Nostalgic Nightmare Fuel: The 7 Scariest Characters in Children’s Movies


Written by Patti Pauley

Label me if you wish as a “nostalgic horror blogger”, but goddammit if I doesn’t make me feel good to talk about the retro life and the memorable moments from our adolescence that has shaped us into the horror fans we are today. Also, I have an inkling some of you like to stroll down memory lane as well, and of course you do! The current shit show that surrounds us in today’s society can be overwhelming, exhausting, and downright depressing when you get right down to it. So if I can offer you an escape for just five minutes and offer you some feel-good fuzzies in the place of some breaking news or what not, I’m certainly happy to oblige. And today we’re going to look back at some of the coolest, and damn it, scariest characters in children’s movies.


To be concise and clear, the characters I will be talking about today don’t necessarily come from a horror film per se, but left a stamp of terror within a children’s film and filled enough fuel for nightmares for days in our fragile little minds. These characters were the G rated monsters of our childhoods and paved the way for our curiosity of the horror genre in itself leading to the discovery of such iconic horror paragons as Freddy Krueger and Michael Myers. So let’s take a stand back and salute these unsung heroes that could be considered the blazerunners to the beginning of a beautiful relationship with the genre we all love and cherish with seven, of what I think, are the scariest little fuckers from kid friendly films.



E.T. The Extra Terrestrial

ET- scariest characters from children movies

Laugh if you must, but in the case you are, YOU UNDERSTAND NOTHING AND HOW DID THIS NOT FREAK YOU OUT AS A KID?! Listen, I grew up on horror films. And while most just provided good ol’ entertainment for me and zero scares, hell I laughed at Freddy and Kincaid from Dream Warriors, E fuckin’ T gave me serious nightmares. And my dad, in perfect parenting win fashion knowing of my uneasiness with long-necked alien, preceded to put a poster of this little asshole right above my bed at the tender age of three. Such a dick move Dad. Tho, I’ll confess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and this is something I would 100% do to my own children.

Anyway, this piece of nightmare fuel, with his long bony fingers touching shit, elongating his neck like a little asshole, and his glowing red heart are the stuff of pure nightmares. Oh yeah, that little alien is a zombie. Lying there all white, ghostly, and ummm DEAD; and then springs to life mumbling some undead garbage about phones. GTFO.

Also, here’s ET re-cut as a horror trailer. Spot on actually. Spot on.



Large Marge- Pee Wee’s Big Adventure

scariest characters in children's movies

Yessir. It was the worst accident I’d ever seen. The mysterious trucker on the lonesome highway to The Alamo for Sir Wee of Pee had a very brief appearance in Herman’s first feature-length film, which also serves as the directorial debut for goth-fantasy master Tim Burton, left a huge impact in the cult classic. So much so, even if you haven’t seen the movie for some time, you at the very least, remember Large Marge. So that in itself, is quite impressive and shows what kind of mental effect this character had and continues to establish with every veiwing of this classic flick. The Claymation transformation displaying Marge’s true form is just as weird and terrifying as it was 30 years ago. So, if it’s been a hot minute since you dived into Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, tell ’em Large Marge sent yah and pop in that national treasure tonight!



The Grand High Witch- The Witches

scariest characters in children's movies

First off, when we first laid our eyes on Angelica Huston as the Grand High Witch, we were easily witnessing one of the most gorgeous creatures on this planet. Until she until she peeled off her face of course, then holy shit snacks..

Before she wooed the world as Morticia Addams, Huston had us second guessing that chocolate bar at the candy store as she absolutely slayed and for lack of a better term, enchanted us as the most evil women on the planet in The Witches. Clearly one of the most terrifying moments from the Roald Dahl  story on film, is the scene in the hotel conference room where all these damn women remove their wigs and gloves, giving way to wart-filled heads and hands; and of course the great reveal of the Grand High Witch, the Supreme Witch of them all. And oh man, did they give Huston the fugly treatment. She also spoke in a high-pitched yet, threatening tone that you couldn’t help but gain goosebumps from. Especially when she got SUPER PISSED at some dumb little witch who challenged her leader’s plan of action of wiping out the children of the world. And so this happened…

More nightmare fuel on the next page!


  1. I know it’s not a movie, but Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood. That one puppet with the red shirt(I think) and the super rosie red cheeks. I can’t think of it’s name, Wednesday maybe? But that little fucker is creepy as all hell. Chucky ain’t got shit on that little god damn monster! Haha


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