10 logos and TV intros that inexplicably scared the hell out of us

Illustration for article titled 10 logos and TV intros that inexplicably scared the hell out of us

Yesterday we posted Rodney Ascher's The S From Hell, a short documentary about people afraid of the 1960s Screen Gems logo. But it turns out that Screen Gems isn't the only logo to inspire profound existential terror.


In the comments section of that post, readers shared other televisual cues that unleashed the flight or fight response in the reptilian quarters of their brains. Here are 10 mostly innocuous TV montages that make your skin crawl.


Thanks to all the logophobics who revealed their deepest fears. And if it makes you feel better, know that old Carvel ads still make me extremely uncomfortable.

10.) Time Life's Mysteries of the Unknown commercials
We're starting with something that doesn't exactly fit our criteria but was ways scarier than Zoobooks. As commenter Jsn.wrt notes:

Not a logo, but definitely a good example of creepy promotional material: Around 1988, there was a series of commercials for Time Life Books' "Mysteries of the Unknown". I couldn't sit through an entire commercial when I was a kid.

Agreed, dear reader — that was an unusually jarring ad by Time Life standards. I also enjoyed the 1990 commercial, which was less terror and more Pure Moods. The Bermuda Triangle? "A pilot we know once had a wild experience there!"

9.) Ubu Productions
Several of you experienced dismay over the frozen dog at the end of Punky Brewster, forever unblinking, forever unable to sit.

8.) The DIC logo
Katgirl476 mentioned the DIC logo, which played out Inspector Gadget. I never liked that elfin voice, casually swearing out of my television.

7.) The Viacom "V of Doom"
Commenter Heartburn Kid hated this screaming, synthesized wall of consonant.

6.) The 1980s Marvel Productions Logo
Stellaluna's childhood memories of Muppet Babies were forever tarnished by Marvel's mincing, leering spokesman:

My father had awoken me early to watch The Muppet Babies. Bleary-eyed and half-asleep, the show ended, and I saw THIS, an alien monstrosity leaping out and skulking, staring at me with its evil demonic eyes. For many years afterward, the end credits song was a sinister countdown for the time I had left to hide my head under the couch cushions. And then I found out it was Spider-Man.

5.) The 1980s United Artists Intro
Thoapsl was perturbed by this strange monolithic logo.

4.) 3-2-1 Contact
I never necessarily found 3-2-1 Contact scary, but I can see how this science show's montage blew young minds. Says Death_By_SnuSnu:

I was afraid of the 3-2-1 Contact intro. It was all just too real and intense for my four year old mind to handle. And I was fucking terrified of the Bloodhound Gang— made me way anxious which probably contributed to the overall 3-2-1 fear.

And here's Contact's teenage detective squad, The Bloodhound Gang. Holy shit, those gangsters are going to kill those kids.

3.) The Night Gallery
According to LightningLouie, the abstract intro to Rod Serling's 1970s anthology "still fucks up [his] shit."

2.) Gracie Films
Many of you treat the logo that closed out The Simpsons with fear tempered with respect, not unlike the way sailors regard the sea.

1.) Unsolved Mysteries
Erwin, Gr8andPowerfulTurtle, and I all hate this television intro with a passion. I can't get more than 15 seconds into it, despite the fact that it sounds like "Axel F." Seriously, it makes even the crappiest, grade-Z reenactments absolutely hellish.

The only other TV theme with the power to ruin my day? The first two seconds of the Baywatch Nights theme.

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James Whitbrook

When Cartoon Network turned over to TNT Movies for the night at 9pm in the UK, I used to remember being petrified of the ending animation... it was like, the individual blocks of the Cartoon Network logo bouncing around on a checkerboard - completely non-threatening and not scary at all, but it sent me scurrying up to my bed the moment it started, it really freaked me out!

The extended BBC2 Ident with Wallace and Gromit at Christmas back in 1995 really creeped me out too. Usually a continuity announcer would be talking over it, but sometimes it was just silence while they stared at that 2 for a good 30 seconds, and despite loving Wallace and Gromit, it gave me the chills for some reason.

I remember being really disconcerted when the regular continuity announcer was replaced by David Tennant as The Doctor just before The End of Time Part 2 first broadcast too. I wasn't expecting it, and because he was talking about it being the end, and time to face his final battle, it just really got to me!

Edit: Damn picture fail: [images.wikia.com]