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Little House on the Prairie of Horrors: Memories of Charles and the Gang

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It was during the early '80s that my mom decided Little House on the Prairie would be more beneficial to my development than Welcome Back Kotter, so the TV dial went from channel 5 to channel 11 every night during dinner at 5 P.M. I haven't seen an episode of Little House on the Prairie in over 20 years but some of the scenes are burned into my memory... some good but mostly bad.

Screencap courtesy of Little House Memories websiteScreencap courtesy of Little House Memories websiteHere are my strongest memories of Little House on the Prairie.

"A Harvest of Friends"  September 11, 1974  Episode #1002
I have strong memories of a nice family picnic ending in a kite flying tragedy thanks to Charles and the gang. I'm not sure how often kite flying accidents happen but Charles manages to make prairie life that much harder by falling out of a tree while attempting to retrieve a kite. I recall his ribs being taped up and him having difficulty moving large sacks of grain until the town folk assist him. That was nice but the memory of family picnic gone wrong is what remains.

"Plague"  January 29, 1975  Episode #1018
Whoa... fleas in the corn meal bringing disease... that is all I have to say about this one. To this day I open a bag of rice and I expect to see bugs crawling in it thanks to this episode. Thank you for the strong imagery Little House on the Prairie.

"A Matter of Faith"  February 4, 1976  Episode #2011
Charles and the kids go camping and Caroline stays home to do whatever Caroline likes to do in her leisure time but she accidentally cuts herself. Next thing I know there are knives and fire and screaming and fever and infection. This episode helped me have a better understanding of why I had a babysitter from time to time... because if I was left home alone there could be knives and fire and screaming and fever and infection.

"My Ellen"  September 26, 1977  Episode #4007
This episode spooked me something good. Laura's friend drowns when they go swimming and the distraught grieving mother traps Laura in a cellar and pretends that Laura is her recently deceased daughter. Very creepy. This episode reinforced all the times my mom told me not to wander off because a stranger would abduct me. This episode made me a believer.

"May We Make Them Proud"  February 4, 1980  Episode #6018
Albert was smoking in the attic of the school for the blind and accidentally sets it on fire. That was enough to reinforce the 'smoking is bad' message in me but the fire also kills Mary's baby. Mission accomplished Little House I've never smoked a cigarette in my life.

"Days of Sunshine, Days of Shadow (Part 1)"  February 15, 1982 Episode #8417
I'll never forget an anguished Almonzo Wilder in a rainstorm trying to protect his crops. But that's all I remember so I looked up the episode recap to get a better idea of what was going on. Oh, well Almonzo had diphtheria and while worrying about the condition of his crops, a hailstorm comes, Almonzo runs outside during the hailstorm and has a stroke which leaves him crippled... oh and his crops were destroyed. Maybe I should have been reading the books instead of watching the television show.

Did it work? Was Little House on the Prairie beneficial to my development?

I'm a semi productive member of society. I once helped an elderly woman onto the curb because it was icy. I don't smoke. I don't talk to strangers because of a deep fear of being trapped in a cellar. I don't fly kites. So, yes... I think it was a success.

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And you totally forgot the

And you totally forgot the one where Laura believes she's responsible for her baby brother's death because she didn't pray for him so she runs away to the mountains to live with some creepy hobo dude who is some kind of angel or maybe even god himself, I don't know....played by Ernest Borgnine. SO SCARY. And I had to look that up to remember who played the hobo angel and seriously, practically every episode is just trauma after trauma.

My original draft of this

My original draft of this blog had several more episodes listed but I decided to hold back...you will have to wait for the book...'How Little House on the Prairie ruined my Rotten Stinkin' Life' But yeah one of the episodes that didn't make the cut was the one you mentioned...LAURA KILLED BABY CHARLES WITH HER PSYCHIC ABILITIES....but the Hermit taught her that she wasn't special, she's just a normal healthy kid that wished death upon her new sibling due to feelings of jealousy. That episode taught me that running away from your problems will only lead you into the arms of Ernest Borgnine...

I have only hazy memories of

I have only hazy memories of the television show and don't remember it as this disturbing. I think Nellie was kind of nasty. Was that the little blond girl's name? However I do remember, as a kid, reading a part of "Little House in the Big Woods" where they made headcheese from a cow's brain.

C'mon what is more horrifying

C'mon what is more horrifying than head cheese ??

Little House on the Prairie

I only saw one episode of "little House on the Prairie,". Based on that I perceived it to be similar to "Pollyanna," "Ann of Green Gables," or "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm." It was quite astonishing to read your blog. I had no idea that there were horrible episodes. Television should have a rating system which lists shows that are not appropriate for children, or send out a morally offensive message. Recently, I saw the film called,"Snow White's Huntsman." It was very extraordinary...a fascinating story which was more fearful than the original. The acting was superb. Charlize Theron was amazingly bizarre as the evil step-mother queen. The supporting cast was marvelous. Although there were scenes which were grim, ghastly and horrible, there were other scenes which were ethereal, beautiful beyond belief and magical. I would definitely recommend it for adults, but not for children under the age of sixteen. Thank you for your comments on "Little House on the Prairie." Perhaps that parents and friends of children should read books before giving them as gifts to children. Children could be traumatized by reading awful stories.

Write the Book

I think it should be a book. I remember being traumatized by Caroline's screaming during a birthing scene and Mary's screaming "Paw! Paw! I can't see! I can't see!" when she went blind. Granted, it probably accurately reflected life during the times. But, as a result of the trauma, I've remained childless and bathe regularly in liquid penicillin.

OMG I bathe regularly in

OMG I bathe regularly in liquid penicillin too !!!

Sylvia

This is great!! When I hear the words Little House on a Prarie I immediately go back in time to when I was a little girl watching an episode where a girl got raped by a guy in a scary mask. The episode was called "Sylvia". I'm probably going to have nightmares tonight. Ugh. Lol

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