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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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h.r. pufnstuf

Happy Chinese New Year! No, I'm not Chinese, but I noticed the reminder on my calendar. It's the Year of the Snake.

How many of you used to watch PufnStuf? What a bizarre show. Surely the writers must have been a little too much into their material, if you get my drift. I mean, take a good hard look at the photo that creature nightmare-inducing or what? It reminds me of the whole clown thing. Clowns are supposedly funny, benevolent characters whose purpose is mainly to entertain children, but they're incredibly scary-looking. Another childhood icon which frightened me as a kid was the dinosaur-like thing in Kukla, Fran and Ollie. And the Snow Monster in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (with the glowing red eyes). And Lambchop (I think it was something about Shari Lewis's voice).

But I digress.

I only dimly remember the gist of H.R. Pufnstuf (whereas I'm sure Allison still remembers all the lyrics from the opening theme song :-)). I remember psychedelic colours, Freddy the Flute, Witchiepoo, and having a childhood crush on Jack Wild.

So what childhood media creatures/people gave -you- the willies, if any?

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