running out of time. and because i was concerned about that i never continued playing the same save game when it got too close, and never completed it either. i remember i was mostly interested in using the destructive items like the bomb against npcs, some of them got permanently destroyed i think.
evil split personality npc video (warning a bit LOUD, also theres gross out humor style stuff in the game)
YT: Gahan Wilson's The Ultimate Haunted House
weeoowww that's a LOT of stuff, i only heard of some of it. imma have to check that out.
i remember the scary garfield story, and actually that was pretty wild how jim davis, the guy known for making a purely commercial thing solely for merchandise, made something that really rattled people. that was actually pretty awesome.
i'm a sucker for nitty gritty realism clashing with silly cartoons. i'd just rather there be a human scene for these things, instead of a baffo scene only.thanks for sharing!