Employees at the Cineworld cinema in Nottingham claim a "technical error" caused Paranormal Activity 4 to be screened accidentally to a theater full of formerly happy-go-lucky kids who were there to watch the third Madagascar film.

"It opens on the most terrifying scene in the first film - where a body shoots full pelt towards the camera," said parent Natasha Lewis, whose eight-year-old son was in attendance. "It's enough to make grown men jump, so you can imagine the terror in these young faces."

Lewis said the 25 or so families in the the theater quickly grabbed their screaming children and headed for the door. "It was only about two minutes worth of the film but it was enough to scar them for life," she said.

A Cineworld spokesperson apologized to the families and said all theatergoers were given refunds as well as complimentary tickets." Families were also invited to attend a later showing of Madagascar 3 free of charge.

No word on financial assistance for years and years of therapy.

[photo via Shutterstock]