Sunday, 27 February 2011

The Haunted Wood - bringing a 70s childhood to a 21st century child

I was born in 1974 (I know - you're all stunned). This post looks back to the 70s. Those of you who remember a 70s childhood will hopefully be taken back to your own  infanthood and those who are too young will be briefly and magically transported to those crazy times.

A few weeks ago I was going to Leeds with O to meet friends. Unfortunately, I had no change for the parking, so we popped into one of the local charity shops to get some. I told O to look on the toy shelf and pick something under a pound so we could get the change. He was about to suggest a slightly scuffed toy car when I saw the following box tucked away at the bottom of the stand.

How my inner 70s child rejoiced! We had to have it! I knew this was the ideal opportunity to share cosy, yet slightly sinister aspects of my girlhood with my son. We children of the 70s were subjected to all manner of creepily alluring images in our books, our TV programmes and our comics. Why should the 21st century child miss out on such treats?

On our return home, I opened the Haunted Wood box, and to my great excitement, the box revealed many unsavoury and downright alarming delights. Unused to the vagaries of such a gem, O spent an age inspecting the game board with a very puzzled look on his face. What on earth was going on in the early seventies that made adults subject poor, innocent children to the following images? It's like something from Hieronymous Bosch's Garden of Heavenly Delights...

Ah, the traditional 'evil pointy nosed caterpillar with legs and a bun' lurking ominously by a tower. I often wonder why I used to gallop down the stairs to my parents, racked with the most horrific nightmares. Surely it can't be the games I played with or the books I read...

Ooh, look! A rabid orange dog, apparently without a body, and a blue faced...THING...with a penis-shaped blue nose. Nothing strange there. Move along now...

A lunatic - up a tree with some strange Inspector Clousseau types scuttling along underneath. A typical woodland scene, I'm sure you all agree...

*is speechless*

Watch out, little 70s children. There's a wonk-faced pirate with an enormous hand just above you and an aadvark-style monster about to nibble on your ankles. But - quick! You'll be fine on that swing. Daddy put it up - with some old nails and a dodgy bit of rope. It won't fall down and maim you for life....

A flashback

"Now come on, Melanie! Get back to bed. What are you talking about - scary blue and grey men in a bush? There's no such thing - why don't you go back up to bed and read your 365 Days Nursery Rhymes book to help you drop off?"

"OK, Mummy...."


I don't think I've ever fully recovered....


  1. Do you remember Mr Noseybonk on Jigsaw? Google hime if not (if you dare...) It's a wonder we're not all mentally scarred.

  2. Oh God, I remember him all too well. And now I've just watched this and it's bedtime *sobs*

  3. And yet we all turned out OK. Didn't we? Didn't we?
    Just watched that Noseybonk video and the theme tune took me right back to my childhood!

  4. Great post! But alas I'm too old to remember them - I remember "Pipkins", and "Bagpuss" and my favourite, also with scary witch, "Chorlton and the Wheelies" x

  5. Waaah, that really is the stuff of nightmares! I'm a bit younger than you and I'm sure my toys weren't that freaky.