I, like many people, am a very proud 90s child. By this, I mean that a large portion of my childhood occurred in the 90s… Not that I was born in 1999. One thing that I personally love about the 90s were the amazing “horror” television shows for children and young adults.
Today I would like to share with you the top three scariest shows from when I was but a child.
Viewers beware, you’re in for a scare! (Like this post if you got that reference)
Please keep in mind that these shows are in no particular order, except perhaps by which one I remember the most vividly.
Tales from the Crypt was an American television show that aired for seven whole years from 1989 to 1996 on HBO. Because it was on HBO, it had a little bit more free range for the “inappropriate content” it could include, so it often had nudity and sexual content included in it’s stories. But that was only when it originally aired, by the time I saw it in the mid to late 90s, it was a much cleaner version. It should be noted that I didn’t watch this on HBO, I watched it on YTV or something similar to that.
This show was actually based on a series by EC Comics of the same name that was released back in the 1950s, which I didn’t know so I actually think that’s a pretty cool fact!
The one thing that I can remember better than any episode I ever watched was the intro/opening credits of the show. It was always so spooky watching the camera close in on the door to this decrepit mansion, and then going through the entire creepy house and into the basement where you met the main character. The narrator of this story was and still is something straight from my nightmares. The Crypt Keeper, as he was called, was an animated puppet of a corpse… And I frequently watched him tell scary stories throughout my childhood. I’m pretty sure 90% of my nightmares still start with his signature “Hello Kiddies!” greeting. Regardless, I still think this is a fantastic show and you can even watch full episodes on Youtube!
*Note: this was also turned into an animated series. This show was titled “Tales from the Crypt Keeper”*
This is one that I’m not sure any 90s kid outside of Canada will really know. It is a Canadian television show that aired on YTV, but was eventually picked up by Nickelodeon, although I don’t think it lasted very long after it made the switch over to American television. However, this is one memory from my childhood that I have to thank because it is really where my interest and passion for horror/supernatural storytelling and literature began.
Airing from 1990 to 2000, Are You Afraid Of The Dark? followed a group of teens who went by the name “The Midnight Society”. Once a week they would gather in a remote part of the woods to share scary stories that they had heard or written. The most nostalgic part of this show was the beginning of each story. The storyteller for each week would start by saying “Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, I call this story…” and then they would throw a handful of Midnight Dust into the camp fire that they were sitting around and the title of the story would fill the screen.
It turns out that this introduction was actually a nod to The Twilight Zone, as the creator would introduce an episode, and follow the introduction by saying “Submitted for your approval.” This show was such a huge part of my childhood and personally, I think it differs a lot from Tales from the Crypt because it’s less about scary, “grown-up” things like murder, and more about the things that go bump in the night and the monsters under your bed. If you are a fan of horror and have children that are looking for a cool show to watch, this is one I would definitely recommend!
Everyone and their mother has heard of Goosebumps after the release of the 2015 film starring Jack Black of the same name. The Goosebumps franchise is one that didn’t stop after the television show ended in 1998, but continues to grow even to this day. The series was based on the novels by R.L. Stein, a well known children’s author who specialized in scary stories.
This was a show that I really only watched because my older brother liked it, and I think that’s what makes it so special to me. We both read the novels as children and we got to watch them come to life each week right before our eyes. It was the coolest thing at the time. I also think that if I ever hear the opening song (you know which one I’m talking about), that I will automatically make it my ringtone because it’s just all kinds of fantastic.
If you never watched the television show, you can still buy some of the TV movies on DVD and Bluray. My favourite one is The Haunted Mask, which you can watch in full at this link here.
Although this was not a widely known show, as I’m 90% sure it was only aired on YTV for a short period of time, I have to give a nod to my favourite cartoon growing up, Mona the Vampire. If you have never heard of this show… Just watch the video that I’ve embedded below, you won’t regret it.
That’s all for this time gals and ghouls! I know it’s a relatively short post this week, but I’m working on some bigger projects that require a lot more research than I originally anticipated, so those will be coming soon! Let me know in the comments below what your favourite scary show or movie was as a kid and tell me if you agree that there aren’t enough of these shows for kids anymore!
Until next time… Keep it spooky!