Before we graduated to horror movies, in our adolescence we watched Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Nickelodeon’s most chilling series of all time. It had us whimpering alone on the couch in the living room, checking every door and window, and going to bed with the lights on. But it was all in good fun, and we were left with several memorable moments that would later haunt us throughout adulthood. Here are 10 times we were absolutely terrified by the horror anthology series.
1. When this girl found out she was actually an alien and had to wait 10 more years for her alien parents to come back to Earth for her, the big reveal was her blank, alien face. WHAT?!
2. Zeebo cemented a deep-seated fear of clowns we’d have for the rest of our lives with this one stupid clown puppet. No, just go away. Really. Go away.
3. The Ghastly Grinner ensured we could never sleep with one eye open again, with his demented grin dripping with disgusting blue goo. Can you imagine falling asleep right after seeing this face staring at you from the TV? Nope. NOPE.
4. Swimming in any pool became a huge no-no because of this rotting sack of flesh. Gross. Chlorine probably can’t even clean that hot mess up.
5. When the “lonely ghost” first made her appearance before trying to trap this girl in a weird mirror world, it seemed like a great idea to go turn all the lights in the house on at once.
6. Putting on these freaky glasses made for a weird world of shadow people that we started checking for behind our backs and in our peripheral vision.
7. If Nosferatu weren’t creepy enough in the movies, we had a bone-chilling dose of him in this particular instance, where his freaky gliding was almost as scary as those long, terrible fingernails.
8. You could never look at hospitals the same way again after this vampire-infested episode, where someone is actually dangled off the side of the building and fighting for her life. Kids’ show what?
9. When this fellow with crazy sunken eyes came out from the shadows you made sure to shine a light on every corner of the room from then on…as you should have.
10. And we’ll always be freaked out by this kid who’s preoccupied with death. He sleeps surrounded by funeral flowers, for goodness’ sake.
Ugh. Somehow even the scariest times on this list don’t compare to a child who lives his entire life thinking about being dead and buried.