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9 Unintentionally Scary Children’s Movies That’ll Give You Nightmares

Every October, a shiver runs up my spine. Not because I am having a paralytic response to the amount of artificial pumpkin flavoring I’ve been cramming into my body, but rather because of the inevitable deluge of horror movies and spooky videos coming my way. When it comes to horror, I am what most doctors refer to as “a huge coward” and “unreasonably frightened for a grown man.” But despite my best efforts, filmmakers sometimes manage to slip one past me in deceptively non-scary packaging. Never was this more of an issue than in the film-watching days of my youth.

Back in the day, children’s movies were downright terrifying. Sure, the marketing team would tell you that they weren’t intended to scare the bejesus out of unsuspecting youth. But there were countless films that left the kids of the world traumatized, spooked, and unsettled. It’s a topic I covered once before on The Dan Cave a few years ago, but there were too many more additions to this list to count. So on today’s episode we’re celebrating nine more of the most unintentionally terrifying children’s movies ever made.

What is your favorite unintentionally scary kids’ movie? Let us know in the comments below.

For a wealth of purposefully spooky stories, videos, and articles, make sure to check out our Nerdoween archives. We’ll be adding even more terror-tinged delights all month long throughout October, so get a head start on it now!

Image: Disney

Sources: Hitfix, io9, Independent

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Dan Casey is the senior editor of Nerdist and the author of books about Star Wars and the Avengers. Follow him on Twitter and ask him about all things anime (@Osteoferocious).

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