20 Things That Terrified Kids In The 1960s

By Sophia Maddox | January 29, 2024


As the 1960s unfolded, life transitioned from black and white to a myriad of shades of gray, introducing a new era of uncertainty and complexity. In this gallery, we explore some of the things that terrified young people during this transformative period. From the looming specter of World War III and the eerie tales of mummies to the heart-pounding fear of quicksand and the rebellious allure of rock 'n' roll, we delve into the fears that shaped the imaginations of youth in the 1960s. Join us on this journey through the fears of a bygone era and discover how they reflect the evolving landscape of a generation.

Let's step back in time and explore the fears that once haunted the hearts of young people in the 1960s. Continue reading to uncover the stories behind these fears and the unique experiences that defined this tumultuous decade.

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In the 1960s, the fear of quicksand among children was largely fueled by Hollywood's portrayal of this natural phenomenon. Quicksand became a recurring element in movies of that era, appearing in nearly 3% of all films made during that time. This trend gained momentum in 1960, with notable instances of quicksand featured in popular films like Disney's "Swiss Family Robinson" and the sci-fi production "12 to the Moon." However, the most iconic quicksand moment in cinematic history occurred in the 1962 epic "Lawrence of Arabia." Directed by David Lean and acclaimed as one of the greatest films ever made, this movie, which won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, included a scene where a major character meets his demise after being drawn into a vortex of quicksand. As a result, children of the 1960s often found themselves contemplating elaborate escape plans in case they ever encountered this perceived "death pit" while out on everyday adventures.

The Draft

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During the 1960s, the fear of the draft weighed heavily on many American children, even those who were not of the age to be eligible for military service. This apprehension was largely fueled by the ongoing Vietnam War and the possibility that as they grew older, they might face conscription into the armed forces. The draft was a constant presence in the news, and with the conflict escalating, young people were acutely aware of the consequences of reaching draft-eligible age. The fear of being drafted into a highly controversial and deadly war created a pervasive sense of uncertainty and anxiety among children, as they grappled with the unsettling idea that their future might include military service and the potential dangers it entailed.