These '90s Things Still Low-Key Terrify Us

Buena Vista Pictures

If I've said it once, we've said it a hundred times — the '90s were a great time to grow up. From Pogs to platform sneakers, those of us who spent our youths during the era kind of had it all. However, as with all good things, there are a few caveats — and for our generation, that translates into the scary things from the '90s that are still low-key terrifying to us as adults. We don't freak out at the very mention of these things anymore, but it's safe to say that to this very day, they send a little shiver up our spine when we linger on the thought of them for too long.

To be clear, there were plenty of truly scary things in the '90s that we've either grown out of fearing or are still high-key terrified of now. As for which side of the spectrum you fall on, well, that's all a matter of personal perspective. I personally have never recovered from the fear of clowns instilled in me by watching Stephen King's It at a far too tender age. However, another '90s kid might look at Pennywise and just see a comically over-hyped villain. You say tomato, I say to-mah-to, ya dig?

While that's essentially the same case when it comes to the scary throwbacks that still low-key terrify us today, it's probably safe to say most '90s kids can come to a consensus that the following things kind of creep us out.


Bloody Mary . . . Candy Man . . . you'll never catch me in a bathroom with a mirror without the lights on.

Spider Infestations

Those gosh darn spiders in Arachnophobia just had to infest the wine cellar, didn't they? Is nothing sacred?


We'd all be lying if we said The Blair Witch Project or Jason Voorhees didn't pop into our heads at least once during every camping trip.

The X-Files Theme Song

Real talk: Listening to this haunting melody even now kinda-sorta makes me want to hide under the bed. Speaking of . . . .

Under the Bed

If Gage slicin' ankles from under the bed in Pet Sematary didn't make me super-paranoid about the space beneath where I sleep, then Mischa Barton in The Sixth Sense surely did the trick.

Swimming in the Ocean

Although the Jaws franchise hit theaters long before the '90s (the first installment in the franchise was released in 1975), it had reached cult status by the time we were coming of age. And you know what that means — we felt compelled to watch it behind our parents' back. The joke was on us, though, because even now we jump 15 feet if so much as a seashell touches our foot while we're swimming in the ocean.

Drainage Ditches

If there's even the most remote possibility that man-sized Mimic insects, Sil of Species, or Pennywise trolls the sewers in real life, I'll steer clear of all drainage openings forever, thank you very much.


While logically I know the furnace isn't going to eat me if I go into the basement, the fact that it's such an inherently cold and creepy space makes me feel like Kevin McCallister every time I walk into one.

Chain Letters

The fact that you're still alive and well after all these years should be a major clue that chain letters are hogwash, yet you still feel obligated to pass them along sometimes in lieu of risking lifelong loneliness or, you know, death.

Ventriloquist Dummies

The fact that Slappy the Dummy from Goosebumps was so very unsettling has not been helped over the past two decades by a slew of similarly scary dummy/doll movies like Annabelle and Dead Silence.