I have to be honest. I’m a big scaredy cat. I freak out over spiders. I’m scared of the dark. And I can’t stand to watch horror movies. I don’t even like super tense action movies. I prefer to live in my world of rainbows and unicorns.
My 6 year old son, Evan, however, likes to be creeped out. But not too much.
It’s finding that balance that’s tough. He’ll watch evil villains on TV but he won’t watch a show about Bigfoot. He’ll ride the scariest coasters at Disney but won’t set foot in the Haunted Mansion. So I’m learning his tolerance. He’s fascinated by creepy and weird things but also has a healthy dose of caution.
With that in mind, I volunteered to review a book from National Geographic Kids as part of my gig as an NGKids Insider (a cool name for an ambassador of sorts). Just in time for Halloween, Evan and I sat down to review That’s Creepy by Crispin Boyer. I figured it might be similar to the Weird But True books that we’ve also looked at together (and he LOVES).
This book, however, was a little more… shall we say, CREEPY. Here are some of the creepiest things we discovered.
1. Sheepshead fish has HUMAN TEETH
These aren’t actually human teeth but they sure look like them. In fact, if you google a sheepshead fish and look at the images, you’ll see this is not a one off. These fish have teeth that look like PEOPLE teeth. Is it creepy? A little. Is it freaky? ABSOLUTELY.
2. Area 51 DOESN’T EXIST
I have to admit that I’m fascinated but the whole alien idea. In fact, I’ve made a trip out to Roswell, New Mexico just so I could see the famous crash site of the flying saucer that “allegedly” landed there in the 1940s. And if you know anything about that incident, you know the rumors that the aliens and their spacecraft was snatched up and taken to an unknown area. Like Area 51. Which doesn’t exist. And even if you get to this place that doesn’t exist, you’ll see plenty of signs telling you that you best just turn around and head back the way you came.
Side note: I’ve never attempted to reach Area 51 but I did drive around Los Alamos, New Mexico and the whole town had a weird vibe. Like there was some big secret and I wasn’t in on it. Weird fences and weird signs made me want to leave, shortly after I finished my Thai food. Related: I sometimes believe in conspiracy theories.
3. Jail time is GHOST TIME
What was that show years ago that dared people to spend the night in a haunted place while equipping them with scaredy cams? I remember thinking there was NO WAY I’d ever do that. Not for any sum of money. And certainly not in a home for the criminally insane. So of course, I’d get creeped out with this one.
An old abandoned penitentiary in Philadelphia doesn’t sound any better. It’s been closed and one can assume in a state of disrepair since 1970. But if you want, YOU can go on a nighttime ghost tour at the prison. Because that sounds fun. Or CREEPY.
4. Babies love their BLACK CLOTHED mothers
Back in the day, I guess photographers couldn’t come up with cute ideas to calm babies long enough to take their photos. So they had their mothers hold them. Sounds innocuous enough except they didn’t want the mother actually in the photo. So the mother would drape herself in a dark cloth and her lower half would be later cropped out. It should seem like a loving mother holding her baby but instead it just seems CREEPY.
5. The Haunted Doll that PLAYS FOR CREEPS
If you ever want your kids to stay up all night and become afraid to go into any room of the house by themselves, tell them about the toy of terror. Kids love to hear the story of a 3 foot doll with coal black eyes that was supposed cursed by the housekeeper who practiced voodoo. The doll was named Robert innocently enough but Robert liked to cause a lot of mischief and unexplained things in his house. The little boy that owned him was as creeped out though because he insisted on keeping Robert until the day he died. You can now visit Robert in a special museum in Key West.
Remind me never to go to Key West.
So what did I really think about the book?
It’s creepy, freaky, scary but it’s also fascinating and interesting. Young kids like Evan love some of the vampire stories but get freaked out over the creepy doll stories. But to be fair, they creeped me out too. If you think your kid can’t handle the creepiness, just keep it to yourself. And the next time they won’t listen, tell them Robert is watching. It’ll be our little secret.
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