If you’ve been disturbed reading about the scary moments from Sesame Street that I've been listing all this month, then thank whatever deity you believe in that you did not grow up in Ontario around 1999.
The children there used to tune into some pretty disturbing programming during that time, with low-budget television programs featuring hands being mutilated with scissors and men in creepy bear costumes harassing poor, screaming children within a dark cellar.
Perhaps more disturbing than the programming itself was how children were often invited to visit Mr. Bear in real life. What would happen to them afterwards is, um, well far too disturbing for me to even write about. You have to read Elliot’s blog posts yourself.
July, 1999Click here to read the entire story.
It was summer, and I hadn't watched channel 21 for a while. Until one day when I slept over at my friend’s house I decided to check it out again. My friend had gotten a TV in his room for his sixth birthday, so we stayed up very late (For us, 9:30 was very late) and watched TV. That’s when I remembered channel 21 and brought it up to my friend. We decided to see if it was on, and to our surprise it was (They must have changed the broadcasting time).
Mr. Bear’s Cellar-Episode 23: This episode was entertaining for my friend and I, mainly because it had swearing. However, now when I think of this episode, I realize something was definitely wrong when it was filmed. The episode started with the camera on its side, while it was facing Mr. Bear, who was walking up stairs to the cellar door. The camera then blacked out for about a second, before fading in, back upright, and facing Mr. Bear. There was also another kid talking to him, but this kid looked about eleven or twelve.
He was talking to Mr. Bear for a while, but I couldn't hear well (Again with the crappy camcorder) until the kid started raising his voice. The kid was saying how it was late and his sister had to go home, you could also hear more voices in the background. I remember Mr. Bear clearly saying “Get the fuck out, you're not invited.” with a deep voice muffled by the bear mask. I remember my friend and I looking at each other and laughing at the mention of the forbidden F word, but the episode got weirder. The kid began climbing the stairs before turning around and saying how he was going to call the police. Mr. Bear began breaking into a run towards the kid, who started screaming and running as well. The camera then cut out, and that was the end of the episode. The channel then turned to static shortly after.
Booby-episode 42: “Playing with scissors”: One rainy afternoon I was bored, so I decided to watch channel 21. When I started watching, some show about a guy sitting in an armchair was just finishing, I forget what it was about though. When I first saw this episode, I thought it was for teenagers because it had blood in it, and it was very gross. When the police told me everything, I now know who the blood belonged to. The episode showed Booby and another hand with a ribbon around the pinkie finger (Booby’s girlfriend). Booby was holding scissors and hopping around back and forth, while his girlfriend slowly swung around aimlessly.
Another hand shot onto the scene, this hand was smaller though and was jerking around violently, as if someone under the table was forcing the hand (And I later found out this was the case) “Scissors are very dangerous kids, so hold them safely” Booby said to the camera. I noticed I could also hear muffled screams, but I wasn’t sure where it was coming from because of the bad sound quality.
Booby’s girlfriend grabbed the smaller hand, which was thrashing about, and Booby went at it with the scissors. He started with the thumb, He opened the scissors wide and clasped them onto the thumb, blood began oozing out and the muffled screams were now very loud. My five year old self was very grossed out and that’s when I decided maybe Booby was a show meant for teenagers or grown ups. Then the scissors got to the bone, a horrible crunching noise was heard, and that’s when I turned the TV off. I never discussed it with my dad because I feared he would limit my TV time.