The Real Fear Of Ghosts
JOSEPH WRIGHT, ARTWORK BY RICARDO PUSTANIO
Known by a number of names
- Spectrophobia, Phasmophobia, Fear of Specters,
Spookaphobia, and Fear of Ghosts being the
most common - the problem often significantly
impacts the quality of life.
Most sufferers are surprised
to learn that they are far from alone in
this surprisingly common, although often
unspoken, phobia. Yet if living things did
not fear death, or evolve to best avoid
death, then life would cease to exist.
This can lead to the conclusion
that fear of death, or avoidance of death,
is simply an evolutionary mechanism present
since the first instance of life on earth.
Life is 'programmed' with fear of death
from the moment of creation, and the purely
primal 'meaning of life' would be to avoid
death as long as possible. This is visible
in animals where it seems that avoidance
of death is their primary goal.
This leads to the conclusion
that fear of death is a result of evolution,
and is the driving force behind life. Without
fear of death life would not be able to
exist, as living things seeing non-existence
as unimportant would simply cease their
life functions and die.
Many people who have
never thought they had it sometimes learn
of the problem when taking an actual haunted
ghost tour. Sometimes the fear can be contagious
and set off more people taking the tour.
Often this is the stuff that great ghost
tours depend on.
Tour guides across the
United States say that people who fear ghost
are more likely to draw them to the tours
or help the many who take them have what
they might think a real ghost sighting or
encounter. Many feel it is their intense
fear that grows during the haunted walk
from someone with the phobia is what helps
cause actual paranormal or ghost energy
to build and cause a sighting or a phenomena
Haunted Mass hysteria,
or collective Ghost hysteria, is the sociopsychological
phenomenon of the manifestation of the same
hysterical symptoms by more than one person.
It may begin when a group
witnesses an individual becoming hysterical
during a traumatic or extremely stressful
event. A potential symptom is group nausea,
in which a person becoming violently ill
or afraid that triggers a similar reaction
in other group members.
Examples include certain
cases of rioting and frenzy, and accidents
in which people act "irrationally"
(screaming, running in the wrong direction,
attacking scapegoats, etc.).
While recognizing that
mass panic can undoubtedly be genuine and
widespread—argues that mass hysteria
can be "a classic blame-the-victim
strategy" in cases where authorities
or experts can find no explanation for puzzling
or frightening events. It can also manifest
in situations where there is a problem that
is endangering their society, but the people
want to find a scapegoat and take out their
frustrations out on him/her/them (often
fatally to the scapegoat) instead of looking
for the cause of the problem and potentially
finding themselves to be guilty.
Depending on one's personal
beliefs, the phenomenon can also be theorized
to be described in certain religious contexts.
Folie à deux (literally,
"a madness shared by two") is
a rare psychiatric syndrome in which a symptom
of psychosis (particularly a paranoid or
delusional belief) is transmitted from one
individual to another. The same syndrome
shared by more than two people may be called
folie à trois, folie à quatre,
folie à famille or even folie à
plusieurs (madness of many). Recent psychiatric
classifications refer to the syndrome as
shared psychotic disorder (DSM-IV) (297.3)
and induced delusional disorder (folie à
deux) (F.24) in the ICD-10, although the
research literature largely uses the original
Spectrophobia is an intense
fear of something that poses no actual danger.
While adults with Spectrophobia realize
that these fears are irrational, they often
find that facing, or even thinking about
facing, the feared situation brings on a
panic attack or severe anxiety. These people
when on a ghost tour often insight others
to feel their panic and put everyone on
edge including the tour guides.
Folie à deux have
been proposed to describe how the delusional
belief comes to be held by more than one
You Be Afraid of Ghosts?
Folie imposée is
where a dominant person (known as the 'primary',
'inducer' or 'principal') initially forms
a delusional belief during a psychotic episode
and imposes it on another person or persons
(known as the 'secondary', 'acceptor' or
'associate') with the assumption that the
secondary person might not have become deluded
if left to their own devices. If the parties
are admitted to hospital separately then
the delusions in the person with the induced
beliefs usually resolve without the need
Folie simultanée describes the situation
where two people, considered to independently
suffer from psychosis, influence the content
of each other's delusions so they become
identical or strikingly similar.
Folie à deux and its more populous
cousins are in many ways a psychiatric curiosity.
The current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual
of Mental Disorders states that a person
cannot be diagnosed as being delusional
if the belief in question is one "ordinarily
accepted by other members of the person's
culture or subculture" (see entry for
delusion). It is not clear at what point
a belief considered to be delusional escapes
from the folie à... diagnostic category
and becomes legitimate because of the number
of people holding it. When a large number
of people may come to believe obviously
false and potentially distressing things
based purely on hearsay, these beliefs are
not considered to be clinical delusions
by the psychiatric profession and are labelled
instead as mass hysteria.
Being defined as a rare
pathological manifestation, folie à
deux is rarely found in general psychology
or social psychology text books, and is
relatively unknown outside abnormal psychology,
psychiatry and psychopathology.
Haunted or paranormal
Group behavior in sociology refers to the
situations where people
interact inside small groups, for example
to reach or not a consensus and act in a
coordinated way. This is the field of group
dynamics. Large number of people in a given
area behave simultaneously in similar way
and have a similar goal, that might be different
from what they would do individually (herd
haunted bandwagon effect is the observation
that people often do (or believe) things
because many other people do (or believe)
the same. The effect is often pejoratively
referred to as herding instinct, particularly
as applied to adolescents. Without examining
the merits of the particular thing, people
tend to "follow the crowd".
Spectrophobia In The News
a head teacher of Mumbwenge Combined School,
in the Ohangwena Region of Africa, Helena
Makili, says the "ghostly figure"
that is tormenting students at the school
could cause them to fail their
She says the uninvited
visits involving a paranormal figure at
the school is tormenting students so much
so that they are likely to perform poorly.
According to her,
not a single day passes without children
being harassed by the mysterious and extremely
sinister dark figure.
of Spectrophobia – Fear of specters
breathlessness, excessive sweating, dry
mouth, nausea, feeling sick, shaking,
heart palpitations, inability to speak or
think clearly, a fear of dying, becoming
mad or losing control, a sensation of detachment
from reality or a full blown anxiety attack.
is a hybrid word derived from the Latin
"spectrum" (appearance, apparition)
and the Greek "phobos" (fear).
"Spectrum" is also used to form
many other English words, including a word
with the same spelling, "spectrum"
(the series of color bands of light appearing
after white light passes through a diffracting
device such as a prism); "spectrology"
(the scientific study of the spectrum);
and "specter" (apparition, ghost).
school infested by too many foreign ghosts!
- Kuala Lumpur, September 8 (ANI): Malaysian
shamans claim that there are too many foreign
spirits at a school in Kuantan called SMK
Tanjung Lumpur. Some of them even claim
to have communicated with the spirits responsible
for bouts of hysteria at the school since
May. According to them, the spirits have
made several demands for leaving the school,
including a special feast. The shamans who
have visited the school say that the spirits
claim that the new building had encroached
on their area, and that is why a group of
students would scream hysterically almost
most cases, the victims claimed that they
saw an apparition with long hair, while
others claimed they were possessed by an
old woman and would act and sound like one.
State mufti Datuk Abdul Rahman Osman is
not in favour of striking a deal with the
supernatural beings.-- Thaindian.com, Thailand
Ghost Tours And Paranormal Hysteria: The
Real Fear Of Ghost ...
of invulnerability creates excessive optimism
and encourages the paranormal effect to
occur. People take the haunted tours to
be entertained, thrilled, frightened and
just to see if it's real.The many ghost
stories on any given haunted tour or ghost
walk in fact encourage discounting warnings
that might challenge ones personal assumptions.
Tales of murder, suicide and death touches
many peoples nerves directly. So you are
living with spectrophobia, what is the real
cost to your health?
unquestioned supernatural belief in the
group’s morality, causing members
to ignore the consequences of their actions
and just plainly get scared. Often tour
guides tell of people going into fits or
coming possessed while taking the tour,
or reports that it occurred after the tour.
views of individuals pre dispositioned to
hauntings and those that are scpetical..
Pressure to conform against members of the
group who disagree. Shutting down of ideas
that deviate from the apparent group consensus.
An illusion of unanimity with regards to
going along with the group.
that the dark tales and the night time tours
with passing cars, strange surroundings
and lights evoke a form of Photosensitive
epilepsy is a form of epilepsy in which
seizures are triggered by visual stimuli
that form patterns in time or space, such
as flashing lights, bold, regular patterns,
or regular moving patterns.
Of all persons
who have been diagnosed as epileptic, between
three and five percent are known to be of
the photosensitive type (approximately two
people per 10,000 of the general population).
Often persons with PSE have no history of
seizures outside of those triggered by visual
stimuli. Females are more commonly affected
than males, and there is distinct genetic
correlation. Symptoms usually first appear
during childhood or adolescence, with a
peak at the beginning of puberty, and few
people present with PSE after the age of
patterns such as stripes and squares may
trigger seizures as well, even if they do
not move. In some cases, the trigger must
be both spatially and temporally cyclic,
such as a certain moving pattern of bars
are common in the trigger stimuli of many
PSE patients. The patterns are usually high
in luminance contrast (bright flashes of
light alternating with darkness, or white
bars against a black background). Contrasts
in color alone (without changes in luminance)
are rarely triggers for PSE. Some patients
are more affected by patterns of certain
colors than by patterns of other colors.
The exact spacing of a pattern in time or
space is important and varies from one individual
to another: a patient may readily experience
seizures when exposed to lights that flash
seven times per second, but may be unaffected
by lights that flash twice per second or
twenty times per second. Stimuli that fill
the entire visual field are more likely
to cause seizures than those that appear
in only a portion of the visual field. Stimuli
perceived with both eyes are usually much
more likely to cause seizures than stimuli
seen with one eye only (which is why covering
one eye may allow patients to avoid seizures
when presented with visual challenges).
Some patients are more sensitive with their
eyes closed; others are more sensitive with
their eyes open.
Sensitivity is increased
by alcohol consumption, sleep deprivation,
and other forms of stress. One form common
and usually present is vacation stress!
Although fear is
an innate response, objects of fear can
In fear, one may go through
various emotional stages. A good example
of this is the cornered rat, which will
try to run away until it is finally cornered
by its predator, at which point it will
become belligerent and fight back with heavy
aggression until it either escapes or is
The same goes for most
animals. Humans can become very intimidated
by fear; causing them to go along with another's
wishes without caring about their own input.
They can also become equally violent, and
can even become deadly; it is an instinctive
reaction caused by rising adrenaline levels
rather than a consciously thought-out decision.
This is why in many cases the full penalty
cannot be made in cases of the court of
The facial expression
of fear includes the following components:
One's eyes widen (out
of anticipation for what will happen next)
The pupils dilate (to take in more light)
The upper lip rises
The brows draw together
Lips stretch horizontally.
Physiologic effects of fear can be better
understood from the perspective of the sympathetic
nervous responses (fight-or-flight), as
compared to parasympathetic response, which
is a more relaxed state:
the brow or other parts
of the body sweat profusely in order to
keep the body cool as it flees. (More accurately,
perspiration occurs due to blood being shunted
from body viscera to the peripheral parts
of the body - the fight-or-flight response.
Blood that is shunted from one's viscera
to limbs, etc., will transfer, along with
oxygen and nutrients, heat - thus heat transfer
from blood best explains perspiration. While
it's true that cooling is an effect of this,
it is not the primary reason for shunting
blood to the periphery.)
the muscles tighten in preparation for combat.
(More accurately, not all muscles are created
equal, such that smooth muscle would generally
not contract under sympathetic control.
Smooth muscles - such as those associated
with one's gastrointestinal tract - are
generally active only when influenced by
the parasympathetic nervous system. While
somatic muscle - or voluntary muscles, biceps
etc. - do not generally contract involuntarily,
except in nerve circuits in a reflex arc
that immediately respond to heat, etc..
However, since blood is shunted to the bod
periphery, muscles receive blood, primarily
for oxygen to drive metabolic responses
that would be needed during a fight-or-flight
event. Further, "combat" is only
one option. The other one is fleeing.)
the senses are sharpened in order to take
in vaster quantities of information. (More
accurately, senses are not sharpened, but
merely modified - or redirected - to deal
with events that have evolutionarily been
the most likely to cause harm. For example,
the dilation of the pupils and relaxation
of the lens, allowing more light to enter
the eye, which is more conducive to far
vision. Or fine body hair standing up to
alert one to creeping insects, etc.)
the hands usually as a reaction open and
cover face. (This doesn't seem consistent
with wanting to heighten the senses. Further,
one would not necessarily cover one's face
in a fear response.)
when a fear stimulus occurs unexpectedly,
the victim of the fear response could possibly
jump or give a small start.
the person's heart rate and heartbeat may
from internet terrorizes southern Indian
September 19, 2003
Cyber-savvy pranksters in the southern Indian
state of Tamil Nadu have unleashed a ghost
phobia in Tiruchirappalli city leading to
a steep drop in school attendance and spreading
terror in many households, a news report
The Asian Age newspaper
reported the situation was gradually returning
to normal after two weeks of panic and rumor
mongering after police stepped in with an
awareness campaign to expose the internet
It all began when a Tamil-language
newspaper carried a story with a photograph
showing a young boy posing under a tree
with a "ghost" with long loose
hair, empty eye sockets and no legs hovering
The story said the boy
was part of a picnic group visiting the
nearby Pulanjolai Hills area. The story
also said he had the picture taken by a
classmate who collapsed upon seeing the
ghost through the camera viewfinder and
later died vomiting blood after seeing the
The boy whose photograph
was taken reportedly went into a coma.
The report in the mass
circulation paper led to fast-spreading
rumors. The picnic spot where the ghost
was allegedly spotted was deserted and many
parents decided to keep children at home
because of rumors about the ghost stalking
People in the town remained
under a thrall of terror until police investigations
revealed the "ghost" was simply
a photograph of a Malaysian girl on the
internet that had been added to the photograph
using computer graphics.
It had been published
in the youth section of the mass circulation
Tamil newspaper Thanthi last October. "Some
prankster has downloaded the stuff from
the internet and created a new scare out
of an old photo," a senior local police
Investigations also revealed
that the stories about the boys falling
into coma and dying and girls fainting were
nothing but rumors.
However, the Asian Age
quoted a local psychiatrist as saying he
was still getting patients obsessed with
the ghost from Pulanjolai Hills.
Ghost phobia creates panic
Chronicle News Service
Khandwa, Jan 5 Now-a-days the news about
ghosts are in circulation in the district.
It had its impact in village Revada where
the students of a school had to be shifted
to another building. Earlier to this the
news about ghosts were coming from village
Dhuma or from the remote areas of Jagdalpur.
In a fresh incident, in Khandwa, the students
are facing the problem of ghost.
There is widespread fear
among the villagers and the students due
to fear of ghost in Revada. For the last
ten days the residents live in awe and fear.
It is said that 7 students
had become unconscious after seeing the
ghost. When the students regained their
consciousness, they informed that there
is a ghost at the tamarind tree. The students
said that the ghost calls them and in fear
they lose consciousness. With a view to
ward off the evil spirits, the parents of
all the 128 students have tied strings in
their wards hands.
Moreover at the door of
the school also the villagers had tied the
string. To save their children from fear
of ghost the villagers have changed the
place. A member of Parents-teachers Association,
Dheeraj Singh Thakur said that the students
were taken to the doctor but to no avail.
There was no alternative
but to change the place. Headmaster Ratan
Singh Darbar said that the school has been
shifted to Swaraj Bhawan from Dec 31. The
villagers are performing various rituals
at the Bhairon temple and a big programmes
is planned to protect the villagers from
bad effect of ghost.
Whereas Dr Ojha of PHC,
Chichgohan says that due to confusion a
child may have become unconscious and rumours
could have confused the children. A camp
for removing the doubts of the villagers
regarding the ghost would soon be organised.
Child specialist Dr Sharad Agrawal terms
the fear as "serial conversion reaction".
is also the intense fear of looking in a
REAL CAN A FEAR BECOME?
Man of New Delhi was a phenomenon that surfaced
in New Delhi in 2001. In May 2001, reports
began to circulate in the Indian capital
New Delhi of a strange monkey-like creature
that was appearing at night and attacking
people. Eyewitness accounts were often inconsistent,
but tended to describe the creature as about
four feet (120 cm) tall, covered in thick
black hair, with a metal helmet, metal claws,
glowing red eyes and three buttons on its
Theories on the nature
of the Monkey Man ranged from an avatar
of a Hindu god, to an Indian version of
Bigfoot, to a cyborg that could be deactivated
by throwing water on the motherboard concealed
under fur on its chest.
Many people reported being
scratched, and two (by some reports, three)
people even died when they leapt from the
tops of buildings or fell down stairwells
in a panic caused by what they thought was
the attacker. At one point, exasperated
police even issued artist's impression drawings
in an attempt to catch the creature. Many
people today still believe this "monkey
man" continues to haunt the streets.
is a powerful, unpleasant feeling of risk
or danger, either real or imagined.
Psychologists such as
John B. Watson and Paul Ekman have argued
that fear, along with a few other basic
emotions such as joy and anger, are innate
in all human beings. Fear is a defensive,
survival advantage, and may have evolved
in a variety of organisms. It is usually
a response to a particular stimulus. For
example, a person may see a spider and experience
fear. Fear serves as motivation to escape
An example of this may
be something dangerous and spontaneous,
during this situation the blood goes to
big muscles (like legs) allowing the person
to run faster. Also the body freezes up
just an instant allowing the brain to decide
if another reaction would be better (like
hiding). In the brain, hormones are released
centering the attention on the threat always
looking for the most accurate reaction.
Fear can be distinguished
into serious fear, metus gravis, and trifling
fear, metus levis. Serious fear grows out
of the discernment of some formidable impending
peril. Trifling fear is that which arises
from being confronted with harm of inconsiderable
dimensions, or, at any rate of whose happening
there is only a slender likelihood.
Fear can be described
by different terms in accordance with its
relative degrees. Personal fear varies extremely
in degree from mild caution to extreme phobia
and paranoia. Fear is related to a number
of emotional states including worry, anxiety,
terror, fright, paranoia, horror, panic
(social and personal), persecution complex
Fears may be a factor
within a larger social network, where in
personal fears are synergetically compounded
as mass hysteria.
Paranoia is a term used
to describe a psychosis of fear, described
as a heightened perception of being persecuted,
false or otherwise. This degree of fear
often indicates that one has changed their
normal behavior in radical ways, and may
have become extremely compulsive. Sometimes,
the result of extreme paranoia is a phobia.
Distrust in the context of interpersonal
fear, is sometimes explained as the inward
feeling of caution, usually focused towards
a person, representing an unwillingness
to trust in someone else. Distrust is not
a lack of faith or belief in someone, but
a feeling of warning towards someone or
something questionable or unknown. For example,
one may "distrust" a stranger
who acts in a way that is perceived as "odd."
Likewise one may "distrust" the
safety of a rusty old bridge across a 100
Terror refers to a pronounced state of fear,
which usually occurs after the state of
horror, when someone becomes overwhelmed
with a sense of immediate danger. Also,
it can be caused by perceiving the (possibly
extreme) phobia. As a consequence, terror
overwhelms the person to the point of making
irrational choices and non-typical behavior.
What is regarded
as the most haunted scariest place
on Earth where you might see a
MANY HAVE THEIR
MINDS SET TO WHAT IS AND WHAT ISN'T
come with us now as the spirits
of past and ghosts stories are revisited
through the most haunted places
in the world where haunted dark
shadows linger and fright is king.
Sloss Furnace, Spittalfields, London
East End, London, England, Gettysburg,
Concentration Camp, Oswiecim, Poland,
Amityville, NY, or the Waverly Ghosts
of the Kentucky Sanatorium, Bachelor's
Grove, Bald Mountain Or The entire
Haunted City of New Orleans. It's
all up to conjecture... Haunted
America Tours lets People who visit
the site vote to see what they believe
is the most haunted location, other
paranormal sites, and television
shows pick and choose their haunted
places for you.
TO READ MORE PLEASE VISIT HERE NOW!
THIS STORY MAY JUST PUT A NEW
REAL HAUNTED HOTSPOT ON YOUR LIST
OF REAL SCARY AND MOST HAUNTED
PLACES TO INVESTIGATE!