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Spectrophobia

The Real Fear Of Ghosts

AFRAID OF GHOST?

STORY BY JOSEPH WRIGHT, ARTWORK BY RICARDO PUSTANIO © 2008

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 to occur.

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 name.

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.

ARE YOU AFRAID ?

Folie à deux have been proposed to describe how the delusional belief comes to be held by more than one person.

Should 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 of medication.


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 behavior).

The 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".

Mass Spectrophobia In The News

Recently 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 examinations.

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.

Spectrophobia: An abnormal and persistent fear of ghosts. Sufferers of spectrophobia experience undue anxiety even though they realize their fear is irrational. They may fear going into woods, empty houses or dark places and may react with alarm at strange or unexplained noises.

Symptoms of Spectrophobia – Fear of specters or ghosts:
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.

Spectrophobia" 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).

Malay 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 every day.

In 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

IT GETS SCARIER THE FURTHER YOU GO!

Haunted Ghost Tours And Paranormal Hysteria: The Real Fear Of Ghost ...

A feeling 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?

Often an 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.

Stereotyped 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.

Some say 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 20.

Static spatial 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 in fences.

Several characteristics 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!

THE ONLY FEAR IS FEAR ITSELF.
Although fear is an innate response, objects of fear can be learned.

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 captured.

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 law.

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.

[edit] Physiological
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 go up.

 

'Ghost' from internet terrorizes southern Indian city
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 said yesterday.

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 spook.

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 behind.

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 developed film.

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 young children.

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 official said.

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". http://www.centralchronicle.com/20060106/0601101.htm

Spectrophobia is also the intense fear of looking in a mirror.

 

HOW REAL CAN A FEAR BECOME?

The Monkey 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 chest.

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.

Fear 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 to safety.

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 and dread.

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 ft drop.
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 real ghost?

MANY HAVE THEIR MINDS SET TO WHAT IS AND WHAT ISN'T HAUNTED

THE MOST HAUNTED PLACE ON EART

So 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.

Whitechapel, Sloss Furnace, Spittalfields, London East End, London, England, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Auschwitz-Birkenau 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.

THIS STORY MAY JUST PUT A NEW REAL HAUNTED HOTSPOT ON YOUR LIST OF REAL SCARY AND MOST HAUNTED PLACES TO INVESTIGATE!

TO READ MORE PLEASE VISIT HERE NOW!



 

GHOST STORIES: folktales and urban legends of America, as told by the region's most celebrated storytellers.

 

 

TOP TEN GHOST PHOTOS OF THE YEAR

 

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ISLAND SCARES 2: GHOST STORIES FROM THE PHILIPPINES
Real Spirits In Photos ... Can you believe your eyes?
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This Month we feature Christopher Balzano, teacher and folklorist living in the Boston area. He has been investigating the unknown for twelve years and running Massachusetts Paranormal Crossroads, a website dedicated to the paranormal and local folklore of Massachusetts, for more than five. His writing has appeared in such respected publications as “The Haunted Times” and “Mystery Magazine” as well as “Unexplained Paranormal Magazine.” His investigations have been covered by “The Boston Globe”, “The Boston Herald”, “The Standard Times” and “Worchester Magazine” and he has been asked to speak about urban legends and the paranormal at conferences throughout New England. He is a regular on several paranormal radio shows, including “The Ghost Chronicles” and “Spooky Southcoast” and has appeared in documentaries and television specials on the supernatural. He was one of the featured writers in Jeff Belanger’s Encyclopedia of Haunted Places and contributed to the collection Weird Hauntings and the soon to be released, Weird Massachusetts. His writing and research have also been featured in Thomas D’Agostino’s Haunted New Hampshire and Haunted Massachusetts and the recently released Ghostly Tails from America’s Jails. Read More Here!

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HAUNTED AMERICA TOURS Official Web Site is a ghost tour information site; our information is only as reliable as readers' contributed ghost and haunted reports. We assume no credit for your adventures, and accept no liability for your misadventures. Use common sense. Read our ghost hunting recommendations. Before visiting any "haunted" site, verify the location, accessibility, safety, and other important information. Never trespass on private and/or posted property without permission from the proper authorities.

At HauntedAmericaTours.com we invite you into our Ghost Haunted Paranormal world where art, News stories, photography and the unexplained merge into a new landscape that will leave you truly spellbound. HauntedAmericaTours.com is a continuous work in progress; we will keep it updated for you on a regular basis, so that you can come back and see a ghost or two, and meet some new ones. HAUNTED AMERICA TOURS is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

HauntedAmericaTours.com is a continuous work in progress; we will keep it updated for you on a regular basis, so that you can come back and see a ghost or two, and meet some new ones. Please browse here and find what your looking for. Check out the other Categories and featured new articles about everything in the paranormal community today. And also enjoy your very haunted adventures safely.

We want to thank all the contributors, visitors and many regular readers that make hauntedamericatours.com so great! We couldn't have done it without you! If you haven't checked us out yet, what are you waiting for?

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The Monkey and The Cock is said to grant to it's Lucky owner three significant wishes over a three year period . Passed virtually unchanged in form, generation to generation, comes this strange,"Monkey and Cock" curio statue as Voodoo dolls

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Gina Lanier has been a special featured guest many times on several paranormal programs that are nationwide on the radio and worldwide on the Internet.

Gina Lanier has been a special featured guest many times on several paranormal programs that are nationwide on the radio and worldwide on the Internet.

My friends call me a Ghost Magnet.  I'm always either pounding away on my keyboard or chasing ghosts. My only other hobby is genealogy, which is chasing dead relatives.







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