Forgotten Children's TV Shows That Will Give You Nightmares

Children’s television shows used to walk a fine line between enchantingly adorable and unnervingly creepy.

There have been so many kids shows that have come and gone over the years that it’s hard to keep track of them all, but Mental Floss’s Ransom Riggs went down the YouTube rabbit hole and came back with a few shining examples, to remind us how creepy some kid's shows used to be:

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Maybe it had something to do with the strange (and typically low budget) critter costumes, or the slowed speech meant to keep the whole thing kid friendly, but the creepiness most definitely DID NOT have ANYTHING to do with the puppets!

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Okay, maybe it had a little bit to do with the puppets, because they usually weren't friendly looking Muppet style puppets- more often than not they looked like the stuff nightmares are made of.

And speaking of creepy puppets, there's one show missing from Ransom's list of creepy kid's TV shows, one puppet filled program that used to simultaneously fascinate and disturb me to the core as a youngster- The Letter People.

The animated sequences were delightfully folksy, and totally meant to appeal to a Flower Child's child, but there was something about those maniacally grinning puppets with the totally blank expressions that used to haunt me in my dreams!

(Video Link)

Are there any old kid's TV shows that used to creep you out as a kid? Let us know in the comment section and we'll compare notes!


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The first thing I noticed, even before the text, was the opening picture, and I said "That's the New Zoo Revue!". I watched it probably in the early 80s, when I was already a teenager, so I suspect I was older than the supposed target audience. Never really thought it being horrifying, just bizarre, which is probably why I liked it. I guess growing up on Sid and Marty Krofft shows gave me a bit of immunity...
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Oh, there is one on the air right now that really messes with me. It's called "LazyTown". Have you seen this? It's 3 real people (one being the villain, with creepy make-up and prosthetics of his own) interacting with puppets in this cartoon-y town. But the puppets have these weird dead eyes. It's super creepy, and I'm amazed it's been on as long as it has. https://www.lazytown.com/en_US/home
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