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The Things That Scared You

So my friend just joined instagram with a name that references one of the most terrifying memories from my childhood - the tale (tail?) Tailypo.

If you aren't aware of the (horrifying) folk tale, it's about a hunter that finds a mysterious creature in the woods. He attempts to kill it but only gets the tail which he takes home and eats. His three dogs went after the creature but only two come back. During the night, he hears whispering, "Tailypo, tailypo, give me back my tailypo!" He sends the remaining dogs out and only one comes back. Again, he hears the whispering and sends the last dog out and he never comes back. The whispering is heard again and the man yells out, "I don't have your tailypo!" The ending differs - either with the house destroyed, the man killed, or an ambiguous but creepy ending with the creature murmuring, "Now, I've got my tailypo."


I can't objectively determine if this is actually scary or not because I honestly just remember the aftermath of being told this story WAY too young and I still feel the tightness in my chest about it. I was told this story in kindergarden and I must have been 5. It seems crazy to tell kids a story like that but some versions are totally marketed to children. I used to sleep in a red tent that was fixed to my bed. On the night after I head the story, I vividly remember seeing my mom's face as she zipped it up. This unfamiliar feeling of terror and perhaps anxiety completely took over me. Every shadow was the creature and I didn't think he'd understand that I didn't have his tailypo. I turned on my flashlight but my mom saw and told me to go to bed. Still terrified, I eventually got out of the tent, sat in my parents doorway, and listened to the Cosby Show until I passed out clutching my bear. I found myself in my tent in the morning. Alive!

This is probably my clearest early memory - I can see my dark room, the roof of my tent, the view from my parents doorway. Buuuut, I should mention that I was also afraid of my brother's Spiderman bank and marionette while he was afraid of Benny Hill so what are you going to do?

Anyway, what freaked you out as a kid?

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