Daphne’s Den of Darkness: 10 Common Phobias (and movies that will trigger them)

Fear is part of our everyday experience. It keeps us alive. But sometimes fears border on the irrational, which is when they become phobias. Indulge in these phobia-tastic horror movies!

Acrophobia – fear of heights

  • Vertigo (1958) – This Hitchcock classic contains scenes of dizzying heights from the point of view of the character, drawing you into the fear.
  • Man on Wire (2008) – Okay, so technically it’s a documentary, not a horror movie, but doesn’t that make it all the more terrifying?

Nyctophobia – fear of the dark

  • Don’t Breathe (2016) – A trio of robbers get more than they bargain for when they break into the house of a blind man.
  • The Silence of the Lambs (1991) – This Oscar winning film features a heart pounding chase through the pitch-dark basement of Buffalo Bill.

Cynophobia – fear of dogs

  • Cujo (1983) – The absolute classic dog horror movie, based on the novel by Stephen King.
  • Green Room (2015) – A band becomes trapped inside a bar by a gang of neo-Nazis. The vicious attack by pit bulls will make anyone squeamish.

Astraphobia – fear of storms

  • Twister (1996) – If you missed this classic 90’s film about tornado chasers, make sure to check it out.
  • Take Shelter (2011) – A man has apocalyptic visions of a storm and begins building a tornado shelter, causing the family to question his sanity.

Aerophobia – fear of flying

  • Flight 7500 (2014) – A supernatural force attacks passengers on a transpacific flight to Tokyo. Passengers are stuck thousands of feet in the air with nowhere to run.
  • Altitude (2010) – A group of friends on a personal plane is thrown into chaos when the plane becomes stuck in ascent.

Mysophobia – fear of germs/uncleanliness

  • Cabin Fever (2002) – A group of young adults succumbs to a flesh-eating virus in a remote cabin.
  • Contagion (2011) – Considered one of the most realistic movies about a pandemic, you may find Contagion a little hard to watch right now.

Agoraphobia – fear of going out

  • Intruders (2015) – Robbers find themselves in danger when they realize their shut-in victim isn’t as helpless as they thought.
  • Big Sky (2015) – A girl with agoraphobia must face the great open desert to save herself and her companions. This movie gets extra points for giving life to the real fear of the outside world instead of just showing someone stuck inside.

Claustrophobia – fear of enclosed spaces

  • Buried (2010) – Ryan Reynolds lives everyone’s worst fear of waking up to find you’re buried alive in a coffin.
  • The Descent (2005) – Cavers become trapped on an expedition and must fight for their lives against something sinister that lives in the caverns.

Arachnophobia – fear of spiders

  • Itsy Bitsy (2019) – A family moves into a new home only to be tormented by a giant spider.
  • Spiders (2013) – A piece of an abandoned space station crashes into New York City and monstrous spiders take over the subway.

Trypanophobia – fear of needles

  • Requiem for a Dream (2000) – The real horror of this movie is watching everyone slowly destroy their own lives, but the copious intravenous drug use is definitely frightening all on its own.
  • Awake (2007) – While not specifically about needles, Awake will tap your darkest fears about medicine. The main character is aware of everything that happens to him during open-heart surgery, but unable to communicate because of anesthesia.

What are you afraid of? What movies creep you out the most?

Phobias: A Collection Of True Stories

20588398People all over the world suffer from phobias. What may seem like an irrational fear to one person makes life unbearable for another. What causes phobias is unknown, what causes a phobia for one person wouldn’t affect another. Everyone has their own story on what caused their phobia and how they deal with it. In the book Phobias: A Collection Of True stories from Hidden Thoughts Press you get a glimpse of how eighteen authors have learned to live with their phobias.

Phobias: A Collection Of True Stories has a range of stories that are funny, sad, scary and inspiring. In the introduction Mary Harris points out that phobias may be  evolutionary such as being scared of spiders (arachnophobia) which seems to the most common phobia in this book. During ancient times people knew spiders were dangerous because some were poisonous and this trait was passed down through a person’s genes. Something like agoraphobia, the fear of leaving one’s home, may come from an environmental cause.

Whats fascinating about this book is learning how each person got their phobia and learned to live with it. In one story called Dreaming Of The Dead by Suzanne Robb we learn that she has a fear of zombies which stems from seeing Night Of The Living Dead as a child and then associating it with the death of her grandpa. Suzanne would have dreams of zombies coming to get her. She dealt with this by writing about zombies and watching zombie movies that were hard for her to get through. What may not seem to be scary to some was a real fear for Suzanne and she had to work through it.

Another good story in this book was The Monkey Queen by Emerian Rich. In the story she describes a reoccurring dream about being on an island and being served by monkeys, when she tries to leave to go home, the monkeys wont let her and the dream turns into a nightmare. When I read about this dream I thought it would make a good scene in a horror novel but to Emerian the fear of monkeys is a very real thing which she had to learn to live with.

One story in this anthology that really got to me was Phobias Sprouting from Seeds Of Fear by Toianna Wika. Toianna relates how she had an abusive childhood that led her to have issues with anxiety and several different phobias. Toianna goes on to tell how she learned to overcome her fears and live a productive life. She states while working for Mary Kay Cosmetics she learned If she thought positive thoughts and was able to focus her energy on something, it effected her material reality. I loved hearing how Toianna learned to live with her fears and went on to have a family, a career and is now working on her dream of becoming a writer.

Continuing with the idea of not letting your fears control you was Fear  Of The Moving Steps by Shauna P. Norman. Shauna talks about her fear of escalators and how it affects her. What I liked about her story was how she writes that some people didn’t understand her fear but there were others that knew how she felt and helped her to get over it. There is always help available when you have a phobia and someone will understand. I took that to be the main idea of Phobias: A Collection Of True Stories