I think children like to play games of being frightened while knowing there is no danger. I used to play a game with the children of a friend of mine many years ago. They lived in a large house and sometimes after supper the lights would be switched out and I would seek them out.
As to my own childhood: I remember the war clearly and we were frightened by the bombing. But as ardent, not to say passionate catholics, we were more frightened of Limbo, Purgatory and Hell. I know that sounds like a dodgy firm of criminal lawyers, but believe me, 70 years ago damnation and hellfire were very real fears among catholic children. Fear is the recurring memory I have of my childhood. And this was in spite of having a wonderfully loving mother. But then she was full of fear. She would often say: "Put the kettle on, Tom and in five minutes, if God spares me, I"ll wet the tea." So you see the thought of death was in the air.
There was also a BBC radio drams called "APPOINTMENT WITH FEAR." What with the priests and the Germans and Valentine Dyall I was very short of sleep.
auf wiedersehen pet