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Nightmare Fuel / Tintin

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  • The giant spider in "The Shooting Star". First, Tintin visits the planetarium and views through the telescope when he sees a gigantic spider. It turns out it is just a small one on top of the lens. That night, Tintin has a nightmare where Philippus the prophet shows him a full size poster depicting a huge black spider, with the caption: "real life measurements". But later, as Tintin travels to the comet which crashed into the sea, it turns out there is a giant spider after all! Grown to the size of a large dog due to the comet's radiation!
    • The fact that the beginning of the book opens with a meteor about to strike the Earth; fortunately, Prof. Phostle's calculations are off (and it switches fairly quickly to a wacky sci-fi adventure story), but the tension and helplessness in those few pages are deeply disturbing.
    • The Belvision animated series of the 1960s makes the spider on the comet even bigger.
    • The original magazine run of this story, which is creepy for another reason entirerly; a bunch of anti-American and anti-semite content approved because it was published during the days of the Nazi occupation of Belgium. Herge wasn't really a racist or a Nazi but a lot of his early work is very disturbing because it's like he didnt know any better.
  • The dream and nightmare sequences in "Tintin" are notoriously surreal and downright creepy:
    • In "Cigars of the Pharaoh", Tintin is locked inside an Egyptian tomb and put to sleep with sleeping gas. He then dreams several strange images combining recent people he met and Egyptian artwork.
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    • In "Tintin: The Crab with the Golden Claws", Tintin dreams he is turned into a bottle, which Haddock (making a Nightmare Face) is planning to uncork.
    • In "Tintin: The Seven Crystal Balls", Tintin and his companions all have the same nightmare: that they are visited by the Inca mummy Rascar Capac who enters their bedroom by night and then throws a poisonous crystal ball on the floor. It's probably the scariest moment out of all the books. The Slasher Smile on the mummy's face makes it even worse, and the animated series turns it Up to Eleven.
    • Also from The Seven Crystal Balls, the seven Egyptologists that have been rendered comatose simultaneously regain consciousness at the same time every day and scream in terror before returning to their comatose state. It's never said what is making them scream like that except for a reference in Prisoners of the Sun about them being tormented via Voodoo Dolls. Of course, it is much worse in the animated series; in the comics it was just one panel of all seven of them writhing about, in the series, we're treated to the sight of their weirdly blueish-grey skin and close ups of them screaming which is itself horrific to listen to.
      • It's much more terrifying because we don't get to see their hallucinations... A good theory is Rascar Capac and other Incan Mummies coming to life, appearing and trying to kill them in various horrible ways, with those massive slasher smiles on their faces. And they have to endure that every single day. Brrrr.
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    • In "Tintin - Tintin in Tibet", Haddock dreams he meets Professor Calculus, who claims he has lost his umbrella. Haddock then tells him he's got a lot of umbrellas with him, but has no idea where they came from. Calculus is angried by his answer and tells him: "You lie! It's red pepper." Then Haddock suddenly wears Calculus' clothes, while Calculus wears those of Haddock. Now grown to enormous size Calculus hits Haddock on the head with an umbrella, claiming it's "Checkmate!"
      • Here too, the effect is amplified by the animated version.
    • In "Tintin: The Castafiore Emerald", Captain Haddock dreams he is listening to an opera singing parrot while he is seated completely nude in an audience consisting of nothing but parrots.
    • In Tintin: Prisoners of the Sun, Tintin dreams that Calculus is admiring an "Inca Tree" whose flowers are skulls while a real Inca menaces him with a spear, next Tintin asks the Inca, who now has Haddock's face if he has a licence for the rifle over his shoulder, upon which the Inca turns into a mysterious Indian who has been following the heroes and blasts Tintin with fire for blasphemy. Tintin then wakes up with hot sunlight on his face.
    • In "Tintin and Alph-Art", the opening page has Haddock dreaming about Bianca Castafiore showing up in his bedroom and demanding that he drink his medicine (a bottle of Loch Lomond). Haddock points out that he still can't drink it, which causes Castafiore to turn into a huge half-human-half-bird monster and then start attacking Haddock.
  • There's the very disturbing end of Tintin: Flight 714 in which one character is revealed to be a human in contact with aliens, possibly a spy, and he uses Mind Control to save the heroes and forces the criminals into his ship. We don't find out what happened to them... but that just makes it worse. note 
  • Throughout "Tintin - Tintin in Tibet", the yeti is portrayed with a great deal of sympathy (and as the occasional butt of a joke), but when he catches Tintin in his cave, trying to make off with Chang... brrrrrr.
  • Frank Wolff's suicide in "Tintin: Explorers on the Moon". He leaves the rocket. Even though it happens off screen and is explained in a suicide note, it's still very disturbing.
    • Made worse with the fact that the reader gets to imagine his horrible death and the fact that his body could be floating around in space forever...!
    • The two Moon books could be the contenders for the most tense Tintin stories. The first book is shrouded in an air of mystery and thriller, with most of the exposition occurring in eerie, wide labs; and then we have things like Tintin getting shot or Haddock beaten up by a stranger in the hallway. And then Explorers on the Moon has this overall air of dread starting in the first page, and it continues on till the end, with the characters often saying how they won't survive this adventure, and then the actual dangerous adventures they get into (Haddock leaving the ship, Snowy falling down a precipice). And then there's Wolff and Jorgen...
  • In "Tintin: Prisoners of the Sun", the Indians getting turned into snowballs and rolling down into a canyon.
    • The fact that Tintin and his friends would have been burned to death were it not for a Convenient Eclipse.
  • The angry corporal getting blown up by his own bomb in "Tintin: The Broken Ear"
    • From the same album, the two bad guys wrestling each other to drown at the bottom of the sea. Then they get carried off to hell by pitchfork-wielding devils.
    • Devils with shit-eating grins.
    • Notably, this scene is entirerly cut from the animated version, with Tintin saving the two idiots from getting themselves killed over the damn gem.
  • The entire Poison of Madness concept in "Cigars of the Pharaoh" and "Tintin: The Blue Lotus". A single blowdart with it will drive any person insane, and no one is safe.
    • Mr. Wang's son's insanity, and him about to DECAPITATE HIS OWN PARENTS AND TINTIN near the climax of "Tintin: The Blue Lotus". Which would then have been followed by Rastapopoulos and Mitsuhirato's lackey finishing him off with his pistol after the deed had been done.
  • The mummified corpses of the doomed Egyptologists and archaeologists in "Cigars Of The Pharaoh". Remember, these were archaeologists in a coma who were mummified alive. The blank stares make it worse too. It's like they're watching you, and they know you're next...
    • What's worse? They're on the cover of the book itself.
    • Try to think of their last moments of hallucinating and mummification. And remember, these are supposed to be corpses, murdered by the drug smugglers.
    • Then there's the scene where Tintin finds three new sarcophagi, being prepared for himself, Snowy and the newest archaeologist.
  • In "Tintin - Tintin in America", Tintin and Snowy falling onto the conveyor belt in the factory and about to be made into corned beef and eaten. Thank god for the striking workers, who stopped the conveyor belt out of anger at their wage cut. And in the same album, the cow being turned into corned beef alive, and the "missing pet" notices outside the factory, when you realize that the pets were also made into beef... you will never look at corned beef the same again after that.
  • The captain's near death in "Tintin - Tintin in Tibet".
  • The fact that in all of these adventures, Tintin is only 16-19 years old. He's just a kid!
  • Early in The Black Island, Tintin is captured sneaking into Dr. Müller's garden. Dr. Müller intends to send him to a private mental institution where he will be subjected to a treatment that will cause him to go insane (it's implied that Müller has already disposed of other people this way). While Tintin manages to get free before he is taken to the institution, the tropes implied are pretty disturbing.
  • The opening of The Calculus Affair, with the crystals breaking into pieces during the storm. It's incredibly eerie, and without us knowing what is exactly happening, it puts us a little on edge. The rest of the story also has this tense atmosphere too, portraying well the anxious sensation of the Cold War Era.


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