Thursday, 17 October 2013

Fear, Phobia, and Halloween

During no time of year is fear placed more at the forefront than during October, that month that culminates in a celebration of the dead or undead, that day we call Halloween. Should you find yourself afraid of sexy nurses or catholic school girls, you’re likely dreading the end of this month.

283/365 - Her Favorite White DressAll kidding aside, there are a number of real fears that a holiday like Halloween can trigger. Because fear is a primitive emotion, it alerts us to danger and can often happen without reason. So, while we tell ourselves that thunder or darkness is without harm, we can’t believe this logic, we fail to respond to facts we know to be true. When these anxieties become more pronounced, fear becomes debilitating and more irrational.


Especially problematic around Halloween given the abundance of costumes, Masklophobia is the fear of people disguising themselves in costume. It is associated with xenohabilzoophobia, which is the specific fear of people in animal costumes.

Both can include individuals sporting masks, sports mascots, and others attempting to disguise themselves. Many children suffer from this phobia but grow out of it as adults. For others, it remains a lifelong source of incredible fright.
Eye death

This phobia is one of the most common because, inevitably, it happens to us all. The fear of death scares many of us, and Halloween embodies that. Referring specifically to fear of your own death, Thanatophobia differs from necrophobia which concerns itself with a general fear of death. What must it be like to suffer this phobia around Halloween, when people are dressing as the dead, the undead, and the about-to-be-dead? Terrifying!


Haunted HouseAnother common fear, claustrophobia is the fear of tight spaces. During Halloween, many haunted houses use small spaces and darkness to electrify audiences. For the claustrophobic, this can be a true nightmare. As strangers attempt to find their way out of a tiny maze in a haunted house attraction, they’re often squeezed or touched by other items in the house, making the claustrophobia much worse.

For those of us fortunate to be scared of nothing, celebrate! Halloween is a magical time filled with candy, costumes, and friends. Embrace the dark (even if it’s just chocolate).

About the Author:

Lydia Mondy is a bicycle enthusiast with a passion for pizza and Halloween costumes. When she isn’t learning the art of campfire cooking, you can find her exploring the United States and cheering on the LA Dodgers.

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