With so many glittery CGI cartoon characters who stare at you with unnaturally huge eyes from the TV screen, you can almost forget that a couple decades ago, there was an entirely different 2D world of animated horrors that didn't just freak you out with extreme cuteness but were actually intended to freak you out.
Horror cartoons actually used to be scary. If you grew up in the '90s, then you know that you could never really be sure what stone gargoyles do after dark, being evil could get you turned into a skeleton, and a mad scientist creating hordes of evil tomatoes in a lab was totally a thing. These were just some of the nightmares kids of the era (and all you adults who secretly watched these shows on VHS) got a thrill from.
Some horror cartoons from the '80s, like The Real Ghostbusters, continued into the '90s, but the decade spawned plenty of its own ghosts and ghouls that only made parking yourself in front of the tube with your bag of Halloween candy that much more exciting.
Were '90s kids less easily spooked than the latest generation? No one really knows, but Beetlejuice's puns aside, there were some genuinely unnerving scenes in these cartoons, and sometimes watching on a Saturday morning or weekday afternoon didn't always mean you wouldn't wake up shrieking in terror. The squad from Aaahh! Real Monsters! may have had their share of scare fails, but when Ickis exposed all his teeth, it was easy to see your head in those jaws. The creepy lessons learned from Tales From the Cryptkeeper could haunt you for days. Don't tease ants or disrespect mummies, ever.
You also can't deny that the tomato-less mayonnaise and red snapper pizza from Attack of the Killer Tomatoes were the most horrifying things ever.
Watch on to see some of the raddest frights we've unearthed — which still make us believe that something is out there going bump in the night.