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21 Parents Share Their Weird Childhood Fears That Sound Insane Now

The things that scared and confused us as kids are downright hilarious.

The other day, I published a post about the irrational fears I had as a kid.

A commenter shared this story…

“When our daughter, an only child, was about 2 1/2 or 3 my wife would drop her off at Day Care so she could learn to socialize with other kids while my wife ran errands. It wasn’t until she was a teenager that she revealed that she had thought Day Care was where people dropped off children they didn’t want. She would see children dropped off and children picked up. In her mind, the adults came and picked out a child they wanted to take home. If no one wanted you, your Mom had to come take you back. She’s now 45 and we still can’t get rid of her.

Fascinated and wanting to hear more, I posted this question to followers of my Facebook page.

“What are some of the weird fears and ideas you had as a kid that you now realize were absolutely ridiculous?”

The answers ranged from hilarious to positively head-scratching. It also made me wonder what odd and usually impossible fears run through the heads of our kids.

From child-eating Elmos to live bands inside the radio, here are some of the weird childhood fears that sound absolutely hilarious now.

Weird Childhood Fears That Sound Insane Now


“I was convinced I was turning into a chicken when I had chickenpox. Strange clucking noises and eggs appearing randomly. Once I woke up with feathers in my bed. But then again my parents are also a-holes.” — Samantha

“When I was around 5-6 I asked my parents what death was like, and they said something about it not hurting and being just like sleeping. For years I was terrified to go to sleep – I was sure that I would die. I would sit on top of my pillow and try to stay awake all night so I wouldn’t die.” — Christina

“I could NOT sleep with the closet door open, or something would come out and get me. Also, the blanket had to be literally tucked around every part of my except my head, or, again, something would get me. Evidently in my five to ten-year-old brain, blanket=life saving forcefield.” — Kristen

“My mother told me that my grandmother’s lung cancer was a big black spot on her lung and that it was making her sick. From that point (I was about 5 or 6) I refused to eat food that had black spots because they had “cancer”. And if I ate it I’d get cancer too. I didn’t touch bananas for years.” — Christie

“I thought the radio played live music. That they just had different singers step up to the Mic. I had the image of a huge room with people just milling around waiting for their turn to sing. LOL. I don’t think I have ever admitted that to anyone……*smh*” — Vicki

“My grandmother used to say, “Well, I declare!!!” as opposed to “whaddya know” or “would you look at that!” Since she emphasized “I” and “DE” together, I always thought IDY Claire was a friend of hers from church.” — Kim

“My son spilled BB’s (from his BB Gun) all over the house. They didn’t all get swept up. We have two cats. My then six-year-old daughter came to me a few hours later and asked what would happen if the cat ate a BB. I told her the cat would die. (So that she would pick any she found up, rather than flick them around for the cat to play with.) she broke into a panicked cry and asked what would happen if a human ate one. I said “the same thing, they die”. Turns out she had eaten a BB herself and was now terrified that she was going to die. And of course, this all occurred at bedtime. It wasn’t easy to explain that I had lied to her. And convincing her she wasn’t going to die in her sleep… lol” — Jen

“If I had to get up during the night to pee or whatever I had to leap from my bed in order to avoid being grabbed by whatever was under my bed.” — Kelly

“My dad told us there were alligators in the lower area behind our house so we wouldn’t go down there. My sister was like 20 before she learned that wasn’t true. We lived in Wisconsin.” — Jennifer

“I thought french fries were little crunchy sacks filled with tasty mashed potatoes that someone sat in the back and injected into them. I just couldn’t figure out how they got the “tops” on!!! I questioned my parents about this while sitting at a burger place. They were crying/laughing too hard to explain it to me for a while. I still didn’t get it when they did.” — Amber


More Weird Childhood Fears

“As a kid I watched “Ernest scared stupid”. To this day after I turn off my light I leap onto my bed so the troll under it can’t touch me. And I can’t look under my bed because I’m convinced just like in the movie he will be right beside me when I get back up. For the longest time I slept in a bed without a frame (just box spring and mattress on the floor) so the troll had nowhere to hide.” — Jen

“I thought ‘jaywalking’ meant walking around naked (my mom said the saying naked as a Jaybird). I was very disturbed when my mom told me she got a ticket for Jaywalking (crossing the street outside of the crosswalk).” — Laura

“When I was very little, I used to think that sharks would swim out of the drain in the pool if you jumped in and made a big splash. (No idea where this came from.) So I would turn around backwards and jump in with my hands on the edge so I could get back out quickly if a shark came. … Jokes on me, I ended up splitting my chin open on the edge of the pool one time, and clearly never was attacked by sharks.” — Kristina

“My brother told me that if I touched Poinsettias or dishwashing powder that I would die. He knew that I was really weird about death and dying so he told me that so he wouldn’t have to worry about me touching things I shouldn’t. Well, I was terrified of them. Like, at the church around Christmas they just LITTERED the damn place with poinsettias. One grazed my leg as I walked by and I cried for hours because I was sure I would keel over from the contact. To this day I still have an aversion to them and I only use the dishwashing pacs so I don’t touch the powder. I *know* that they won’t harm me if I simply don’t eat them but I was so crazy about it as a toddler and while growing up so, now I just avoid those things. It was a dick move on my brother’s part but hey– I didn’t touch the poisonous things in the house. Lol.” — BJ

“I’m a little opposite. My closet door has to be open so I can rest assured there isn’t someone in the waiting for me to open the door.” — Davina

“I was convinced until I was 8 years old that if you unplugged the bathtub drain while inside it, you were sucked down the drain. So I used my sister to test the theory. Unrelated, I was also convinced that Elmo came out of the TV at night and ate children and kidnapped grown-ups to keep them in his closet.” – Malena

“I thought our neighbor was a witch. She would drive up to her house, point her hand at their garage door and it would open. A couple of years later my dad surprised my mom with a garage door opener for her birthday. It took me until my 30’s to admit this to my husband.” — Julie

“I was born in raised in France to an American mom so I spoke both languages. When drugstores started opening in France, and my mom announced she was going to one, I got very upset because I thought she was going to go buy drugs. I was 5/6 and it took me a few years to realize what a drugstore really was.” — Caroline

“When I was five there was a car accident around the corner from our house. No one got seriously hurt, but young impressionable me heard my mother tell our neighbor, “oh the sun must have blinded him,” about one of the drivers. I wouldn’t go play outside on a sunny day for months. I was worried that I would accidentally look at the sky and go blind.” — Beth

“There was a vampire outside my window. If I tucked myself in so that only my head was visible it would leave me alone because I had no neck, I was only a head. I also thought someone was going to steal my cabbage patch dolls in the night, I would bend their limbs back so they looked defective if any roving cabbage patch bandits were to break in.” — Stephanie

“My grandma used to tell me that if I stuck my hand out of a window in a moving car it would get chopped off. So I learned to write my name with a pencil using my feet/toes. I was utterly convinced that my hands would just fall off someday.” — Chelsea

Do you have an irrational or weird fear from childhood to share? Leave it in the comments section!

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Chris Illuminati is a freelance writer and published author. Follow him on Twitter (@chrisilluminati), Instagram (@messagewithabottle) or email him at

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