This page is under construction.
WikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotesBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extension.gifPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifier.pngAnalysisPhoto link.pngImage LinksHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconic

Cquote1.svg
"So I start up Team Fortress 2 and then I see a creepy bald man."
Cquote2.svg

You would think that the little logos at the end of TV shows and the start of movies and video games wouldn't have the potential to scare anyone. These examples prove otherwise. Here are a few of the ones that made young children brit shicks if you know what I mean.

Note: To just give an overview of how many people were scared shitless by these over the years, the Closing Logo Group's wiki, which documents vanity plates, listed among other things the "Scare Factor" of each logo (as does the site's predecessor and model, the FortuneCity hosted "KRS Logos.") They have since replaced it with an "editor's note" in attempt to sharpen their image.

Note 2: In the UK, these are known as 'idents' or 'end boards'.

And now, the examples.

Examples of Scary Vanity Plates:

Cinema

  • Those movie theater "enjoy the show" roller coasters make me about crap myself. Every time. Or want to throw up.
  • On the subject of movie theater bumpers, we have this one from the not-quite-defunct Century Theatres, which used to scare Anonymous User. Seeing it on YouTube might make this puzzling, but it was much louder in the theater, and I hated that.
    • Seems that they took a lot of elements from Pacific Theatres "Death Ray", which I saw dozens of times as a child.
  • Feel sorry for anyone who had to witness Carlton Screen Advertising's abomination in British movie theatres. It features a huge, flaming branding iron loudly slamming at the screen. It used to come before the commercials and trailers and was used constantly between 1996 and 2014. So if you were watching something in British cinemas, you'd have to bring earplugs.
  • At 5:20 in the link, this trailer for the Famous Players chain in Canada. It feels a tad creepy to watch, with what's coming at you.
  • This one is pure nightmare fuel. The logo starts off in a starfield, where a huge wormhole forms in the center of the screen and we zoom very rapidly through it, as it changes colors. A flash then engulfs the screen and the IMAX logo appears and zooms away from us.
  • The Dolby Digital intro. You're welcome.
    • Remember this? This troper had to sit through this ungodly noisy abomination inside a theater, he was 8 at the time. May the Lord have mercy on your soul if this pops up in your local cinema.
    • This Troper doesn't mind it (having seen it in theaters dozens of times), but... "ALL... AROUND... YOU!"

Film

  • THX, period. Its infamous logo sound effect, the "Deep Note," which to many young filmgoers and film viewers on VHS in the '80s and '90s, was very much a Brown Note. Sure, there are plenty of funny trailers (such as the ones starring Tex), but between those are some...scary ones for this sound system phenomenon.
    • "Broadway," thanks to that loud sound and the dark background. It made children fear watching tapes of Disney movies or anything else with the THX logo on the packaging for plenty of years, no thanks to it being the most widely-used depiction of the Deep Note (VHS, DVD and Laserdisc films that used THX were especially common throughout the 90s and 2000s).
    • "Cimarron," which was parodied on Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation. It opens with a conductor flicking a baton, prior to opening a giant blue wormhole set to dramatic whooshes and drones. The theme would later be changed to a lusher fanfare with a less creepy ending, courtesy of James Horner.
Cquote1.svg

Announcer: The audience is now deaf.

Cquote2.svg
    • "Grand" opens with loud whirling noises set to a hellish 2D environment, serving as a major contrast towards the ending, where the THX logo makes a majestic appearance set to a choir rendition of the Deep Note.
    • "The Science of Sensation," partly due to how slow and dark it is.
    • "Cavalcade," which depicts a blue ball exploding suddenly before forming the THX logo in a dark and stormy environment, with the THX logo being formed by the pieces of the blue ball being struck by lightning. It's especially creepy considering how the animation for the ball / THX logo seems to be inspired directly by the T-1000...in fact, it was originally produced as a tie-in for the film's Ultimate Edition DVD release.
    • "Eclipse" cranks everything scary about the THX logo Up to Eleven, with darkness and an even longer and louder Deep Note. And if that ain't enough for you, there are variants that are 45 seconds and even a full minute long.
      • A user decided to take the minute-long version and make it even worse, with darker colors, distortion effects, and most importantly, a deep note that cranks Sensory Abuse Up to Eleven before the actual THX logo appears. It goes without saying that you should never watch it on a high volume.
    • The Simpsons parody has been considered to many Nightmare Retardant, as well as the Robot Chicken parody (featuring Boba Fett!)
    • A YouTube user decided to combine practically every THX intro into one video, which is extremely loud and might even deafen people. The video also features Ethan from h3h3productions dancing shirtless at 11 seconds into the video. For a better listening experience, turn down the volume!
    • Here it is played normal.. then reversed.
  • Several Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons throughout the mid 30's to the mid 60's would open up with the Warner Bros. logo zooming into position, accompanied with a loud twang sound, which was startling but nothing mind-scarring, but then it got even worse on the 1954 Bugs Bunny cartoon Lumber Jack-Rabbit (the first Bugs Bunny cartoon released in 3-D), where the shield would pass it's usual stopping position and zoom in farther than usual. Here's a giant compilation of Looney Tunes intros from that era.
    • A YouTube user decided to take the Lumber Jack-Rabbit intro and make it worse, by making the shield cover up the entire screen!
    • Unfortunately, in 2010, WB decided to pay tribute to the Lumber Jack-Rabbit intro for their Road Runner 3D cartoon shorts. This time, however, the shield zooms in at a rapid pace and abruptly bounces back to position. It's even worse than the original variant! The Looney Tunes cartoons released in 2003 also made homages to the Lumber Jack-Rabbit intro, but were cheesy and slow. The intro to The Looney Tunes Show also featured a homage to Lumber Jack-Rabbit at the start, with the shield zooming in a la the 2010 variant, but the shield is more two-dimensional this time. All of these intros can be found in this link.
    • This intro for Marvin the Martian in the Third Dimension. It also featured a homage to the Lumber-Jack Rabbit intro, but the shield also breaks the "Warner Bros. Presents" text. Your Milage May Vary, as this troper finds it funny as hell.
    • The "That's All, Folks!" closings were also freaky, since the text would magically write itself on screen. The ones that ended with Porky Pig weren't as bad, but the idea of having Porky burst out of a drum was a little odd.
      • The Bugs Bunny shorts Hare Tonic and Baseball Bugs had a variant where Bugs burst out of the drum while eating a carrot. Instead of saying "That's All, Folks!", he would say "And that's the end!". Like said before, it's not as bad as the normal "That's All, Folks!" closings, but the idea of having a character burst out of a drum is still a little odd.
      • What's worse is that the closing for Box Office Bunny had Porky Pig and Daffy Duck burst out of the background screaming. Bugs Bunny then appears and says "That's All, Folks!".
      • The version used for Invasion of the Bunny Snatchers is very unsettling if you are not prepared for it.
      • The 1995 cartoon Carrotblanca uses a very terrifying version as well, which depicts the text writing itself above the Warner Bros. Family Entertainment logo. The shield then opens up to reveal Tweety saying "That's All, Folks!" with a very disturbing smile on his face, and he then giggles unnervingly, as the shield closes. See for yourself here.
    • In 1964 [1], the traditional Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies logos were replaced with something quite different that featured swirling lines and a huge abstract "WB" graphic on a black background, accompanied by William Lava's very strange arrangement of the usual "Merry Go Round Broke Down" theme. It especially didn't help that it was seen on some of the crappier cartoons of the period (like the Rudy Larriva Road Runner cartoons.) The later Warner Bros.-Seven Arts version featured the less scary "W7" shield and a much cheaper-sounding version of the weird theme (quite fitting of the cartoons' decreasing quality), dialing back the scariness a bit.
  • Speaking of Warner Bros., the Kids WB logo used on the first three Pokémon movies. Imagine that you're in a theatre seeing one of those Pokémon movies, waiting for the movie to start, and then WHAM, big Kids WB logo in your face. Combine that with the beginning of Pokémon: The First Movie (with Mewtwo's creepy voice) and you're set.
  • When Screen Gems was re-launched as a movie studio in 1998, the "S from Hell" was mellowed down a lot for the 1999 company logo. Occasionally, the logo is colored red, which is unsettling on its own. But then there's this variant from The Covenant, where the spiral S is formed with fire.
  • Fat Dog Productions, thanks to a combination of incessant howling and the lack of animation.
  • Boje Buck, which provides an example of Hair-Raising Hare. If the fact that a rabbit killed a snake isn't enough to unnerve you, the "You're next" glance in its eyes will.
  • A variant on Klasky-Csupo's "Super Scary Face" logo used for The Wild Thornberrys Movie was considerably more unsettling than the standard one (see the Television section below.) Not only is the cut to the logo (which is more cheaply animated this time) jarring, the face stares at you for the entire length and smiles at the end!
  • Intrepid Pictures, featuring a man almost getting struck by lightning. The red sky and the music certainly don't help.
    • Even worse is that it reminds some of a recent, soul-scarring Toonami moment...
    • It was later replaced by a tamer version which features a live-action zoom-out of the man and no music other than thunder sounds.
  • The MGM logo. A big lion on the screen roaring at you could send chills down a kid.
    • While all of the lions were scary to some degree, Tanner is often regarded as the scariest of all. This may be why Tom replaced him on the Chuck Jones-era Tom and Jerry shorts, besides Rule of Funny.
    • If you can believe it, it gets creepier. Those poor lions look so disoriented being stuck in that frame!
    • In the opening for the US version of The Fearless Vampire Killers, the lion sprouts animated vampire fangs with blood dripping on them after he does his usual roaring. In the UK version he turns into a green cartoon vampire.
    • The new MGM logo introduced in 2012 is bound to catch some people off guard because the logo is animated in a way that exploits 3D. It starts with an extremely close zoom-in of Leo's eye, which then pans out to a comfortable distance of the full view of the lion and the ribbon, which then continues as usual with the lion roaring. The entire logo is initially irised out up until you can see the entire face of the lion.
    • The Greek theater mask below the lion is sort of creepy, as well.
    • United Artists had this "Turning UA" logo, with odd music that it starts out sounding menacing but turns triumphant and celebratory.
  • The first View Askew logo that appeared at the beginning of Clerks. It is grungy, roughly animated, and involves a little boy and a cross-dressing clown. The music alone is enough to make me void my bowels, even today. It has to be seen to be believed. Tellingly, some network TV airings of the film omit the logo entirely, with a standard "A View Askew Production" in-credit logo taking its place for the film's opening credits.
  • Okay what is it about the TriStar pegasus? There's just something strangely imposing about him...
  • No love for Touchstone? It even has creepy music.
    • The creepy music is one of the things taken out of the shortened TV version, being replaced with a serene piano jingle ending with a bell where the horn stab would be in the movie logo.
  • Any of those logos that'll play at the end of a DVD. Picture yourself sitting on your reclining chair during the end of The Girl Next Door: Unrated Edition. You think it's all over and the credits have run their course, and then suddenly, BAM! Big green logo in your face.
  • FNM Films, if only for the random yell of pain in the background.
  • Oz Film, known by a YouTube user as "VID's Granny" for a good reason. It's just the floating head of a lady looking and smiling at the camera (actually Vivian Reed), and that's it. Some variants have the head even closer to the camera, which makes it even more scary.
    • Now that is genuinely terrifying.
    • Pfft. This logo makes the VID mask look tame.
  • What about the Twisted Pictures logo??
    • All that was left was for the letters to start dripping blood afterwards. I was seriously expecting that.
    • If the new trailer for Jigsaw is any indication, Twisted Pictures' new logo with updated graphics actually does.
  • Gaumont's mid-80's logo. The dark atmosphere, the zooming and the dramatic synthesized music makes for an unsettling experience.
    • The 1970s logo from the same company makes the previous one look very friendly at least, with the earth slowly zooming in on the smoke background, suddenly cutting into the daisy logo and a dramatic fanfare, as the smoke starts to turn red.
  • Yet those two logos described above doesn't even compare to the 1950s surrealistic monstrosity by Cocinor, with the black and white colors, textile tunnel, and the ghostly-looking company name stretching like it's someone coming to get you from your deepest nightmares, all set to a bizarre orchestral piece. It's basically what the French's strangest — yet most interesting — art experiments from the century would look like if it was expressed as a 20-second logo.
    • A color version exists; the bright blue colors tames the logo a bit, but there's still that theremin-led piece to worry about.
    • This Troper disagrees, the music sounds like something out of Space Ghost to them.
  • The people at Fabrica thought it was a good idea to have their vanity plate include a dark-toned human open it's cat-like eyes and look straight at you, with nothing else accompanying it. Nothing Is Scarier.
  • The Finnish movie distributor Finnkino used to open their features with this logo in both cinemas and home video releases — including children's cartoons. Is what could best be described as "howling burning space ballerinas" what you want your kids to see? Huh? Is this what you want them watching?
  • The logo for A Rainbow Release. Which has a soundless zoom in of Orson Welles staring into your soul.
    • Orson Welles sees you in your dreams. Orson Welles sees you in your NIGHTMARES.
  • Erry Vision. The ugly looking font and dark background, whith what sounds like a cross between The Joker's laugh and Tom's yell of pain in the background.
  • Barnholtz Entertainment appears to be just a calm moonlight landscape but then it unleashes an unexpected, extremely quick and warning-less zoom-in into a horse's eye.
  • The alternate version of the Fox fanfare that was done for the opening of Alien³. It starts off as normal, but then right before the end it hangs, then descends into a terrifying finish, almost as if the music itself is screaming. For added scariness, the sound goes from monaural in the fanfare to full stereo on the scary ending. It is quite possibly one of the most horrifying instances of Last Note Nightmare to date, some have even (jokingly) argued that it is even scarier than the entire film itself.
  • The Bryanston Pictures "Creepy Box" Logo is not exactly renowned for its scare power... but it should be, with its odd animation and creepy avant-garde synthesizer sounds.
    • Even worse is that Bryanston was tied to a mafia family.
    • And here's an Asian logo that borrowed the audio for Bryanston Pictures- why they thought this was a good idea...
  • The ident for the Learning Corporation of America is positively sinister. There is no reason for it to jut forward at the end like that. The music does not help.
  • Disney's Sleeping Beauty castle logo normally isn't unsettling... with two exceptions:
    • The end of Wreck-It Ralph. As the castle fades in, the screen jutters and glitches with unsettling sound effects, and then the entire right-side glitches apart in a Shout-Out to the infamous Level 256 Kill Screen in Pac-Man. It serves as a Jump Scare for those who stayed to the end of the film and weren't expecting something like it to happen, and it brings back bad memories of Turbo. See for yourself here.
    • The logo at the beginning of Frankenweenie, where the logo plays as normal, but as the "Disney" signature text fades in, the logo segues into a Jump Scare thanks to the logo flashing with thunder sound effects. What's worse is that this is blended with the sky becoming black and white, as well as the creepy-looking moon, an ominous organ, and a firmly menacing choir. Regardless, this is obviously intentional, due to the tone of the movie.
  • German filmmaking company Atlas International's logo features a static background of the world, some choppy animation, and a synthesizer theme that is actually pretty badass, albeit very menacing.[2]
    • There's also North American Releasing, whose logo was adapted from it, and it isn't much better thanks to very cheap looking text and even more choppy animation.
  • Anyone who saw The Wild Thornberrys Movie in theatres were more than likely freaked out by this monstrosity at the beginning of the movie itself. The extreme close-up of the dog's nose sniffing the screen is unnerving enough, as well as how hideous the dog itself looks, but after we see what it's sniffing which is the Nickelodeon Movies logo, the dog tops it all off by licking the screen! Add the scary variant of the Klasky-Csupo logo at the end and you've got double trouble.
  • Swan Productions. Red colors, smoke, darkness, and the music combined......
  • Back in the day, Bollywood sure had a thing for this type of logo. Highlights include a baby about to be eaten by a cobra with some creepy Indian chanting (Amrit Kalamandir), a demonic red trident emerging out of a thunderstorm with creepy chanting (Trishul), a man who roars before maniacally laughing (Dwarakish Chitra), an extremely loud roar that wouldn't be out of place in a kaiju film with a frightening and violent statue zooming in (Ramsay Films), a series of natural disasters followed by what almost looks like a funeral (Buddha Films), several jump-scares involving statues and loud fanfare, one of which (Jubilee) is preceded by distorted funeral music, and worst of all, National Arts.
  • Slaughterhouse Entertainment, which shows a spinning oval-like shape with a drawing of a skeleton behind a short cylinder with a drawing of house, coming at you. The music and screaming when it stops spinning does not help. Here's a link.
  • This Thai logo; there's something pretty creepy-looking about the elephant they used on this one... especially how it roars with the loud fanfare accompanying it.
  • The very NSFW Timpson Films logo from 2015. Look it up at your own risk.
    • For those who don't want to, it's an animation of a corpse on a satanic pentagram. Then his organs spew out of his rear end.
  • The Horror Factory logo starts off with a creepy looking creature walking closer to the screen. Several seconds later, the creature screams at the viewer for no apparent reason....it's really freaky. DO NOT WATCH IF YOU HAVE A HEART CONDITION!
  • The horrific abomination that is Brain Damage Films. Those sounds on an old film-like background and blood red colors on a black background could seriously scare someone.
  • The logo for Bloody Earth Films, showing the earth in what looks like Hell, and then, it turns brown as a giant, monstrous hand appears and scratches it.
  • The above-mentioned Learning Corporation of America were probably trying to outdo Films Incorporated. The epileptic-unfriendly animation combines with loud electronic warbling for a rather unsettling experience.
  • India's close neighbor Pakistan is no stranger to scary logos either.
    • This logo for Suhail Butt. Out of all choices of logo design, they had to put the logo on a tombstone with very dark, stormy weather and a lonely female voice singing. Absolutely nothing worth seeing in the dark or a poorly illuminated theater itself.
    • Ismail Production's logo had the statue logomark zooming in out from the dark, with loud thunder/rumbling noises. Also comes with two more flavors, perhaps more or less scarier than the first one mentioned.
    • Another one from Jahangir Productions. Even if everything about it is cliché (red skies, thunder, hands coming out of nowhere, and a fast pace), it is still worth including.
  • It's more subtle than actually scary, but the Korean Literature Film logo from 1960 features a fist raising up and opening into a palm, with B&W colors, lack of soundtrack and to finish, a pretty slow fade-out.
  • The logo for Apple Films, the short-lived film division of the Beatles' Apple Corps, from the eerie beeping, to the cheap animation, to the cuckoo clock noise that comes out of nowhere. Although, to be fair, you should probably expect weirdness if you're in any way familiar with some of the things the Beatles put out in their later years.
  • Dickhouse Productions has this disturbing ident before the Jackass movies. It actually wouldn't be that bad if it weren't for the mouth and the creepy moan...
  • The Jerry Bruckheimer Films logo comes off as a horror movie clip if you aren't used to it.

Home Video

  • Let us not forget that the first string of Disney movies released on home video were preceded by a truly mind-scarring Vanity Plate where a demonic-looking laser Mickey spun around as hyper-dramatic brass music blared in the background.
    • Ironically, the creepiness of laser Mickey fit perfectly with the dark tone (and similarly creepy Conspicuous CG opening credits) of both The Black Hole and Tron.
    • The early to mid-90s vanity plate took Mickey Mouse from "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" and wrote the name of Walt Disney Home Video in dark red on a black background. No idea why that was chilling but it was probably the mix of the haunting music (Disney seemed to be good at putting chilling music before kids movies for whatever reason) and the dark background.
      • There's a variant of that vanity plate, except of course it's custom made for the Walt Disney Classics VHS series. According to the Closing Logos wiki, a few later videotapes with that logo featured a distorted version of the jingle, due to a technical error. I can only imagine how that must have been for the poor kids who were already scared of the logo to begin with... (I personally found it quite comforting as a kid, but still!)
  • And now, our feature presentation... Yes, that deep voice has scared kids. Really.
    • That was the rare Navy Blue variant. Here's the slightly-less scary original.
    • Also, here's Paramount again
    • And this one
    • Hell, even hearing the JINGLE without the announcer creeps this troper out. It's the soundtrack of my nightmares. Skip to the 0:23 mark.
    • Jim Henson's Kermit-green FP logo.
    • Disney also put out strange title cards with the Feature Presentation font on certain backgrounds. Thank god Disney stopped using the "Coming On Videocassette this Summer" and "Coming This Fall to Home Video" cards before this troper was born.
    • The aforementioned cards made me so terrified of them that at age 4 or 5, if they ever entered my mind, I thought they would be in my bedroom hallway waiting for me if I got out of bed. It also wouldn't have creeped me out more if I hadn't watched them at night just before going to bed.
    • Even worse is on the 1992 release of 101 Dalmatians, where an extended, rather ominous version of the normally peppy 1986 WDHV jingle plays against said cards and even the closing Buena Vista logo at the end of the movie. All of this makes for a creepy atmosphere that, by all means, should not be viewed in the dark.
      • Even worse, shortly after one of the trailers on the same VHS (not even a minute after hearing that wretched music mentioned above), another title card fades in from the trailer credits without warning, no doubt scaring all the little kids who had watched the VHS for the first time. It doesn't help that the end of the trailer is completely silent until the announcer cuts in.
    • Another number from Disney-throughout the latter half of the 90s, they used a series of VHS bumpers that had the text of the bumper (in blue) quickly zoom out on a black background, and then create a huge white blinding flash on the screen that changed the background to a dark blue and the text to white. All the while accompanied by a very loud "whoosh" sound effect, an orchestral hit, and an ominous quiet note that played throughout the bumper. Given how a lot of the VHS commercials they used at the time typically faded out to black, this meant that what were essentially Jump Scares would play every time a trailer ended.
      • Some of the bumpers had modified versions of the music (which can be seen in the above link)-bumpers promoting Disney Interactive games for films used a orchestrated version of the music, which helped offset the ominous nature of the music; but then you had the "Stay Tuned After The Feature" bumpers that had an "extended" version of the music that was even creepier than the original. There were also the tamer "alternative" bumpers used for promoting rental tapes and DVDs that merely had the text fade in, though it used the fanfare from the above Feature Presentation card.
      • And as if that wasn't enough, there were the "After The Feature" bumpers used on VHS tapes of The Crow and its sequel that took the scariness factor Up to Eleven by pairing them with very freaky-looking Crow insignia from the films with the "After The Feature" bumpers. The fact that they both concern special features regarding Brandon Lee's fatal accident — his final on-camera interview and a memorial tribute, respectively — definitely doesn't help.
    • Also from Disney, the Feature Program logo has a variant, where a scene from a show's theme song (Bone Chillers, Doug, and Quack Pack) is used as the FP background, combined with the fact that they used the music from the first logo. Creepy, isn't it?
    • To counter the scariness, "Now Available on Videocassette." Why am I putting this here, you may ask? This!
  • The Warner Home Video bumper used throughout the 80s features a Conspicuous CG logo and synth horns that come blasting at you without a warning. Of course, it's a favorite of many, and not to mention, it preceded Batman on VHS.
    • The 1997 logo isn't that bad... except on The Teletubbies VHS tapes. After the peaceful logo lulls you into security, the 1990s PBS Kids logo (mentioned below in the Station Idiots section) comes on.
    • This logo for Warner Bros. Family Entertainment, which was seen at the end of a Halloween VHS promo from 2000, has Bugs Bunny sticking out of the WB shield in an opened door fashion (this variant can be seen as a vector logo on countless WBFE VHS and DVD covers) looking toward the left of the screen on a sunset-style cloud background… A flash of lightning then strikes the logo which causes the background to flicker. This then makes Bugs turn his eyes to the viewers (as this happens, his skeleton can be seen during the flickering, sort of like a certain scene in Sonic & Knuckles), as the background changes from the sunset-style clouds to pitch darkness. Oh, and one of the clouds lights up red and hisses. Even worse is the expression on Bugs' face. Of course, this is Halloween themed, but WB decided to take this to an extreme. Watch, if you dare...
  • The old Viz Video logo from the nineties. Very ominous music plays in the background as an enormous golden block continuously swirls against a starry backdrop until it breaks apart with a tremendous sound, similar to glass breaking or a car crash, the individual gold planes swarming the camera until they form a gold "V."
  • Anyone from the UK ever get The Snowman on VHS? A nice sweet film about a boy and his snowman that had a Downer Ending but pretty much defines Christmas for Brits of a certain age...? Well, before you got to see the video you saw Palace Video's logo "Dad, fast forward the tape ...OR ELSE!"
    • The ...OR ELSE! warning itself could be scary or funny depending of one's mindset.
  • This troper doesn't find the new FUNimation logo ident scary, but the jumble of anime voices leading up to the logo name being spoken and the "you should be watching" whisper might sound creepy to someone.
    • I was always taken much more by surprise with the old vanity plate. For me, the voice of Christopher Sabat is usually an indicator of incoming awesome, but having him whisper "FUNimation" right after some loud swooshing sound effects... no!
    • The mid-90s ident, as seen on old Dragon Ball VHS tapes, is a tad unsettling. It comes complete with creepy synthesized music and Uncanny Valley-esque CG shapes, especially that star near the end. However, both logos will get cheers of utter joy from anime fans.
  • I used to be scared of this Paramount logo for VHS. Especially that quick zoom along with the Last-Note Nightmare at the very end.
      • That logo was always on my Blue's Clues VHS tapes, and I was scared of it since it preceded Nick Jr.'s mascot Face, who scared me as a kid. (Nowadays I think he's cute in a My Little Pony way.)
  • Ladies and gents, may we present you the loudest logo of all time. Can you believe that released this on videos of Woody Woodpecker and Popeye?!?!?!
    • That's actually due to a bad transfer. The actual logo is tamer, but still scary.
  • The Mid 80's-Early 90's CIC Video logo may freak out quite a few people with its loud music.
  • This Simitar Entertainment logo from the late 80's. Super cheesy 80's animation? Check. Loud, over-synthesized and terrifying synth bass music? Check. The ugliest S you will ever see in your entire life?! Check check check.
  • Nobody mentioned the Viva Films logo? Weird laser sounds and effects, loud and uninviting synth music, big gold CG letters ominously rotating against a black-blue background...it's just downright menacing. Later attempts to offset the creepiness by adding more sound effects were done in the logo's later years, to varying success.
  • TOEI, WHAT IS GOING ON?! First it starts very calmly, but then you get bombarded by loud sounds, sparks, electricity, an explosion, and a creepy-sounding horn tune.
  • In the mid-1980s, Golden Book Video (a children's video distributor) thought it would be a great idea to place this monstrosity at the end of their tapes. With ugly animation that makes The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure look like Hayao Miyazaki, a comet that zooms into the screen and blasts at you, creepy synth humming, and a horrible disappearing effect for the GBV logo itself, it's a Last-Note Nightmare that makes you wonder how much drugs they took to get this onto tapes of Richard Scarry cartoons. Nightmare Retardant if you've seen Golden Book Video Killers, where Daffy does his Duck Dodgers act on the logo, only to collide with the comet.
    • An opening variant of said monstrosity exists, and it is certainly no better. It's basically the same except with a female announcer proclaiming in a somewhat creepy tone: "The best of children's entertainment presented by... Golden Book Video". Children's entertainment, indeed! If you don't believe me, it can be seen here about 36 seconds in. (Apologies for the picture quality.)
  • Worldvision Home Video's 1985-1995 logo. I don't think Birdman approved of big globes scaring children with their big whooshes and 5 oddly creepy sounding synth notes on his VHS tapes.
    • A shorter edit was used by Worldvision Enterprises around the same time (1988-1999), which is a tad less scary thanks to a much more subtle whoosh effect and a quicker jingle.
  • The BBC spooks you beyond Doctor Who with 90's BBC Video. As one commenter put it, "It sounds like someone died."
  • The logo for Germany's Top Pic Video.
    • The screaming was part of a promo that came before.
  • Australian company Roadshow Entertainment had what has been nicknamed "The Australian V of Doom" for the mid-80s that lasted throughout the early 90s. Given the horrifically intimidating synth stinger music, flashy effects, and dark atmosphere, it's not hard to see why the logo got its name.
  • Possibly the weirdest of the logos can be found in this Zombastic gem from the early 2000's. A screaming skull with bulging, bloodshot eyes floating around in space, seriously!?
  • The Dutch logo of DVD distributor Bridge Entertainment Group overuses its zooming effects with a obsessive manner. It all happens so quickly and the sparse music will help to contribute.
  • Depending on your point of view, the 1st Emperor Optical Disc logo is as infernal as it gets. Various Indonesian children (yes, that's their target demographic) have been scared to this logo thanks to the metallic statue of an eagle zooming in with fiery effects and dark synth music. But, your other reaction may actually be to consider it as an epic-looking logo.
  • The French Fil a Film logo, where a calming warning screen suddenly cuts to a sudden explosion in space, followed by a stone model of a camera zooming in and out with dramatic music before the result forms. This also appears after TV promotions of their tapes for added effect.
  • The Japanese Ropponica logo starts out with booming/flashing thunder and battle drums, but it then becomes Nightmare Retardant when the name starts forming as the jingle playing with it is really soothing. This is however going to be considered as one of the few uses of a First Note Nightmare you would see on a logo, maybe justified since they would no doubt scare kids from seeing their films (after all, they're R-18 rated).
  • Happy Face Home Video, being another public domain cartoon distributor. The look of the logo just speaks for its name.
  • From Italy there's Multivision Video, which was an Italian VHS distributor of Cannon movies. We would certainly agree that the logo doesn't look anywhere friendly, so take a look from yourself. The idea of a loud, outer-space explosion appearing from the very beginning being the first thing people would see on these kind of tapes.
  • The Castle Vision logo is not only frightening, but also really confusing at the same time. There's no rhyme or reason to anything in it, and the music is especially dark, ominous, and is sure to catch you off guard the first time you see it.
  • Interglobal Video with its creepy Moog music and cheap animation.
  • Best Film from Poland, from the alien-ish descending synth ringing, to the deep choir makes for a really unsettling result. The cheap CGI doesn't help that much either.
  • The synth noises in this logo for PolyGram Video sound downright threatening.
    • This one counts with its excessively loud sounds reminiscent of gunshots. You might want to lower your volume for this one.

Station Idents

  • The first releases of Nickelodeon shows like Ren and Stimpy and Rugrats on VHS were preceded by THIS monstrosity; a rapid fire montage of Nickelodeon's various Station Idents from the 1980's that throws so much crazy and random stuff at you that it becomes a certified Mind Screw. The Medium Blending of epic proportions doesn't help... Then there was THAT SCARY ORANGE BLOB logo...!
    • To some people who aren't scared of this logo it's sort of a Ear Worm. It's such a memorable logo.
    • Oh, and speaking of Nickelodeon, they had this delightful bumper from 1993 to 1999. First, we have some creepy painted hands singing the Nick theme in a way that makes the VID music sound pleasant, among flashes that makes that Pokemon episode look like it's for a one-year-old. Then, a disembodied pair of eyes and dentures (voiced by Tom Kenny, aka the face on the Volcano Sauce Drop) creepily reads the channel name, and it flashes the Nickelodeon logo. Now, you're thinking, what could be scarier than that? Well, this other one featured an egg that turned into a monster as a spoon turned into a scared bird. Then, the monster devours up the screen, revealing his Nickelodeon uvula. Sleep tight, kiddos!
    • The "Box" bumper is the unholy lovechild of said "Pinchface" bumper and Klasky-Csupo's 1998 logo (despite predating the latter by a few years) with Shrek ears. The entire thing feels like it was made on LSD.
    • To some, Face, the old Nick Jr. mascot, is somewhat unsettling. He's essentially a talking, Kirby-esque face that takes up the entire TV screen and makes weird faces and sounds. YMMV, some may find him cute.
    • The "Opera" bumper, with a huge female opera singer wearing a HUMONGOUS Nickelodeon-logo wig, along with a few close-ups of her face, and the creepy-looking conductor and his face at the end as his glasses break from the high note.
    • In October 2007, when the channel received a "Shocktober" theme, before and after commercial breaks they would show some rather unsettling images of Nicktoon characters done in a twisted monster movie style. Some of them looked mostly innocent, while others...fell a bit more into the creepy side of things. Examples included one image of Katara as an evil water spirit and a surprisingly graphic one of the skeletal corpse of Aang in chains.
    • Similar to the one above, Nickelodeon updated the bumpers for October 2016. Some bumpers were innocent [3], while some were pretty horrifying. An example is the bumper created for The Loud House, where Lincoln tells the viewer that there's nothing to be afraid of... then we see his sisters' eyes in the background, and Lincoln is still smiling.
    • This 1997 Nickelodeon UK closing logo is creepy in its own right, with wolves howling on a solid white background with an eerie noise.
    • How's about this? Is anyone creeped out by the fact that the boy isn't scared by the fact that the Nickelodeon logo keeps stalking him throughout the bumper? No?
    • This bumper with mannequin silhouettes, flashes, and creepy minimal jazz music.
    • This petite bumper has a coffee dispenser drink the tea with its nose... ...before its hair shrinks in and its skin dissolves, revealing 3 fish. This can be elevated for those who hate early CGI animation, because this and the aforementioned egg bumper are just abysmally ugly.
    • Perhaps even worse than any of the above is "Nick is Kids." Nothing but a Heartbeat Soundtrack, unnerving sound effects, voiceovers with very long pauses, and dark images of Nick series and stars. It has been described as what would happen if David Lynch made a Nickelodeon bumper.
    • This one has very soothing music... and creepy claymation kids that come straight out of the Uncanny Valley.
    • While not aired on Nickelodeon itself, an ident on Nicktoons Network in 2004 named "The Dancer" could qualify. Its Uncanny Valley dancers that are always up in your face and the loud, fast-paced wonky music probably spooked more than a few younger viewers. The fact that it would air at unexpected times during the commercials didn't help, and it can probably be considered a Jump Scare for some who don't expect it. YMMV, as some may find it nostalgic.
    • Nick Jr.'s idents aren't normally freaky, with the exception being the so-called Spooky Night, involving a scared boy hiding under his cover, noticing an angry cat arching it's back and a bird flying pass his window, accompanied by suspenseful music, until the boy notices two cats under his bed (an orange cat with "NICK" on it and a blue cat with "JR." on it).
      • Noggin is a cutesy kids channel replaced by Nick Jr. and has cute idents, but the epileptic unfriendly one, Noggin 360 is too fast paced!
      • Noggin's first ident, with a creepy Noggin head made of clay, nicknamed "chia" is creepy too.
      • This Noggin ident is disturbing, because a disembodied head is flying around and creepy Noggin logo birds are flying and chanting "Noggin!" for the entire length. Also, when the Noggin rectangle appears on the head, it stares and smiles at you (much like the Klasky-Csupo, Inc. logo from The Wild Thornberrys Movie.)
    • The Disco Dogs ident isn't that scary, but the flashing may cause headaches.
  • PBS, having been around for decades, has accumulated a few Nightmare Fuel idents over the years. Some of them weren't so scary, but this one, from 1971, sure was.
    • A variant celebrating their 8th birthday in 1978 (found on an episode of We Interrupt This Week) where the jingle is replaced with a choir singing "Happy Birthday to You," which manages to be even scarier thanks to it's loudness and dodgy editing. Turn your volume down. Of course, there is some Nightmare Retardant when you realize they sound like a group of drunken Chinese people.
    • Try this fan-edited one on for size. (And try not to shit yourself.)
    • Ironically, the less scary "split profile" logo was designed by the guy who did the Screen Gems "S from Hell".
      • That logo did have a scarier variant used on the first episode of Square One Television where background vocals sing "And on, and on, and on, and on..." as the logo multiplies after doing its normal animation and music.
    • On a similar note, the music for the 1989 Glass ident can be jarring.
    • Ditto the Annenberg CPB and EFC logos.
    • WGBH Boston. It's even worse in slow-mo. Somehow this isn't surprising.
      • Subverted with the versions that run on Arthur: they actually let the ending theme run into the ident.
    • Nobody thought of the 1993/96 PBS Kids logo? I used to seriously have nightmares about it, due to the flashing colors and very loud singing. On the other hand, many people who grew up with it look fondly back at it, especially Arthur fans.
      • There was also a variant of it in which the screen goes black, and you can see a lot of weird shapes moving about. Then we go through an open door and then the "P heads" scream "SURPRISE!" in the voices of characters from PBS Kids' shows (like Big Bird and Ms. Frizzle) with all sorts of loud party horns and other noises going about. "Surprise" indeed, it'll surprise the crap of anyone not expecting it! There's also a shorter version of that variant, which starts with the zoom into the open door. Both are shit-scary! What were they thinking?!
    • "This is NET, the public television network..."
  • The MGM Television logo used during the 60s and early 70s re-used the same concept of its theatrical cousin (roaring lions), so while it could still be a bit scary to some in principle alone, it was still rather familiar (and the lion's roar blending in with the show or film's closing credits helped offset the scariness a bit). This was not the case however when the logo used its alternate "dramatic theme", while the lion's roar is absent, the absolutely foreboding music stinger used more than made up for it.
  • THIS old Disney Channel bumper, involving Mickey as a mad scientist trying to teleport his signature Walt Disney World hats. The first attempt makes the ears messed up. The second attempt turns the hat into an Oswald the Lucky Rabbit hat. The last attempt, a yellowjacket flies into the machine, thus turning the hat into a giant Disney Channel logo. Then, it turns with sharp red eyes while creepy music plays and zooms in at you.
    • This one is literal nightmare fuel, depicting Mickey having a nightmare in which he is one of his gloves, running down a hallway being chased by a ghost that turns into the Disney Channel logo, while Mickey arms are sprouting from paintings on the wall and trying to grab him.
    • The introduction to their "Vault Disney" block features a "dark ride"-like trip through various environments inspired by classic Disney movies; things take a turn for the dark when you are faced with Chernabog before making a quick turn right into the aim of the Headless Horseman.
    • This ident, involving a small pufferfish and a giant whale shark. It features a gold coin being dropped underwater where the whale shark tries to get it, until the pufferfish reaches it, causing the whale shark to attempt to attack the pufferfish, accompanied with dramatic music. The whale shark then ends up eating the screen, and then we cut to where an orange-hooded boy notices the pufferfish and walks away. The Disney Channel text in white then appears.
    • One of the idents contained Mickey from Epic Mickey magically creating the Disney Channel logo with a paintbrush accompanied by sinister music and a rearranged, more unsettling version of the 4-note theme at the end. To some, though, it's a Crowning Moment of Awesome.
    • The Halloween idents from 2017 are also ominous and epileptic.
  • M.
  • Back in the '90s, the Sci Fi Channel had an ID with a grandfather clock whose face turned into a monster, whose mouth would then be zoomed into and the channel's logo would be zoomed towards at breakneck speed.
    • That ID, if you're wondering, is here.
      • OK, it's a dead link now. And thank god.
    • There was a later bumper that's creepy as well. It actually came in a series that played during subsequent commercial breaks during the same show. An alien seed descends upon the surface of a planet, then grows into a field of plants, innocently enough. Then in a later bumper it shows the plants' vines wrapping around a passing snake, while creepy music plays. Then in the next bumper one of the plants quickly grabs a butterfly and devours it instantly, but that's not the worst part, oh no. The next bumper after that throws off the kid gloves and has the same creepy music from earlier playing, while one of the plants is shown "chewing" a bird, while its wing (the only part of it we can see) struggles and flutters desperately. There's an even scarier one this troper never saw on TV where the plant is chewing on a human hand. All this horror and the nightmares to follow can be had at this link. (Ironically, the person who uploaded the video posted it because they found it to be Fetish Fuel.)
    • Another one has a man putting out the garbage and then going back inside his house. After he leaves, the words "Dead...leaves?" appear onscreen.
    • Then there was one station ID from the late 90s to early 2000s that had a young man breakdancing and spinning on his head. His head then comes to a stop... while his body slowly came to a stop a few seconds later!
  • An 1998 ident for Sky Premier in the UK features women high in the sky holding a golden sheet falling off of diamond-shaped platforms and dissolving into gold dust, as the a sheet becomes a movie screen (you can even hear screams in the background while they're falling.) Even worse is that falling women are a recurring motif in the look. What the hell was Pittard Sullivan thinking?
    • The screams are brief, though, and they only happen when the first woman falls.
  • CBC has this number, depicting small CBC logos filling up the screen, before the one in the middle zooms in on you, set to a loud horn fanfare.
  • Although this troper isn't bothered by them, apparently a number of people hated the NBC peacock during their childhoods.
    • I loved the NBC peacock. In fact, when I toured the NBC studios as a youngster, I asked about the logos and they took me on a "logo tour!"
    • Then here's this French-Canadian one- sort of their rendition of America's NBC Peacock.
      • That was merely the French version of the CBC ID of the time.
    • Back to NBC: In 1993, they introduced several network IDs from various artists. The scariest of them all is probably Peter Maxx's contribution, which is a psychedelic mess from which emerges the 1986 peacock logo. Notably, one of the 1993 introductions, which depicts several brightly colored "fireflies" swirling around and forming the peacock, lasted much longer than the others; almost ten years, in fact.
    • Incredible how a mere 3 seconds can strike fear into one's heart, isn't it?
    • To counter slightly the number of spookier NBC logos, here's this humorous one.
    • The "Snake" logo NBC used during the 1959-75 era had a few variants that ranked well in scare factor:
      • Two of them, used from 1960-63, showed the "Snake" forming over a background of an extreme close-up on a TV camera's rotating lens turret overlaid with a couple of rotating boom microphones or a cameraman operating his camera depending of the version, all of which rendered in stark "artistic" colors. This was accompanied by an ominous horn fanfare and an announcer which either says "Produced (in color) in association with the NBC Television Network" or "This has been an NBC Television Network presentation".
      • Another one, used from 1960-66, showed the "Snake" forming over a black background with pink spotlights while a cameraman and his camera passes in front of the spots. The music was either the previous two's fanfare or an equally ominous yet rather clever big-band arrangement of the NBC chimes, and the announcer either says "This has been a (color) [production/presentation] of the NBC Television Network" or "Produced (in color) in association with the NBC Television Network".
      • A third one, used from 1966-75, showed the "Snake" drawing itself over a background that quickly flashes different colors in time with the chimes (this time a slightly sped-up version of the standard vibraphone arrangement used since the 1950's). No announcer this time.
  • You'd think that BBC One's "circles" idents would have no scare potential. But the Lawn Circles ident, what with the lawn-mowing women's robotic, stiff, unnatural movement and blank expressions, might prove one wrong.
  • In Brazil, Rede Globo's "Plantao" (which precedes breakthrough news, most of the times involving tragedy and/or death; it's usually said the scary vignette makes them even worse).
  • This CBS logo scared me as a little kid. I can't remember exactly why; I think it was the music. But I refused to watch CBS for a while for fear of this station ident.
    • The music of this logo for CBS Special Presentations made this troper fast-forward like whoa on family tapes of Peanuts cartoons. She may be the only one, though...
    • The CBS Giant Eye of Doom, click here ... if you dare is scary enough.
      • What if it was the last thing you ever saw...?
      • When they started broadcasting in color in 1965, they prefaced their color programs (such as Space Ghost and Dino Boy) with this number. The creepy electronic jingle (courtesy of Eric Siday, of "S from Hell" infamy), combined with the black background, made for a rather startling way to show black-and-white set owners what they were missing.
      • From 1952 to 1965, CBS used this animation at the end of the film prints of shows they produced (such as I Love Lucy and The Twilight Zone) as well as on kinescope prints of their shows (plastering over the "eye in the clouds" network ID shown after the show). It zooms inside an eye, which contains another eye, whose pupil opens up to show "CBS Television Network" then closes up. This animation manages to strike an odd chord of creepiness, which is not helped by it being usually silent (although it sometimes had the end theme of the show or an announcer over it.)
      • However, it pales in comparison with what they used from 1963-67: this monstrosity. It's one of those where the music (a menacing, cacophonous fanfare) does all the job. The worn print makes it even worse! Fortunately, unlike its predecessor, which is rather easy to find on vintage CBS shows, this one is pretty much extinct these days.
    • What about this one? This troper used to dread watching Next Food Network Star till the end because of the eerie background music on this one...
  • This Italian troper can't help himself, but yeah, another Italian example. "Canale 5" (that is, "Channel Five") usually uses bumpers such as these, and that's okay. However, starting with spring 2010, new ones have been introduced: have you seen the second one of this row? They changed the classic Channel Five jingle to a horrifying Scare Chord variant of it. The fact they first used that version for what basically is CSI's Italian Captain Ersatz, "RIS" (sort of: RIS is an actual department of our national gendarmerie, "Carabinieri") just adds to the fact that, yes, this was intentional.
  • Cartoon Network didn't have really scary idents, but this one is nightmare fuel. The blocks from the Cartoon Network logo are randomly jumping until they arrange themselves and form the Cartoon Network logo, and then the Cartoon Network logo comes apart and the blocks keep jumping, which was known to freak some out.
    • The Halloween idents from 2017 are also scary, due to its dark nature, corpses of the characters, and the static.
  • Myers's Rum Video Network:
  • Try this Teletoon first year late night screamer bumper on for size. Thank Nicolas Cage this was only on during adult cartoons...
    • Another first-year late-night bumper had a tentacle monster trying to lure in an unsuspecting person with a human-esque leg, and a third featured some sort of apartment for monsters.
    • Another Teletoon bumper that can be considered scary was one during its launch. It starts off with a music parade which ends with a baby playing a trumpet. The baby takes out his pacifier and cries, but in an opera voice, while he sticks out his giant tongue (which can remind some of "I'm not Tommy!") through the trumpet. It's animated in a really strange style, with everything in the bumper (including the people) created from newspaper clippings of various things, and the bumper itself is just so surreal it could make John Kricfalusi puke in his mouth a little bit. It can be seen with other similar bumpers here. And just if you weren't convinced enough, it was done by Cuppa Coffee Animation, creators of the rather creepy educational series Crashbox.
  • The opening sequence preceding the Monday evening movie on the first Italian national channel, is a song by Lucio Dalla that's meant to be reminiscent of Louis Armstrong, but comes out as a sequence of distorted sounds accompanied by visuals resembling afterimages and closed-eye hallucinations, concluded by a sequence of flashes seemingly designed to induce epileptic seizures.
  • THE DAWN IS YOUR ENEMY, the closing card of Adult Swim. According to Creepypasta lore, it was retired after the Cartoon Network operator was late to work one day, allowing the music to run for its horrifying full length.
    • I'm pretty sure that one was intentionally creepy.
    • Here's an updated version.
    • That one doesn't scare me. I love Adult Swim.
    • It got brought back in 2020, with a balloon rising to the top of the screen.
  • Some of ITV's franchises' logos were notorious for their scare factor:
    • ABC: the 1958-64 variant starts right off the bat with the "A-B-C" chime jingle accompanying the dropping triangles, startling anyone who isn't prepared. The 1964-68 variant gives some advance warning before the jingle, but it's in the form of a zooming shield that might be the long-lost father of the "V of Doom".
    • ATV's "Colour Zoom" logo, while a fan favorite, is guaranteed to scare quite a few due to its loud and bombastic fanfare. A abridged, black-and-white version also exists which is even scarier due to the black background used.
    • LWT's very first logo from 1968, a cheap zoom of the network's name accompanied with a creepy Moog sounder.
    • The 1969-81 Southern Television logo was harmless with its quiet guitar jingle, however the "final night" variant of the logo that aired after the special And It's Goodbye From Us was very ominous, solemn and creepy.
    • Ulster's first logo from 1959 had a rather creepy vibe with its crude animation, black background and celesta jingle.
    • Yorkshire Television's "chevron" logo. It abruptly appears, blares out a loud horn jingle, then disappears as quickly as it came. Simple yet effective.
  • The former UK network Galaxy had a main ident that, by all means, is lovely and visually pleasing. However, when the network shut down on December 1, 1990, they decided to end the network for good by showing the main ident... and then have it zoom away from the screen as far as possible as a loud "BA-BOOOOOOOM" sound plays. Utterly terrifying stuff.
  • This recent Comedy Central ID. Maybe they should put an epilepsy warning every time they show this.
  • Sesame Street's website bumper used from 1997-2001 was fuckin' scary. It's the way Maria's voice sounds, the dark background, the god-awful pink color of that scribble, the whole suddenness of the thing... GODDAMNIT CTW!!


Cquote1.svg

  "Let me check. Do, you, know, THE MUFFIN MAAAAAAAAAN... Yep."

Cquote2.svg
    • A NBC News ident also from the 1960s could have been an inspiration for the "Closet Killer" years later.
    • Some people are also scared by its successor, the "Blue Mountain", which carries over the Lalo Schifrin score from the "Closet Killer" logo:
    • Yet another creepy Paramount logo: [1]
  • The Bedford Falls Company, due to the creepy, disembodied singing. ABC Productions's logo (which follows it) isn't much better.
  • The first Klasky-Csupo logo was colorful, bouncy, memorable and fun, even if it were roughly animated. However, its successor (debuting on the tape The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald: Scared Silly) was scary as hell. An unfortunate side effect of Nickelodeon's Credits Pushback was that sometimes, this logo would appear after the credits on a show it wasn't supposed to: SpongeBob SquarePants. This doesn't happen anymore, thankfully.
    • For those don't want to look, it involves a very creepy looking face that looks like it just came out of a little kid's nightmare, with these huge, bulgy, and realistic looking eyes and a thick-lipped mouth on yellow construction paper. The personification of Uncanny Valley and Nightmare Fuel.
      • It actually kind of looks like SpongeBob to me. Even better, the face recently starred in his own webseries, where he's voiced by Beast Boy!
  • The first MTE logo, which has the Universal globe fly out at you with no warning, and a loud, bombastic rendition of the theme from the Universal Television logo of the time.
  • the 'End Of Transmissions' logo used by Italian National Network RAI in its infancy has something disquieting and uncanny, which makes it truly creepy.
  • Long before Neversoft managed to light the Nirvana Fan Dumb on fire, as well as this, they had this little number.
  • The logo for Bad Robot is pretty scary. But the extended CG version used in their movies? This is one of the single most terrifying things in the world.
    • I actually used to love that logo when I was a kid. I'd watch Fringe with my dad just to see it at the end. History repeats itself because it's at the end of Lovecraft Country, and while I watch that series for sexy Jonathan Majors, I always smile seeing the logo at the end.



  • The second Mozark Productions logo, due to the creepy jingle (excuse the tape hiss).
  • Another creepy jingle comes to us from Vin Di Bona Productions (the same music is in the next three; the only changes are visual:
  • The 20th Century Fox Fanfare composed by Alfred Newman is an awesomely patriotic ditty, but around the early 60's, 20th Century-Fox Television used a variation of the fanfare with muted trumpets and a string flourish. Kinda unintentionally unsettling with the dramatic string flourish, but then in 1965, the Television fanfare was sped up, making the instrumentation even more aggressive (Newman once laughed that having to record a short, three-second television fanfare would cause the musicians to play more frantically). No matter which variation of this fanfare was used, however, there was always one absolute visually. The logo would start off with the standard 20th CENTURY FOX structure, but when suddenly, out of nowhere, the word "TELEVISION" would fill out the screen before zooming out and taking the place of "CENTURY" in the structure; general consensus is that the logo was more traumatizing with the sped up jingle. Starting with the late 80's, however, the logo would use a short version of the classic TCF fanfare, but the zoom-out still made it creepy enough. Fortunately, some variants featured the C in "CENTURY" still being visible after "TELEVISION" seemingly took the word's place on the structure, providing Nightmare Retardant, unintentional laughter, and bewilderment at how this Special Effects Failure got past quality control.
    • The CGI logos for TCFTV and for 20th Television (which appears at the end of syndicated The Simpsons reruns, Adult Swim's Fox show reruns, and myriad courtroom shows), while not scary, are probably a reference/tribute to this logo with a zoom out of the structure.
    • Unfortunately, around 1997, the dreaded 1965 TV fanfare was rerecorded and became the standard jingle for the CGI 20th Century-Fox Television logo. Currently, the jingle varies between the 1965 TV fanfare and a snippet of the classic TCF fanfare (as well as--in the case of the Fox Network's primetime lineup--various remixes based on the final four notes of the TCF fanfare).
  • The One Ho Productions logo (Whoopi Goldberg's company), which appeared at the end of 1998-2002 Hollywood Squares episodes, is pretty creepy.
  • The opening vanity plate for the production team behind The Neverhood is rather frightening, mainly because it used a clip of the villain's ear-piercing evil laugh... right after the Dreamworks music lulls you into complacency.
  • Cute or creepy? It's a toss-up. Then again, as it is Raggedy Ann...
  • For all intents and purposes, this French intro should be cute and friendly... However, it just... isn't. It has these cardboard cutouts, floating heads representing every figure of the family (mom, dad, son, etc.), all positively scowling at you! And for some reason, one of them is crying. Look, don't ask. Just watch it.
  • CBC Channel 6's ident from 1961-1962. "Anything Can Happen!" Your reaction is more likely to be "Wait, what? What?!?!"
  • I don't know why it is, but this troper gets creeped out by the moment before the movie plays on TCM when it shows the rating. I don't know why. It's just creepy.
    • Could it be the music?
      • That Drone of Dread they play over the ratings? Yes, this troper finds it pretty unnerving, too.
  • A youtube channel that goes by the name Machinery Noise (aptly enough) provides a plethora of scary vanity plates. Such ones include:
  • How about the plate for Random House home video? Meh, it's a tad bit calm, but the text zooming out is a lot like the "V of Doom."
    • On Sesame Street videos, it was followed by the goddamn CTW "Sparks" logo, which makes it straight-up Nightmare Fuel.
  • Iiiiinnnn.... and ouuuuuuuut....
    • At least it was better than Cinemark's horrible CG animations.



  • How come nobody mentioned the Mutant Enemy logo that would sneak up on us at the end of Buffy, no music, just the creepy little Nosferatu-like paper figure, and its cute "Grr Aarrrgh!"? ...Well, it used to scare the shit outta me! And it's made even worse when it's going opera style after Season 6 "Once More With Feeling"...I have the soundtrack of that particular episode and I still do my best to skip the corresponding track every single time.
    • Ugh, I always hated that logo...
    • I personally love the little guy, especially at the end of the Musical episode. The musical version is actually the one that sticks in my head.
  • One more, from Russia. ATV's first logo was a little creepy, but nothing too special. Then they've decided it was not enough...
  • Virgin Interactive, or the equally terrifying stepbrother of the Atraxi.
  • This Russian talk show logo also happens to be from VID... as if that's a surprise to anyone.
    • That. Was. SCARY!
  • This Troper vaguely remembers one where a stick figure runs across the logo and then jumps off and screams. If only he could remember the company.
  • This Troper's brother was startled by this F.H.E. (Family Home Entertainment) logo as a little kid. In his own words, it was a combination of the sound at the beginning and how it just...came up onto the screen.
    • That one always bugged me as a kid and it still weirds me out as an adult.
  • One of the most successful medical drama series of the 80s was St Elsewhere. At the end of every episode, there was an adorable kitten who would meow in an obvious MGM parody. However, at the end of the very last episode, this is how the kitten appears... before flatlining. Just the ultimate icing on top of the episode's utterly convoluted theory that is Tommy Westphall's mind.
    • Just to make matters worse, in real life, the cat died on the same year that St. Elsewhere ended.
  • Murghan Enterprise. Fear the furiously flaming statue with somber music.
    • That was one of the most horrifying things ever.
  • Mark VII Limited.
    • Now that you mention that, there's also the Williams Street logo that samples the aforementioned Mark VII logo.
      • I love that one!
    • There’s also the parody that appears in the Woody Woodpecker cartoon “Under the Counter Spy,” where the hammer-er smashes his own thumb!
    • Possibly the earliest reference to a logo being scary was a line in a TV Guide article where the writer mused about having nightmares that the MARK VII guy was stamping the logo into his forehead.
  • The Skyline is a Sneaky beast...
    • Try the night version on for size!... though the true terror comes not from the logo itself, but from what follows it... and it is horrifying.
  • The Belisarius Productions logo (as seen on NCIS) is pretty unsettling, mainly because of the sudden lightning flash and the stinging synth tone.
  • This Columbia Pictures logo from the first Ghostbusters film. Twenty-six years later and it's still eerie.
  • The Windchill Films logo or as I like to call it "Why I am afraid of snowmen." DO NOT CLICK ON THAT LINK!!! IT WILL RUIN YOUR LOVE FOR SNOWMEN FOR LIFE!! SERIOUSLY, DO NOT CLICK THAT LINK!!! Don't say we didn't warn you.
  • Barney Home Video to some, although I'm not even scared of it.
    • That's because B'harne is a demon spawn from Hell and should be properly feared.
  • ROF Lopadous's older brother used to scream and cry whenever the Ubu Productions logo would come up. It was only a dog w/ a frisbee and a voice saying "Sit Ubu Sit! Good dog." but it petrified him. Then again, the voice was kind of creepishly monotone.
    • When I was a little kid, I enjoyed Family Ties, but I would have to turn the station before the end of the closing credits. For some reason, this ident freaked me out - maybe it was the still picture of the scary black dog with the weird voiceover. Or I was just a strange kid.
  • The logo for Weird Al Yankovic's Ear Booker Productions, which co-produced The Weird Al Show with Dick Clark Productions, is an attempt to invoke this trope. The company name comes straight at the viewer, changing from black on white to white on black every other frame (in layman's terms: Seizures.), while Al screams in the background. (The audio is taken from "Bite Me", a Hidden Track from Al's Off the Deep End album.) As J. Rose wrote in an Amazon customer review, "You have to have respect for a man who purposely designed his Ear-Booker Productions company logo (which appears at the end of every episode) to be the most nerve-wracking thing ever made."
    • To make matters worse, that logo came out the same year as Electric Soldier Porygon.
  • The logo for Australian animation studio Air Programs International (not API Television Productions, despite the vid) tries to pack as much scary into 8 seconds as humanly possible. A rapidly spinning black vortex, letters that seem to bounce back and forth at the viewer, a soundtrack of electronic noises and a tympani solo... it's so frightening that it's actually Crazy Awesome.
    • Speak for yourself - this troper HATED that logo (and as a result Arthur! And The Square Knights Of The Round Table from whence it came - later home releases of this cartoon have plastered over the eight seconds of terror and now declare it to be "A Five Arrows Film Production." I normally disapprove of logo-plastering, but not in this case). This version was so shit-scary that even the company itself dropped it - it doesn't appear on Animated Classics (Family Classics Theatre in America) or on Around The World In Eighty Days (the still image of its Atlantic Records-type logo, revealed when Phineas Fogg picks up his suitcase at the end of the latter, is still pretty ugly though... although for home release it's also been plastered over as indicated above).
  • British studio ITC Entertainment had two scary logos that featured a bombastic, brassy fanfare composed by Jack Parnell. The first version, known as "ITC Compass" because it features a map of the world, is only moderately frightening. But then came the second version, affectionately nicknamed "Spinning Diamonds of Doom". It featured the same music, this time accompanied by three diamond-shaped objects (colored red, blue and green, the primary hues of color broadcasting) whirling around In Space.
    • That logo usually meant the Muppets were going to come on, which made it less scary to some.
  • The Dark Castle Entertainment logo shown at the beginning of the House on Haunted Hill remake was itself many times scarier than anything in that godawful movie. Sleep tight, suckers!!
  • The Matthew Carnahan Circus Products logo on Dirt and House of Lies with a creepy clown playing a screechy violin. Even the memory of Rosanna Arquette kissing Ashley Johnson in one episode of the former can't cancel that out (so the Kristen Bell Fan Service in the latter may not help.)
    • AHHHH! It's the way the bumper just stops all of the sudden that really gets to this troper.
  • 1970s company Winters/Rosen Productions had an animated frog leaping through a garden, "ribbeting" out a red flag with "A Winters/Rosen Production" and the frog on it, all set to chirpy music. Not as cute as David (Winters) and Burt (Rosen) hoped. Fortunately it's not on YouTube.
  • Not 100% sure if it would be considered one, but since they refer to it as an ident, which is a UK Vanity Plate, I guess it would, but what the hell is he looking at?
    • I fucking love Gorillaz! That didn't scare me at all.


  • Two rather frightening logos from Greece: Hellas Kosmos Video and Hi-Tech Video.
    • Hella Kosmos is scary, indeed, but it sounds like "I Feel Love" by Donna Summer, which can lessen the scariness.
  • The 1993 Cyan logo that came with Myst certainly qualifies.
  • Invoked with the VGV logo that plays after the credits in HotDiggedyDemon's webtoon series Wacky Game Jokez 4 Kidz. If you don't find the opening eye particularly scary, then wait until you see what comes right after...
  • All PlayStation One owners who have put in a damaged or dirty disc and has booted up their console knows the nightmare fuel that comes your way...
    • It's the SAME LOGO, just remade, in the Play Station 2, on which even the opening animation is horrifying if you haven't seen it so many times before...
    • The PS2 sound reminds me of the similar scary sound that plays when the title appears in the game Rez.
  • For some reason I've been disturbed and freaked out by this famous Walt Disney logo, it's just something about that music, even freakier is I wasn't really bothered by this when I was young, but recently when I've been rewatching movies that have it I just get frightened.


  • The old Buena Vista Television vanity plate used to scare me as a kid after watching Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. Something about that loud (although pleasant) fanfare, those comets going past the planet, and that widely-spaced serifed font all on a black background was just creepy.
    • By the way, the short version (link provided above) was a bit creepier than the long version (here) due to its suddenness.
  • This Vanity Plate for Fox always scared me quite a bit. It often appeared at the end of Cops, and right after hearing the lovely guitar riff of the preceding logo, you are greeted by these horrible, ghost-like letter. Haunting over the rest of the show you just watched.
  • In Irish cinemas, the terrifying ident for Carlton Screen Advertising plays before every single movie. It features a huge, flaming branding iron shoving out of the screen at you, along with loud noises.
  • You want scary? Here's something scary that came from a game of a kids movie series! (It comes right after the TDK logo.)
  • The logos at the end of Allegras Window are hard to watch for me. First of all, the Topstone logo is creepy enough, but what follows is even worse, because you get bombarded by a giant egg, a rooster crowing, and a loud fanfare.
  • The Hoyts logo.



  1. the logo was first designed by Chuck Jones for "Now Hear This" in 1963 and was intended to be a one-shot variant
  2. It's sampled from the fourth track of X by Klaus Schulze.
  3. the SpongeBob bumper had him and Patrick turn into ghosts
  4. * "Well, I'm used to that, I think---OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD!!!". Seriously, whatever you do, don't click on that FUCKING link above! It's like... it's like, like, like, WHAT THE FUCK IS WITH THAT ONE?!? It's not a Shmuck Bait, it's just, DO! NOT! CLICK! ON! THAT! MOTHERFUCKING! LINK! That thing ruined my day week! -- Take it from this guy, even watching it MUTED was enough for him to shout out in fear. Why? It first starts out like another "V of Destruction" vid, but around the half way point... wait for it... A DEMENTED LOOKING VID MASK SLAMS INTO THE SCREEN, NEARLY BREAKING IT, THEN SLOWLY BACKING OFF.... I was too terrified to watch it unmuted. Seriously, don't watch it. ...j-just...don't... ...please. -- Oh great, now you know I have to look now, right? *clicks on it, and looks at the wall above her monitor so she can only see it out of the corner of her eye* Okay, giant V... FUCK!! -- WHY DIDN'T I READ THAT FIRST OH GOOOOD -- Yup, scariest thing on the internet allright... And yup, pulse is gone... Great. -- AAAAAAAAAAAUGH KILL IT WITH FIRE KILL IT WITH FIRE KILL IT WITH FIRE WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH! *turns up Aerosmith full blast and curls up in a corner, sucking her thumb* -- ... -- That was not fair. This troper clicked that link, and her laptop *very not-nicely* decided to reset the volume to MAXIMUM. I had YouTube muted, darnit! There's a hole in my ceiling now... -- Meh, just a V of Doom, nothing to be... MOTHERFUCK!!! (falls off his chair and barely avoids a heart attack.)
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.