Top freakiest THAT’S INCREDIBLE episodes that kept us awake at night!

  • PLEASE FOLLOW THE RETROIST

For many kids back in the day nestling up to the family TV raring to watch “THAT’S INCREDIBLE!” the opening monologue was often viewed with a bit of trepidation.

“Why is the audience shouting in unison?” “They haven’t even seen anything “Incredible” yet!”

So what was it going to be this week? Something cool like the Rubik’s Cube Championship or a death defying stunt that you could talk about with your friends the next day at school? Another “Filler” segment about some blind or armless guy with a talent? Or maybe, just maybe, it would be something so disturbing, so unimaginable, that you were going to be tossing and turning all night to a montage of horrific ideas and images! No not even that, more like something that was going to burn into your psyche and change your perception of the world forever!

Unfortunately as a kid your curiosity always got the better of you, so you asked your Mom for a glass of milk and prepared yourself to watch what you knew was a bad idea. Still, you just had to know what that radical surgical procedure was all about! Oh crap, I’m not going to get any sleep tonight am I John Davidson? Where’s my Mego Spider-Man doll, I mean action figure? He’s bunking with me tonight!

The following “THAT’S INCREDIBLE!” segments are probably the most disturbing stories you remember as a kid even if you’ve forgotten the source!

Haunted Toys R Us – Talk about hitting things too close to home for a kid! After this episode most of us never looked a Toys R Us the same way again! I always thought being in a toy store after hours would be a dream-come-true until I saw this “haunting” episode. Never before had toys sitting on a toy store shelf looked so ominous! Adding insult to injury they showed toys that you owned jumping out at you in one of their sadistic “Re-Enactments”! It wasn’t until later in life that I learned that “Re-Enactment” didn’t really mean “Actual scary footage”! Interesting side note, a younger-ish Sylvia Brown [Most known for being a regular on The Montel Williams Show] was featured in the segment. They were probably pulling one over on us but that photo they supposedly caught of a dark figure standing in the toy isle was enough to make any rational kid toss and turn throughout the night! Feel good about yourself there Kathy Lee Crosby?!

Man with 2 faces – Really?! I know “its life” that people sometimes suffer from these kinds of abnormalities but for a kid to suddenly be introduced to the “Man with two faces” made for a frightening wakeup call! Until this unfortunate soul from China was featured in this now infamous “THAT’s INCREDIBLE” episode, most of us had never imagined someone could be born with a condition that horrific! “Those teeth! Those horrible teeth!” Now being older and wiser it’s hard not to feel sorry for the guy growing up an outcast but as kids we were nothing but mortified! In fact, his condition still disturbs me! So glad those “saint-like” plastic surgeons decided to work on him for free and give him a normal life! I wonder what ever became of him. Did he ever find love through an arranged marriage? I would Google him but I’m just too freaked out!

John Davidson switches gears to Segway into a frightening new segment about a guy born with two faces! Yeah we all had the same look on our faces too Kathy!

Man goes to Hell during near death experience – As a kid I never really gave Hell much thought. Other than that my older brother was probably going there after breaking the head off my Luke Skywalker action figure. Yeah I still remember that bro! Anyway, before this episode aired most people lived their lives in relative peace not giving it a second thought about what awaited them in the afterlife. That all changed when this nightmarish segment told the tale of a man that went to Hell during a near death experience! Attendance at Churches must have skyrocketed after this surreal story aired. I can still remember Hell’s landscape being described as a grey, desolate place with dead trees everywhere. The man was even followed by a demon or maybe the devil himself if memory serves. It always stuck with me how the guy got out of Hell by begging to Jesus for help! Glad it works in Hell because that never saved me from any family get-togethers!
Unfortunately [Or maybe fortunately] there’s nothing on YouTube showing this macabre episode. So let’s instead indulge ourselves in this legendary Arcade Game Championship episode!

Amityville Horror – Chances are you were too young to see the original Amityville Horror movie when it came out [Unless of course you were fortunate enough to have those cool parents that let their kids see R rated movies!] No biggie, we all got to see this chilling episode of THAT’S INCREDIBLE no matter how lame our parents were! The one thing that everyone remembers about the accursed house was how it seemed to have sinister glowing eyes! The legendary shape of those attic windows is what most likely raced through your mind as you unsuccessfully tried to fall asleep that night. That or the creepy possessed doll giggling! If the segment seemed familiar it was because “In Search Of…with Leonard Nimoy” also tackled the topic. With so much publicity the story just had to be true! Kids tried to convince themselves that the whole thing was made up just to sell some books but their imagination wasn’t buying it! I remember as a kid some residential house on my block had the same kind of ominous windows adorning the front door. “How could you live in a house with those kinds of windows?!” “Seriously didn’t you see the THAT’S INCREDIBLE episode?!” Geesh some people!

Children with aging disease – We weren’t as frightened by these “old children” as we were the “2 faced man” from China but it made us ponder life’s complexities all the same. Who didn’t feel sorry these elderly kids that reminded us of Gus, the old fireman from “Leave it to Beaver”? Most people remember their heart strings being ripped out when the featured kid explained how his favorite Disney character was Pinocchio because he “wished upon a star” and became a “real boy”. “Excuse me. I just got a little verklempt. Talk among yourselves”… Every now and again for reasons unknown I get reminded of those poor kids I saw on THAT’S INCREDIBLE lo those many years ago. They may have had a short run on this planet but their memory lives on in the hearts of all those that happened to watch this memorable episode! Which is pretty much anyone alive back in 1980!

Gus the Fireman from Leave it to Beaver! A kid suffering from the rare rapid aging disease would have looked just like Gus by the time they hit 8 years old!

Man with constant sweaty palms – “Are my hands getting sweatier? The more I think about it the more my hands sweat! OMG! I’m getting it too!” Aside from feeling bad for guy that suffered from this odd condition, we were all still wigged out by it! How bad would it suck to suffer from chronic sweaty palms?! I can only think of one thing that it might be useful for but this is a family friendly article! Imagine the horror of getting your comics drenched in sweat every time you read them! The horror! The questions abound in the mind… “How long would it take before your remote control short circuited?”, “How would you ever successfully handle an Arcade joystick?”, “Would you ever be able to clutch a Big Gulp again?”, “What would become of your record sleeves?”, “Is that the alarm clock going off already?” Thankfully the episode did offer a hopeful ending since the poor guy was cured by some medical procedure. Unfortunately it involved brain surgery so you still dreaded ever developing the condition! Fran Tarkenton what’s wrong with you participating in a messed up story like this?!

Since there’s nothing on YouTube regarding this obscure episode why don’t we relive the classic Rubik’s Cube Championship!

These now infamous episodes were shocking to watch as a kid and memories of each one still spring up now and again for some odd reason! For better or worse we’ll probably keep them burned in our psyches forever. What cruel THAT’S INCREDIBLE segment gave you insomnia or still “haunts” your memory?


23 Responses to Top freakiest THAT’S INCREDIBLE episodes that kept us awake at night!

  1. Flack says:

    I was pretty young when That’s Incredible! originally aired and so I only have a few select memories of the show, but one episode I remember scaring the bejesus out of me (and the first one on your list) was the Haunted Toys-R-Us episode. I don’t remember too much about it, other than they showed a couple of Shogun Warriors moving around. I had two of them at the time and I’m pretty sure I hid them in my closet that night “just in case”.

    That episode scarred me for life, changing the idea of being stuck in a toy store overnight from being “awesome” to “horrifying”.

  2. The Retroist says:

    Haunted Toys R Us got me as well. I wonder just how many of us that episode scarred for life?

  3. Drahken says:

    I only vaguely remember the show itself, and don’t remember any specific episodes. I do however remember watching something about amityville on TV back in the mid-80s. I don’t recall if it was this, the nimoy show, or some broadcast version of the movie.

  4. anon man says:

    You forgot Charles Henry “Speedy” Atkins. Google it, it gave me nightmares for a while.

  5. ammomojo says:

    To this day I remember the episode about all the tiny creatures that live on our skin, in our beds etc… I have seen countless shows since then on the creatures, but the creepy feeling I got seeing this episode still returns every once and a while.

  6. Jeff Spega says:

    Charles Henry “Speedy” Atkins was the second most memorable for me. #1 is the glass skull that wept when Kennedy was assassinated. I truly obsessed with that the entire next day in my fifth grade classroom.

  7. Manny says:

    I couldn’t sleep for weeks…..FOR WEEKS….after that MAN with 2 Faces aired. To this day his sequence is etched into my mind. I’ve told my kids about it on many occasions….and we all get the chills.

  8. Fraze says:

    I remember this show and as a kid was always excited to see what crazy stories they would air each week. Looking back now the one I seem recall off the top of my head was one where some dude figured out a way to change his tire while the car was still moving? Maybe when I was 9 that was a cool idea…but now at 41 that has to be the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen.

  9. darrenf says:

    Does anyone remember the episode where they interviewed two guys who were working on a method to broadcast 3D content to standard televisions that was in full color and did NOT require glasses. I still remember being amazed when they demonstrated it by throwing a Frisbee at the camera. I have never been able to find out anything about that segment or the technology used.

  10. Jeffc says:

    Does anyone remeber a episode with a guy who was struck by lighting 3 times and then could lift cars or somehting? his name was “Al” or somehting

  11. a says:

    Do anybody remembers the guy who jumped moving cars and when he tried he jumped just a little bit too low and broke his foot?
    What about the guy who was blind but he could still see ( church miracle?)
    Do you remember about his family who welcomed this ghost/spirit on their house?
    if anybody has any videos please upload then on youtube. thanks!

  12. Flack says:

    The guy that got hit by the car was Steve Lewis. Here is an interview with him from the hospital after missing the jump:

  13. stephen gervais says:

    hi this is stephen. i am trying to find the episode of al yeske who conducts electricity through his body.on thats incredible.

  14. TomB says:

    Hey Retroist!!

    Yeah I was looking for that creepy Hell sequence from That’s Incredible! Best way to describe it would be a clip out of the 1990 movie “Begotten”

  15. Jeff Eisert says:

    Does anyone remember an episode where a Nashville recording studio was haunted? This was a story about a man who worked at the studio but was involved in a very serious car accident and was taken to the hospital where he was recovering from a coma, but it is believed that his ‘essence’ or spirit was still at the studio. Subsequently, the recording artists that used the studio would claim that they would have extra voice or guitar tracks on their analog tape reels when they swear they didn’t record that, believing that this man in the coma had something to do with it. Anyway does anybody know how I might be able to find out which episode number this is, or in the least know how I can see these episodes? I’ve searched YouTube relentlessly and cannot find it. Thank you.

  16. Collin says:

    Does anybody remember an episode where they showed a house where mysterious black spots like oil stains would appear on the walls, carpet and clothes? They had some scientists come out to explain the source but they couldn’t find anything. Somehow that story has stuck with me and I wanted to search to see if anything else ever came of it.

  17. Nate says:

    No way. The freakiest episode was the married couple with kids that decided to have sex changes and swap sexes, which doesn’t sound that bad, but at ten years old fathoming the whole surgical procedures and the resulting awkward man-woman woman-man results, it really really disturbed me.

    There was another episode that had a guy who had all is fingers chopped off (and they showed them(?)) and then had them sewn back on (and they showed them!) that was also disturbing.

  18. Andrew says:

    Haunted Toys R Us all the way. It didn’t freak me out, though. It was really, really cool. Cool enough that, when the time came, I would make use of the idea myself.

  19. shannon brown says:

    The freakiest was the episode about the ghost of mary surratt. Remeber she was the first woman hung by the us government for the assassaination of president lincoln.That one was creepy!

  20. Kerry says:

    Hi! I’m looking for the episode that featured a story from WWII. It was about a man named Bill, who had placed his Bible in his parachute. The plane was shot up and they went in for repairs, the same parachutes weren’t reloaded and Bill’s Bible was lost until 40 years later when his nephew bought the parachute at an Army Surplus store. My dad was part of Bill’s crew and I would love to find out if I could see this episode somehow, somewhere…any ideas? Thanks! Kerry

  21. Jordi says:

    There was one episode about Nostradamus where they predicted the twin towers attack by 1999. Does anybody remember it?

  22. rick says:

    Search for their Halloween episodes, they never let u down.

  23. Corey Webster says:

    Another episode that creeped me out as a kid- and which I still remember to this day!- was the one with Leslie Lemke! Leslie was the blind kid who sang and played the piano with his very old parents in the That’s Incredible story. I just found a YouTube video and, watching it 30+ years later, I still get a creepy vibe from it. I’m sure the producers’ original intent was to make it a feel-good story, and not be intentionally creepy, but it is! I think Leslie reminds of the “dueling banjos” kid from the movie Deliverance or something and that is what is off-putting to me…

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