The one where I’m not at all nostalgic about 70s kids’ TV…

A while ago, me and David started looking up old kids’ TV shows on YouTube and we were flabbergasted by how disturbing some of them were. These were shows like Animal Kwackers and Pipkins for younger viewers. Earlier today, my friend Clodagh Murphy (Happy Birthday, Clodagh!) mentioned Worzel Gummidge. I remember absolutely loving Worzel Gummidge, so I looked it up on YouTube and… it’s bloody terrifying. Scroll to 2:30 and then keep watching for as long as you can bear it (probably not long). It’s like a horror film!


Once I’d spooked myself with that, I looked up Lizzie Dripping, which I don’t remember anything about apart from a really terrifying witch. This witch.

Eep. I just remember her sitting up a tree and cackling.

I then remembered The Ghosts of Motley Hall. I have one image of that show and that’s of a woman in a long white dress swinging high on a swing. I’ve always thought it was Fenella Fielding, but now I’ve looked it up, turns out it was Sheila Steafel (at list I remembered the alliteration). I found a clip. I can’t believe I watched this when I was under 10.

What kids’ TV shows scared you as a child?


11 thoughts on “The one where I’m not at all nostalgic about 70s kids’ TV…

  1. We were made of stronger stuff as kids. Animal Kwackers is horrific but I loved it and I could only have just started school! Do you remember ‘The Changes’? That was terrifying. toasters going nuts and horrible music and noises. Left me scared of Pylons for ever, that did. Even the theme music scared me.

    The scariest thing was the plughole noise at the end of Dr Who though. And the noise the monster made in the Scooby Doo theme tune when it went, “Whoooaaaahhhhhh”. Now *that* scared the crap out of me *blush*

  2. The Adventure Game on (I think) BBC2 left me with a horrible feeling that my whole family were aliens that used to turn into their natural form when I left the room. Have you seen the titles for The Tomorrow People lately? Spooky!

    But I loved The Ghosts of Motley Hall and Rentghost.

  3. Worzel Gummidge has always terrified me. The idea that he was ever Doctor Who baffled me completely and for years I wouldnt watch Jon Pertwee’s episodes because of that CASE OF REMOVABLE HEADS and the UNSETTLING LISPY VOICE. (I am over that now. Pertwee’s ace. Worzel remains horrific.)

    Rentaghost scared me too. Timothy Claypole: stuff of nightmares.

  4. I only knew Jon Pertwee as Worzel and so I have never been able to take him seriously as the Doctor…

    I remember being absolutely terrified of an evil Jack O’Lantern that used to hop around the town on a stick in a Hallowe’en episode of Words and Pictures or something similar…

  5. There was an adaptation of an E Nesbit some time in the late 70s or early 80s, I think it was The Enchanted Castle and the kids kept getting stuck inside stone dinosaurs in the middle of the night, and that was creepy enough, but there was also a scene where they went to a public meeting and they just saw all the backs of all the people, and then the people all suddenly got up to leave and they all had no faces, just sack cloth faces.

    Worzel Gummidge’s other heads were scary at the time, but yes, now it’s indistinguishable from late Hammer set in weird rural villages.

  6. I watched Worzel Gummidge at my grandparents’ in the day, and don’t remember being scared by it, but I probably was. I mean, removable heads!! I was scared of most things, not least that green witch (what *was* that programme?!) and Roald Dahl’s The Witches, which creeped me out for years. I was highly suggestible. (The whole of Scooby Doo scared me, Sarah). The most stupid thing that terrified me was The Two Ronnies – both The Phantom Raspberry Blower and The Worm That Turned. I had to hide behind the sofa, while my parents laughed at me. *Sigh*

    1. Thank you Diane – the ‘hiding behind the sofa while your family mock you’ comment there has just reminded me that Mick Hucknall had the same effect on me. That first TOTP performance in the flat cap? Petrifying.

      Hiding from The Worm That Turned: the only logical response.

      1. Haha! Hiding from Mick is totally understandable. 🙂 TOTP could be scary.
        My mum’s friend is in her early 40s and when she saw Brotherhood of Man sing “save all your kisses for me” she thought they were singing specifically to her and hid, crying. And I’ve just remembered the music video for Reet Petite (which was re-released in the ’80s and on TV all the time) scared me, because it was claymation (inherently a bit creepy) and the man rolled his head down his arm and back. *shudder*

  7. Nobody else ever seems to remember this but I *loved* (to the point of distraction) to be scared by ‘Timeslip’ – where two children go under a wire fence at some Ministry establishment and end up someplace else in Time… I love time travel, me. Worzel used to creep me out but I couldn’t stop watching. Catweazel had much the same effect (weird, hairy, grubby blokes).

  8. I LOVED Worzel, and spent many a happy half hour trying very hard to remove my own head using the door of the sitting room (known at the time as the ‘front room’ of course). It remained stubbornly attached though.

    I WAS utterly terrified of Larry the Lamb in Toytown – go to 1:30. His voice. *shiver*

    And also remember demanding to go to bed half way through Pinocchio – was desperately frightened. Was it foxes or rats who way lay him when he’s skipping off school? No idea – was too frightened to stay to find out.

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