Time travel as close as your local cemetery.

Phobias, death and things that go bump in the night

June 15, 2014 / by davidwalton

grayFor many, Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day with a full moon, bad luck and calamities associated with it. Fortunately, this year’s only Friday the 13th just passed and the next one won’t arrive until February 13, 2015.

Growing up, I had a teacher who got the biggest kick out of Friday the 13th. She would dedicate the day telling ghost stories and discussing superstitions. She even taught the class how to spell paraskavedekatriaphobia — those with a fear of Friday the 13th. To this day, it always freaks people out I can spell the word.

Over the years, I’ve encountered many people with phobias. I have a sister who’s terrified of thunderstorms and lightning (astraphobia); a girl I dated was horrified by clowns (coulrophobia); and a sports writer at the newspaper where I once worked was robbed at gunpoint and pistol whipped and developed a fear of being robbed (harpaxophobia).

I also have another sister with an April 13th birthday which falls on a Friday every seven years. Lucky her!

In theologian Barbara Brown Taylor’s new book “Learning to Walk in the Dark,” Taylor writes that she has become increasingly uncomfortable with our tendency to associate all that is good with lightness and all that is evil and dangerous with darkness. Doesn’t God work in the nighttime as well? Taylor asks us to put aside our fears and anxieties and to explore all that God has to teach us “in the dark.”

Other phobias: growing old (gerascophobia); falling in love (philophobia); getting wrinkles (rhytiphobia); criticism (enissophobia); kissing (philemaphobia); dinner parties (deipnophobia); and sex (genophobia).

All of these phobias caused me to wonder if there are any phobias related to genealogy.

Tombstones – placophobia
Cemeteries – coimetrophobia
Being buried alive – taphephobia
Dead things – necrophobia
Death or dying – thanatophobia
Heaven – ouranophobia
Hell – hadephobia
Satan – satanophobia
Ghosts – phasmophobia
Spirits – pineumatophobia
Bogeyman or bogies – bogyphobia

What about you? Do you have a phobia you’d like to share?

Until next time….


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