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Things That Scare Me And Are Easily Avoidable

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Greetings, Trout Nation. As you may have guessed, I am a fucking coward. I am afraid of everything. Despite having grown up in a haunted house and firmly believing that I’ve been abducted by aliens, and despite the fact that I often roll joints on an Ouija board, I’m so afraid of the most ridiculous things. Things that can easily be avoided.

There are some things that are just scary, but sometimes you have to get through them. My fear of being cut in half by an elevator? Well, sometimes you just have to get on that elevator (move very fast, and never try to squeeze through closing doors. Thirty people a year are gruesomely killed by elevators. Look it up). Live in Michigan but you’re afraid of driving over the Mackinac Bridge? We all are and have been since 1989, but if you live here, you’re gonna have to do it some time. Like I said, these are unavoidable situations for me sometimes (though I have been known to take the stairs to ridiculous heights). But here are some things I fear that are easily avoidable.

These are a few:

The Congress Plaza Hotel, Chicago, IL If you have some spare time and want to read some truly morbid shit, give The Congress Plaza Hotel a Google. You’ll find charming stories about a mother throwing her children to their deaths from a twelve-story window, America’s first serial killer, H.H. Holmes, prowling the lobby for victims, and there has been a rash of suicides both in and outside of the hotel walls. YouTube provides endless hours of amateur paranormal investigations and tours of floors where rooms have been padlocked shut, wallpapered over, or otherwise sealed. I’m terrified of the place.

Solution: Just don’t go there, dipshit. I once did one of those Priceline deals where they don’t show you the hotel, just the price. I snatched up a room for seventy bucks a night!

Then promptly canceled it and ate the non-refundable cost when I saw it was at the Congress. No. Fucking. Thank you.

 

The Bolton Strid, Yorkshire, England This is a lovely, burbling little stream that will fucking eat you alive. No joke. It has a reported 100% fatality rate for people who fall into it. As someone who regularly experiences l’appel du vide around dangerous bodies of water, I am 100% sure that I’m 100% going to jump into the 100% fatal stream. What makes the place so dangerous? The water is a lot deeper than it appears. Like, a lot. And it’s full of underwater caves and currents. And I’m pretty sure the Gwragedd Annwn live in it and will pull you in. I don’t fuck around with fairies.

Solution: Just don’t go there, dipshit. I live in America. It’s not like I’m going to accidentally stumble into the damn thing.

 

Being instantly vaporized by a powerful electrical current I am so afraid of electricity. And I don’t know why. It’s all over my house. But what scares me most are the giant substation transformer things just sitting out there. Sure, there are fences and warning signs, but just thinking about them makes me break out into a cold sweat. My grandfather once told me that there are ones that are so powerful, they can vaporize you. What the fuck. That’s horrifying. I don’t want that to happen to me.

Solution: Don’t fuck with electricity, dipshit. This one isn’t even going to be a problem. I won’t change a fucking lightbulb. The light figure in my office flickered one too many times and now I sit in the total darkness. This shouldn’t be an issue. But it is.

 

Woodchippers Who wouldn’t be afraid of a giant machine that can grind you to pieces in a matter of seconds? People get sucked into them all the time. OSHA describes this as “total body morselization.” You know how I know this? Because I’m so fucking afraid of them that I’ve read OSHA reports about them. Never underestimate my capacity for terrifying myself needlessly. But there have been truly horrifying accidents with this mind-bogglingly common piece of equipment that any jackass can rent and operate. I do not fuck around with woodchippers.

Solution: What I’m already doing. I just don’t deal with woodchippers. A few months ago, Consumers Energy was outside my yard trimming tree branches from the lines and feeding them into a wood chipper. I wouldn’t even go outside. I banned my family members and dogs from going outside until they were far, far away. So, I’m doing what I’m doing, yet I’m still afraid at all times.

 

Overall, I guess I’m a fearful person. I hear about things that could happen and it scares me. I think about things that will never happen or I could easily prevent and it scares me. I know I’m not the only one out there. Traumatize us all with your unfounded fears in the comments.

120 Comments

  1. Ashley Shadowheart
    Ashley Shadowheart

    GIANT AQUARIUM TANKS.

    Nope, nope, nu-uh. Don’t take me into an aquarium because I have an irrational fear of large aquarium tanks, like the floor to ceiling kind. It’s worse if the exhibit is dark. I went to an aquarium with a friend a couple years back and my irrational fear kicked in when we got to the shark tank. All these sharks just swimming around, having a good time. They even have a shark tunnel, but I refused to step foot in it. Friend I was with was very understanding and didn’t force me to walk through.

    Cuz you never know when one of those will break and send TENS OF THOUSANDS OF GALLONS OF WATER CAREENING AT MY FACE AND RELEASE CRITTERS THAT WILL EAT MY FACE.

    May 21, 2018
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    • Jemmy
      Jemmy

      I have an extreme phobia of sharks. I’ve had panic attacks when they’ve shown up in computer games. The one thing I do take comfort in is that they can’t come onto land so I’m safe, but I can’t look at them. I used to be deeply afraid there would be a shark in the swimming pool, something my brothers took advantage of by swimming up to me underwater and then grabbing my leg.

      My brothers suck btw.

      So, naturally sharks show up everywhere. The kids book catalogues (my eldest blacks them out with a marker before she shows me what she wants me to buy), in boys wear while i’m shopping for stuff for my son there’s shark prints on every damn thing. The back of a book my son was reading in kinder last year had a picture of a great white attacking something because of course it did. Someone gave him shark themed birthday gifts this year and he happens to LOVE them. He doesn’t know I don’t because I’ve never really mentioned it.

      We’ve been the Melbourne Aquarium which has one of those under aquarium tunnels. It’s definitely not for you. I don’t mind aquariums, but you had to walk past the shark video of sharks attacking stuff and through the jaws of a shark to get to it. So the first time we went with my daughter I went the long way around and met them at the other end.

      The second time we went with both kids and my son skipped most of the displays and we sat watching a reef aquarium. So far so good. Then he decided he wanted to go down and look at the sharks and I had to come with him. We were at he back end so I figured that would be ok. That’s when my husband informed me they’d moved the shark jaws from the front of the tunnel to the end of the tunnel. FML. I walked down into the pit of hell looking at the floor and hoping I didn’t walk into anyone because I was not looking up for anything.

      May 22, 2018
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      • Athena
        Athena

        I have a problem with spiders. More a heebie-jeebie than a phobia, but considering I live in an area with a high black widow and brown recluse problem, I feel justified in this.

        I was shopping one day and was looking at cute kid cups. They had Dora the Explorer and Go, Diego cups that were double walled and had leaves and stars free floating in liquid between the walls. Without really thinking it through I picked up the Spiderman cup beside them and screamed when little, black spiders started moving all over it.

        May 23, 2018
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    • Nim
      Nim

      I played a visual novel that was based entirely on being trapped in an aquarium and weird awful shit kept happening, including time-loops. I can’t remember if I had that fear before the game, but I sure as shit have that fear now.

      (The game was Sound of Drop – fall into poison -)

      May 28, 2018
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  2. Athena
    Athena

    Stairs. Also escalators and ladders. When I was about 3-4 I fell down the basement stairs. To this day I will freak out if I can’t hold onto the handrail. Worst part is I love heights, I just hate getting to them.

    I’m also terrified of diving boards. When I was little the end of swimming lessons was to be dragged off the diving board by the instructor. Love swimming, screw diving.

    May 21, 2018
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    • Acton
      Acton

      Also stairs! I’m not scared of heights, but I am scared of losing my balance and falling backwards.

      May 21, 2018
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      • Athena
        Athena

        That’s my problem. It really flares up if I have to stay on the staircase any length of time. Even small stepladders.

        May 23, 2018
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    • Escalators also terrify me. I fall down stairs a lot, but stairs don’t really scare me. Stairs that MOVE, though.

      The parking lot escalators at Disneyland are the scariest ride in the whole place for me. They’re like 5-story escalators.

      May 22, 2018
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      • Athena
        Athena

        Thanks for the warning. I’ve never been to Disneyland. I’m getting better about escalators, but not sure I can handle that.

        May 23, 2018
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  3. S.E. Scott
    S.E. Scott

    Okay so I’ve got a not real one and a real one.

    Anyone remember that horror movie from like the early 2000s, Darkness Falls? It’s about a witch who was burned and now she’s an evil spirit who wears a white porcelain mask and can’t enter the light. Once you’ve seen her, you’re marked for death and have to stay in lighted areas forever. I’m terrified that she’s real and she’s going to appear in some dark corner suddenly and condemn me (I think she did this in the movie so there’s precedent). If I’m walking through a dark area I keep my eyes the fuck down.

    As for real ones, I’m terrified of getting hit by lightning. I will not shower in a thunderstorm (which is a problem because I live in Florida), even though my water comes from a well and not a municipal water system that’s likely to get hit. I will not go outside, even though my yard contains a fucking Quonset hut, which are those big half-cylinder airplane hangar things and both a lot taller than me and made entirely of metal. I can sometimes be talked into the screen room, because it’s essentially a big Farraday cage that will protect me. I won’t even talk on the cell phone, even though I know FULL WELL this makes NO SENSE.

    May 21, 2018
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    • Myntzi
      Myntzi

      Wait… so can electricity travel through the municipal water system to my shower?? I didn’t know this. I’ve showered during thunderstorms, they are super common where I live. I guess I’m not doing that anymore.

      May 21, 2018
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      • S.E. Scott
        S.E. Scott

        I don’t know if it’s common! I just know I was always told as a kid not to shower during lightning because the lightning could hit the water system and strike me. It seems wildly unlikely, but it was ingrained in me as a kid.

        May 21, 2018
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      • TeJay
        TeJay

        The danger isn’t the water system being hit, it is the immediate area around your house. Water is conductive, yes, but over long distances it tends to dissipate because it is actually not a great conductor. Fun fact – pure water without any impurities is actually a good insulator. That’s how watercooling electronics can work, because water in watercooled systems runs through metal heatsinks and manages not to conduct current or voltage.

        It is possible for lightning to hit the piping that carries the water to your house, as that piping is often copper – one of the most common materials we use for wiring.

        Lightning occurs when the potential between the clouds and a given surface reaches the point that the electrons equalize.

        It’s literally static electricity on a massive scale. Same thing as when you get a little shock on the doorknob in the winter.

        The good news is that the electricity will ALWAYS take the path of least resistance to ground. If the strike occurs near ground (not the actual ground in all cases, but often the same thing as electrical ground) the flow will dissipate into the ground without causing damage to the rest of the ‘system’ – the rest of the piping.

        However, if the strike occurs at the piping at top of your house, for example, and you are showering , the water making a connection between the shower pipes, you, and the drain pipes at your feet MAY have a faster connection to electrical ground than the copper piping that would otherwise be the fastest path to ground.

        Hope that made sense. If you have any questions with electricity, feel free to ask. I am an electrical field engineer, and while it should definitely be respected, it is also a logical natural force that is much less scary once it is understood.

        May 22, 2018
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        • Myntzi
          Myntzi

          Thanks for that great explanation! Electricity might as well be magic for me, lol.

          May 22, 2018
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    • Anon
      Anon

      Being afraid of lightning is rational — ESPECIALLY in Florida. I have friends (also in Florida) who will go outside running in it and one (who actually died a few yeas ago, but not from lightning) who sat in a hot tub on the deck of a cruise ship in a thunderstorm once. Maybe she just knew she was destined to die young and didn’t care. Personally I just think it was her way of being defiant and she was just stupid.

      But it wasn’t that long ago something like four people in a matter of a week were struck just in Jacksonville alone!

      May 22, 2018
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  4. (Different) Rebecca
    (Different) Rebecca

    Drains without plugs/grates/covers.

    What is it? I don’t know. I’m not going to slip down it. There’s nothing that could come up a drain that wouldn’t also fit through the cover. I just…fear them.

    Being blackout drunk.

    I’ve only been that way once, and it was around people I am very, very able to trust, but I freaked the fuck out about the fact that I lost half an hour from the evening.

    May 21, 2018
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    • Failed Indie
      Failed Indie

      >>Being blackout drunk.>>

      SAME. Luckily, it dovetails nicely with my irrational fear of vomiting (mine especially, others’ only a little less so… and one tends to turn into the other anyway, it’s like yawning only horrible)

      I’m *super* fun at parties, which is why I basically don’t go to them.

      May 22, 2018
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  5. Ria
    Ria

    The dark. I am terrified of the dark. I always have been. Going in to the baby’s room when she’s crying and settling her in the dark takes a LOT of psyching up. I will not go in without my phone to light the way. I go to the toilet like 3 or 4 times before bed because the idea of having to go down the hallway in the dark at night – ALL THE NOPE.

    May 21, 2018
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  6. Jayme
    Jayme

    I’m absolutely, viscerally, terrified of catfish.

    I don’t know why.
    I just hate their ugly little faces and their whiskers.
    I don’t live in a place where they exist in the wild and the only way I’ll ever see them is in a tank but god, I hate them.

    May 21, 2018
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    • L
      L

      100% plecostomus. I’ve had nightmares about them for YEARS. When I was a teenager I had these huge tanks, and the plecostomus would get HUGE and SPINY, and I’d dream they sucked and sucked until they swelled and took up the whole tank – but you’d have to reach in to get them out and AUUUGHGHGHGH!

      Catfish too- I NEVER go into the lake without full shoes (my kids too) and I am inordinately afraid of channel cats. Also I will not cook any catfish my husband catches. Ever. No.

      May 21, 2018
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      • Myntzi
        Myntzi

        So the thing about the Plecos is very real. I never had much of an opinion, until I had one. When I got a large fish tank for my cats to look at, one of my friends gifted me her Pleco (the sucker fish that sticks to the wall of the tank). She said it was a good fish to have because they clean your tank. She bought hers to put on her tiny fish tank (seriously her fish tank was super tiny), and the pleco grew up and was getting crowded with the other fish. I was happy to have a new small fish for my tank, it was maybe 1.5 inches long.

        I didn’t notice it right at first, but the fish grew exponentially. It’s hard to tell when you see the fish everyday. Turns out, Plecos shouldn’t be kept in fishing tanks like mine because they can grow up to a couple of feet or something. It got huge! It was longer than a foot, to the point that, when it sucked on the wall vertically, it’s tail would have to bend to accommodate him. Getting rid of him was a nightmare I will not subject you guys to. I hate Plecos!

        May 21, 2018
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      • Jayme
        Jayme

        Oof, yeah, plecos too! My aunt used to have a huge one in her aquarium and I wouldn’t even go into the room that had the tank in it because of that thing.

        May 22, 2018
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    • Liza
      Liza

      I went swimming in a lake when I was in first or second grade and there was what I assume was a catfish, that was bigger than me. It obviously didn’t try to eat me, but when I would see it below me I would freak out. I’ve been terrified ever since. I do love to eat them, though.

      May 22, 2018
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  7. BlackSwallowtail
    BlackSwallowtail

    1) I don’t like abandoned buildings

    2) Especially not ghost towns

    3) I don’t like dead animals (seriously, if you just let me catch the centipede and put it outside then we both win: you don’t have to deal with the centipede, and I don’t have to deal with a dead thing)

    4) It freaks me out a little if I’m the last person working and it’s night. I’d much rather be in the woods

    5) I don’t like unfinished basements that have the light at the bottom of the stairs

    6) I don’t like going to sleep in total darkness even though it’s supposed to help you sleep better

    7) The catacombs under France freak the hell out of me

    8) Also that weird house that one lady designed when she thought ghosts were after her

    9) And that other weird little house that slid off its foundation and has optical illusions everywhere

    10) My name being called in the woods because I’ll probably follow it.

    11) Getting severe brain damage

    12) Getting pregnant before I’m ready and not being able to do anything about it

    13) Radiation poisoning

    14) Rickety bridges

    15) Small dark tunnels with no end in sight from the entrance

    May 21, 2018
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    • S.E. Scott
      S.E. Scott

      Ooh! This reminded me of another one: I live in Florida and my preferred pest control is that spray you put down and it lasts a year and kills anything that walks over it. Except this results in a LOT of dead palmetto bugs just hanging around and I hate them and can’t deal with them. I have to get DnD friends to dispose of them for me when they come over once a week.

      May 21, 2018
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      • Anon
        Anon

        @SE Scott — What is this magical pesticide??? I had my yard professionally treated for fleas this year because no matter how much flea treatment I used, my animals and house were infested again within a week, and it only lasted about a month even though it’s supposed to last three …

        May 22, 2018
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        • S.E. Scott
          S.E. Scott

          It only works inside, unfortunately! And I don’t know if it’s safe to use around pets, but I don’t think so, and I don’t know if it would work on something carried by pets. It’s a thing where the insect has to physically walk across it, stuff still gets in my room by walking on the walls. Unfortunately it’s pretty limited application that happens to be perfect for my needs.

          May 22, 2018
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        • ViolettaD
          ViolettaD

          I make chrysanthemum tea and spray or sponge it over everything. Let it steep at least two hours, strain, and use within 36 hours. Natural source of Pyrethrins, but harmless to humans: you can even drink it. Get the bulk stuff at an Asian grocery. Avoid packets; they usually have sugar and will attract ants.

          Consult a vet about whether this remedy or any other is safe for animals. I think baking soda is, but Diatomaceous Earth isn’t.

          May 22, 2018
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        • BlackSwallowtail
          BlackSwallowtail

          I don’t know if it’s the same stuff that S.E. Scott is referring to, but diatomaceous earth will do the trick. It’s these tiny crystals that make small cuts in their carapaces as they walk through it. They then dehydrate and die. Not immediately, but effectively.

          May 22, 2018
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    • BlackSwallowtail
      BlackSwallowtail

      I forgot!

      16) All dolls are evil

      17) Stuffed animals are fine except for those faceless monstrosities.

      18) I don’t like clowns

      May 21, 2018
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    • Xebi
      Xebi

      I too am freakishly afraid of dead things. I think it’s because I am scared if I pick it up it will turn out not to be dead after all and it will be in pain and terrified and will thrash and flap like panicked animals do and I will totally freak out. But my fear also extends to killing things. My husband once swatted a fly in front of me and I screamed. If I step on a snail it completely ruins my day.

      May 22, 2018
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      • BlackSwallowtail
        BlackSwallowtail

        For me it’s the stiffness (you touch it with just the toe of your shoe to see if it’s still alive and then…that stiffness just shoots through you). And the bloat, I hate that.
        I also hate killing things. I’ll do it if I have to (fruit-flies, mosquitoes), but I really rather wouldn’t.

        May 22, 2018
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    • ReeseZ
      ReeseZ

      Number 12! I thought I was the only one who had this phobia. I have actual nightmares where I’m pregnant and have no clue how it happened because I have taken a lot of steps to actively make sure I DO NOT get pregnant. Everyone around me is always so thrilled and I have to pretend that I, too, am stoked for some reason and I always wake up really upset and panicked and I feel weird and uncomfortable the rest of the day.

      May 22, 2018
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      • BlackSwallowtail
        BlackSwallowtail

        Ugh. The nightmares are the worst. I always feel like I’m being invaded by some alien entity.

        May 22, 2018
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      • Evil!Blonde Bitch
        Evil!Blonde Bitch

        I have that fear too! I don’t have nightmares about it, but I have real anxiety every time I think about having children. I come from a very conservative religious (Mormon) background, although I have left the religion for multiple reasons. I think the reason I fear it is because I hate children, but the people I grew up with have all given birth to several, and it’s just sort of an expectation in my extended family that I will someday marry and give birth to many beautiful lovely babies. If I ever got pregnant outside of marriage, many of my loved ones would judge me for it. Having an abortion would be equally bad or worse. And I don’t want to have children ever. I fear the thought of accidental pregnancy because it’s a terrible problem to be stuck with, and there’s no ways out that leave you feeling okay. It freaks me out to think of a little invader in my body and having to either carry it or get aborted. Also, my family is super mentally ill on both sides, and I have severe anxiety and depression, so I do *not* want to bring some poor innocent into the world and saddle them with my terrible, awful, no-good very bad genes XD

        May 23, 2018
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        • BlackSwallowtail
          BlackSwallowtail

          I actually really want kids and my genes are decent I think, but I had a pretty awful childhood. And I’ve seen what it’s like for mothers who end up single or where the father is a piece of shit, and I never want that to happen to me. If I can’t guarantee that I can give my child a good, loving childhood, then I refuse to have them. Years ago, I did get pregnant once, and I hadn’t even been penetrated yet at the time. I had an abortion, but that month of being pregnant was hell and left me with lasting anxiety. More recently a sexual partner went against my repeated and explicit terms for using condoms and that kind of fucked me up a lot. Didn’t get pregnant thankfully. But yeah. Unwanted pregnancy, ugh.

          May 28, 2018
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    • Alex Silvers
      Alex Silvers

      8) the Winchester house! I always wanted Supernatural to stage an episode in it, lol.

      I don’t know what you’re referring to in 9, I’ll have to look that up. The rest of your list…. 100%, all those things are freaky as hell. Except 4. The woods are freaky too.

      May 23, 2018
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  8. H
    H

    I’m terrified of car accidents. Specifically involving big HGV vehicles.

    I live in England, and our motorways are chock full of lorries with drivers that always seem to be on their phones or eating or otherwise distracted. My dad was hit by one about three months ago (he was fine but it destroyed the right side of the car), and there was a horrifying story a little while ago of a minibus of people getting literally SANDWICHED between two HGV vehicles because one driver was drunk and the other on his phone – here’s a link to the story but WARNING if you’re also freaked out by car accidents https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/922865/motorway-crash-killed-eight-avoidable-truck-minibus-drivers

    So yes. I try to avoid motorways if I can but it’s not always possible, so I just have to deal with it and pray that lorries don’t come near me and my tiny, fragile car.

    May 21, 2018
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    • H
      H

      Just realised I put HGV vehicles twice, completely forgetting that the V stands for vehicle. Just going to see if the Department of Redundancy Department has a job for me.

      May 21, 2018
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      • Xebi
        Xebi

        Don’t forget your PIN number for the ATM machine.

        May 22, 2018
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  9. VGK
    VGK

    Soooo I ended up staying at The Congress Plaza Hotel the last time I was in Chicago overnight and I didn’t even know it was haunted. The place had a really creepy feeling once you got upstairs – the hallways are poorly kept and it looks like something you would see in a horror movie. It also smelled really strange. We thought about leaving but didn’t – now I’ve got a story to tell I guess!

    May 21, 2018
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  10. Steph
    Steph

    Oh my gosh, I’m absolutely terrified of Palmetto bugs and roaches. I hate the fact that Palmettos can fly, which truly sucks because I live in the Palmetto bug capital, Florida. I’ve run out of my house in a bra and underwear because one was crawling on my wall.
    I have frequent nightmares about them falling from my ceiling and onto my face (which has happened irl), or them somehow infesting my pillow.
    The way they move across the floor, or how they scurry from the light makes me get all sweaty and anxious. Writing all this makes me want to vomit. I’m a neat freak hoping that they won’t be attracted to my house, but Palmettos come in after heavy rains. Just like we’ve had recently. Fun.

    May 21, 2018
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    • Seconding this. I live in the second largest palmetto capital, Texas, only we usually call them wood roaches. They’re huge fuckers, and they can fly, and usually they DO fly, RIGHT AT YOUR GODDAMN FACE.

      I’ve had a phobia of them since I was a tiny thing with a Texas twang.

      Unrelated to bugs, I’m afraid of falling upwards. Not flying, but uncontrollably FALLING into the sky. It fucking terrifies me and I quite often dream it’s happening to me, which is delightful.

      May 21, 2018
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      • Steph
        Steph

        YES, those damn palmettos just instinctively fly towards your face. It’s the fucking worst! This is why I let my husband be the palmetto killer, they’d have to sedate me if it happened again. Similarly, when the termites swarm on full moons, I can’t go outside. Same sentiment.

        The falling into the sky is such a horrifying fear. I heard about that during a fictional podcast, The Magnus Archives. Gave me nightmares!

        May 21, 2018
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  11. Jamie
    Jamie

    Well now I have new things to be scared of.

    I love reading ghost stories but am terrified of ghosts. I’m convinced our current house has one, and I spend a lot of time telling myself if it was a malicious ghost we would know by now.

    I’m scared the clown from IT is real. I fucking hate clowns in general.

    May 21, 2018
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    • Elizabeth
      Elizabeth

      I read that as “I love reading ghost stories of terrified ghosts” and though, hmm, that could be an interesting plot bunny!

      May 23, 2018
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  12. L
    L

    Palo Verde beetles, garden roaches crawling into my ear (I think these are the same as the palmetto bug), plecostomus, and the Tremors movies. I slept on the top bunk for years as a result of three of these things.

    May 21, 2018
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  13. BASKING SHARKS. They just swim along with their damn mouths open and they can’t see me if I’m like, snorkeling and looking at coral!! THEY WILL SWALLOW ME and then I’ll have to pull a Dory and speak fucking WHALE to it.

    YES, I live in a land-locked state but what does that matter??

    May 21, 2018
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    • BlackSwallowtail
      BlackSwallowtail

      If it’s any consolation, I think basking sharks have a very small esophagus, so you wouldn’t be swallowed, just spit out.

      May 22, 2018
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  14. Tiffany
    Tiffany

    Shadow People!! Like I’ve watched some ghost hunting shows and they’ve talked about Shadow People and OMG THE THOUGHT IS TERRIFYING so if I’m outside walking the dog at night I can’t have The Thought of I start to get super creeped.

    My neighbor across the road is selling his house and he no longer lives there so it’s just vacant and it makes the fear of seeing a shadow or a person thing staring out of that house at me worse.

    I also have a fear of someone I don’t know about living in the house I’m in. So sometimes I have to go checking closets and rooms to make sure I’m alone. It’s 10x worse when I’m at a strange house by myself…

    Also, I used to have a major fear about coming across a dead animal randomly in the woods. It’s not as bad as it used to be, but it’s still there. And swimming in a lake with a dead body or animal and coming across it.

    May 21, 2018
    |Reply
  15. Aura
    Aura

    Silly fear of mine:
    Nuclear power plants.
    The first night I read about chernobyl, three mile island and fukushima I had to turn the freaking lights on. My body was absurdly paralized with fear… so there’s that.
    That and dogs.

    May 21, 2018
    |Reply
  16. Anonymous
    Anonymous

    Mirrors.
    It’s not as bad as it used to be, but when I think about them a lot it almost feels as if they’re looking at me, and when I look at them I’m terrified to continue looking but also terrified to look away because… what if something moves there that doesn’t move here? Eugh even writing this makes me feel watched from the mirror behind my shoulder.

    Also… ghosts in my parents’ house. I’m not generally afraid of ghosts, but I always feel watched in my parents house and I saw a shadow person there once. Whatever is there never feels malicious, but somehow when I’m alone in a room in their place, I cannot listen to the ‘scary stories’ podcasts that I listen to just about anywhere else because when I’m there, it just gets to me.

    May 21, 2018
    |Reply
    • Trudy
      Trudy

      Mirrors. I read Gerald Durrell’s ‘The Entrance’ years ago and ended up staying away all night, freaked out of my brain. I do not regularly read horror stories and thought Gerald Durrell wrote nice animal stories! I was afraid of looking into a mirror for years, only glancing quickly to make sure I had nothing stuck to my face before I went out. I still get really uncomfortable looking into a mirror at night.

      May 22, 2018
      |Reply
      • Trudy
        Trudy

        ‘Awake all night’, not ‘away’! (FYAC!)

        May 22, 2018
        |Reply
  17. terrified of looking out windows after dark, because you might see Something out there, staring in, and if you look at them they will get you. All windows, even where I live now, on the second floor.

    May 21, 2018
    |Reply
    • Ange
      Ange

      That Buffy episode Hush did me in for that. When she’s staring out the window and the gentlemen just glide past… UGH!!!

      May 22, 2018
      |Reply
    • I won’t take a window seat on an airplane right on the wing, because of that one Twilight Zone episode with William Shatner.

      May 22, 2018
      |Reply
    • AltoFronto
      AltoFronto

      I was going to leave a separate comment, until I saw this one.

      Saaaaaame!

      I was also once told that if you look into a mirror long enough, the devil will look over your shoulder. That adage sometimes creeps into my psyche when I’m trying to fix my eyeliner.

      May 22, 2018
      |Reply
      • Jamie
        Jamie

        Well that’s a comforting thought. I will never wear make up again, takes too long to put on and I might end up seeing the devil because of it.

        May 23, 2018
        |Reply
  18. Alex
    Alex

    I’m scared of mirrors/anything mirror-like, afraid of what I might see in the reflections (I don’t get hallucinations, but my brain does like to play tricks on me.)

    I also get pretty freaked out about eyes. Like, on pictures and dolls and stuff. It makes me feel like I’m being watched, so i turn their faces in another direction, and i don’t put pictures or posters up. It also mixes with the mirror thing, too, so i usually avoid looking in the bathroom mirror if i can help it. I have no mirrors in my room, either. Mirrors in a darkened room? *Nopes the fuck out*

    May 21, 2018
    |Reply
  19. jlt
    jlt

    Deep sea diving masks, because of an episode of Scooby Doo.

    May 21, 2018
    |Reply
  20. Laura Jackson
    Laura Jackson

    Street Sweepers. You know, the big, rumbling devices with the whirling brushmops spinning and sucking everything into their vacuum maws for later digestion in the wee small hours of the morning. I’ve had nightmares about them storming up the stairs to my apartment, probably thanks to the ‘Cleaners’ from Labyrinth. Thanks Jim Henson.

    I avoid them by having moved out to the country. Now I dread harvester combines.

    May 21, 2018
    |Reply
    • Amy
      Amy

      I read this and I thought, “You’re afraid of Dick Van Dyke from Mary Poppins?”

      May 21, 2018
      |Reply
      • Laura J
        Laura J

        Nah, chimney sweeps are fine. No nightmares about them bursting into the apartment and sweepgobbling my cats…so far.

        May 22, 2018
        |Reply
  21. Amy
    Amy

    When I was a kid my parents were driving up a steep hill against a mountain. Us kids were advised to lean to one side otherwise the car will careen over the edge of the cliff. Obviously it was a dumb joke, but I took it seriously, and I leaned my tiny six year old body as far as I could. That tiny moment planted a fear of steep hills into my head. I have nightmares about driving up 80 degree roads and then having the car roll backwards.

    So the hills of San Diego? Fuck that. Roller coasters? Nope. Driving over tall bridges? Just kill me now otherwise the anxiety will do it slower.

    May 21, 2018
    |Reply
  22. Anna
    Anna

    I have a l’appel du vide thing with knives. Sometimes I’ll be using a sharp knife for cutting veggies or something, and I’ll think, “you know, i cut just lick the sharp edge of thos right now. i could cut my tongue all the hell up.” And then I start picturing it and I just know that one day I’m gonna do it. So then I have to take a break and go away from the cutting board for a while.

    May 21, 2018
    |Reply
    • Xebi
      Xebi

      I have that too, though it sounds like yours is stronger.

      I’m in London and I get it really strongly when I’m travelling on the Underground. Like, “I could just jump onto the track now if I wanted to. Why not just see what happens?” When that happens I just make sure I’m standing near someone else who’s close enough to grab me if I tried it.

      May 22, 2018
      |Reply
      • I bought an SUV last month, and it’s got the rollover warning sticker on the sun visor (even though new crossover SUVs are *really* hard to flip now), and I keep suppressing the urge to yank the wheel really hard to one side while I’m driving on the freeway. Just to check.

        May 22, 2018
        |Reply
        • JT
          JT

          All of these are what’s called Intrusive Thoughts (you could see why) and people in general are pretty prone to them!

          “Call of the void” is just a fancy term for a particularly common one (the seemingly inexplicable urge to jump from tall heights). It’s so common it has a French idiom, that should tell you how not-weird this weird behavior really is.

          But like, I bring up this term for three reasons:

          1.) because I feel like normalizing the fact that a LOT of people have this, will help people feel less “crazy”, because no, really, a LOT of people have this experience! You’re not weird or defective, there’s not necessarily anything seriously “wrong” with you, it’s just this annoying thing a lot of our brains happen to do sometimes, because brains are awkward.

          2.) There’s a difference between relatively harmless Intrusive Thoughts, and self-harm ideation, and it’s good to know which is which!

          tldr: It should concern you only IF you think you’re being genuinely tempted/considering to do something dangerous; like literally strongly considering jumping/cutting yourself etc – as opposed to it merely OCCURRING to you that you *could*, and you being alarmed because “wtf brain?? WHY WOULD I??”.

          The latter is generally not something you should worry about – the former, however, where you legit think you might knowingly do something to hurt yourself? Is something to discuss with a therapist in case it means you’re depressed or having bad anxiety responses, or in the case of “I’m convinced I’ll do it someday”, there might be an underlying anxiety issue underneath that fear itself, which you may want to address.

          (An exception might exist for people with things like ADHD that impact Impulse Control, who could hypothetically do something the moment it occurs to them? but Point 3 might help with this…!)

          3.) someone shared a strategy to deal with it that is amusing and helps some people deal with it and I rather like it:

          TALK BACK to the Intrusive Thoughts!

          Mock them, or dismiss them – consciously! – in order to acknowledge that, yes, your brain is ~noticing a thing~, but You Are Actually A Rational Person, Thanks, and Would Never Do Such a Silly Thing, Don’t Be Absurd, Brain.

          e.g.:

          Your Brain: “You could jump…”

          You, Replying to Your Brain: “Shut up, Chad.”

          or:

          Your Brain: “You could cut yourself with that knife…”

          You, Replying To Your Brain: “Well YES, I mean I COULD, but that’d be dumb af, now let me finish cutting up this chicken, dumbass, I’m hungry!!”

          This strategy may or may not work for ya’ll, but if nothing else the humor element can be a nice coping strategy to relieve the anxiety for some, and the Talking Out The Rational Response thing can do the same for others. 🙂 Especially since it reminds you that you’re smarter than your Intrusive Thoughts, and challenging your Intrusive Thoughts can mean reinforcing better, safer behavior anyway (you know that thing about repeating a lie so much people start to believe it? It applies to the Rational Truth as well! Sometimes we just need reminders).

          May 25, 2018
          |Reply
          • S.E. Scott
            S.E. Scott

            Basically imagine the intrusive thoughts voice as that dude who was always somehow tagging along in high school, college, or just after, who you didn’t really like and was known for saying edgelord shit but he was just kinda there because he was in the group and everyone tended to dismiss his stupid shit.

            “lol you could drive off that cliff”

            “Thank you for your contribution, Timothy.”

            May 26, 2018
  23. Fluffy
    Fluffy

    I do not like down escalators. You’re getting ready to set your foot down and then it just drops lower! So awful. I have to stand there and watch a few so I can time it like I’m jumping some videogame obstacle.

    There’s a specific freeway interchange where I grew up that is curvy and high in the air, and as a kid I would wonder in a fascinated and not at all worried way how far the car could fly in the air if we didn’t turn with the curve. Thennnn I started driving. The first time I drove over that interchange my brain was like ooh, you can see for yourself now! I can’t drive over it without having that thought, and that scares me.

    May 21, 2018
    |Reply
  24. Rachel
    Rachel

    The mandolin you use for slicing things thin. I’m terrified I or anyone else using it will slice their skin off. I have a hard time with meat and cheese slicers they use at the deli. And garbage disposals. I have a hard time with them. Getting better, but still they make me very nervous.

    May 21, 2018
    |Reply
    • River
      River

      Oh man the garbage disposal! That thing wants to reach out and take your hand off!!

      May 22, 2018
      |Reply
  25. River
    River

    1. Stinkbugs. Those mother truckers fly RIGHT AT YOUR FACE AND SLAM INTO IT AND HANG ON WITH LITTLE CLAW FEET.

    2. Walking though the forest and stepping in a tree bowl and it turning into a hole that I fall through. Ala Anne Green Gables.

    3. Falling through a grate when walking on a city street.

    4. Filling my cars tires. Those suckers are plotting to blow up and kill me at any given moment.

    And the serious one.

    5. Forgetting all the medicine I’ve been taught and letting someone die in my unit when I could prevent it.

    May 22, 2018
    |Reply
  26. Maggie
    Maggie

    Elevators. I will ride in one if necessary, but with my eyes closed and knuckles white the entire time. I’d sooner walk up ten flights of stairs than take an elevator up.
    Clowns. I was actually relieved when I realized more people are afraid of clowns because it validates, to me, that they’re a totally normal thing to be afraid of and I’m not a freak.
    Trying to drive past a semi on the freeway. I panic the entire time I’m passing until I can see the truck in my rearview mirror.

    May 22, 2018
    |Reply
    • I used to be terrified of elevators when I was little. Because I had to have surgery at a really young age, and apparently what impressed on my toddler brain were all the elevators in the hospital. So for years, every time I got into one, I apparently thought it would take me back to the hospital and I’d throw a fit.

      May 22, 2018
      |Reply
  27. Maggie
    Maggie

    Also, I’m terrified of someday becoming paralyzed but still conscious, like, trapped in my own mind with no way to communicate. This is the only fear I have that I can name the direct root, which was reading Stephen King’s “Autopsy Room Four” at an impressionable age. Just thinking about it makes my stomach do that flippy-anxious thing.

    May 22, 2018
    |Reply
  28. Gil
    Gil

    Cars. Traffic in particular.
    I always feel I am going to get run over when I’m crossing the street.
    The nearest car has to be so far for me to not cross the street at a dead run. But I also don’t like to run it because what if something falls and I stop to pick it up…

    May 22, 2018
    |Reply
  29. Jen
    Jen

    For as much as I love swimming there are two things that freak me out about the water-

    1) Large, dark patches of plant life. I don’t care that the water is shallow/clear enough that I can see the bottom and that the fish in there are probably very small, I do not want to swim over or near it cause it could touch my legs (which is, freaky enough)or be full of LEECHES and just, nope. I’ll just, swim around it.

    2) Looking out into the deep water where you can’t see anything. Specifically when I’m swimming underwater with a mask on and look towards the deep waters.
    It doesn’t matter that this is a fresh water lake and the largest thing in it probably trout so I’m not in any danger(there are pike too but they live on the opposite side of the lake where it’s more weedy). When all you see is deep, dark blue water it’s freaky.

    Other things-
    -Wandering around near the edge of the forest at night cause GOD one of these days something is going to stare back at me from the dark or I’m going to see eyes in the light of my flashlight beam. (despite that though I LOVE the dark)

    -Walking under ladders. It’s part practical reasons and part superstition. The practical side is cause I could get hurt. Bump my head, have something fall on me. So I generally avoid walking under them for that reason alone. And then there’s the old ‘walking under a ladder is bad luck’ superstition which, will I’m not really THAT superstitious, I will not do it. I will find a way around it even if walking under it poses no safety risk.

    -Hearing things walking around on the roof at night. I’m, pretty sure it’s like squirrels, possibly a raccoon if it managed to get up there but still, in the dead of night when it’s quiet, hearing the soft skittering of something running around up there is unnerving.
    Especially when it happens in the dead middle of winter, when everything is blanketed in snow, and I shouldn’t be able to hear anything on the room because of that…

    May 22, 2018
    |Reply
  30. Erys
    Erys

    The electricity part reminded me of a story that happened to my dad’s best friend. When he was younger, the guy used to work in a factory. One day, I don’t know what happened but the power went off everywhere. We live in Lebanon, so it’s not uncommon, but the power never came back, and they figured the problem was at the factory. And so, my dad’s friend knew a bit about electricity, so instead of waiting for say… an electrician, he went to the basement and tried to fix it himself.

    He got himself electrocuted, his heart stopped, but then the shock made his heart restart.

    And that’s the way they brought him to my dad who was working his shift at the hospital, and freaked out.

    May 22, 2018
    |Reply
  31. Xebi
    Xebi

    I have a rather silly one. I am afraid of moustaches. If a man who had one tried to kiss me, I would FREAK OUT, no matter how much I liked him. My husband stopped shaving for a few months and I couldn’t kiss him because I could feel these awful bristles on me and…nope

    May 22, 2018
    |Reply
  32. If everybody else is talking about their phobias, then I guess I might as well confess mine.

    Bluebells.

    As in, the flower. I have a morbid fear of them. This is fine most of the year, but I live in suburban England. During Spring, they are freaking everywhere.

    May 22, 2018
    |Reply
    • Jellyfish
      Jellyfish

      They’re traditionally linked with the scary side of faeries, like faeries taking kids away with them. Is that why? I have seen a bluebell wood before, and they absolutely are spooky–if you have enough of them it looks like the ground is glowing blue. For me it’s fun-spooky, but I can see how it would bother you.

      May 22, 2018
      |Reply
      • Actually it’s due to a childhood incident involving bluebells, a thorn bush and me wearing shorts.

        I’ve actually never heard that story about faeries.

        May 22, 2018
        |Reply
  33. I’m terrified of my husband driving into a blizzard (he has to for work, power plant operator) and never coming home.

    I don’t drive in the snow if I can help it. It’s not the snow, it’s everyone else on the road.

    I always have visions of me lobbing my keys down those grates. I would never do it, it makes me clench my fist around them, cause I’m terrified of them just jumping out on their own.

    I’m scared of dogs. It’s visceral, every time I even just hear one bark I tense up.

    Every few weeks, I have dreams where I live with either my dad or my mom again, and it is just the worst, most terrifying dreams ever. usually I can’t remember my husband at all, and I’m stuck like I was when I was a teenager. There was a ton of abuse happening to me back then: physical, emotional, religious, and it’s literally been 12 years since I was exposed to it and it still haunts me.

    I’m sure there are other fears I have, I’ve been thinking about it since yesterday when I read the post. There are fears I have that I can easily avoid (like driving in inclement weather) and then ones that I can’t, like something terrible happening to my husband or kids.

    May 22, 2018
    |Reply
  34. Mel
    Mel

    Oh my god, I’m such a chicken.

    I once read this book called The Relic. It wasn’t very good, I remember almost next to nothing about it except that it was set in a museum and there was some type of gorilla thing on the loose, killing people. I already don’t like gorillas much, or apes, they just freak me out. Then it came to describing a death scene and props to the author for creating such visceral imagery when saying that the creature, ripped a person’s head off, smashed open their skull and ate their pituitary gland. No word of a lie, I couldn’t sleep with my head exposed for years. I still have to cover my head with my blanket from time to time when I get nervous about being alone. I sleep full on cocoon style.

    Any type of drain since watching the original IT movie, which by all accounts has not aged that well and is pretty silly but the idea that he could just pull you down into any drain just messed me up. I had to shower with my feet as far away from the drain as possible and lean my head really far back because I’m that much of a coward.

    After I saw Tremors, I hated walking in the grass or any soft ground. I felt better on pavement but soft ground, nope. Hated it for a while.

    Basically, I should have hated and avoided all horror movies/books and yet, it’s what I craved reading. I love supernatural/ghost/horror type stories. I’ve become a lot better at watching horror movies without all the afterword trauma but I still have that chicken inside me, wanting to hide under the blankets from time to time.

    May 22, 2018
    |Reply
    • S.E. Scott
      S.E. Scott

      I remember The Relic! I also read the sequel, Reliquary. It’s pretty much one of the only horror books or movies or anything that didn’t badly freak me out — maybe because the premise was that this was an extinction-level superpredator event, so there would be more important and competent people than me working on the problem.

      May 22, 2018
      |Reply
  35. Anon
    Anon

    Now I’m wondering if the hotel in Angel was based on the Congress Plaza Hotel …

    The elevator thing … I was almost that statistic in the local hospital. I rushed through the doors and they just kept closing! Scariest moment of my life, I think.

    I’m afraid of prolapse. I think that’s a reasonable fear, though. I’ve only had one baby, so I’m less likely to have one than some women. But just … no.

    May 22, 2018
    |Reply
  36. Helicopters. That’s my fear. And anything that moves like a helicopter, which means one of these days I’m gonna smash one of those drones the toy kiosks in the mall keep flying at my head.

    And also the Bolton Strid. I’m absolutely sure my kid will fall in it. None of us have ever been out of the US, but I’m sure she’s going to fall in someday.

    May 22, 2018
    |Reply
  37. ViolettaD
    ViolettaD

    For my first apartment, I bought a pink shower curtain. Then I read The Shining.

    At first, I kept it open whenever I wasn’t using it so the Purple Lady wouldn’t hide behind it. When it got good and mildewed from that, I replaced it with a yellow one.

    I have never had a pink shower curtain since.

    May 22, 2018
    |Reply
  38. Jellyfish
    Jellyfish

    I found out about the Bolton Strid a few years ago (from a Cracked.com article that was called, like, “6 Beautiful Landscapes That Will Murder Your Ass”) and I HEAR YOU. I’ve been freaked out by it ever since. THE RIVER GOES SIDEWAYS. IT IS NOT OKAY.

    May 22, 2018
    |Reply
  39. Lady Oscar
    Lady Oscar

    My big one is garbage disposals. I will never, ever stick my hand into a garbage disposal for any reason, even for a second. I always take my wedding band off to wash even one dish so it can’t fall in and make me want to reach in and save it. When it got stuck once, I carefully avoided telling my husband (who usually fixes things) because I knew he’d reach in. (I Googled and learned how to do it with a broom handle.)

    My old house had a _regular unlabeled light switch_ on the wall to turn the disposal on. It terrified me. Currently, we have a light switch that is mounted in the cabinet under the sink, so at least the thing can’t be accidentally turned on by someone else while I’m doing dishes. My husband wanted to _move_ it, to be more “convenient”. Nooooooo.

    While I do worry that if I ever put my hand in the thing would somehow turn on, I think my real underlying terror is that someday I’ll turn it on and for some reason I’ll feel compelled to stick my hand in. It’s the same thing that makes me terrified of standing in a high place with no railings. _What if I jump?!_

    May 22, 2018
    |Reply
  40. spawnofbond
    spawnofbond

    Not so strange – sharks. Except I live no where near the coast.

    Strange – Dinosaurs. Ever since watching Jurassic Park as a kid, I have been terrified of dinosaurs. My family makes fun of me for it because when am I ever gonna encounter a dinosaur?? But scientists are doing things with DNA just like in the movie, so maybe it’s not so irrational after all.

    May 22, 2018
    |Reply
  41. Amber
    Amber

    Moths. I’m so fucking terrified of moths I just lose it whenever one is near. I refuse to leave the porch light on at night because it will attract them. I know, logically, that a moth is the least harmful thing in existence. They don’t bite or sting and they’re made of powder and fragility. I just can’t handle them.

    I’m not alone. A friend linked me to a three page comic about how moths eat fear, and that’s the excuse I’ve been using all these years.

    More reasonably, crows. We had a, a plague, of crows outside my old house, and I became the ninja lady, running from wall to wall and tree to tree, because if you were out in the open for more than a few seconds, they’d try to scalp you.

    My work is in a field that deals with people who have injured or killed themselves in gruesome ways. Horror movies got nothin’ on reality. I have STORIES (but I won’t tell them because I’m not mean.) In particular, ever since I learned what degloving is, I’ve been scared to death of it happening to me, even though the odds are pretty low. Don’t google if you’re squeamish.

    May 22, 2018
    |Reply
    • Kitt
      Kitt

      Oh, degloving is bad. Seconding that the squeamish about bodily stuff and injuries should NOT Google.

      I used to live in an apartment near a huge green belt and befriended a stray cat who had been sincerely f’ed up by the local crows. Scars all over his back that fur wouldn’t grow over anymore. He also kept to routes where they couldn’t mess with him. Poor little dude. Sweet as pie. I miss him. He had the most obnoxious voice and when the crows would start up their noises, he would caterwaul back (his voice was ugly as sin) and it was the most raucous, cacophonous sh*t you ever heard. I loved it.

      May 24, 2018
      |Reply
  42. Amber
    Amber

    I think my comment got eaten, so the short version: moths. I’m terrified of moths. They’re not that easily avoidable unfortunately. 🙁

    May 22, 2018
    |Reply
    • Amber
      Amber

      Ugh, never mind. It’s me. My internet suuuucks. :[ Ignore this.

      May 22, 2018
      |Reply
  43. Boots
    Boots

    I have an Ikea specific fear that I will accidentally hit a pregnant person with those pallet carts and cause a miscarriage. I won’t push the cart there even though I’m fine everywhere else.

    May 22, 2018
    |Reply
    • Jenny Trout
      Jenny Trout

      That is like…way specific. No judgement. I’m just impressed.

      May 22, 2018
      |Reply
  44. Trudy
    Trudy

    I am terrified of anything underwater. I can’t go snorkelling (and definitely not diving), can’tgo to aquariums, can’t even watch movies or documentaries with underwater settings. I can’t even go swimming in rivers or lakes, or even pools that are painted a dark colour. I think what started it, was when I was very young I went to the zoo with my parents and it had an aquarium. It was all dark inside, and I was looking at all the pretty fish in one tank, when suddenly this THING loomed out at me. I still don’t know what kind of fish it was, but it was the most hideously ugly fish I had ever seen. I ended up in hysterics and my parents had to take me outside before I would calm down. I would never go near the aquarium again, and gradually it grew until I can’t handle anything underwater.

    May 22, 2018
    |Reply
  45. Mascots. I have a hardcore case of masklophobia (which it appears I’m spelling wrong), which obviously includes fear of clowns. But I’d rather watch the antics of an entire posse of clowns than be chased by a mascot. Which I have been. Those fuckers smell fear. Mascots are drawn to me like a bee to honey; I have been harassed and accosted by more mascots than I can shake a stick at.

    May 23, 2018
    |Reply
    • Also, ticks and hornets. They are evil and should be punched in the nose.

      Also-also, I wrote “which” three times in my last comment. Sorry, everyone. It’s officially the wee hours of the morning and my brain has shut down, but my body refuses to rest.

      May 23, 2018
      |Reply
  46. Alex Silvers
    Alex Silvers

    Giant rabbit costumes. This is a very specific fear induced by the movie Donnie Darko, and it’s not actually *all* giant rabbit costumes, just the creepy looking ones. This is an incredibly stupid fear, I know, but I can’t help it. You also might wonder where this even pops up other than watching Donnie Darko, well there was one other place I have seen a costume that produces such a reaction, it was in some cartoon. Other than that, I’m fine with the Easter bunny and other such cute rabbit costumes.

    The other thing that produces a similar reaction in me is moving dolls. I think the absolute worst thing is a moving doll that looks like a creepy rabbit (and yes I have encountered that in an anime. It was terrifying, let me tell you).

    In slightly more realistic fears, I am also terrified of centipedes.

    May 23, 2018
    |Reply
    • Alex Silvers
      Alex Silvers

      Ah! I thought of some more while reading some of the other comments. When I was a kid, we had these sort of doors that were mostly made of glass leading into our back yard. It wasn’t fenced or anything, and while I lived in a good area, there was nothing stopping someone from going in our yard if they wanted to. When I used to sneak out of bed to play on the computer, or (when I got a little older) I was just the last person awake for one reason or another, I would have this constant feeling like someone was just on the other side of the doors, watching me. If I turned around, they would be pressed up against the door with their long, white hands shining in the dark. It was such a clear image it’s giving me the shivers just remembering it now.

      Of course it never happened. But now I can’t have my back to large windows or doors with a window in them at night, I just can’t.

      And there’s just something freaky about closets. I used to live in a place where the desk fit neatly next to my bed and I could just walk into my room and sit down in my chair. Except my back was to my closet. So instead I had to completely rearrange my room and do this awkward thing where I had to walk around my desk to sit down. But I could see my closet that way, so that’s the way it stayed.

      May 23, 2018
      |Reply
  47. Maranda
    Maranda

    Swimming in anything other than a pool is a huge nope for me. Lakes, rivers and oceans are the worst places to swim in. I’m originally from Michigan and growing up we lived across the street from a lake, had a large pond in our subdivision, and another lake about 5 miles away. There’s living things in those bodies of water that want to bite me, I just know it. Lucky for me, my family had a pool.

    Being on a boat is fine, but being in the water in any way is awful. I had a friend with a Jet-Ski that I never rode. He wanted to teach me water skiing, but no way was I going to chance falling in the water. Where I live now, there’s a river where people go tubing. When I first met my husband he took me tubing for our third date. Our relationship almost ended right then. I was not going to stick my ass in the water where I couldn’t see what was coming for it.

    Lakes, rivers, and oceans are pretty to look at, but I’m not swimming in them!

    May 23, 2018
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    • Kitt
      Kitt

      This is the correct stance. Lakes and rivers and oceans are full of things that want to murder and eat you, and not necessarily in that order.

      May 24, 2018
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  48. Nichole
    Nichole

    I’m terrified of so many irrational things but I think the one that surprises people the most is that I’m PETRIFIED of music boxes. Y’know, the cute little decorative pieces that harmlessly play tinkling music and are in no way, shape or form dangerous or frightening? I don’t have a reason for this fear but according to family members I’ve always been this way and even as a baby I would scream and cry if one was playing where I could here it. My husband bought me an antique music box back when we were dating that played one of my favourite pieces of music thinking that it would be a romantic gift. He told me he had a surprise for me, asked me to close my eyes and then he came into the room and had wound the box up and let it play. Imagine how surprised he was when I started crying and hyperventilating. Annnnd then I had to explain that for as long as I’ve lived those stupid things have scared me to death for absolutely no discernible reason.

    May 23, 2018
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    • Nichole
      Nichole

      *hear, I swear the autocorrect on my phone never gets this right

      May 23, 2018
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  49. Elyssa
    Elyssa

    I am extremely afraid of having to walk over the grates for storm drains. This is 100 percent because I read IT by Stephen King when I was 16 and I realized that a person could absolutely fit in a storm drain and grab you by the ankle.

    I’m not even afraid of clowns because of that dumb book. Just storm drains.

    May 23, 2018
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  50. candy apple
    candy apple

    Oh my god, I want to stay in that hotel.

    May 23, 2018
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  51. ViolettaD
    ViolettaD

    Is there anyone who actually LIKES clowns? I wasn’t afraid of them when I was a kid, but I can’t remember ever thinking they were funny. The one time I went to a circus, I just sat there bored, waiting for them to go away so I could watch the trapeze artists and the bareback riders.

    May 23, 2018
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  52. Karen
    Karen

    Don’t know if these are on the same level (I mean, I don’t obsess about them or anything) but fears that sometimes bother me:

    Being somewhere up high without protective handrails or fences, because I’m so damned clumsy. I was fine on top of the Monument in London because it had a tall fence and protective wire netting, but a height without a fence. Nope, not going anywhere near it (has anyone seen footage of John Noakes climbing Nelson’s Column in the 1970s by going up ladders roped to it? My stomach turned over).

    Being trapped somewhere overnight. For some reason I have an unreasonable fear of being shut in the Underground overnight (I once saw a programme about ghosts on the London Underground which didn’t help).

    Nightmares about my husband dying. One was so vivid it felt like a vision of the future and I sometimes still fear it’s going to happen.

    May 23, 2018
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    • Helen
      Helen

      This may not help you, but I have a friend who’s terrified of the underground because she thinks the stations might cave in one day from overcrowding. She’s an incredibly rational person otherwise.

      May 23, 2018
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  53. Helen
    Helen

    Stairs. Specifically walking down long flights of steep stairs. I’m epileptic and for some reason I’m convinced that one day I’ll have a seizure and fall down steep steps and break my neck. There are a thousand more likely ways to die from a seizure but I just get a weird feeling about stairs.

    The enclosed spiral staircases found in European church towers are horrific for me. They have steep uneven steps, tend to be crowded so I feel trapped, and are often stuffy. Somehow I didn’t realise/admit this until my late twenties and just kept going up them to look at the view. I’m dumb.

    Also, ventriloquist dummies and ventriloquists themselves because who the fuck is scary enough that they want to spend time with a monster devil puppet? And have it sleep in their house? Ugh!

    May 23, 2018
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  54. Regret
    Regret

    Humans in general, though that is more an extreme dislike than a phobia.

    The skin of a persons head you can see through their crown. It causes strong feelings of disgust in me and I have no idea why. It doesn’t trigger for shaved or naturally bald heads though.

    Being watched attentively, it makes the models of probable personality and behaviour I keep of everyone around me go haywire. Something about multiplying possibilities of possible short- and long-term social consequences, those increase the required number of models to feel safe while also decreasing their accuracy. A reduced accuracy means I will need to consider more variations before I have enough behavioural protocols prepared to know that I will come through the coming social interactions without undue suffering.

    I am aware that this makes me seem inhuman and neurotic, but for some reason I trust the readers of this blog to not hurt me. You are nice and empathic folks.

    May 24, 2018
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  55. Alicia
    Alicia

    I hope you share the alien abduction story someday. If you decide you want to!

    And yeah, The Bolton Strid? Fuck that river. I wouldn’t go within 50 miles of it. It makes me feel sick to see photos of people standing right next to it. WHY? I feel the same way about cave diving stories. Just….why? And also NOPE.

    May 24, 2018
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  56. ironchef
    ironchef

    Leeches, oh man. Leeches. The blind, slimy way they writhe and wriggle, seeking mindlessly for me and my blood. The sick, oozing shine as they get fatter and fatter while they drain their victim.

    The leech scene in The African Queen is unwatchable for me.

    I’ve only ever encountered them in the river water on holidays south of here, so totally easy to avoid. And the ones in our part of the world are not dangerous in any way. But the fear is not rational. They’re the zombies of the animal world.

    May 25, 2018
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  57. Kean Woodsworth
    Kean Woodsworth

    Have you read about the Kern River? It runs through Bakersfield and I am terrified of it. People raft there all the time and every year people die in it. It has undercurrents and jagged rocks that snag and trap you. It takes a long time to dredge up the bodies, but when they finally do they’re found under rocks, waterlogged and broken. Do not go in the Kern River.

    May 25, 2018
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  58. Saint_Sithney
    Saint_Sithney

    I’ve always been terrified of being eaten to death. It doesn’t seem like it would be that big a worry in modern times – just don’t poke bears in the face, don’t go surfing in shark-heavy areas, and don’t anger MS-13.

    But zombie movies are the bane of my existence. Everyone seems to love the fucking things, instead of realizing how gross and painful it would be being eaten to death by human teeth. Animal teeth are bad enough, but at least they tend to be quick. Unless it’s rats or bugs. Scaphism is my ultimate worst nightmare.

    I’m not entirely sure where I acquired a fear of being eaten to death, but it is even worse than my acrophobia. And I’ll be shaking if I have to climb up on a stepladder.

    May 28, 2018
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  59. HeidiAphrodite
    HeidiAphrodite

    So I can’t read these yet because I’m very tired and I don’t want to start thinking too hard about everything I’m afraid of. Also, I’m not going into detail about my own personal phobias because I want to be able to sleep tonight and not freak out about everything. Here goes:

    1. Heights
    2. Stairs without risers (like those metal or cement industrial staircases) (I’m afraid they’ll collapse or I’ll slip and fall in between them) (It’s fine)
    3. Deep water (if I can’t touch the bottom, it’s a big nope, but I like splashing around in the pool)
    4. Bridges (specific fear, not necessarily part of my fear of heights, but I love the archtecture)
    5. The dark (I sleep with a light at all times)
    6. Caves
    7. Grasshoppers and big crickets
    8. Spiders (I remember not being afraid of them, but then I was three and suddenly terrified)
    9. Scorpions (terrorized by one as a child)
    10. Tight spaces (sometimes elevators and planes are the worst)
    11. Fish (specifically that the fish in the fish tank will somehow jump out and touch me)
    12. Crocodiles and alligators
    13. Parking garages (see: caves)
    14. Grates in the street (I won’t walk on them if I can help it)
    15. Being left alone (I am occasionally gripped by the deep, terrifying fear that while I’m gone, everyone in my family is going to die in a freak accident)
    16. Being in a car accident

    I’m fun. 🙂

    May 29, 2018
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