From Fear to Fun and Bad to Worse

Who or What was your first childhood scary thing?  I thought about that last week during Halloween.  For me, Halloween was never about being scared.  It was about being scary to others. No, I mean when you were little, before putting on masks.  A friend of mine said the first real scary thing in his life was his next door neighbor.  He can remember being too scared to play in the backyard because just looking at the guy next door freaked him out.  A few years later he realized the guy was actually nice, but he had a physical deformity which scared my friend in his early years.  Do you remember your first scary thing?

For me it’s easy.  At some point when I was around 4 or 5 and able to go down in the basement on my own, I was not supposed to go near a curtained area.  It was actually a portion of the basement that was un-finished.  It had a four or five foot wall and then an open area where my parents used to store stuff.  The curtains were in front and it looked like a solid wall to the ceiling.  I think my Santa Claus things were probably kept there too.

Anyway, to keep my brother and I out of there, my mom would point to a particular little ugly green man who was constantly in magazines and newspapers.  He had a troll-look and had a big head and a scary face.  For whatever reason, just the picture of this ugly dude scared me to death.  So I was told that he actually lived down in our basement behind those curtains and he would “get me” if I ventured behind them.  Believe me, I never took that chance.  My mom’s ruse paid off.  I never ever looked behing those curtains.  When I visit the old homestead, I still see the curtains in the basement.  They are right behind the piano.  Sometimes I’ll sit and play a tune and think about that ugly green troll. Now He doesn’t exist to scare little kids anymore.

You have to be a certain age (meaning old) to remember this scary green man, but he had a name you couldn’t forget….Peter Pain.  He was the poster boy for Ben-Gay.  Take a look at him.


Around the 6th grade, I was no longer afraid of him.  In fact, a few of us very ornery boys loved to tell everyone we used Ben-Gay to help us with our Peter Pain. 

Incredible isn’t it; how something a person once feared can turn into such fun.

About bakoheat

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One Response to From Fear to Fun and Bad to Worse

  1. fiddlrts says:

    I’m pretty sure it was a mean neighborhood dog that was my first memory of fear. We also had a side yard that (for a while, at least) had the remnants of an old wood fence – nails included) piled up. An older friend dared to use it as an escape during some game we were playing, and put a nail through his foot. I also remember having bad dreams about fire after a nearby wildfire made the news.

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