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Nightmare Fuel / Chick Tracts

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Proof that not even stories full of Strawmen are immune to giving people nightmares.

  • Ashley Wilson's hallucination of her face melting in "Bewitched?"
    • While the demons in the same tract are little more than mouthpieces for Jack Chick's bizarre views and conspiracy theories, their appearances are distinctly discomfiting. With faces like melting wax, they look like they could fit in well on a trippy, psychological horror movie, if they would just stop ranting about ecumenism.
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    • At the end, Satan actually seems threatening when he threatens an underling who failed to keep Ashley from being saved:
    I have ways of making you really sorry.
  • In "No Fear?":
    • After Lance commits suicide and his friend Dolly is saved from the same fate by converting to fundamentalist Christianity along with her sister, they just forget about him, as if they're happy that they didn't end up in hell like Lance, who has just burned up and vanished into "the darkness outside". Seriously, they have no respect for the dead or even visit them, which brings out the "Christian" message that people should only care about themselves and forget about others if they die heathens.
    • Lance has a fairly terrifying scene in Hell. First his leg catches fire, then his entire body is ablaze, then the scene fades to black with only his screams. This time, Chick didn't settle for people falling into Hell and/or the Lake of Fire, or surveying their new surroundings in despair, but actually showed what it's like to burn alive.
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    • A probably unintentional example of nightmare fuel occurs in the same tract, when a cat turns its head around like Reagan from The Exorcist to look at two demons outside of a window. While this is probably just a poorly executed drawing, the cat doesn't look like something that you would want to meet in a dark alley.
  • Some of the tracts are a little jarring, like "The Thing", especially the final.
  • Also those creepy, easily converted children and how Jack "thinks" other people react to Christianity.
  • Satan's appearance at the end of Somebody Goofed and Oops! He has this weird mix of positively goofy and grotesque that manages to somehow combine into disturbing. While the dialogue's ridiculous, the face sure isn't.
  • Seriously, imagine living in the Crapsack World depicted in The Last Generation. Christians are rounded up and sent to "mental camps", natural disasters are all over the place, children are actively rewarded for snitching on Christians (up to and including their own parents), and a new pagan-mashup state religion involving animal sacrifice is enforced in schools, in a world government not unremniscient of Chaos.
    • One of the characters actually mentions concentration camps, as a cherry on top of the fear sundae.
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    • It was mentioned that the bodies of heretics are used as food. *Squick*
  • "Lisa," and the thought that someone somewhere may actually believe that raping your elementary-school-aged daughter and sharing her with a neighbor - oh, and also giving her herpes, apparently - is something that can be fixed with a little prayer. If Jack Chick's monstrous interpretation of God would forgive that so easily, then why not just hang with Satan? Or the Papal Conspiracy?
    • Oh, and the doctor, instead of calling the fucking police, decides the way to handle the situation is to convert the dad.
    • Because they don't want to be forgiven.
    • It's not just that everything is fixed because you tell Jesus you're really sorry, but in Jack Chick's world there's no real problem with raping your children as long as Jesus stops you in time. It takes more than just four or five months of regular gang rape before they get hurt from it. (Except for the herpes.)
  • The entire "The Sky Lighter" tract. Especially considering the fact that it is Abdulla's own grandmother who is trying to get him to blow himself up. And the fact that Abdulla blows himself up- and everyone else around him. Imagine surviving that and becoming deformed- or just witnessing it. And just the concept that the Deity who is supposed to love you would actually want you to do something so horrible. No wonder Yusuf is the only sane man in the entire tract.
    • There's also the fact that she doesn't bat an eye when her daughter-in-law dies in childbirth, and is merely annoyed that her husband failed in his suicide bombing mission. Imagine growing up in or marrying into a family that sees you as expendable.
  • The whole concept of a God that tortures people forever if they do arbitrary things like celebrate Halloween or play Dungeons & Dragons or simply doing missionary work to help improve people's lives without forcing religion down their throats.
    • Made all the more disturbing in that the author apparently thinks that his interpretation of God is "benevolent".
    • God’s behavior in "Uninvited" is even worse. According to the comic all homosexuals are the way they are because they were posed by an evil spirit after being raped/ molested. Chick’s version of God sending people to hell for something that was forced upon them. A benevolent God, indeed.
  • That photograph on the main page is kind of unnerving too the longer you look at it...
  • The cover of "Uninvited". GYAH!
  • The atrocious art means that even totally innocent things (kids' faces, pets, etc) frequently lapse into Uncanny Valley territory without meaning to. And don't even get started on the actual demons...
  • Sure, Dark Dungeons was really bad, but it still had some creepy things like the image of Marcie's body hanging from the ceiling after she committed suicide or the Dark Dungeons' GM's Villainous Breakdown when Marcie wants to quit.
    • And it's highly implied that Marcie committed suicide in front of Debbie. No wonder she spends the rest of the tract in a Heroic BSoD.
      • Keep in mind, unless you've got that knot just right, it can take a while to die from hanging. So, either Marcie is secretly an expert on knots (and not simply a RPG skill) or Debbie is a bitch for standing there and watching her die.
  • The Uncanny Valley animation of "Tiny Shoes".
  • This one, which talks about the end of the world, has a picture of a man outside of his car being pulled up towards heaven, with the caption, "You never know when your time is up." Think about that for a second. Imagine you're in your home, and suddenly you get pulled towards heaven against your will, never to return to Earth again. You have no way of knowing when this is going to happen.
  • "The Letter" has the most horrible nightmare fuel in all of Chick's production. The story is about an unmarried woman who apparently has one close friend that she loves and cares about more than anything else in the world. (And as an aside, deliberately or not, the writing makes it very easy to read more than friendship into their relationship—She even has her photo on her nightstand.) But this woman (who is a Christian believer, though implicitly a liberal one) never talked with her friend about the faith, fearing that this would end their very close friendship. And now, she learns from an angel that this woman that she loved died last night, and is now in hell forever—And it's her fault, because she was selfish and valued being together more than saving her friend from everlasting torment.
    • The woman isn't one of Chick's usual strawmen: she is presented throughout as both a sincere believer and a sincere person. Still, she caused her beloved friend to go to hell, because she loved her too much, and at the same time not enough to let her go. We also see the other woman tormented in hellfire, and sad and confused that her friend, who knew, did not warn her of this.
  • The opening panels of the Bully are utterly disturbing due to the main character, Harry Boswell. This son of a bitch, in the opening panels, establishes himself as a thoroughly reprehensible human being. The man has such an irrational hatred of religion that when the man he is drinking with, Andy, mentions that his wife is taking his daughter, Ashley Boswell, to church, he flips out, and threatens to kill Andy and his entire family if his daughter takes up religion, and right in a bar no less, in front of the bartender, who does nothing. When he leaves, for some reason, Andy tells the bartender not to call the police, due to how nuts and dangerous Harry is, despite the very real danger there is to his wife and Harry's daughter, Ashley. Then we learn that Harry destroyed his wife because of the fact she was religious, and will do the same to his daughter if she becomes religious as well. When Ashley is driven home by Andy's wife, Megan, Harry is waiting for them with a massive stick, and forces Ashley out of the car and into the house, before threatening to burn Megan's house down, with her entire family in it. Then we learn that every time his wife went to mass, he would beat her, and enjoyed throwing out her Bibles when she died. The icing on the cake of it all, however, is when he forces his daughter to give up religion by making her promise to and threatening to throw her out if she doesn't, and then gets her addicted to alcohol, preferring her passed out and drunk than religious, even smiling at the sight of her unconscious. Only when he has a near death experience and sees hell does he stop being such an asshole, but his actions in the opening are so completely monstrous, one cannot help but wish he had died and went to hell. His Heel–Face Turn is the only thing keeping him from being irredeemable.
  • "The Mad Machine" shows a rather subtly (well, for Chick) painted near-future dystopia that does not depend on Catholic conspiracies, Antichrist's world government or demonic puppet masters to be horrifying. Instead, it's just all the little madnesses and social problems of real life, amplified just a little to show that the world is damaged and getting worse: an eerie vision of financial turmoil, international tension, politicians with no solutions, sad clowns and scared citizens who turn to psychiatry, prescription medicine and drug abuse to escape their growing sense of wrongness. It's a very different type of horror from Chick's usual stories, but very effective in its own way.
    • Further, the narration is written in the style of a madman's stream of consciousness:
  • Chick Tracts all have some Fridge Logic in that it seems like the rules for who gets to go to Heaven will mean that most of the world's population will wind up in Hell. Not a Christian? You go to Hell. Wrong type of Christian? You go to Hell. Right type of Christian but follow Christianity in the wrong way (like doing charity work instead of evangelizing)? You go to Hell. Pretty much everything seems to get you sent to Hell. The real scary part though? It's not Fridge Logic. It is stated in several tracts that most of humanity will wind up in Hell.
  • Li'l Susy's expression in the right panel. Enfant Terrible personified.
  • Combining Nightmare Fuel with Fridge Horror, the mere fact that Jack Chick actually based the comics on his actual beliefs. Along with the fact that we never get any specific answers to how is life was like before he became a comic book creator. The sheer uncertainty of that is chilling.


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