Movies that terrified us as children


Making it through a scary film without bolting from the living room was a rite of passage for any child. We were gluttons for punishment, ignored parental advice and put ourselves through our own living hell. Remember these?

The 18 cert on this 1996 release made it clear we were most definitely NOT meant to watch it. So, what did we do? We watched it. And we regretted it. The sound of a ringing phone instilled terror in us for months, cute boys weren't to be trusted and we learned to never, ever say “I'll be right back.” Good to know.

The Witches
This comedy-fantasy film, released in 1990 and based on the book by beloved children's author Roald Dahl, left us pinned to our sofas in terror back in the day. Who will ever forget the moment the young, terrified Luke watched in horror as a convention of witches, led by Anjelica Huston, began removing their wigs, shoes and FACES to reveal the hideous, nightmare-inducing creatures beneath? It took a whole lot of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch in later years to convince us they weren't all bad.

There's a whole generation of adults today who suffer from coulrophobia and we're pretty certain Stephen King's IT is to blame. Also made in 1990 (what was in the water that year?), this film is just one of those movies that will haunt you forever. Any child who suffered from a deathly fear of circuses, dripping taps, balloons or storm drains for much of their childhood most definitely saw IT.

The Goonies
Considered an absolute classic by many people, there were others, however, who were utterly creeped out by this 1985 adventure film. So, what was there to be scared of? Hmmm, let's see- the dark, miserable caves, Mama Fratelli's bizarre beret and pearl combo or maybe, just maybe, 'Sloth' Fratelli's deformed face was enough to put you off a second viewing.