Nostalgic Nightmares: Remembering Childhood Fears of the 1970s

By Sophia Maddox | March 15, 2024


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!

test article image
(getty images)

Escalators, those functional marvels of modern transportation, oddly became a source of fear in the 1970s. The reason? Well, it all started with a few highly publicized accidents. News reports and sensationalist media stories highlighted instances of escalator mishaps, often involving children getting their clothing or body parts trapped in the moving steps. These incidents sparked widespread anxiety about the safety of these everyday contraptions. As a result, people began to view escalators as potential deathtraps, leading to a collective escalaphobia. This fear prompted calls for improved safety regulations and better maintenance practices, eventually leading to design improvements and safety measures. So, in the '70s, escalators went from being a convenient way to get from one floor to another to a source of anxiety and caution, reminding us all to watch our step.

Stranger Danger

test article image

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.