Happy Halloween readers! It's the time of the year where we get to dress up as literally anything and make our dentist's jobs even harder by munching on all the candy we can find! It's the time of the year when Snickers and Twix bars are sought after, and Nerds and Candy Corn make a large appearance—despite being so hard to find during the rest of the year.
But Halloween isn't just about how much sweets you can eat without getting cavities, it's also about the Halloween specials! It's time to watch Halloweentown, Hocus Pocus, and decide whether or not now is a good time to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas! The answer is watch it now and then during Christmas time, and then again after that because it's too great a movie to wait months for!
Growing up, I've watched a lot of Halloween specials on TV. All of my favorite shows had special Hallow's Eve-centric episodes for me to enjoy! I did enjoy quite a lot of them, but others....well, others I have a hard time watching to this day. I understand it's Halloween and all, but there are some episodes of kids shows that are just too downright scary for any child to witness! But hey, I'm older now, and so it's time to look back at the past and list off my favorite Halloween kids episodes that frightened lil' me!
Here are 6 Halloween episodes WAY too scary for kids!
[Note: Some of these might not have actually first aired on or around Halloween, but you can be sure that they played them around that time frequently!]
5. 'Tricycle of Terror'—The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy
Oh Grim Adventures, what a strange and bizarre show you were. Anyone who thought that a show centered around two frenemies becoming friends with the Grim Reaper was a good idea for a kids shows was...surprisingly right. But despite its children's show status, The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy was no joke when it came to delivering the gut-wrenching scares!
The show was already freaky year-round, what with its incredible cast of the actual embodiment of death, a giant talking spider, Dracula, and some sort of demon-like creature who wears a business suit and sprouts tentacles from its body. But like most shows that were already scary all year round, Grim Adventures had episodes that liked to turn it up a notch just to keep viewers interested- and this episode did the job!
In 'Tricycle of Terror' Billy crashes his old bicycle and gets a new one from a boy he meets in a supernatural porta-potty- you know, the place where you get all your completely safe sporting equipment!
After accepting the bike from the boy, Billy takes it to show his friends. His friends start to mock him for still riding a tricycle, and this where things get crazy. In a shocking and unexpected turn of events, the mysterious tricycle given to Billy by the mysterious boy in the supernatural portable restroom turns out to be evil! Who would've thought?!
The tricycle attacks Billy's friends, and it's revealed that Billy is cursed. I know this may sound like a silly episode, but it was actually pretty frightening! Sure it was just a tricycle, but it was a tricycle with a vendetta, a plan to take out anyone it sees! There were even moments where the tricycle would look towards the viewers, as if 6 year old me- who happened to own a tricycle- needed that kind of paranoia!
I should also mention that the episode was based on on Stephen King's Christine. Anything based off of the 'King of Horror's' works should absolutely NOT be shown to children!
4. 'Terror Tales of the Park'— Regular Show
It's hard to believe that Regular Show has been going on since I was 13 years old! The show was (and still is) very strange, with a new crazy and bizarre thing going on every episode. From karate chopping ducks to arm wrestling the Grim Reaper (lots of kids shows had Death as a character back then...), this show was nuts! It's truly lived up to its tagline: "Regular Show, it's anything but."
But while every episode was weird, and some could get a bit freaky, nothing was scarier than when Halloween came around! Just like The Simpsons have 'Treehouse of Horrors', Regular Show has 'Terror Tales of the Park'. Every year around Halloween, the characters of the show would gather round and tell each other (and the audience) scary stories.
Now, at the age of 13, I had already seen a lot of Halloween episodes of kids shows. Some of them, like the ones on this list, did genuinely frighten me, but none of them had that gag factor. You know, when you're watching something scary, and all of a sudden, someone's head gets crushed into pieces and blood splatters everywhere, and you find yourself gagging and yelling "Oh gross!" at the screen. I never expected a kids show to go that far, but Regular Show was no...regular show.
There were three stories in the first 'Terror Tales of the Park', but the last one, titled 'In The House', is the one that REALLY gets to me. While Mordecai and Rigby are out trick or treating, they come across a creepy old house with its porch lights on.
When Rigby knocks on the door, the house's porch lights shut off. Angered by this, Rigby decides to egg the house. Since this is far from a normal television program, the house of course belongs to an old and vengeful wizard..who lives in the suburbs for some reason...
Anyway, the wizard curses Rigby, causing him to slowly transform into a house, and not even a good looking one in a nice neighborhood!
Nothing scary so far, but things get insane when the wizard threatens to attack all of Mordecai and Rigby's fellow employees. Mordecai, Rigby and the other employees wait for the wizard to attack with weapons in hand. Suddenly, one of them is dragged into the forest screaming, only to return skinned alive!
As if seeing a man without any skin wasn't enough to frighten children, the rest of the park employees start getting offed in terrible ways. One of them is sucked through the speakers and sprayed out, another is incinerated in the fireplace, and another is somehow flushed down the toilet! After all of this, Mordecai gets straight up decapitated by an unseen force! I understand that he's a bird, not a human, so it's not as scary, BUT THIS IS STILL NIGHTMARE INDUCING CARTOON NETWORK!!
3. 'To Heck and Back'— Rocko's Modern Life
So I actually wasn't even born yet when Rocko's Modern Life first aired. But thanks to the powers of Nicktoon's Network and my night owl tendencies, I was able to watch this show at 2 a.m. every night! Unfortunately, it also meant I was subjected to the sheer terror of the shows craziest episode, 'To Heck and Back'.
This episode was all about Rocko's best friend, Heffer. Heffer was the coolest and funniest anthropomorphic cow around, so an episode starring him was bound to be full of great humor and plenty of gut-busting laughs! However, instead of all that, it had death, self-hatred and the children's show equivalent of Hell!
In 'To Heck and Back', Heffer chokes on a piece of chicken and dies. Yes, DIES! But it doesn't stop there! After Heffer kicks the (chicken) bucket, he has an after-death experience in the form of being sent to Heck, which is basically the kid-friendly way of saying the fiery and torturous pits of the underworld! It's here he meets Peaches, a pink-skinned demon-like creature with cow udders on his head. Yeah...
That nightmarish image aside, the episode also featured a ton of self-deprecation. Peaches, after explaining the deadly sin of Gluttony, shows Heffer a television broadcasting his horrible eating habits.
Shocked and appalled by his behavior, Heffer accepts his fate in Heck, until his friend Rocko manages to resurrect him. The moral of the episode is basically to "watch what you eat", a great lesson- one that could have been taught without the added elements of Hell, the cow-udder-head-Devil and killing off a beloved children's character! Just sayin.
2. 'Nasty Patty'—Spongebob Squarepants
Spongebob Squarepants is a show I'm a bit indifferent about nowadays. My little brothers love it, but I often find myself missing the old Spongebob, the one that dominated my childhood.
One of my favorite episodes was also one that never failed to give me the creeps—the kind of creeps that could only be achieved from seeing one of your favorite cartoon characters try to dispose of a dead body!
In 'Nasty Patty', a health inspector comes to inspect the food at the Krusty Krab. Meanwhile, a news report reveals that a man is going around pretending to be a health inspector to get free food, which honestly sounds like something I'd get arrested for...
Anyway, Mr. Krabs and Spongebob, believing the inspector in their restaurant to be the fake, make a repulsive krabby patty out of ingredients no human (or fish) could stomach. They serve the man the patty and walk away to wait for him to eat it. This is when the natural enemy of man (and fish) kind comes in...
Yes, the menacing house, er, sea fly! The fly travels down the health inspector's throat, choking him! But since Nickelodeon already traumatized enough children with the death of a character in Rocko's Modern Life, this guy is just knocked out cold by the fly. Of course, Spongebob and Mr. Krabs don't know that, and upon finding the "dead" inspector's body, they quickly panic and devise a plan to dispose of his corpse.
Luckily, the guy wakes up before they can successfully carry out the dark deed. Alright, look Nickelodeon, that super dark Rocko's episode at least had a moral: "watch what you eat". But where's the moral in this episode about two iconic childhood characters plotting to get rid of a corpse so they don't go to jail for murder?! "Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty"?!
1. 'Fear Itself'— Teen Titans
Teen Titans was and still is my favorite Cartoon Network show, and one of my favorite shows of all time! Not to be mistaken with that sheer disappointment currently airing on CN called Teen Titans Go, Teen Titans was an anime-like TV series following the action-comedy filled adventures of Robin, Raven, Starfire, Beastboy and Cyborg.
There are a number of episodes I absolutely love, but only one of them has ever caused me to sleep with the lights on after watching it! 'Fear Itself' had all the elements of a horror movie: a scary premise, dim and somber lighting, and the aching feeling that danger was around every corner!
The story starts with the Titans stopping the villain Control Freak from terrorizing a video store. After defeating him, Beast Boy finds a scary movie and proposes that the whole team watch it- including the usually tough-as-nails Raven. Raven surprisingly gets scared after watching the movie, but refuses to tell her team. After this, the monster from the movie appears and attacks them.
Despite the absolutely terrifying situation they're in, Raven still won't admit she's afraid. Soon, the Titans star vanishing one by one, until only Raven is left. With all of her friends gone, and her surrounded by monsters made out of darkness, Raven finally admits that she's scared.
Suddenly, the monsters start disappearing and the other Titans return. It turns out that Raven was creating the terrifying monsters by concealing her own fear. The episode is actually very frightening, and it didn't help that Teen Titans usually came on at night!
However, the most frightening thing about this episode is the movie they watch. You don't exactly get to see it, but you have to wonder just how scary it really was. I mean, Raven is the spawn of a giant six-eyed demon bent on taking over the world. If that doesn't scare her, but this move did, maybe it shouldn't be on the shelves of video stores...
Obviously, I've grown up, and while younger me couldn't handle these episodes, older me can at least tolerate them...
So there you have it, 5 kids Halloween episodes that scared the heck out of me when I was younger! Hope you enjoyed this article, and to all the people behind these frightening episodes, how do you sleep at night?!