As a grownup, we can look back on the the stuff that used to scare us as a kid and laugh. It’s hard to believe, for example, that every week we allowed ourselves to be duped into thinking that the Evil Ghost that was about to send Scooby and Shaggy to their graves was anything other than some grumpy janitor with a bad case of gout. I like to think that I was made of sterner stuff than most of my friends. When I was a kid, there were only two things that scared me: the creepy “vampires” from the Chuck Heston sci-fi flick The Omega Man (“Neviiiiiiiile! Neviiiiiile!”), and the gentleman pictured here.

You’ll recognize him, of course, as the Voodoo Doll Who Comes To Life And Tries To Kill Karen Black In That One Movie. That One Movie was Trilogy of Terror, and it scared the everfucking bejeesus out of me. Trilogy of Terror was a made-for-TV flick, and the Voodoo Doll story was the third of three (hence the name!) stories depicted. An 8-inch tall voodoo doll armed with a knife slowly stalking Karen Black was a bit much for my 6-year-old mind to handle; I had nightmares for weeks. Nowadays, of course, the doll doesn’t scare me. Much. Karen Black? Different story.

I bring this up because Beth unwittingly opened up that dark chapter of my childhood by sending me this link. Many, many things about Top Secret Elmo frighten me – that creepy picure (who took that shot – William Friedkin?), the fact that Fisher Price is using a BTO song in the promotional vid, yet another product labelled as “Extreme”…but what really worries me is that I know one of these things is going to eventually end up in our house. “Elmo loves hugs!” Yeah, and fresh brains, I’ll wager.