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Nightmare Fuel / The Nightmare Before Christmas

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"I am the one hiding under your bed,
teeth ground sharp and eyes glowing red!"

This movie has "Nightmare" in its title for a reason. Several, in fact...

  • Jack Skellington himself is the personification of your most visceral nightmares. He's a tall, thin skeleton who looks and moves like a spider, with gigantic empty black pits for eyes and a grin that would make your spine shiver no matter how kind it is. Just to put it in perspective, the character who's supposed to be the god-damned boogie man is scared to see him! He is The Pumpkin King because he is the greatest in Halloween Town. Before This Very Wiki was rebooted, Jack Skellington himself is the face of Nightmare Fuel. Thankfully, he is pretty nice and a genuine good guy, softening the blow.
  • Jack unwittingly wakes an elf during "What's This". There's a good chance, if the elf's expression is anything to go by, that he won't sleep soundly for quite a while.
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  • Pretty much all of Halloween Town's attempts at making Christmas.
  • Oogie's death sequence. It's the horrible screams along with all those bugs that did it.
    "My bugs, my bugs...!" *crunch*
    • The fact that it kind of sounded like he was saying "MY BONES!" makes it worse. Especially when you consider the fact that that's exactly what they are for him...
    • It gets even worse when you realize that Jack basically just skinned Oogie alive! ON SCREEN, no less! *shudders*
  • The sequence when Jack delivers all the presents. All those demented, evil toys, and that snake thing that ate the tree...
    • The snake thing can also be seen trying to eat one of the monsters during "Making Christmas". We see him later on in the movie no worse for the wear, but still
  • The shrunken head that one kid held up. It didn't help it played during one preview on TV a lot. He looked just as frightened and confused as real life kids did.
  • The Clown with the Tear-Away Face. Is it the fact that he tore off his face, the whole being-a-clown thing, or the way his voice changes? There's something so specifically freaky about that character that you wonder if it wasn't inspired by an actual nightmare of Burton's (or Selick's, or Elfman's...).
    • In the Russian version, his voice stays normal when he rips off his face...for all of two seconds. It then slowly becomes a Voice of the Legion. The English translation of the lyrics makes it even worse:
      "I am the clown with the empty skull, happy outside but empty inside!"
  • Fridge Horror applies to Lock, Shock, and Barrel's fear that "Jack will beat us black and green". Jack probably isn't the type to hit kids. Oogie, on the other hand ...
    • Add to this the fact that they are not only terrified of him but serve him anyway, and the fact that they are implied during the ending (and much of the film, really) to be mostly harmless tricksters, and you begun to wonder just what Oogie did or said to get the trio THAT MUCH under his thrall.
  • The end of Oogie Boogie's song when he goes from bright green to dark gray and then he did that demonic laugh. Yikes!
  • When Jack gets to the end of the Town Meeting song, and sings "Sandy Claws" he does a rather frightening face that fills up the screen.
  • "Kidnap the Sandy Claws, throw him in a box, bury him for ninety years, then see if he talks!"
    • "We're his little henchmen, and we do our job with pride. We do our best to please him and stay on his good side."
    • Those sinister 'lalala's...
    • Korn's cover is, not surprisingly, creepy in its own way, especially the way Jonathan Davis sings some of the lines in his trademark metal scream.
    • That poor bug they trapped. First they dunk it in something that turns it green, then they send it down to Oogie Boogie. It has time for a terrified squeak before it's sucked out of the cage and devoured.
      • Fridge Brilliance: Glow-in-the-dark paint often looks green under normal light, and Oogie Boogie is made of bugs that glow in the dark...
  • Seeing Santa tied up and helpless on top of that table-platform thingy as the black lights go up, the bats screech, and then Oogie Boogie walks in, and you know he's up to no good.
    • The mere thought of anything terrible happening to Santa Claus is terrifying to anyone, but children will probably be especially horrified that the person threatening to torture and then murder Santa is the Boogie Man. Santa Claus, a famous childhood icon, is being tortured by the Boogie Man, the embodiment of childhood fear. Now that's terrifying.
    • Ignore that Oogie is supposed to be the Boogie Man, the childhood personification of fear. Even ignoring that, he spends pretty much all of his screentime (at least, before Jack shows up) exhibiting behavior that can be compared to only one thing: a serial killer, and one who can't be reasoned with in any way, shape, or form to boot. How many others have fallen victim to him, especially before Jack defeated him?
  • That alternate scene where instead of a pumpkin, the vampires are playing ice hockey with a severed head (Tim Burton's in fact). No wonder they cut it.
  • "I am the one hiding under your bed. Teeth ground sharp and eyes glowing red."
    • And you can't see anything except those teeth and eyes. Nothing Is Scarier indeed.
    • And this thing is supposed to be hiding under the viewer's bed. Since he's a Halloween Town resident, he probably doesn't mean any real harm, but it's still really unsettling that a creature would be lurking down there, waiting to come out and scare you out of your wits.
    • Mind listening to it in Russian? THEN you will DEFINITELY never look under your bed ever again...
  • Also a dash of Nothing Is Scarier:"I am the 'who' when you call 'who's there?'" ''I am the wind moving through your hair..?''
  • The scene where Jack is sneaking around Christmas Town like some giant, suit-wearing spider is intensely creepy and out-of-place in the cheerful setting, despite the happy-go-lucky soundtrack to the scene. The bit where he crawls through a window UPSIDE DOWN and lands in a normal-looking crouch without visibly changing his position especially stands out.
  • Behemoth, the resident of Halloween Town with the ax lodged in his cranium. He seems like a pretty nice guy, though, and apparently likes bunnies.
  • The Melting Man whose body is constantly melting like wax.
  • Hanging Tree with his five living skeletons being hung on nooses on his branches!
    • In the Russian dub, they speak with voices that make them sound like they're desperately gasping for breath.
  • When Oogie realizes Sally tricked him and is trying to get Santa out, he gives a furious roar and sucks them both back into the lair.
  • However well-intentioned it was, Jack's attempt to be Santa Claus. What if someone had gotten hurt by one of those toys?
    • The fact that Jack caused all of this trouble, without meaning any harm. He darn near destroyed Christmas, simply because he didn't know any better.
      • The various kids being chased around by the toys, and the elderly woman screaming as she's attacked by the wreath. There's also a scene where a child who's so obese that he can barely walk let alone run is wheezing as he desperately runs away from a jack-in-the-box, which, for all he knows, wants to enjoy a big Christmas dinner.
      • Some consider it a Tear Jerker if taking in consideration that, since the toys were made by the Halloween Town citizens (who never wish to harm anyone), there is the possibility that the toys really just wanted to play (even the snake). Becomes a nightmare fuel when, after Jack's fall in the cemetery, you get a lovely shot of some of the toys burning. Their faces are especially haunting as they seem to be in actual pain.
      • Imagine being one of the cops having to respond to that Christmas disaster. It's Christmas, you're expecting a quiet night on duty, and suddenly the radio is flooded with calls about a home intruder leaving dangerous "toys" that are attacking children. From the look of the police station, the situation was so bad that the entire department was probably called out to try and solve the problem. Now you have to leave the house, leaving your entire family alone while a vicious criminal is on the loose.
  • Just to emphasize after most points here mentioning it: the Russian version of "This is Halloween" as a whole. It takes the creepy visuals, mixes it with voices from Hell and takes everything Up to Eleven.
  • Shock starts to choke Lock after Jack shows them what Santa's holiday door looks like. While the two are fighting, Jack pulls off a terrifying Nightmare Face, traumatizing both the trio and audiences for years to come. See here.
  • Some of the pre-production material can seem scarier than anything in the actual film, such as this animation test involving early versions of Jack, Zero, and Santa. If you weren't scared of Santa Claus before, you will be.

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