Creepiest kids TV shows ever made
As a kid I loved nothing more than plopping myself down in front of the TV after school to watch cartoons or waking up extra early on Saturday morning to get in an extra few hours of sold viewing time.
This was before everyone had Netflix and could choose whatever show they wanted; back then you had to take the good with the bad.
There were always a few shows that I dreaded sitting through because they really crept me out.
Looking back now there were so many shows aimed at children that were downright disturbing.
So I put a call out to see what nightmare-fuel shows people could remember from their childhood and compiled a list of the most horrifying.
Warning: News.com.au is not responsible for any traumatic memories these shows may bring back.
I have no doubt this classic '90s show has been brought up in countless therapy sessions.
The premise of the show itself is well intentioned. It's based around ideas of development by psychologist Howard Gardner and focuses on issues kids encounter when they grow up.
But then, for reasons that escape me, the creators decided to chuck a faceless doll into the mix.
This thing is like a baby slenderman. It looks like someone papermached over a real baby and it is constantly trying to get out.
The doll was called E.C., short for Every Child, and its lack of features was apparently meant to allow kids to more easily relate to the character.
IN THE NIGHT GARDEN
This is one of the more modern shows of the bunch, having first aired in 2007, but don't let that fool you into thinking its going to be any less terrifying.
It was produced by Andrew Davenport, the man who co-created the Teletubbies.
Each episode starts off like the beginning of a cliche horror movie, with a child going to sleep while a woman sings some creepy song.
Then a strange blue creature appears on a boat and a male voice starts chanting: "Take the little sail down, light the little light: This is the way to the garden in the night".
That's just the first two minutes, the rest of the show is equally as nightmare-inducing.
ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK?
For 90s kids, Are You Afraid of the Dark? was almost compulsory viewing.
The concept was simple: A group of teenagers who called themselves "The Midnight Society" would gather in the woods late at night and tell spooky stories.
Each episode focused on a different tale, and some - such as The Tale of the Super Specs - still haunt our dreams today.
Fun fact: A young Ryan Gosling, Neve Campbell and Emily Vancamp all appeared on the show.
I'm not going to lie, I find all claymation utterly terrifying, but there is something about this show that takes it to a whole other level.
Gogs is based around a family of cavemen and first appeared on Welsh television in 1993 before eventually airing around the world.
The constant grunting sounds, repeated depiction of bodily fluids in clay form, violence and the psychotic caveman baby all combine to make this show both disgusting and horrifying at the same time.
THE TRAP DOOR
Inside a spooky castle, during an ever-present thunderstorm, "somewhere in the dark and nasty regions where nobody goes" lived blue and blobby Berk.
Voiced by Willie Rushton, he was the servant to "The Thing Upstairs" which boomed orders that always gave me guaranteed heebies jeebies.
Add scuttling creatures with countless legs, slithering worms, loose eyeballs and Boni the talking skull with no body and The Trap Door was one of the most memorable comic horrors.
But Berk cut through the shivers with his loveable English accent and his inability to keep the monsters lurking beneath the floor where they belonged.
The claymation-style, stop motion series originated in the UK in the mid 1980s. Its suitably-named co-creator, Terry Brain, also worked on Wallace and Gromit and Shaun the Sheep.
THE ANIMALS OF FARTHING WOOD
If you want to traumatise your kids while also teaching them an important lesson about the impact humans have on nature, then look no further than The Animals of Farthing Wood.
This early '90s cartoon follows a group of woodland creatures who set out to find a new home after their forest was destroyed by humans.
But if you thought this would be a cute adventure where a group of unlikely pals defeat all the odds then you would be WRONG.
So many cute cartoon animals die in this show that it's like watching Bambi's mum get killed over and over again but in increasingly violent and disturbing ways.
There is one episode where a group of sweet baby field mice get impaled on thorns and their bloodied bodies are discovered by the rabbit who helped raise them.
In just 39 episodes there are more than 13 gory deaths and lucky for you someone has made a compilation video featuring all of them.
THE ORIENTAL NIGHTFISH
When I was a kid, a friend loaned me a Rupert the Bear VHS, which confusingly featured a sex scene, a screaming woman, and I could make no sense of at the time.
The Oriental Nightfish, credited to Linda McCartney, was tacked on to the end of a Frog Song special Paul McCartney had written, and for an adult, it's a wonderful piece of psychedelic cinema. But it's decidedly scary, vaguely sexual and very adult.
The main character spends almost all of the video naked and in artistic profile so you can't see her nipples as she dodges psychedelic monsters, and then flies into another plane of existence.
Mrs McCartney's little foray into children's programming was clearly so disturbing for so many little kids it has its own Facebook Group. "'Oriental Nightfish' Haunted My Childhood" boasts over 300 members.
You can watch the video below, but warning, its for adults only.
GRIZZLY TALES FOR GRUESOME KIDS
Unlike many of the other shows in this list, the title Grizzly Tales for Gruesome Kids kind of lets you know what you are in for.
Does it make it any less terrifying? No, but at least the creators are upfront about the emotional scarring they are about to inflict on you.
It's based on a popular book series by British author James Rix, with each episode featuring a different cautionary tale.
One episode that still haunts me was about a child who wouldn't go to sleep at bed time so a man snuck into his room and cut off his eyelids.
Remember H.R. Pufnstuf? The show with the three-minute long theme song.
It was the stuff of actual nightmares.
The storyline? Basically, a young boy named Jimmy and his best friend … a talking flute named Freddy … find a weird abandoned boat that creepily sings "come and play with me Jimmy". Jimmy doesn't understand stranger danger, hops on the boat without realising that it belongs to a witch named Witchiepoo (who has appeared in way too many of my nightmares) and it takes him to an island far, far away.
She tries to kidnap Jimmy and steal his magic flute, but luckily H.R PufnStuf, a weird life-size puppet- dragon-lizard-man comes to the rescue.'