Each year we celebrate Halloween on October 31st. Halloween festivities are filled with ghost-stories, haunted houses, hay rides, trick-or-treating, and anything frightening! If things like zombies, goblins, and witches scare you, you’re not alone! Check out America’s Most Common Fears according to The Washington Post:
A severe fear of public speaking. Side effects include dry mouth, weak voice, stuttering, shaking, sweat, red face, and rapid heartbeat. Glossophobia is the most common phobia to have.
Extreme or irrational fear of heights. People who suffer from Acrophobia experience panic attacks or extreme agitation in high places. Some believe Acrophobia is ingrained in our systems from primitive humans and their survival instincts to avoid high terrain. This phobia may be attributed to a fear of falling or a fear of death.
Unrealistic fear of insects and other animals. Those who suffer from Entomophobia experience extreme anxiety just thinking of insects. They may start to feeling delusional sensations like pricking, itching, crawling, and burrowing on their skin. Symptoms include not leaving the house, having a panic attack if encountering bugs, and going to the doctor for skin problems.
Persistent or unwarranted fear of water especially drowning or dying in the water. People who suffer from Aquaphobia are non-swimmers avoiding large bodies of water like lakes, ponds, rivers, and oceans due to the fear of unseen, eerie things in the water like snakes and sharks, gasping for breath, or death in the water.
Irrational fear of needles, pins, or injections. Just the idea of getting a shot can trigger anxiety for someone with Trypanophobia. Symptoms include feeling faint, passing out, nausea, panic attacks, and increased heart rate. Majority of people with Trypanophobia fear everything related to blood.
Irrational fear of being enclosed in and having no escape. This phobia can be trigged by elevators, airplanes, tunnels, crowded areas, automatic car wash, trains, etc. Claustrophobia is not just the small spaces, but the fear of what can happen in those spaces. Being in or thinking of being trapped can lead to extreme distress, hyperventilation, hot flashes, dizziness, sweating, choking sensation, and shaking.
Fear of flying. Like claustrophobia, being in the air in a tight space can trigger major anxiety. People who fear flying believe that their flight could crash or be hijacked causing them to vomit, be sick on the plane, or have panic attacks. Flying combines different types of phobias in one: fear of heights, claustrophobia, fear of water, and fear of strangers.
Intense fear of a person, group of people, or situations that are foreign. Symptoms include extreme anxiety, dread of anything associated with strangers, sweating, panic, nausea, shaking, and inability to articulate. This phobia can sometimes be tracked back to a traumatic event at an early age.
Fear of zombies. Especially after watching zombie movies or playing zombie video games, Kinemortophobia can make you believe zombies are real. In today's pop culture, zombies play a major role in scary movies, tv series, and books. Some believe this phobia is related to the fear of a social and economic break of society or "zombie apocalypse".
Fear of darkness or night. This phobia is not from a fear of scary or paranormal activity in the darkness but just the darkness alone. This is a common phobia especially in children. Suffers of Nyctophobia avoid complete darkness, need light at all times, and have extreme discomfort whenever they're in dark places.
Even reading about a fear may cause your heart to race, heavy breathing, or nausea-inducing chills. Halloween only comes around once a year, so make sure you enjoy a thrill or get spooked this season. Happy Halloween!