Rediscovering the Art that Gave Me Nightmares As a Child


Well-known member
I've been studying the works of famous artists lately, and last night I was perusing Salvador Dali's paintings when I stumbled upon a familiar one. It was in an old art book belonging to my big sister, and it freaked me the hell out. It's called "Dream Caused By the Flight of a Bee."


Though, as an artist myself now, I can appreciate the vast amount of skill and imagination on display here. I still feel uneasy looking at it, however. The elephant's unnaturally elongated legs are the focal point of my unrest. I remember having nightmares featuring creatures with skinny, bizarrely segmented legs thanks to this painting. So I'd say it was pretty affecting surrealism!

The only other time I can recall being really disturbed by art as a kid were the illustrations of the "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark" book series. Looking at them now, though, they're extremely well done.

So, that's my little story. Has anyone else encountered an artwork they found disturbing as a child? If so, how have your thoughts about it changed over time?
This is so interesting. I didn't know Dali as a child, but I have found his brand of surrealism slightly disturbing at times because he has used a lot of odd body parts, sometimes melting and whatnot.

As a child, I saw a non-animated Dr. Suess movie that disturbed the bajesus out of me and gave me nightmares for years! It's called The Five Thousand Fingers of Dr. T. It is actually really frightening!

Years later, I though I must had only been scared because I was just a child, but no. I watched it again as an adult and it was still very disturbing.

I'd say some of my work is slightly surreal (at times). I've addressed a few nightmares myself, but since my work is very cartoony, it never comes across as "scary."

I had a recurring dream as a kid with hands coming out of the ground trying to grab at my feet. I had another where I would wake up in the back seat of my dad's Dodge Dart and would be going down the road and no one would be driving the car!


I also had another being on a carnival ride that was just a giant octopus. I was stuck on it with a crazy mad scientist and my dad. I only remember being terrified.