True Crime Thursday – Halloween Phobias

Credit: Myriam Zilles, Pixabay

by Debbie Burke


Halloween is spooky.

Fear can be real, as in these true crimes that occurred on Halloween.

Fear can be from scary movies like these perennial favorites.

Spooky movies can trigger phobias like:

Optophobia – Fear of opening one’s eyes, especially when the sinister organ music gets really loud.

Bogeyphobia – Fear of the bogeyman; or Kinomortophobia – Fear of zombies

Pediophobia – Fear of dolls…like Chucky.

If you’re a vampire, you might suffer from:

Spectrophobia, the fear of mirrors and one’s own reflection; or Alliumphobia, fear of garlic.

If you’re an author, you worry your readers will develop logophobia (fear of reading) or hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia (fear of long words).

Some phobias are head scratchers.

Ompholaphobia: Fear of belly buttons

Photo credit: Thorsten Frenzel, Pixabay

Lutraphobia: Fear of otters

Photo credit: hamikus, Pixabay

Anatidaephobia– Fear of a duck or goose watching you

Photo credit: Dighini, Pixabay

Arachibutyrophobia: Fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth. Our last dog, a German Shorthair, developed this phobia after I fed him an open-faced peanut butter sandwich. While watching him trying to lick it loose, I dissolved in helpless laughter. Come to think of it, maybe he didn’t have arachibutyrophobia, after all, but rather katagelophobia (fear of being embarrassed).

Photo credit: Robert-Owen-Wahl, Pixabay

Wishing you a safe and happy Halloween–just don’t answer the door or look under the bed! 

TKZers: What’s the weirdest phobia you’ve heard of?




Debbie Burke’s new thriller Stalking Midas contains no belly buttons, otters, ducks, nor peanut butter. But it does include a scary mountain lion. Check out the Kindle versionFREE today through November 2.

This entry was posted in #truecrimethursday, Writing by Debbie Burke. Bookmark the permalink.

About Debbie Burke

Debbie writes Tawny Lindholm Thrillers with Passion. The first book in the series, Instrument of the Devil, won the Kindle Scout contest and the Zebulon Award. Additional books in the series are Stalking Midas, Eyes in the Sky, Dead Man's Bluff, Crowded Hearts, Flight to Forever, and Until Proven Guilty. Debbie's articles have won journalism awards in international publications. She is a founding member of Authors of the Flathead and helps to plan the annual Flathead River Writers Conference in Kalispell, Montana. Her greatest joy is mentoring young writers.

17 thoughts on “True Crime Thursday – Halloween Phobias

  1. Gatophobia (the fear of kittens and cats). I don’t get why someone would be scared of the cute, fuzzy things, but then again, I’m sure others don’t get why I’m scared of bees/wasps.

  2. No worries about opening the door~ I live at the end of a very Scooby Doo gravel driveway, with a baying hound annunciator, so anyone (thing?) that makes it that far is either expected ~ or terrifying ~

  3. Fear and belief can create what we fear in the real world. That’s called a tulpa or thought form. One interesting case of this was an old hotel with a number of sad stories associated with it– the child on a trike who fell down steps, the bride who died on her wedding day, people who died in a fire. But none of them had ever happened. However, guests who had never heard the stories reported sightings, the smell of heavy smoke, and sounds that fit the fake stories, and paranormal teams gathered evidence of EVPs and camera images that fit those stories. The tulpa is more than worth the time it takes to research it.

    Ilona Andrews uses the tulpa as part of her worldbuilding in her urban fantasy series about Kate Daniels in Atlanta after a magical apocalypse. Sparkly vampires, courtesy of TWILIGHT, wandered around with regular vampires and mythic monsters. Highly recommended. Also, a master class in writing fight and battle scenes. Andrews is a husband and wife team, and the husband has a extensive military background. So if you fear making a fool of yourself while writing a large scale gun battle between the police and a gang, read the series.

  4. I used to fear falling into open graves. Don’t know if there is a word for that.

    I owned a flower shop for ten years and one of the things I did routinely was carry casket pieces over to gravesites. Two weeks prior to one of my deliveries, a local mortician actually did fall in one and suffered several injuries.

    This was on my mind as I carried a very large piece toward a gravesite. It was so large, I could not see above except for sky. I could not see around it except to the extreme right or left, and could only see my feet.

    Choosing a tall tree as a landmark I set off. After several steps, I realized that I hadn’t see the hearse, which meant the casket wasn’t there yet. With horror, I realized the floral piece was too heavy for me to set on the ground without tipping it and breaking off the flowers on the front edge.

    I sent a prayer skyward for help of some kind. At that moment, the piece lifted out of my hands and floated up. I looked down to see if I had fallen in the hole after all and just hadn’t touched ground yet, but my feet were still standing on grass.

    Before I could decide whether to scream or pass out, the arrangement rotated enough I saw a groundskeeper holding it. He figured I’d need assistance and ran over to help. Unfortunately, he did not announce his presence first.

    After that, I always took stock of where I was going and who was around before I set off across a cemetery with another big arrangement.

    And that’s my Halloween Story – and phobia, which seems to have abated since selling the shop. Whew! Now, I just have my fear of bears to deal with…..

    • Falling into an open grave sounds like a totally understandable fear, Cecilia. You really had me going with the floating flower arrangement. Thought we were entering the Twilight Zone. Happy Halloween.

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