The First Scary Films We Were Ever Allowed To Watch

From what I understand, Labyrinth is a film classic. My friends rave about it, make references, and get jazzed up about commemorative film screenings. I'll have to take their word for it, because there is no way I am watching that shit again.

Here's why. My parents had a firm ban on films that contained "adult" content — picture kids being kicked out of the room during kissing scenes, and me and my friend Ashley hiding behind the couch to secretly record the audio from Dirty Dancing on a tape recorder. But my folks didn't seem terribly fazed by scary subject matters. And so it was that they rented Labyrinth, popped it into the VCR, and stood back as my 7-year-old self nearly passed out in terror about 10 minutes in. The premise of a baby going missing was simply too frightening for me to bear. I still get chills thinking about it, and my kid brother is 30.

Now, I understand that Labyrinth has puppets and weird David Bowie musical numbers, neither of which sound too terrifying. I just can't watch it for the same reason I can't watch E.T., which has only ever made me break into convulsive sobs or run hiding under the bed in fear, or both. For the record, I also haven't watched Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs since the time my mom's well-meaning friend had to carry my sobbing body from the theater; two years later, I stopped the ride at Disney World because the Evil Queen's image still traumatized me.

We may be able to watch Scream Queens now without running from the room screaming, but we R29'ers weren't always so chill. Click ahead to see the movies that terrified us as kids, gave us nightmares, and made us seriously question the judgment of our babysitters.

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Photo: Moviestore Collection/Rex/REX USA.
The Exorcist (1973)

Begging our babysitter to let us watch this seemed like a good idea at the time. Our parents couldn't figure out why we never went back to church.
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Photo: Moviestore Collection/Rex/REX USA.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

No offense, but we preferred aliens of the ALF variety.
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3 of 17
Photo: Snap Stills/Rex/Rex USA.
Friday the 13th (1980)

Did anyone else sleep in their parents' bed for a full month after seeing Jason pick off one horny teen after another? Asking for a friend, really.
4 of 17
Photo: Moviestore Collection/Rex/REX USA.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

We didn't mind E.T. so much, but the guys in the biohazard suits storming his house produced a year's worth of nightmares.
5 of 17
Photo: Moviestore Collection/Rex/REX USA.
"Thriller" (1982)

Et tu, Michael Jackson? Though not strictly a film, this classic music video had pint-sized MJ fans convinced our favorite pop star had turned into a ghoul...and a werewolf.
6 of 17
Photo: Moviestore Collection/Rex/REX USA.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

Was it the monkey brains or the dead guy hanging from a ceiling fan? Or the insects? Nope, it was probably the I-can-totally-pull-your-heart-out-with-one-hand bit.
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Photo: Snap/Rex/Rex USA.
Ghostbusters (1984)

And that, kids, is why we never stepped foot in a library again.
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Photo: Moviestore Collection/Rex/REX USA.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Still reeling from that Q-tip scene. In fact, we should probably be sending our therapy bills to Freddy Krueger.
9 of 17
Photo: Moviestore Collection/Rex/REX USA.
Gremlins (1984)

Gizmo was adorable and we still want him as a pet. His Gremlins brethren, however, were scary as hell. And they had us convinced the family cat was going to go kill us in our sleep.
10 of 17
Photo: Moviestore Collection/Rex/REX USA.
The Goonies (1985)

Hey, we loved The Goonies. Mama Fratelli, however, continues to freak us the hell out.
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Photo: Moviestore Collection/Rex/REX USA.
Labyrinth (1986)

This fantasy film totally played into our childhood fear that our baby brother would go missing.
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Photo: Moviestore Collection/Rex/REX USA.
Pet Sematary (1989)

To some, Miko Hughes is an adorable child actor who appeared in Kindergarten Cop. To us, he's a demonic tyke who should not be trusted with sharp objects.
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Photo: Moviestore Collection/Rex/REX USA.
It (1990)

Oh look, a movie about clowns! That'll be fun.
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Photo: Moviestore Collection/Rex/REX USA.
Jurassic Park (1993)

Samuel L. Jackson's severed arm. The kitchen scene. The vibrating water. The nightmares.
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Photo: Moviestore Collection/Rex/REX USA.
Outbreak (1995)

And thus began our lifelong affair with hand sanitizer.
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Photo: Moviestore Collection/Rex/REX USA.
Signs (2002)

Never mind the monster under the bed. There's a freaking alien on the roof!
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