Nostalgic Nightmares: Remembering Childhood Fears of the 1970s

By Sophia Maddox | March 8, 2024

Having Your Plane Hijacked

Ladies and gentlemen, step into our time machine, because we're taking a groovy journey back to the 1970s, a decade filled with bell bottoms, disco fever, and some downright peculiar fears! Join us as we uncover the quirkiest, spookiest, and downright bizarre things that sent shivers down the spines of people in the '70s.

From the infamous Red M&Ms that mysteriously vanished to the hair-raising tales of devilish encounters and flammable Halloween costumes, this collection of retro fears will have you chuckling and reminiscing about the good old days. So, what are you waiting for? Keep reading, and let's explore the fascinating anxieties of the 1970s!

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The 1970s may as well have been a parallel universe era as opposed to a different decade when it comes to air travel. There was absolutely zero airport security until 1972, a far cry from today's rigorous checks. Back then, airport workers simply checked your bags, and that was it. To put things in perspective, between 1958 and 1967, there were only 48 hijackings (which is still a lot!). From 1968 to 1977 the numbers skyrocketed to a staggering 414 hijackings. There were moments when not one, not two, but four planes were hijacked simultaneously!

Boarding a plane in the '70s meant there was a real chance you'd end up on a Soviet island or held hostage for an unforeseeable amount of time. It was a time when setting concrete plans after a flight was a risky proposition.

Stranger Danger

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Stranger danger, a term that became a buzzword in the 1970s, left people wary of those they didn't know. So, why did the '70s see this surge in apprehension towards strangers? Well, it was a time when various high-profile cases of child abductions and crimes against children were making headlines. Stories like the disappearance of Etan Patz and the crimes of serial killers like John Wayne Gacy and Ted Bundy created an atmosphere of fear and suspicion.

Parents, in particular, were urged to educate their children about the dangers of talking to strangers and to take extra precautions to keep them safe. This collective anxiety gave rise to public service announcements, educational programs, and a cultural shift towards caution when it came to interacting with unfamiliar faces.