Saturday’s Six: Movie-Inspired Phobias

I admit it, even though I like horror movies, I’m actually kind of a wuss. I clutch pillows during suspenseful scenes and no one jumps higher when a sudden scare pops up. It should be no surprise then that I’m also the sort of person who has nightmares for a month after a particularly good spooky movie. Or that movies that scared me as a kid helped me develop a phobia.

Just to emphasize, a phobia is an irrational fear.

1.The Blob (1988) – Drains

Let’s start with one of the first. I can’t tell you much about this version of The Blob, because I don’t really remember much about it. But I do remember the part where a guy gets sucked face first into the sink drain! And that was how little Eunice insisted on graduating from baths (where you have to pull the plug – gaaah!) to showers (where you can stay safely far away from the drain).

Progress: Grown out of. While I don’t doubt the existence of something nasty hiding in the drains, I’m mostly sure it won’t swallow me whole. Mostly.

2. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) – What might be hiding -in- the bed

Don’t judge me! Okay, so the movie BtVS is dumb fun. Okay. But the dream sequence where Buffy gets in bed and Lothos (played by bad guy extraordinaire Rutger Hauer) is already there – freaked me out something fierce.

Progress: Current. I will not get into a bed without looking under the cover and the pillow. Plus if I watch even just a couple minutes of BtVS I’ll have nightmares that night.

3. The Witches – Angelica Huston

I love the movie The Witches. Seriously, if you haven’t seen it go watch it right now. But, when I was a kid, Angelica Huston was the scariest actor/ess in the whole world. Not the Grand High Witch note, Angelica Huston herself.

Progress: Okay my fear isn’t as total as it used to be, but I can’t guarantee that I wouldn’t run the other direction screaming if I were to actually meet her. Sorry, Ms. Huston.

4. Cape Fear (1962) – Crazy people

Now we get to the real scary movies. More specifically a crazy person coming in and ruining your life and feeling helpless to stop it. If you haven’t seen Cape Fear and like movies that crawl around in your brain, then you’re missing out.

Progress: I can’t. I just can’t.

5. Psycho (1960) – Closed shower curtains

So after The Blob ruined baths Psycho went and tarnished the showering experience. For a month I showered with the curtain open, washing only one side of my face at a time so I could always have an eye on the door. I was the most paranoid nine year old I knew. Good thing I lived in a single level, I don’t know what I would’ve done if we had a place with stairs.

Progress: Moderate. I only still get paranoid in showers that are strange to me. Hotels, other people’s houses, etc.

6. It – Clowns

Pennywise. Blood covering the bathroom. Pennywise. Heads in the fridge. Pennywise. Dead kid in a yellow slicker. Pennywise.

I was six when the miniseries came out on VHS. Brother2 snuck a copy into the house. When I found out I made him let me watch it with him or else I’d tell Mom. So, with kid honor on the line, I watched the whole thing. I then buried the two clown dolls I had at the back of my closet face down. My brother would go on to get kicks out of grinning so his metal braces would show while he did a spot on Pennywise impersonation (“They all float down here.”). Big brothers are butt heads.

Progress: None. I’m told It actually isn’t that scary if I’d go back and watch it now. Thing is, I’ve tried. I can’t do it. And clowns in general? I break out in a sweat and my chest tightens and… *shivers* While I’ve considered reading the book, I can’t get past the cover. Coulrophobia. I have it.


  1. I too have issues with shower curtains, though from the other side. By that I mean whenever I enter a bathroom with a shower curtain even partially closed, I peak behind it to make sure there isn’t a bloodthirsty psychopath hiding behind it.

    And speaking of drains, remember that Dave Barry column about the toilet with a snake crawling up it?

  2. In the Movie Tommynockers (i believe at least) there is a scene where you see a hole wall full of puppets who start moving and grinning, laughing and blinking.

    it freaked me out. still today if i have a girlfriend who insists on having the one beloved puppet or stuffed animal in the bed and i can’t convince her to let it sleep somewhere else, i have to make sure i’m not in the line of sight of that little monster.

    in general i’m not well with puppets, stuffed animals and clowns

  3. With me, it’s dolls. Big big phobia of dolls. Those $#@^in’ scary doll movies have scarred me for life, and I’ve never even seen them – just the ads and the previews for them had enough impact on me at JUST the right time in my life to leave me a helpless doll-o-phobe.

  4. I remember this old black and white movie I watched with my mom that had one of those creepy marionettes, and during this dream sequence, the marionette strangles this guy. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten over that.

    Anyone know which film I’m talking about?

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