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14 Books That Traumatized You As A Kid


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#1    Child of Bast

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 03:26 PM

Meh. I don't think 'Flowers in the Attic' is a children's book, exactly. I didn't understand what 'The Lorax' is really about til I saw the movie, which I think happens a lot. I read 'Where the Red Fern Grows' and yes it was sad, but not traumatizing. Also read 'Charlotte's Web' and found it sad, but not traumatizing. Perhaps because I was a teen when I finally read it.
  • Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
  • Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
  • The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
  • Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews
  • Goosebumps: Night of the Living Dummy by R. L. Stine
  • Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
  • The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
  • Call of the Wild by Jack London
  • The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
  • The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  • Outside Over There by Maurice Sendak
  • “The Green Ribbon” from In a Dark, Dark Room by Alvin Schwartz
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
The link has the reasons why each book is traumatizing.

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#2    Harte

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 03:40 PM

The Haunting of Hill House. Shirley Jackson

Turned my hair white.

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#3    BiffSplitkins

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 03:56 PM

Not a book; but a short story for me. It didn't really traumatize me but it left a very lasting impression.

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Edited by BiffSplitkins, 08 October 2013 - 03:56 PM.

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#4    Beany

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 04:20 PM

I had a traumatizing childhood. Books were the least of my problems. I still say to this day I was parented by Louisa May Alcott and her Under the Lilacs series.


#5    Purplos

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 05:00 PM

From the books I know on that list, I can only imagine "The Lord of the Flies" and "Flowers in the Attic" to be potentially traumatizing for immature children, or ones who read them at too young an age.  I read Flowers when I was 12. My best friend had an older sister who liked such sordid things. It was my first exposure to graphic sex. I remember being a bit taken aback by it, but traumatized is way over the top.

Children, as a whole, need to be more exposed to the gritty reality of life - not the media version of it - but the fact that things die, and people lose touch with reality sometimes, and stuff goes wrong and sadness. And they have to be taught that its not traumatizing. Parents who seek to ban books like this and wail and yell against their precious snowflakes reading about kids killing a pig or parents who lock their kids up for years are part of the problem

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#6    Kowalski

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 07:53 PM

View PostChild of Bast, on 08 October 2013 - 03:26 PM, said:

Meh. I don't think 'Flowers in the Attic' is a children's book, exactly. I didn't understand what 'The Lorax' is really about til I saw the movie, which I think happens a lot. I read 'Where the Red Fern Grows' and yes it was sad, but not traumatizing. Also read 'Charlotte's Web' and found it sad, but not traumatizing. Perhaps because I was a teen when I finally read it.
  • Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz


  • Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White


  • The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes


  • Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews


  • Goosebumps: Night of the Living Dummy by R. L. Stine


  • Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls


  • The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams


  • Call of the Wild by Jack London


  • The Lorax by Dr. Seuss


  • The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein


  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding


  • Outside Over There by Maurice Sendak


  • “The Green Ribbon” from In a Dark, Dark Room by Alvin Schwartz


  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
The link has the reasons why each book is traumatizing.


Oh, I always liked those Alvin Schwartz books....the illustrations were a bit creepy and weird, but hardly traumatizing.....
I read them and didn't turn out severly emotionally disturbed or anything... ;)

Edited by Burt Gummer, 08 October 2013 - 07:57 PM.


#7    beelzebufo

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 11:12 PM

You forgot Watership Down.

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#8    Drayno

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 11:36 PM

Holes by Louis Sacher.

Who wants to dig holes all day? :(

Edited by Hatake Kakashi, 08 October 2013 - 11:37 PM.

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#9    MissMelsWell

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 02:20 AM

Hmmmm, I had to think about this one. I was reading adult literature at a pretty young age... and I was pretty sensitive as well but I typically didn't read horror stories because the few I did read, freaked me out.
  • Pet Cemetery Stephen King (Easily freaked out remember)
  • Where the Red Fern Grows was officially the only book to ever make me cry. My 4th grade teacher read this to us aloud over the course of a year. By the end of the book, she had 27 fourth graders in tears for a whole day. LOL.
  • The Velveteen Rabbit was totally creepy for some reason.
  • The Secret Garden was one of those love/hate books. It starts off sad, scary and creepy, but turns out awesome in the end. haha.
  • Anything Edgar Alan Poe freaked me out. I had nightmares about the Telltale Heart. My 5th grade teacher assigned it to us to read and I did, then had nightmares and my mother called my teacher and read her the riot act. LOL.
  • I remember being in 4th or 5th grade and my mother giving me a book called Lovey to read. It wasn't scary by any means, but it was sad. It was non-fiction about a little girl who'd been horribly abused and the psychologist who treated her for years wrote it as a case study I guess. I remember being horrified that any child could be treated that badly, the thought never crossed my mind that anyone would be treated that way.
  • Sleepy Hollow freaked me out and gave me nightmares.
  • I REALLY didn't like the fairy tale Hansel and Gretel either. LOL.
  • Alice in Wonderland freaked me out.
I was clearly a child that couldn't take much. Mostly, my folks didn't let me read much that was frightening knowing it would keep me up at night. To this day, I STILL won't watch horror flicks really.

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#10    spacecowboy342

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 02:25 AM

Diary of Anne Frank


#11    Donnie Darko

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 02:25 AM

Night of The Living Dummy was good! It did traumatize me for a good while though


#12    seaturtlehorsesnake

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 06:12 AM

odd list, but that's buzzfeed for you.

if i were to add some of my own, there was "sadako and the thousand paper cranes"; that book that was a collection of diaries from hiroshima; another young adult book that was about three mile island... it's no wonder i was terrified of sirens when i was a kid. that and the fact that i read "night of the twisters" around that time. hey, there's another one!

not that they were bad books to read, mind you. but they did give me a lot of fear that i probably didn't need at the time.


#13    Michelle

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 01:00 PM

Until I read The Shining when I was twelve nothing freaked me out. It took the entire weekend to read and I was home alone until 3 AM both nights because my mom owned a bar. After the part where the lady ghost was in the bathtub I had to open the sliding shower door with a broomstick before I could go to the bathroom. :lol:

I started reading Alfred Hitchcock books when I was in second grade, then quickly progressed to Edgar Allen Poe and on to Stephen King in 1974 with Carrie.


#14    spacecowboy342

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 09:28 PM

View PostMichelle, on 09 October 2013 - 01:00 PM, said:

Until I read The Shining when I was twelve nothing freaked me out. It took the entire weekend to read and I was home alone until 3 AM both nights because my mom owned a bar. After the part where the lady ghost was in the bathtub I had to open the sliding shower door with a broomstick before I could go to the bathroom. :lol:

I started reading Alfred Hitchcock books when I was in second grade, then quickly progressed to Edgar Allen Poe and on to Stephen King in 1974 with Carrie.
Stephen King can do that to you. I read Pet Semetary as an adult and it freaked me out


#15    Sixth

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 10:57 PM

Tailypo. That's the only thing that scared me as a child. But it did genuinely traumatize me for a couple of weeks (I was in kindergarden - why would that be in a kindergardens' class?!).

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