We weren’t kidding when we said that we’re obsessed with all things spooky and scary, but the truth is that we weren’t the only ones who grew up this way. Society has been fixated with the horror genre for quite some time now. So much so that sometimes, people expect more genuine scares in highly-anticipated horror films or TV series. But how do we get the courage to watch all these soul-torturing horror films?
Well, let’s just say that our childhood has got something to do with it. Looking back at our time as kids, there were a bunch of horror TV series that were aimed at children or teenagers. It’s not that much of a problem, really, but they’re definitely the reason why kids or even adults refuse to sleep with the lights off at night!
But as we get older, we begin to appreciate these animated TV series that first introduced us to the world of horror:
1. Courage the Cowardly Dog
Now, if you’re going to stay in the middle of “nowhere”, you’ve got to expect the unexpected so that you can save yourself from potential danger. Abandoned by his parents in a traumatic incident, Courage the cowardly dog finds himself living in a dangerous suburban area called the “Nowhere” (no pun intended) after being adopted by a kind Scottish woman, Muriel. However, due to that traumatic incident, Courage has always been a little sensitive about its surroundings and eventually becomes overprotective of Muriel and her husband, Eustace.
Created by John R. Dilworth. “Courage the Cowardly Dog” was a horror comedy series shown on Cartoon Network. The creator throws Courage and his owners into a series of paranormal events as they encounter all sorts of creepy villains from aliens to demons to psychopaths. Best known for its disturbing sense of humour and surrealistic twists, the show ran for 4 seasons and ended on 22nd Nov 2002 with a total of 52 episodes produced.
2. Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, we call this story, “The Tale of 90s Kids’ Worst Nightmare”. Yup, that clown was our worst nightmare indeed. Created in 1991, “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” was a TV series that sent chills down our spines and haunted us every night in our dreams. However, most kids and even adults at that time couldn’t stop watching the show as it featured various ghostly tales as told by a group of young people who called themselves “The Midnight Society”.
In each and every episode, the members of that society would meet up at a secret location late at night and gather around a campfire to share their ghostly tales. Some of the episodes did nothing to scare us but the rest always ended with an unexpected twist. However, the series only lasted for less than 6 years as it ended in 1996. It was recently reported that every episode of the show has been made available on YouTube.
“Goosebumps” gets a nod from the 90s kids as it was their main source of terror in their generation. Based on the original children’s horror fiction novel series by R.L Stine, the series is one of the most popular horror anthology children’s series in the 90s.
From the extraterrestrials that disguised themselves as Jack O’ Lanterns on Halloween to a family who’d later find themselves at a monster-ran theme park “Horrorland“, each and every episode of the series featured various the kids’ bizarre encounters with aliens or monsters. Sure, there were a lot of cheesy scares but the horror stories featured in the series have always creeped us out as kids. The series will be adapted into a horror-comedy feature film in 2015.
“Scooby Scooby Dooooooo!” Now, now, we know “Scooby-Doo” shouldn’t even be considered a horror animated TV series but the series always had a fun way to introduce us the classic monsters and debunk the myth and yesterday’s pop culture. The series first introduced us to the Mystery Inc. gang, a paranormal investigating group formed by 4 teenagers and a talking dog – Daphne, Fred, Shaggy, Velma, and Scooby-Doo.
Despite the differences in their personalities, the members of the gang stuck with each other while solving mysteries involving supernatural creatures. However, not all of them were brave souls as Shaggy and Scooby-Doo were so terribly afraid of monsters and ghouls that sometimes they’d depend on their wits to escape from being chased by the creatures. With its story mainly set in the 70s era, it helped create a funky vibe for the series.
5. The Addams Family
It’s safe to say that “The Addams Family” is watchable for just about anyone as it’s a satirical inversion of the ideal American family. The characters in the original series first appeared in the 1930s comic strip and it featured an odd wealthy family who were unaware that people find them bizarre or terrifying.
Created by Charles Addams,”The Addams Family” had no intentions to frighten as the family isn’t as scary as they made themselves out to be. In the series, Gomez and Morticia is a strange married couple with 2 even stranger children, Pugsly and Wednesday. In essence, they’re extremely helpful but unaware of how their other family members as well as their Frankenstein servant frighten their neighbours. Every episode showcases the daily routines of the family, including dealing with difficult neighbours.
6. Tales from the Cryptkeeper
There are creepy cartoons, and then there are cartoons that sent chills down our spines. For “Tales From the Cryptkeeper”, it was the best of both worlds. Based on the live-action HBO series, “Tales from the Crypt”, the animated TV series stripped off some of the adult content from the original series so that it can be aimed at younger audiences.
The animated TV series acted as a “user guide” for kids before they could watch the live-action HBO version. The Cryptkeeper is voiced by John Kassir, who also voiced the strange keeper for the original HBO series. Despite its horrifying appearance, the Cyrptkeeper would share the disturbing ghostly tales such as “The Vault Guard” and “It’s For You” in every episode of “Tales From the Cryptkeeper”.
7. Eerie, Indiana
There were many reasons why “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” and “Goosebumps” weren’t scary enough for kids, and one of them is surely because of “Eerie, Indiana”. When Marshall Teller and his family moves to a small country town of Eerie in Indiana, he knew instantly there was something not quite right about the town. He called this place, “the centre of weirdness for the universe” because of all the strange encounters with his neighbours.
The series reminds us of Stanley Kubrick’s films albeit a family-friendlier version of his films. It’s creepy but not scary, because the stories in the series were disturbing enough to really give you something to think about. The show focused more on Marshall Teller’s weird encounters, in which involved some outlandish stories. Although it only lasted for 19 episodes, the series was definitely smartly written with its unique storyline.
8. Extreme Ghostbusters
“Extreme Ghostbusters” is an animated TV series that introduced kids to the original Ghostbusters franchise. The original “Ghostbuster” film may considered the best during our generation but the monsters in “Extreme Ghostbusters” were definitely the one that scared us the most as kids. A follow-up to the animated series “The Real Ghostbusters”, the story followed a team of young, college-level Ghostbusters led by veteran Ghostbuster Egon Spengler.
It was an extremely well-done animated TV series because the ghouls and monsters featured in the series could really give us nightmares. It actually has great character build-ups and the artwork was definitely better than “The Real Ghostbusters”. However, the series only ran for 40 episodes before it was cancelled.