The only one Im really scared of is that VUG under the RUG.
Just because Dr. Seuss' works really are meant for childrennote doesn't mean his books aren't devoid of Nightmare Fuel, especially not with his surreal art-style and settings.
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- The Vug Under the Rug from There's a Wocket in my Pocket is considered by many to be his most frightening creature. Reason? We don't even know what it actually looks like.
- The Jertain in the curtain, another case of Nothing Is Scarier since all we see is the creature's feet.
- The empty pants from The Sneetches and Other Stories. While those empty pants are actually friendly and not only that but quite sensitive, there's a bit of Nothing Is Scarier in action because you never find out how they work. They levitate along, walking above ground, have feelings, can see and hear without eyes and ears, and on the last page, they talk.
- The vicious birds in Scrambled Eggs Super.
- The Beasts from Oh Say Can You Say
- as well as the Grox in the Grox Box if you spend your whole life seeing its hands as its bottom jaw... Try it.◊
- and the SHNACK IN THE SACK!!!
- Hop on Pop has
- The silhouettes in The Shape of Me and Other Stuff.
- The Once-ler in the book of The Lorax, though all we see are his hands (and occasionally, his eyes).
- From the same book, there's the fact that the forest creatures have to be sent away and are all negatively affected (the hummingfish can't hum, the swommee swans can't sing and the barbaloots are sick). Doubles as a Tear Jerker.
- Dr. Seuss's ABC has two examples:
- It's a simple, imaginative book about the alphabet... up until we get to the letter X. Then we get this.◊ That fox's unsettling expression, that large ax... and the picture of the girl, but the girl not anywhere to be seen, makes it worse.
- Also, some people find the Zizzerzazzerzuzz at the end scary, although it is a friendly creature.
- Hunches in Bunches has the Four-Way Hunch, alongside the yellow super hunch.
- "Oh The Thinks You Can Think":
- The Wickersham Brothers, especially when accompanied by a villain song. It gets worse when their uncles and cousins are introduced.
- The "Bitsy Big-Boy Boomeroo" from The Butter Battle Book. The book ends with the fear that one of them will drop it, which is exactly the point.
- The entire sequence that we see in the animated adaption has a Mad Scientist feel to it. It starts with red goo that comes to life and moves some controls around, and even features split-second glimpses of ghosts and snakes. The Chief Yookeroo's gravelly voice singing the accompanying song is also unsettling when combined with these eerie visuals.
- Foo-Foo the Snoo, a goat/satyr-like creature in a gimp suit with eyes glaring at the reader. Click if you dare ◊
- In One Fish Two Fish, the two children find a large aquatic creature with bright yellow eyes and curved teeth in a big glass jar in the park in the dark. They decide to take him home and name him Clark. Clark will live with them. Clark will grow and grow. Will their mother like this? They don't know.
- Technosagery's "Out of the Dark" offers a take on what happened after Clark started growing.
- The Oobleck that kept everyone in Didd rooted in one place and would have buried them alive if the king hadn't made his apology.
- At the end of Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose, the scene where Thidwick's unwanted guests◊ ended up being stuffed and mounted when Thidwick threw his horns away is a bit disturbing.
- In The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins Bartholomew sentenced to have his head chopped off. He walks down to the dungeon and meets an executioner with an enormous ax. The magicians were pretty spooky too.
- The ending (or rather lack thereof) of The Butter Battle Book, with two sides of an utterly pointless war standing face-to-face, ready to drop their respective world-destroying bombs. What makes this especially horrifying is that it's a metaphor for the Cold War.
- The fact that the Zax never moved for years just because they were so stubborn. Imagine standing in one place without moving for years. Sleeping could be dealt with if they lay down but you'd have to wonder how they'd eat, go to the bathroom or entertain themselves.
- This◊ illustration of the titular character from How the Grinch Stole Christmas!. The Grinch is looking down from Mt. Crumpet at Whoville, with a very angry and ominous expression, and the only Splash of Color in the drawing are his angry red eyes.
Oh, the Places You'll Go!
So many examples from this book:
- It depicts streets you don't want to go down,◊ riddled with holes that reveal huge lizard-like monsters. Good thing the protagonist walked the other way...
- One of the first signs that things might not be all smooth sailing for you in life is when the protagonist crashes his balloon, and the others leave without him. Coming down from the lurch, he ends up in a "a Slump" which is apparently a dark place filled with big, shapeless ...things.
- He then comes upon a mysterious town,◊ where there are few lights, no street markings, and no sign of any life. We never do find out what the deal with this place is, either.
- Confused and scared, he starts to run at "break-necking speed" through "weirdish wild space"◊ (a phrase Lovecraft might be proud of), which leads him to...
- The waiting place. Imagine just waiting for something. Forever. Forever. Forever. Forever.
- Imagine playing on this building. Heck, imagine doing anything on that building. Adult fear at its finest.
- It talks about times when you will feel alone and scared, and demonstrates this by showing our hero being menaced by dark creatures with evil eyes.◊
- ...followed by a spooky boat ride, surrounded by things called Hakken-Kraks,◊ giant sea monster-like creatures that howl. Sure, it might not seem like the scariest thing in the book, but imagine what it would be like, from the boy's POV, in real life. Just think about it...
- Similarly, the following illustration◊, of the protagonist getting "mixed up with many strange birds" doesn't seem too scary at first glance, but again, imagine doing it in real life. It's even worse than that building...
- Not to mention the green and black-striped creature that fills up two pages, even though the boy didn't seem very scared of it.
Adaptations and Other Media
- Trophy heads of Dr. Seuss creatures.
- Halloween Is Grinch Night has its own page.
- The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T, a film written by Dr. Seuss. The whole movie has a nightmarish feel, but a few moments stand out:
- The elevator operator, and those eyes! It doesn't help that the elevator itself is swinging like a flag in the wind.
- An antropomorphic bust of Terwilliker's head gives Bart this advice: "Bartholomew Collins, the years you spend with Dr. Terwilliker will be the happiest years of your life! But if you get homesick, don't try to escape. The barbed wire around the Terwilliker institute, is ELECTRIFIED! ELECTRIFIED! ELECTRIFIED...!"
- Bart's pretty scared by it too....
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas!: The face the Grinch made when he got his "wonderful awful idea" is not very child-friendly...
- And when he sneaks into the bedroom, that same creepy Slasher Smile he makes at the sleeping kids before he steals their candy canes. It was even edited out in broadcasts for some time.
- Remember, stealing children's candy canes while they're sleeping is NOT a euphemism for anything. *cough*
- The Grinch in general has a penchant for making various Nightmare Faces.
- The unsettling Nosferatu-esque wall shadow which all but consumes Cindy Lou Who as he's lying to her.