For a friend of mine it was an episode of The Storyteller. He was traumatised by the porcupine man and was convinced that the porcupine man would burst through his ceiling and attack him at night. His paranoia was so great that he used to sleep under his giant teddy bear, figuring that when the porcupine man eventually came through the ceiling it would land on his bear and attack that, giving him time to get away.
These fears are usually highly irrational and when you grow up and become a big brave adult, you can laugh off your silly childish fear as being nonsensical! "A porcupine man isn't really going to burst through my roof and attack me! Ha ha ha ha!"
But, in the dead of night, when you're surrounded by darkness and you're all alone...that silly fear will wake you in a cold sweat. You see, the power of childhood trauma movies is that they worm their way into your subconcious and they scar you deeper than any knife could ever cut. They injure your soul. Yes, your soul. The fear becomes a part of you and no matter how rational or sensible you become; you'll always be afraid.
For me, it was a movie called ‘Fire in the Sky’ that was shown to me by my well intentioned mother. Apparently, and this is going on my memory as a child, a friend had recommended the movie to her. So my mother sat down to watch it one bright sunny Saturday afternoon and thought that it could be something we could do together. Thanks mum.
Fire in the Sky, for those that don’t know this particular gem of a movie, can be summed up pretty easily by a few choice words: 'Horrible aliens', 'abduction', 'alien medical procedures' and 'needles in eyes'.
Here is a brief (and misleading) synopsis care of IMDB:
"This film recreates the strange events which happened November 5, 1975 in the town Snowflake, Arizona. Travis Walton works as a logger in the woods. When he and his colleagues drive home after work, they encounter an UFO. For the next five days Travis disappears and his colleagues are accused of murder. When he reappears, first he didn't remember that he was gone, but in time the terrible memories come back..."
It doesn’t sound too bad, does it? But it wass the horrible little alien abduction sequence in it that scared me! I came away from Fire in the Sky with a few thoughts running through my mind - and they've stuck with me ever since.
Firstly – Random bright lights in the woods are bad.
Secondly – Don’t walk around in the woods at night chasing after bright lights.
Thirdly – Aliens will abduct you for no good reason to do ‘experiments on you’.
Fourthly – If aliens do abduct you, you will get dragged down a hallway and have a needle stuck into your eyeball while you scream.
It occurred to me after watching this movie that the aliens (and I had no doubt they existed) would get me no matter what I did. I could be walking home at night and BAM! The aliens would catch me. I could be at a friends house and BAM! The aliens would get me. I could be at home in bed hiding under the covers and BAM! I’d be gone!
There was no escape for me.
No escape at all.
Here, this clip from Youtube will show you why this movie scared me:
Thanks to watching this film as a child I still have reoccurring nightmares where I’m crawling through tunnels trying to escape things and I have an INSANE fear of aliens. Really, just ask my friends and they’ll tell you that Lena is insanely frightened of aliens – especially The Greys. I despise going outside in the dark by myself at night for this very reason. I love looking at the stars at night but if I see any lights moving up there I’m inside like a shot!
However, I’m also intrigued by aliens. I have a strange fascination with anything that scares me and so I have a love of aliens and UFOs. I began researching them not long after watching Fire in the Sky and I can still fondly remember borrowing books on them from the school library and compiling a folder on aliens and UFOs.
Yes, I was a very strange ten year old.
It didn’t help that our neighbour in Woomera saw a UFO one night. Sure, they found weather balloon wreckage a couple days later (which I snuck into the firestation to see!) but that’s what they said in Roswell.
As a child it was like my worst nightmare coming true – at any moment I thought the greys were going to be shining lights on my house, pressing their horrible little hands again my bedroom window and abducting me to stick needles in my eyes while I screamed.
So there you go. That is my childhood trauma movie and, might I add, the childhood trauma movie of one of my best friends. Both of us were terribly frightened by that awful sequence in Fire in the Sky.
Go and rent it. Really. You should watch it. I’m sure you’ll see how it would scare a little girl and be responsible for years of build up and paranoia! And yes, please do share your childhood trauma movies! We all have one!