curious oddities

“I thought a DEAD END sign was where they put the road kill” A TREASURY OF CHILDHOOD MISCONCEPTIONS

I just wanted to share a website that I really love and find myself often revisiting. I Used To Believe is a wonderful, and ever expanding, archive of childhood beliefs. The last time I checked, they were up to 63,841 stories from adults all over the world.

In 2004, the creator of the website, Mat Connolly, published the initial collection of beliefs that he had gathered in a book called Butter Comes From Butterflies. He talks about his own fear and the inspiration behind the site:

When I was a kid I had a morbid fear of the toilet. I was convinced that there was a vampire living just around the s-bend who would attack me if I spent too long on it, so I’d always go as quickly as possible.

Many years later I found out that a good friend used to believe that his body was filled with baked beans. I began wondering if other people had strange childhood beliefs and collected them from my friends and family. The book moved to this website in order to collect beliefs from people all over the world.

As for me,  I come from a family of “yarn spinners” and “tale embellishers” so I grew up only half believing anything that my Dad told me – which is probably good as I have a very active imagination. However, he did manage to convince a childhood friend of mine that our lovely, glass, egg-shaped paperweight was actually a dragon egg. The poor girl carried that thing around with her for a month, waiting for it to hatch.

The site is such a good read, most of it is really funny, some of it is a bit disturbing, but overall it’s cool to remember what it was like during that time when anything seemed possible. A time when it was conceivable that speed bumps were like braille for blind drivers, that you could grow up to be a kangaroo or a firetruck, or that if you drank milk and water mixed together you would turn into a dinosaur.

My two current favorites are Gen’s: I used to think that vanilla was the absence of chocolate, not its own flavor.”

And Lindsey’s: “My parents told me a rainbow only occurred when 2 animals got married in the forest…I believed this up to the age of 11!!!! I didn’t really feel I could question my science teacher when we learned the real reason behind rainbows + light spectrums.”

Artist Credits: Top: A painting by Matt courtesy of John Chamberlain (CC)

Middle: Drawing by Estella, courtesy of Jonathan C (CC)

Bottom: Fangy Bat by Milo, courtesy of Liz Henry (CC)


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I have not started my blog yet But…I used to think the sound of the crickets in the summer was the sound of the stars blinking.

Comment by Tosh

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