Top Five Scariest TV Moments from Nostalgia’s Past

Mimi Walker ’16/ Emertainment Monthly Staff
Halloween may be over, but scary TV never gets old.  Here’s a list of the top 5 most terrifying TV moments that we’ll never forget:
5) Rugrats (Season 2, Episode 19): “Down the Drain”
How many kids didn’t fear being pulled down the drain at bath time, with no means of escape? The opening of the episode shows Tommy losing his beloved green soldier down the drain, giving his trademark cry of distress. Angelica, ever the sadist, plays upon his stress by telling him and Chuckie a story about a cute little boy who DIED when he was sucked down the drain. Whether it was made up or not, Angelica told a pretty dark tale at the ripe old age of 3.
4) Goosebumps (February 14, 1998): “Bride of the Living Dummy”

Bride of Chucky was a Van Gogh painting compared to this. Two sisters see a ventriloquist act at their elementary school. Unfortunately, the ventriloquist is using Slappy, the obnoxious, possessed dummy of evil. The younger sister brings her googly eyed Mary-Ellen doll with her to school; Slappy infiltrates their home in order to hook up with her. Messed up on several levels, but the scariest thing about the dolls was their bow-legged, flying movements and      high-pitched, shrill voices.


3) So Weird (Season 2, Episode 11): “Banshee”

So Weird, which aired on the Disney Channel from 1999-2001, was a very mature preteen show at the time. Fi (Cara DeLizia) is a girl living with her grumpy older brother and her rockstar widow mom who has an extraordinary gift to communicate with the paranormal. However, this episode’s scariness doesn’t come from the monster itself; it comes from a human fear that is ingrained in all of us. When Fi sees a billowy, wide-mouthed banshee piercingly screaming over her grandfather’s sleeping body, she fears (and knows) the end is near for him.


2.) Opening Credits to Are You Afraid of the Dark?

The intro to this show was the scariest thing about it; afterwards it would just be a group of kids telling colorful, Goosebumps-esque stories with fake special effects. The first 30 seconds of the show, however, are still contemporarily creepy. The minor chords of the guitar, the distorted sound of the ghostly chorus, the boat rocking in the fog, the creaking of an empty swing, and (worst of all) the demonic smiling clown doll in the attic. This show proved that, sometimes, one can use very little to leave a lasting impact.


1)  Invader Zim (April 13, 2001): “Bestest Friend”

Invader Zim received so many parental complaints for its disturbing content that it only lasted two seasons on Nickelodeon. The crowning achievement of crossing the line, however, was seen in the episode “Bestest Friend”. Zim, an alien who disguises himself as a middle school boy to gradually take over the world, decides that he should find a best friend to help conceal his alien identity to the school. Through a series of unseen (but judging from the painful shrieks, assumably scientific), Zim picks Keef, a cute ginger boy with a rainbow tee-shirt. When Zim tires of Keef’s neediness, an explicit scene is shown where Zim rips Keef’s eyes out with a machine and replaces them with robot eyes, turning Keef into a droid/vegetable. The fact that this scene was not censored was enough to convince Nickelodeon to pull the plug on Zim, and enough to convince little kids that abusive friendships can be far scarier than any monster in the closet.

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