Sunday, July 25, 2010

April 1, 2009: Things That Scare Me: Case Study #1

In spite of (or, perhaps, because of) my adult infatuation with all things horrifying and horrific, I was scared of absolutely everything when I was a kid. A television commercial for a horror movie was enough to send me racing from the den in a sweaty palm panic. As an ongoing series here on Psychobabble, I'm going to be reviewing some of the things that most traumatized me as a child and evaluating whether or not I was rightfully frightened or just a wiener.

Case Study #1: TV Commercial for the Haunted Mansion in Longbranch, New Jersey

If you grew up on the East Coast during the late '70s/early '80s, you too may have been terrorized by this ad that aired every Halloween season. The Haunted Mansion later burned down, no doubt the culmination of the years of bad vibes this commercial shat out into the cosmos.

The Verdict: I think I was pretty justified in my terror. The doofus in the cloak and the guy dressed as Dracula notwithstanding, there are some fairly frightening images in this commercial, like the rat-petting cave lady and the fence-leaping ghoul (which haunted my nightmares for many, many years). The narration and music are pretty creepy, too.
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