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Nightmare Fuel: Little House on the Prairie
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"Plague": Seeing all the rats running around the storeroom where the cornmeal is stored can be very unnerving. Not helping: An eerie musical cue is played.
"May We Make Them Proud": It can be chilling, downright frightening to watch the scene where Alice Garvey is trapped in the burning house and – beating her arms on the window to try to break it and escape – screams for help. Then the flames swallow her and the crying baby, Adam Kendall Jr., she is holding. Also, hearing the baby stop crying as he and Alice are overcome by the flames and intense heat – indeed, there is a cut scene of a huge fireball shooting out the window of the room where they were just standing – is horrifying. This, despite the fact that the scenes of Alice crying for help were shot on a soundstage, Heresha Parady (Alice's portrayer) was holding a doll and the baby crying was just sound effects perfectly stopped on cue and added in post-production.
"Sylvia": The evil clown mask that the rapist hides his face behind. The fact that the rapist stalks his victims — in this case, Sylvia — is also enough to give the viewer shivers. It is also scary to see the climatic scene, where Sylvia is once again visited by her rapist and, attempting to climb a rickety ladder to escape, plummets to her death.
"Home Again": Michael Landon does not pull any punches when showing Albert withdrawing from morphine. They are as graphic as one will ever see, and as such this was a rare episode – in an episode where most everything else was as G-rated as possible – where parents were urged to watch with their children.
"The Music Box" is both an in-universe example and an example of something that could shake up young viewers. After stealing the eponymous music box from Nellie's room, Laura suffers guilt that manifests itself as three nightmares, one in a courtroom, one in a jail, and one where she is being hanged. All three show Laura in a ragged dress with tangled, dirty hair and shackles on her wrists. All three also have a sadistic minor version of the music box tune as background music. The jail nightmare also features a grim-faced matron throwing scraps at prisoners, who then throw themselves on the floor and gobble them, groaning the whole time.
Laura's malaria-induced fever dreams in Little House on the Prairie are pretty trippy.
Her first childbirth is likewise a little out there. From a medical standpoint, the fact that the doctor gives her chloroform (now known to be very toxic) is pretty horrifying, too.
In The Long Winter, a blizzard nearly kills some cattle. How? Their breath freezes their heads to the ground, and they come close suffocating. This phenomenon is addressed again in Little Town on the Prairie, when Almanzo, who is driving Laura home from her teaching job for the weekend, has to keep stopping to melt the ice on his horses' noses.
A lot of The Long Winter, in-universe and out. Laura starts having nightmares that the blizzards are deliberately trying to scour away the roof to get to them. Quite a lot is made of the fact that the blizzards always seem to come out of nowhere, so there's always a risk of getting trapped away from home and freezing to death.