5 Inanimate Objects That Scare The Bejesus Out of Me.

When you’re a grown up, you’re supposed to be able to do grown up things. Like take the rubbish out late at night without shitting your pants every time you hear imaginary footsteps. Or answer the door when you’re home alone without your heart pounding a hole in your ribcage. 99% of the time I’m totally fine and I can walk down a dark alley to my car without too much positive self talk but there are times when my mind wanders into very dark places and I can almost paralyse myself with fear. These incidents are usually brought on by one of the following 5 inanimate objects that scare the bejesus out of me. Here’s why…

Televisions that Aren’t On

TV screens are not my friend. If they’re on, I’m fine. If they’re off and reflecting the light eerily in the corner of the room I’m half expecting this…

to happen at any moment. This means that I’ve spent a decent amount of time draping sheets over TVs in hotel rooms or sprinting past the TV in the lounge room. Because lame girl running and thin cotton barriers are a great defence against the undead.


Especially in the rain. Tim Curry. Making drains terrifying since 1990.

Mirrors in the Dark

This one came to fruition when I went to a sleepover when I was 9 and my friend’s older sister told us ghost stories, one of which was a very gory version of Bloody Mary. I’m fully aware of how dangerous it is to chant ‘Bloody Mary! Bloody Mary! Bloody Mary!‘ into a mirror in the dark but it doesn’t stop my subconscious from doing it. When alone in a dark room with a mirror, one part of my brain will inevitably start silently chanting the forbidden words and the other  part of my brain is all ‘Shut up! Are you crazy? Bloody Mary is going to come crashing out of that mirror and KILL US! SHUT UP! Or turn the damn light on!‘ If I’m in a dark room with a mirror, you can bet your arse it’s not going to be dark for long. Again, because a light bulb is such a fabulous defence against the undead.


I’m not overly fond of statues either. Especially if they’re not human sized. If they are tiny or huge they freak me out even more. There’s always just that small fear that they’ll come to life. The worst ones? Those terrifying Ronald McDonald park bench statues. How parents get their children to go anywhere near them is beyond me.


Not all the time but sometimes, if I let my mind wander I have water based terrors of a ghost trying to drown me. Like the one in What Lies Beneath.

Charming isn’t she?

Do you have any inanimate objects that scare you shitless? Or scenarios that give you heebie jeebies?

Carly is the founding editor of Smaggle which launched in 2007 back when blogging was weird. She has appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Cosmopolitan and Cleo magazines. Hoop earrings are totally her thing and she almost got run over by Myf Warhurst while out jogging one day.


  1. Jasmine 4 years ago

    I spent a solid chunk of my childhood terrified of spoons and straws. Because of that mothereffin ‘You’re hooked’ anti-smoking commercial from the late 80s – you know, kid raises smoke to mouth, and suddenly a small silver hook snatches their lip? I totally expected that to happen when I used spoons. Straws. Anything that had a legitimate right to be near my lip.

    And my brain betrays me too, but with the Candyman, not Bloody Mary. Watching that movie at a friend’s sleepover in eighth grade, my foot tucked behind a curtain, WHEN SUDDENLY SOMETHING GRABBED MY FOOT AND STARTED MAULING IT. Turns out it was my friend’s kitten. but I’ve never been able to rewatch that movie – not even for shits and giggles as an adult – because I just remember the piercing agony and absolute horror of that moment when I felt something clawing my damn foot off while Candyman was butchering someone on the screen.

    Man I could share any number of horrifying stories from my childhood based on the stupid horror movies they made in the 80s/90s! Getting stuck in the granny flat when suddenly the bathroom door clicked open and started slowly opening (that scene in It, where the kid is stuck in the house and screaming out the names of birds …), the wave of prank phone calls everyone started receiving after Scream was first released (thanks White Pages). Don’t even get me started on Chuckie and how suddenly all my darling dolls became potential homicidal bitches.

    • Author
      Smaggle 4 years ago

      Oh that’s awful! I remember those ads… so effective.

  2. Kristin Haseldine 4 years ago

    1: toothpaste – makes me want to vomit as opposed to shittin my panties but I think it still counts based on violence of reaction.

    2: weeping angels – thank you Dr Who. Nuff said!

    3: gas masks – see above (also the phrase “are you my mummy”)

    • JessB 4 years ago

      What about when people start repeating what you say? That was a completely horrifying episode, the look on the Doctor’s face when the ‘thing’ takes over him… shudders.

    • Author
      Smaggle 4 years ago

      Weeping angels! ARgh!

  3. Jeanie 4 years ago

    This is the reason I never never watch scary movies. My imagination runs over time freaking me out. I have a lady bug ornament, standing up, in the stairwell. She’s waving. Every time I pass her at night, in my mind, she reaches out and grabs me. I have a mannequin, the only way I cope with her, is she’s armless. And headless too, freaky.

    • Author
      Smaggle 4 years ago

      Why do you do that to yourself???

  4. Claire Suellentrop 4 years ago

    Uuugh, yes. See: reasons I never watch scary movies.

    I’m constantly terrified by walking past a bed or up a flight of stairs in the dark. Because darkness automatically means someone is going to reach out from under that bed or behind me on those stairs and GRAB ME.

    • Author
      Smaggle 4 years ago

      Thankfully I no longer have an ‘under the bed’. Makes the world of difference.

  5. Jolee262 4 years ago

    Hahaha… I’m glad I’m not alone.  The Bloody Mary one still catches me out quite regularly when I stumble to the toilet during the night and then try not to look at the mirror and think it three times.  Even thinking it could make it happen! The toilet is another.  I often have to talk myself down from thinking something/someone is going to come up out of the loo whilst I’m sitting.  And the wardrobe doors must ALWAYS be closed when I go to bed.  Who know what may come out during the night!

    • Author
      Smaggle 4 years ago

      I’ve always been a bit funny about stuff coming out of the toilet too!

  6. maddi 4 years ago

    ohmygod. when we were 11 my friend and i watched IT. i was so fucking scared of the shower for at least 3 weeks. and i still freak out about drains. *shudder*

    • Author
      Smaggle 4 years ago

      Nothing like blood spurting out of a drain to keep you filthy for weeks.

  7. Natalie Mulford 4 years ago

    My parents have a mirror at the end of the hallway, that you have to walk past to go to the bathroom, that looks like one in ‘The Ring’. I used to try and walk to the toilet of a night with my eyes closed because I was always scared i’d see someone else in the reflection. 

    Pools, going for a swim by myself in the pool, I always get it in my head that there may be sharks. 

    • erin 4 years ago

      i’m afraid of swimming pool sharks too!  and i’m terrified of roombas, thanks to a tom selleck movie where his vacuum cleaner (or some other part of his smart house?  not totally sure) kills his wife.  

    • Author
      Smaggle 4 years ago

      Why do people continue to place mirrors at the end of hallways?

  8. Terri 4 years ago

    Dolls. ‘Nuff said.

    • Author
      Smaggle 4 years ago

      They’re just unnecessary aren’t they?

  9. Hannah_francis 4 years ago

    The Bloody Mary thing happens to me allll the time!

    • Author
      Smaggle 4 years ago

      I have to concentrate really hard to make sure I don’t say it in my head.

  10. Louise Coad 4 years ago

    I was terrified of the girl in The Exorcist, and properly freaked out that I was going to wake up one night and have something like her IN MY ROOM. The crab walk thingy? Her and the cross? Scary as f**k. Needless to say, I will never ever be able to watch that film, EVER. 

  11. Nessbow 4 years ago

    I’m currently reading It by Stephen King.  Our shower drain makes this weird slurping/gurgling noise about forty minutes after you’re done with your shower.  Several times this week, I’ve had a shower, gotten into bed, and have been halfway through a terrifying part of It when the shower drain has started gurgling.  Needless to say, not a lot of sleeping has been going on.

    I also dislike mirrors in the dark.  The mirror itself doesn’t bother me, but I don’t like seeing my reflection in the dark.  I can’t explain why, but it terrifies me.  

  12. Elissa 4 years ago

    I think you meant “MannEquins” haha xo

  13. Bambam 4 years ago

    Ghosts. It makes no sense but I’ll randomly get the heeby-jeebies when I’m turning out the lights as I go to bed. When this happens I either
    a) do the complicated turn the lights out in the right order so that I this is always light until I get into my room or
    b) do the scared prancing run to the bedroom. 

    • Author
      Smaggle 4 years ago

      Always a scared prancing run from me.

  14. Rose Polglase 4 years ago

    Haha sooo true! Mirrors freak me out for the exact reason. I hate rooms with wardrobe mirrored doors. Thanks for the reminder! P.S I also have an irrational fear of zombies.

    • Author
      Smaggle 4 years ago

      I’m not afraid of zombies. I’ve thought very carefully about this and I’m pretty sure I’d survive the zombie apocalypse. But mirrors in the dark? That shiz is messed up.

  15. Helen Perris 4 years ago

    I watched Poltergeist at 5 (lord knows how – maybe I sneaked into the loungeroom while my teenaged sister was watching it) and I was petrified of trees for years after. Yep, couldn’t go near a tree, lest it reach out its branches and grab me.

    • Author
      Smaggle 4 years ago

      Very inconvenient to be terrified of trees.

  16. Harlow 4 years ago

    Public toilets when they are empty!!! I don’t even know why I have this fear, but everytime I go into a public bathroom that is empty I get a creepy feeling…like there is a ghost or something in the next stall. It’s mainly the really big bathrooms with the long mirrors though, like the ones at the cinema…So stupid, I know!

    • Author
      Smaggle 4 years ago

      YES! Public toilets from Copy Cat. That’s the reason I only ever use end stalls.

  17. Claire Stephens 4 years ago

    a warning at the beginning of this post would have been nice………that scene from poltergeist scares me and pennywise……..well – I’m not sleeping tonight…. I have a major drain and clown phobia thanks to that movie. I do however love the book….

    • Author
      Smaggle 4 years ago

      Sorry lovely, will remember next time!

  18. Twitchy 4 years ago

    As your at this moment in time self appointed therapist I hereby order you to cease watching scary movies!! I have an intense dislike of Victorian porcelain dolls. They are just too eerie. Clowns no good either. But I can tell you I wouldn’t so much as WATCH a film with one in ever since I saw Poltergeist as a kid. DON’T LOOK UNDER THE BED!

    • kathryn 4 years ago

       Porcelain dolls are freaky.  You are right to be scared of them.

      • Author
        Smaggle 4 years ago

        My cousin had a porcelain doll collection that terrified me. I had one but I hated it.

    • Author
      Smaggle 4 years ago

      But I love scary movies! You’re no fun. 🙂

  19. Olivia 4 years ago

    Showering when home alone! I just feel that you’re never more vulnerable than when you’re showering- the running water blocks any outside noise, the bathroom door is closed, you’re all naked and shampoo-y… Such a dumb thing I know, but if I absolutely must shower when no one else is around, it’s always under three minutes. I guess blind fear is causing me to do my bit for the environment?

    • Olivia 4 years ago

      Not to mention the most famous horror movie shower scene of all! I have to fast forward past it every time.

      • Author
        Smaggle 4 years ago

        My man went to get coffee this morning and surprised me while in the shower when he got back. I screamed my friggin head off. Classy.

    • Aprilahh 4 years ago

      I watched “Jaws: The Revenge” and had to shower with the curtains open so I could see myself for weeks on end – this somehow made me feel as if I wasn’t going to see that pointed head and black eyes come up out of the drain, toilet, or sink.
      I’ve seen “IT” but never worried too much as my childhood bedroom was full of happy clowns.
      I also hate the nighttime silence – our currently semi-complete renovation means no window dressings so sometimes I look up and see my own reflection, which immediately creates the dry mouth and racing heart effect.

  20. Tangerinepython 4 years ago

    I have learned the hard way not to listen to music with my headphones in while at home along with animals. The last time I was dog sitting my parents two spaniels, they and my two cats and I were all sprawled all over the living room floor, I had my headphones in and was reading when suddenly all of them go on point, four pairs of ears swiveled in the direction of the (dark) hallway and half getting up in that cautious, rigid, ready-to-do-battle with my fluffy paws kind of way.

    And of course as soon as you rip out your earplugs you realise how quiet the house is,  the cats and I did a thorough search of the house (I even armed myself, that’s how freaked out the creatures were) and triple checked every door and window.

    We found nothing but the animals refused to relax and I got no frigging sleep whatsoever.  

    • Author
      Smaggle 4 years ago

      Oh jesus that’s terrifying.

  21. kathryn 4 years ago

    I lived in a flat with the stairs leading down to the front door btw the kitchen and the rest of the apartment.  I dunno why but i was terrified of those stairs.  Every I walked to the kitchen, I was sure a ghost hand or something would push me down the stairs.  I have no idea why I felt like that though.

    • Author
      Smaggle 4 years ago

      So weird, maybe they were haunted?

  22. Bec 4 years ago

    same same same to all of them for the same reasons!

  23. Sarah 3 years ago

    I was actually in the process of reading this article on my iPad, and well I started feeling a little creeped out considering it was one in the morning. But then a notification popped up, and I didn’t realized it was a notification. The sound that it makes is a heavy breathing. Afterword I thought I heard scratching noises in the hallway, and a few seconds later my cat pops out from behind the corner and meows. I felt as though I were about to pass out for a moment there! So I suppose electronics scare me.

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