Why did they bother making horror films in the '90s? Nothing Stephen King or Wes Craven could have ever imagined would have been able to compete with the terrifying freaks that lurked on kids TV shows.
Seriously, we'd rather spend an hour with the masked serial killer from Scream over Zippy from Rainbow any day of the week. And he isn't the only throwback that still sends shivers up our spines.
We apologise in advance if you'd managed to block out any of these traumatic memories, but here we go. Read on if you dare.
1. Sybil Melanie Sludge (The Spooks of Bottle Bay)
Overall, we rated CITV. But what was this monstrosity about? Sybil freaked the hell out of children everywhere whenever The Spooks of Bottle Bay came on. In fact, we're still not entirely comfortable talking about her.
She was always sat in that filthy apartment, conjuring up evil plans to rob the local ghosts (as you do). Nasty piece of work.
2. Zig and Zag (The Big Breakfast)
Now, we know you shouldn't judge anyone based on their appearance but come on, Zig and Zag were sketchy. They were supposed to be friendly, furry aliens from the planet Zog, but there was something very unsettling about these two. Probably the fact that they always looked like they'd just downed 20 cans of Red Bull.
3. Demon Headmaster (The Demon Headmaster)
This guy was unbelievably creepy – and not just in hindsight. He was in our nightmares back in the '90s too. The idea of an evil headteacher wanting to take over the world via hypnosis just seemed too realistic. Seriously, even if we saw actor Terrence Hardiman walking down the street today, we'd still be too scared to look him in the eye.
4. Mr Blobby (Noel's House Party)
Probably the biggest freak to appear on TV to date. What was Mr Blobby supposed to be? An overweight pink alien covered in yellow polkadots who never had the intelligence to say anything other than "Blobby, Blobby, Blobby"?
Not only was he horrid to look at, he was also just a nuisance. Every week, he'd somehow manage to trash the set of Noel's House Party – what a liability. We're not surprised his theme parks didn't work out.
5. Zippy (Rainbow)
Zippy had a habit of making us feel a little nervous. Not just because he was disturbing to look at, but he was a confrontational character, too. His mates Bungle and George were absolute weirdos as well but we couldn't help feeling sorry for them, being stuck hanging out with hot-headed Zippy 24/7.
Nobody was ever sure what that beast was capable of. His creepy voice still makes the hairs on the back of our necks stand up.
6. The Dark Knight (The Incredible Games)
In the '90s, every kid wanted to take part in The Incredible Games. But the one thing that stopped us applying was the Dark Knight. He was terrifying.
As if it weren't bad enough that he looked like the brother of Darth Vader, the only way he could communicate was by growling. But what frightened us most is that he used to literally make contestants disappear into thin air. Does anyone know what happened to his victims? So sad.
7. The Sun Baby (Teletubbies)
This was probably supposed to be cute. But looking back, it wasn't. In fact, the Sun Baby was anything but adorable – it was just weird. The poor tot looked like one of those kids you used to hear about that drank so much Sunny D they'd turned orange. Poor thing.
8. Slappy the Dummy (Goosebumps)
RL Stine conjured up Slappy to terrify kids – talk about mission accomplished! This creepy fella became one of the most popular villains in the Goosebumps series and was such a hit that he appeared in the intro of the TV show and was chief villain of the movie.
Back then, kids could buy Slappy dolls from their local toy shops. We're not sure why as the creepy things could have given Chucky a run for his money. Why would anyone want that in their home?
9. Phoebe (Wizadora)
We used to love Wizadora, actually, we adored her (she's the one that can brighten up our day, etc). But as for her talking telephone, Phoebe? No.
Every time Wizadora picked up the handset to take a call, it was like she was scalping Phoebe's head! And why did she have arms? This concept would have been too surreal even for Dali.
10. Green Vampire (Are you Afraid of the Dark?)
Are You Afraid of the Dark? was a Nickelodeon classic. And one character we've never been able to forget is this green vampire from the episode 'The Tale of the Night Shift'. We never knew his name, just that he lived in a basement and turned people into zombies (which is an odd thing for a vampire to do but never mind). Although the plot didn't necessarily make the most sense, the blood-sucker was terrifying. Just look at him!
11. Max (The Tweenies)
The Tweenies were weird enough already. But in one of the show's earlier episodes, Max appeared to dress up as Jimmy Savile. Fair enough, they weren't to know, but when a repeat of it was aired in 2013, the BBC received 216 complaints and were forced to apologise.
12. Grotbags (Grotbags/Emu's World)
This is the stuff nightmares are made of: an evil green witch surrounded by terrifying puppets. Who thought this would be work as a kids TV show? (Well, it did work, but even so.)
Grotbags was terrifying and looked like she probably ate children in her spare time. Today's youngsters have no idea how they lucky they are not to have this in their lives.
13. Count to Ten with Nobody (Sesame Street)
If you had trouble learning how to count, this clip from Sesame Street would have scared you into mastering numbers at the speed of light just so you didn't have to watch it again.
The creepy segment was called Count to Ten with Nobody. We're so glad they ditched this freak and brought in The Count instead.
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