Childhood Fears: Things That Go Bump In The Night


Your slumber is disrupted as you jolt awake. Your chest heaves as you try to catch your breath. Your tired eyes scan the perimeter of the room, drawn to the illumination coming from the night light by your closet door. Your eyes grow wide and your hands begin to tremble --- I thought I closed the closet door. 

You inch your body to the foot of the bed, stretching, trying to get a closer look. To no avail, you decide to investigate. Legs tremble as you take cautious steps toward the door, and your small hands grip the handles. Creeeek. 

Darkness. The back of the closet is nowhere in sight and seems to transform into a portal to nowhere. One wrong step and you would be gone forever. Timidly, you reach your hand in your shaky fingers come in contact with something furry. Your feet leave the floor as a scream escapes your lips. Monster! You bound out of the room into the hallway and pound on your parents door. 

Snores are stalled, and your parents mumble back and forth. It’s your turn. The door opens and you attach yourself to your mother’s side. Tears mix with your words, as you try to explain the horror that has just occurred. 

She calmly walks you back to your room and heads for the closet. You flinch as she flips the switch. The light exposes your clothes, no dark abyss insight. Your mother guides you back to bed and assures it was nothing. With another goodnight kiss, she wishes you sweet dreams as you fall back to sleep. 

Whether we like to admit it or not, we all have had irrational fears that kept us up at night. You would be surprised that these fears go beyond the monsters under your bed and can leave lasting impressions for the rest of your life. I decided to ask six people what things from their childhood gave them the heebie jeebies.


1. I had to be six years old, and my mom let me watch TV while she went outside to do some yard work. I decided to change the channel by pressing random numbers on the remote, and ended up landing on Criminal Minds. The episode happened to be about a home invasion case, where a woman and her family got murdered by an intruder Convenient right? The episode was so scarring, night after night I woke up from nightmares. I finally got scared enough to where I proceeded to sleep with a metal bat in my bunk bed.  

- Ian, 22

2. I had a fear that sharks were going to eat my feet whenever I went swimming. I have never been a fan of open water.. I remember whenever I jumped off the diving board I would swim as fast as I could to get out of the water. To this day, I still can’t swim in the ocean. 

- Elizabeth, 20


3. Ever since I was five and even today, I am afraid of taxidermy animals. I believe I’m afraid of them, because a majority of the time they have a mean face. Back home there’s a family museum and my dad used to take me there all the time. There are two large rooms where you’re surrounded by life sized animals. The first room is polar bears, then off to the side there is a safari room filled with African animals. It’s literally a living nightmare.

-Mercedes, 21


4. When I was five, I was terrified of ladybugs. One time I was playing out in the backyard, when a ladybug landed on my hand. At first I was fine, but then it decided to bite me. I ran inside and yelled for my dad and explained to him that the badubadubadu bug bit me. I think I was trying to say “bad bug” but it came out as “badubadubadu bug” with all the crying. Ever since then, I can’t help but flinch whenever they fly by me. But at least I can kill them myself now.

- Erin, 21

5. My fear was extremely irrational, and I don’t particularly know how I came to even think of it to be honest. I was afraid of dying by being pulled apart. Which is pretty out there for an eight year old. When my older brother used to babysit me, he always used to play scary movies. I would just have to sit there and watch it. Safe to say it stuck with me 

-Kristina, 20


6. I was afraid of grass. I think I didn’t like the way it felt against my skin. At two years old, my mom described me as a runner. When my parents didn’t want me to run off, they would take off my shoes and stick me in the grass. I would scream and scream, but at least I wouldn’t run away. 

- Cailey, 20