Halloween is about embracing the scary and the spooky and enjoying all off the things that go “bump” in the night. Naturally, the holiday can drum up some fears and tap into peoples’ anxieties, especially when they come face-to-face with some of the symbols of Halloween. Some of these fears may be full-blown phobias.

A phobia is defined as an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something. Phobias can elicit feelings of dread and horror. In psychological terms, it is an anxiety disorder in which a person will go to great lengths to avoid a perceived danger. This danger is usually much greater in the person’s mind than in real life.

Several symbols of Halloween can be tied to phobias. A person with achluophobia may not enjoy the darkness of the Halloween night. Someone with coimetrophobia probably would not want to visit a cemetery. Coming in contact with a ghost would not be ideal for someone with phasmophobia. Anyone with wiccaphobia might fear meeting up with a broom-riding witch. One of the more common phobias is arachnophobia, which is a fear of spiders. Spider decorations are common come Halloween, so people with arachnophobia may struggle on and around Oct. 31.

While Halloween will never fall on the thirteenth day of the month, the number 13 has been linked to Halloween festivities. Many people view the number 13 to be a harbinger of bad luck. This is especially so for those with triskaidekaphobia, or the fear of the number 13.

Believe it or not, some people have a crippling fear of Halloween itself. This phobia is called samhainophobia. which is the fear of Halloween or the fear of the festival of the dead. The term “samhainophobia” originates from “Samhain,” meaning summer’s end. Samhain was also the name of the festival celebrated by the Celts to mark the transition from summer to winter.


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