Fearful Factors

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When I was a kid, going to the museum was a lot like going to a Gothic themed haunted house on Halloween.

They were absolutely terrifying!

I distinctly remember the real shrunken head on pikes with the eyes and lips sewn shut. The samurai warrior helmet and armor that looked like they were going to leap straight out of hell and take me down at any moment. There was trephining exhibit where a poor man was held down by village shamans whilst they hacked a hole in his skull. Or the rows and rows of mummies, some with wrappings peeled back to show off the head or hands…

All of this fear was fantastic! It kept me from wandering off from my mother AND it got me excited about history and medicine.

These “child friendly” museums around now? Drivel.

I grieve for the next generation. So many of the fun museums I visited growing up now have those nightmare inciting exhibits squirreled away in storage or sold off or given away to be replaced with touch galleries and fluff.

Want to let me touch a shrunken head? Awesome. If you are instead going to *let* me touch a fake dinosaur bone, go screw yourself.

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58 thoughts on “Fearful Factors

  1. I think there is just way too much censorship and caution for children. I am not looking forward to my kids starting school and realizing how much they aren’t allowed to do or see or learn about these days ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When I was a kid — many, many years ago — there was in Washington, DC the Walter Reed Army Medical Museum near the National Mall. My buddies and I would either hitch a ride with one of the dads who would commute into the city (we lived in the ‘burbs) or we’d take a bus and spend the day there. It was a true house of horrors and our favorite exhibits where those that seemed the most macabre. We would go there to scare the hell out of each other. The most often heard expression from any of us was “eww, gross.” I am not sure if it still exists, but I thought remember seeing some stories about how it was moved to the campus of Walter Reed hospital and, later, to the campus of Bethesda Naval Hospital. But I may be wrong.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. My absolutely favorite childhood memories center around spending the night with my cousin. Why? Because his father would come “tuck us in” and stay to tell a monster story he’d make up on the spot. It’s one of the reasons I became a writer, in fact.

    I think maybe childhood “terrors” is a little like dirt — every kid needs to be introduced to some in order to get inoculated…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Too funny and true! Entertainment. Entertained. Entertaining. Really? Every place, all the time? Children want, need to be entertained? It all turns into one giant mush of entertainment. Children…people need variety, substance, real experiences. Even if it at times it’s a little terrifying ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  5. Hear, hear!
    I agree with you, everything is too ‘warm and fuzzy’ now.
    I remember things being much more exciting and intriguing because there was that ‘fear factor.’ Now everything is about coddle, coddle, coddle. Bah! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Best wishes,
    Takami

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I enjoyed Ripleys too. The best learning was growing up around a small farm. There was always some animal to harass or some dead thing to poke with a stick. Museums today are in a competition to impress the adults and I feel like they bypass the interesting zone for the kids.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Fake dinosaur bones…HaHa. Blame it on this idea that everyone is “special,” and in need of coddling.

    I read about certain cities in the US now removing scoreboards at the games, because scores are damaging to children. They now give out gold stars to all students, when gold stars should be given for exceptional work. By the time we have children, it will be illegal to earn an A in class, because everyone must have the same grade…remember, we are all special. Such a shame.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ll never forget climbing through the narrow passageways of giant beating heart on a 4th grade field trip. I was going to a school near Philadelphia in the 60s, so it was probably a museum in Philly? It was a little scary and mostly fascinating, but I guess some kids might freak out if they were claustrophobic. I love the photo with this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great post. And some great comments as well – tell me it isn’t so! They cleaned up Grimm’s tales? Oh no! Good grief. I devoured them when I was nine years old. I also read the murderous and lustful tales of the Greco Roman and Norse gods and goddesses as a kid.

    I managed to survive.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve mentioned before that I was practically raised on a carnival. Our saddest days were when the government, in their infinite wisdom, stepped in and banned the freak shows, thereby putting a whole lot of my very best friends out of extremely high-paying work, and consigning them to wither the rest of their days away in relative poverty, or worse.

    Liked by 1 person

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