Childhood Fears – A Beeja Halloween Special!

It’s that wonderful time of year again, Halloween! For a brief but brilliant time, it’s socially acceptable to send children out to intimidate strangers into handing over sweets. It’s also the only time when a white sheet with eyeholes is a legitimate party outfit. For these and many other reasons Halloween is one of the highlights of the year. You can comfortably slap on make-up with the expressed purpose of looking worse rather than better, or snuggle up indoors to scare yourself silly watching Jack Torrence axing through hotel doors and other similarly terrifying things.

However, like many other things, Halloween is best when you’re a kid. Obviously, there’s plenty of stuff that’s scary as an adult, but these tend to be real-life things and no fun at all. Childhood fears on the other hand, although heart-stopping and sleep-stealing at the time, are in their own way quite enjoyable and sometimes hilarious to look back on. In the spooky spirit of the season, we’ve asked the Will Williams Team to share the frights that used to keep the miniature version of themselves up at night, starting with…


I was afraid of high wind. I had a tape that had a nursery rhyme which included a woman making the sound of some howling wind. It used to terrify me, and the fear was transferred into being frightened of high wind, often making me cry, weep and all of the noises that little kids do when scared.

I was also afraid of Bully Goats Gruff, forcing my parents to check under any bridges when we came across them – just in case there was an ogre waiting!

I\’ve always been a delicate fish, I’m not sure I\’ve ever made it through an episode of Miss Marple!


At the largely unsuitable age of 5, I watched what can only be described as a really dark movie. For my undeveloped brain, the sight of a hooded figure murdering someone on the Golden Gate bridge was too much and it gave me nightmares for weeks. When Halloween finally came around, there were a fair number of hooded strangers wandering the streets and all of them, every single one scared the bejesus out of me. This is largely why I never wear hoodies.


My mum used to watch Emmerdale farm when I was 5 or 6 years old, and in one episode there was a place crash in the village. For weeks I thought that a plane was going to crash land into my house.


I once had a dream when I was about 6 that my father turned into Bagpuss, and through a series of unfortunate events he was frozen in a giant block of ice. I had to drag him to Margate beach as the water\’s \”relatively warm\” and the perfect conditions for thawing a frozen Bagpuss-Dad-Thing. Unfortunately, all very true and I couldn\’t watch the giant, pink cat on TV for weeks.


I used to be scared of ghosts, mainly because I had a recurring dream about a ghost sitting in a chair in my room who grabbed my foot and wouldn’t let me leave the house, which was on fire – which was all rather dark really!


I was deathly afraid of the cookie monster and his insatiable hunger. That big, blue, ball of fluff gave me lots of nightmares. I was convinced that he\’d set up residence in my cupboard, throw things around and demand cookies. But this was nothing compared to when a friend and I first watched The Ring when we were twelve (I think it’s a 15 certificate but this is about as rebellious as I got as a youngster) and I spent at least a month sleeping – or not, as it turned out – with the light on. Who knew a small girl with lanky hair could be so frightening?


When I was a child I was terrified by quicksand. After watching a movie (I don’t remember which one though) I had a terrible nightmare about me and my dad being sucked down together with our car.

I knew it was impossible something like that could actually happen, as my mum kept saying me, but I was always very scared every time I had to walk, cycle or my parents were driving on a muddy road!!
Can you remember any of your childhood fears? Share them with us on twitter!

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