I had a lot of completely rational fears in my youth.
  1. "Are You Afraid of the Dark?"
    I only remember one episode of this show that in no universe should have been meant for children. The main guy drank a potion that turned him into a furry monster/werewolf, which really freaked me out. After seeing it, I would check my teeth in the bathroom every night to make sure I wasn't growing fangs and check my face closely for fur. Imagine my fright when I started growing armpit hair later in life.
  2. Tornados
    When I was young, I went on the Twister attraction at Universal Studios and was never the same after. I maintained an irrational fear of tornados for a good few years after, always researching the statistics of a tornado touching down in Chicago and watching the sky in horror whenever there was a storm. And while we're on the topic of Universal...
  3. The Jaws ride at Universal Studios
    Way to scar a child for life, Universal. This ride was horrifying and not at all fun. The steam and the fire was really hot on my face, and the bloody mouthed shark was not conducive for an enjoyable afternoon. I curse my parents for taking me on this ride.
  4. The Phantom of the Opera
    The music freaked me out, and then I saw a picture of the Phantom with his mask on and was never the same again. Please keep in mind that I had never seen the musical (which ironically I love now). I remember my sister @danaschwartz bought a Phantom mask one year for Halloween, and I made her throw it in the trash AND take the trash out so it wouldn't haunt our house.
  5. The Ring
    I saw this movie in 7th grade, and I still remember lying awake in bed, imagining Samara crawling out of my TV downstairs and coming up to my room to get me. The only thing that made me feel better was reading Harry Potter before I went to bed, which is one of the reasons I've read each book about 10 times.
  6. Weird, dusty toys
    Creepy old dolls, antique toys, etc. both scared me and grossed me out. I still get a little grossed out by them, but I've come along way. There's this place Margie's in Chicago that's famous for their ice cream. They're known for being "charming" with their old dusty toys and Christmas decorations (even when it's not Christmas time). I love ice cream, and I still couldn't eat in there.
  7. My bathroom rug not being straight before I went to sleep
    Every single night, I'd get down on my hands and knees, straighten my rug, and make sure it lined up perfectly against the wall. Hypothetical bad things would happen to me if I didn't. Did I mention I was once diagnosed with mild OCD?