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There was a relatively short period of time in my childhood where I was very paranoid about quicksand. I would avoid light spots in black pavement (small rocks, presumably) in order to not be sucked into quicksand!

Jennifer
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When I was young, I was really interested in dinosaurs. My dad told me that they all died when a huge meteor hit the Earth. I got so scared that one would come from space and we would all die, that I would hide in the closet for protection every day, thinking that would save me.

Addison
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I had a recurring dream that an earthquake hit Phoenix and the ground cracked open sucking my grandpa into some great abyss. I always thought I was psychic and that dream was true, and any time a plane would fly overhead and shake the house a little, I would grab my grandpa's hand to "save" him from being sucked down into the middle of the earth.

Trina A.
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When I was little I was convinced that I was Dorothy Gale from "The Wizard of Oz". I live in the midwestern United States and we get tornados frequently, but I wasn't afraid of them at all. When we were put under tornado warnings I would run out side and sing "somewhere over the rainbow" hoping that the people of Oz would hear me (their beloved Dorothy) and bring me back to see them.

Dorothy
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I used to think that hurricanes form when the little gusts of wind that make leaves swirl in circles all got joined together.

Anon
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When I was like four I had this CD about dinosaurs and it had this game in which you had to save the dinosaurs from being hit by the comet. I was terrified of that game after I ran out of time on it and I became firmly convinced that a comet was going to hit the Earth in this day and age. I kept telling my parents we were running out of time and stuff. And then my mom saw a real comet (I think it was Hale Bopp) and told me to come look at the comet. I didn't want to but my parents wouldn't stop bugging me to. I was terrified to death of that thing and was SURE it was going to crash into Earth. After that I got over my fears though.

And nowadays I LOVE comets
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After a big windstorm in my hometown, my preschool started teaching about the extinction of dinosaurs. I thought the windstorm is what killed them.

Rachel
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When I was little, I was so freaked out be natural disasters that I absolutley could not go to sleep unless my mom told me everynight, "No earthquakes, no fires, no tornados, and nothing else bad will happen to not." I guess my Mom thought it was neat that I believed her saying that will make it happen.

Angela
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I was very young in 1989. One of my earliest memories, growing up in the Charlotte, NC, area was when hurricane Hugo devastated that city in September of 1989. Then the very next month, with Charlotte still far from completely recovered from hurricane Hugo, a major earthquake hit the San Francisco / Oakland area (perhaps best remembered as the earthquake that interrupted the first game of the World Series that year!). With our electricity in Charlotte not long restored from hurricane Hugo, we were watching on television reports of the devastation in the San Francisco Bay area. For me at that time, the name "Hugo" became so associated with natural disaster generally that I often found myself calling the earthquake "Hugo". People were surprised and amused when they found out that some of my references to "Hugo" meant the California earthquake rather than the hurricane on our side of the country. For quite some times afterwards I puzzled as to why earthquakes don't have names as hurricanes do!

Erica
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My father used to tell us a story about being in a tornado in Coffeyville, Kansas when he was a boy. His father was a mailman, and my dad told us that during the tornado, his father ran home "leaping over telephone poles." Having seen the Wizard of Oz in its first release, I mixed the movie images with my father's memories, and imagined my little grandfather leaping over the tops of upright telephone poles in the middle of Kansas. Hadn't cows and men in rowboats and a witch on a bike flown through the air in the movie? This was such a strong image that it wasn't until I was about 18 that I realized, "Hey, wait a minute...those poles he jumped were lying on the ground, blown over by the tornado."

Jan F.
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I used to believe a tornado was a omato flying around and wondered why people were afraid of them.

Anon
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I used to believe that if I rocked myself to sleep I wouldn't feel earthquakes, and if I couldn't feel them then I couldn't be hurt by them. I may have figured out this wasn't the case, but I still rock myself to sleep!

Anon
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It only happened one time, but when I was 5 years old, there was an earthquake in California in the morning(it was in 1987). I remember waking up and being really scared not knowing what was happening, cause that was the first earthquake I had experienced and I thought that King Kong was on the loose and shaking the apartment building me and my mom were living in.

Monica
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When I was less than six months old, there was a very powerful tornado that passed within a mile of my house. my mom told me that she had to hide with me under the dining room table. Since then i've had a very bad almost phobic fear of tornadoes. Until i got my facts straight i thought they could just pop up and kill me if i went outside in the dark. i also thought one lived in my bedroom corner and another under my bed. seeing the movie twister when i was 7 did not help and to this day i freak out completely when a bad storm comes.

scaredy cat spaz
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When I was younger, I went through this faze of being tarafied of naturle disasters. I believed that any natrul disaster could happen anyware. Where I live, the worst thing that could happen is a Ice Storm. THATS NOTHING!

Crazy Believer
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I grew up in earthquake country (northern California). For some reason I always woke up in the night before earthquakes hit, some instinct gaind from having always been there with earthquakes happening so frequently. I though I caused the earthquakes, becasue I was awake, or rolled over, or pulled up the covers. I couldn't understand how I always woke up a good few minutes before they came.

Anon
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When I was little, I was terrified of natural disaters like hurricanes and volcanoes. I asked my parents when I was really young if there could ever be an earthquake where we lived. They said no and gave me some kind of reason that I never remembered, but since then I always imagined that the people in our state had long ago placed this huge metal plate deep underground to prevent earthquakes, and I would sometimes wonder why places like California and Japan didn't do the same. I occasionally still have to remind myself that it's because of fault lines and not whether or not there are underground metal plates.

Chelsea
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I was about 4 or 5 at spending the night at my grandmother's house and during some bad storms with tornado warnings it began to hail outside. My grandmother flipped over a couch and had us get underneath and from my understanding she said it was "hell-ing outside." With the image of fire falling from the sky I cried asking why satan was mad at us.

Amanda
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When I was younger, I thought that a hurricane was a big spaceship looking thing( kinda like a submarine) that had 3 big holes on the bottom of it that opened and closed and had long benches on both sides where people could sit. I thought that when it struck, it would suck the people up into it and when i heard people talking about sending blankets and food to hurricane victims, that we would place boxes of the items where the spaceship was and it would suck the boxes right up.

Danielle
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When I was little, I read or someone told me that the sun will eventually burn the earth and then the whole world would then become cold because there was no more sun. That bothered me so I tried to think of a really good plan to save everybody. What I thought about was building a big huge refrigerator and have everyone in it. We'll have all the food we want and everyone would live!!

Pamela B. (California)
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