Flying Monkeys Scarred Me As A Child

I am a grown-up. My childhood fears are all in the past – except one. I am still petrified by the flying monkeys in The Wizard of Oz.

I’m bringing this up because Helaine informs me the Wizard of Oz is on TV tonight (WPIX-11 from New York). Helaine was scarred by this movie as well.

When I was a kid, The Wizard of Oz ran yearly. CBS made a big deal of it – an event. I avoided it.

I guess sometime early on, I watched and saw monkeys flying from the castle’s tower and panicked. That one scene is one of the few childhood nightmares I remember. Rather than face my fears, I just stopped watching.

Helaine’s problem with the movie is different. She was petrified by the Wicked Witch of the West, aka Margaret Hamilton. As was the case with me, Helaine had nightmares featuring this “Wizard” character.

Later, Hamilton went on to be featured in a series of commercials as Cora, pitching Maxwell House Coffee.

When we moved to Connecticut, Margaret Hamilton lived here! Helaine says, if she had known, we’d still be in Buffalo. As it turns out, Margaret died a year later, though Helaine has suspicions otherwise.

It’s a pretty intense movie for little kids. We can’t be the only ones who still get the heebie jeebies.

5 thoughts on “Flying Monkeys Scarred Me As A Child”

  1. yes! Me too! I’m so glad I’m not the only one. My wife and I watched “Oz” this year, and when the flying monkey scene came up, I can remember being terrified as a young boy.

  2. If you are afraid of the flying monkey, be prepared for something a little more freaky. You need to rent the movie, but it needs to be an original copy. Pay close attention to the background when all 4 of them are going down the yellow brick road. There was a rumor that one of the munchkins had committed suicide on the set. How true it is I can not say. If you look closely, you can see “something”, an image of a person,like a shadow, hanging from the tree. I kid you not, I must have pressed rewind a million times to confirm what I had seen. I never watched that movie again!

  3. The flying monkeys and the witch scared me too, but not as much as a simple drawing I saw in a vintage children’s book when I was about 4 or 5. For a couple of years after that, I had a recurring nightmare that our house was on fire—at night, when we were sleeping, and German Shepherd dogs, dressed as firemen, were coming down the hallway in the darkness. Even then, I knew it didn’t make sense, but I stayed away from German Shepherds for a while.

    Adore them now, though….

  4. For a new perspective on the Wicked Witch of the West and the flying monkeys you should read book. Wicked by Gregory Maguire. It will make you look at her and Oz in a whole new way.

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