15 Unintentionally Scary Characters for Children

Here you see a perfectly nice, smiling king. Me? I see a serial killer plotting my death.

I don’t know if it’s his dead gaze, his shiny plastic curls or his freakishly straight, white teeth, all I do know is he is the stuff of nightmares.

In fact, give me Ronald McDonald any day and I just don’t do clowns, people.

I’m also not really fond of the Pillsbury Dough Thing or the Downy Snuggle Monster. Both are probably planning to kill me as I type this. They look and sound cute, but I suspect they most likely have brute strength and can tilt their heads back until several rows of sharp teeth appear in their gaping maws. I am not fooled by the adorable laughs, guys, not fooled at all.

The king, the bear and the dough boy are all examples of perfectly benign characters that scare the spit out of my mouth. It got me to wondering about all those characters created especially for kids that seem to be employed by the Devil himself.

I find that the cheerier a character is, the more joviality is forced upon you, the more frightening the character. That’s why clowns are so horrifying. What’s going on there behind the raucous laughter and the painted on smile, sad boy? Still, the grouchy characters can inspire fear as well although I tend to not be as frightened by the grumps as much as the insanely happy characters.

And then there are the Teletubbies, in a class all their own. Not happy, not sad, more like the walking dead. Tell me, do you agree with the fifteen unintentionally scary characters for children below? Did I miss someone?

  • Teletubbies 1 of 14
    If anything on this whole planet epitomizes evil completely and entirely it is the Teletubbies. They were sent from another planet to hypnotize us and ultimately break down our morale. It's working.
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  • Sun Baby 2 of 14
    Sun Baby
    If the Teletubbies haunt your nightmares the sun baby can sour the brightest days. Seriously. I'm pretty sure the devil himself appears at 20 seconds into this video.
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  • Pink Elephants On Parade 3 of 14
    Pink Elephants On Parade
    The ultimate PSA against drinking alcohol. If this is what happens, count me out! If the dead-eyed dancing elephants during the Pink Elephants on Parade sequence in Dumbo didn't end in you changing your Batman or Barbie underwear than you are made of stronger stuff than I. The only other scene in cinematic history that rivals this scared straight acid trip is Willy Wonka's boat ride in the chocolate river.
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  • Swiper The Fox 4 of 14
    Swiper The Fox
    If you don't believe me that Swiper is evil, just listen to Professor Dennis Quinn over at PopMatters who elaborates that he believes chanting "Swiper no swiping!" three times is not unlike an incantation repeated to ward off evil spirits. "He is an archetypal image of the diabolical fox-spirit in the history of religions. The words to ward him off are similar in pattern to spells or exorcistic formulae used to ward off evil spirits throughout history. And not only may children be learning how best to deal with the demonic, but they're doing so in a very sophisticated way. For Dora does not completely cast out her demon, but rather allows for its redemption." I don't know about all that, but I do know that my Henry is pretty ambivalent about Swiper. Me? I think he's wearing those gloves so he doesn't leave DNA on your dead body.
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  • Bozo The Clown 5 of 14
    Bozo The Clown
    I got a little grief for including Bozo on 25 Scariest Characters from Your Childhood but I stand firm. He is clearly a wolf in sheep's clothing.
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  • Ronald McDonald 6 of 14
    Ronald McDonald
    This joker is yet another sad clown that needs to be put out of his misery. What's so fun about a grown man wearing a bad wig, black eye make-up and way too much red lipstick? Unless that grown man is RuPaul, I ain't interested.
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  • Willy Wonka (Both of ‘Em) 7 of 14
    Willy Wonka (Both of 'Em)
    People were also outraged that I dared call Willy Wonka terrifying. Are you kidding me? Maybe he's not intentionally scary but he's clearly a child-hating sadist who's popped one too many acid tabs. Don't agree? Turn your back on this guy and it's your ass. If you want to die by some freak candy accident that's on you man, that's on you.
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  • Oompa Loompas 8 of 14
    Oompa Loompas
    And don't get me started on these guys. Let's just say I'm no fan of anyone whose skin tone Donald Trump and John Boehner are shooting for.
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  • E.T. 9 of 14
    Okay, maybe after you watched the movie a million times and had it drilled into your brain that he was a good guy you might've been okay with him... But, come on. The dying scene? I was perched on the end table watching the movie through grandma's afghan and it wasn't because I was afraid of him dying.
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  • Oscar The Grouch 10 of 14
    Oscar The Grouch
    Much like your grandfather, Oscar is grumpy and hairy and mad at everyone. Problem is, just like your grandpa, sometimes Oscar can go a little overboard with the antics and leave you crying for mommy.
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  • Santa Claus 11 of 14
    Santa Claus
    He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake. It's a wonder more kids aren't terrified of this giant, magic man who is stalking them throughout life.
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  • Easter Bunny 12 of 14
    Easter Bunny
    An enormous rabbit prowling around your house at night leaving subpar candy? Get outta here!
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  • Giant Gorgs 13 of 14
    Giant Gorgs
    It's not uncommon for folks to be freaked by Fraggles yet it wasn't the Fraggles that got me so much as the Gorgs. I mean, whoah. That's a lotta muppet. Too much muppet for me.
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  • Statler and Waldorf 14 of 14
    Statler and Waldorf
    Muppets are creepy. Don't think so? Ever seen The Dark Crystal? Terrifying. When I was younger it was Statler and Waldorf that rattled my nerves in much the same way that Oscar The Grouch did. It was like they would jump through the TV at any moment an yell at me to clean my room.
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Article Posted 4 years Ago

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