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jca's avatar

As an adult, have you ever been afraid of the dark, even while you know that fear is irrational?

Asked by jca (36002points) September 26th, 2010

I thought of this question when I was recently on vacation, in an old house on Cape Cod. I had to go to the basement to get laundry out of the machine, and I got scared, and decided to wait until morning. I started thinking of horror movies and doors closing without anyone there, and stuff like that.

As an adult, have you even been spooked by the dark, not for any safety reason but just for the sake of it being dark and scary?

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25 Answers

Coloma's avatar

I get that exciting fear feeling once in awhile when I go out after dark to bed my animals down.

It gets pretty wild in these hills after dark. Ran into a mountain lion once.

My fears are not horror movie based, they are more, what eye’s are those glowing in the weeds?. lol

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

As a child, yes. Once realizing as a teen/adult that there were no ghosts and boogie men, it went away. However, about two years ago, I got up early one morning and didn’t turn on the light. I tripped over a blanket thrown off in the middle of the night and either bruised or cracked a rib when I fell on a box with an old typewriter in it. Ever since then, I just take the precaution and turn on a light. I am no longer the invincible person I once was.

jerv's avatar

Not exactly. See, on a Navy ship, it only gets dark when something happens to the electrical system. If that happened when I was supposed to be sleeping, tough shit; no sleep unless it’s a quick fix. The prospect of not being able to grab at least for consecutive hours of sleep for the sixth night in a row kind of scared me.

MadiFC's avatar

As a child I was fearless…but now i am scared of things and its weird. I often am afraid of darkness and i feel as though people are watching me.


No never. I’ve always loved the dark, night-time, or when the skies turn dark and threatening from a thunderstorm. I find darkness to be calming and protective.

YARNLADY's avatar

I used to be afraid to put my feet on the floor after the lights were turned off. I thought something would reach out and grab my ankles, even though I knew there was nothing there.

Austinlad's avatar

I don’t believe it’s totally irrational to be afraid in or of the dark—after all, what you can’t see can trip you, strike you, fall on you, unbalance you, even attack you. I don’t believe in ghosts, but I do believe in using caution.

Berserker's avatar

Only one specific time that I may remember, when going to bed after reading three short ghost stories. I think there was plumbing in the ceiling, and it was acting up, making all these weird clicky and droning noises, so I pulled the covers up to my eyes and I’m all like waaaa, while, of course, nursing over all that I had currently read.

Which also included the preface, explaining that ghosts, are they to be real, are rarely harmful and have no ill intent, they’re just lost and are looking for company, among spreading messages or forgetting to move on after death. I slept surprisingly well that night.

DominicX's avatar

Not afraid of the dark per se, but things become scarier when it’s dark. I can write a horror story about demons and what not during the day, but if I try to work on it at night, I get too scared and have to wait until it’s daytime again.

Coloma's avatar

Right now my neighbors 3 horses are galloping around and playing in the woods just below my deck, big things crashing through the trees. lol

Haleth's avatar

Sometimes just after I turn off my lights, I imagine there’s something in the closet or under the bed. Ugh, it’s so childish.

lillycoyote's avatar

Generally I never get afraid of the dark unless there’s some additional element, kind of like @DominicX talks about; things are just scarier in the dark. I used to move a lot and every time I moved into a new house or apartment the nights would sometimes be difficult until I got used to that place’s particular noises. The structure’s creaks and grumbles, the tree near the house that makes that creepy little thumping noise when the wind blows and the little branch hits the window, the chupacabra skittering across the roof, the sound of the guy in the apartment downstairs who is probably not sawing women into to pieces in the wee hours of the morning even though that’s exactly what it sounds like he’s doing, that sort of thing.

Coloma's avatar

Haha, I had the creepy downstairs neighbor once, I was paranoid to flush and take a bath, ewwwww!

MissAnthrope's avatar

I’m with @DominicX & @lillycoyote. I’m not scared of the dark by itself, but the dark in some circumstances can be scary. I had a Blair Witch camping experience once on the Appalachian Trail, it was really scary feeling like sitting ducks in our tent. We mustered our courage and stood outside, nervously drinking a bottle of wine until the sun came up. That night was scary and weird.

Lately, I’ve been freaked out by all the rustling noises I’ve been hearing when I go outside to smoke at night. There is a fair amount of wildlife around here, so it could be anything from mice to owls to raccoons to who knows what. A few times I’ve heard something big rustling around in the leaves behind the house, which, you know, can spook you when it’s late and dark outside.

sliceswiththings's avatar

Yep after seeing scary movies or reading scary books.
Like Harry Potter

Coloma's avatar


We must be neighbors. ;-)

lillycoyote's avatar

@MissAnthrope Interesting. I smoke outside too and tonight I heard some kind of crazy noise, like a cat running through the yard with a box of small nuts and bolts. I don’t know what the hell that was but that’s what it sounded like, I swear. One of those things that makes you think “What the hell is that?” But by the time you get around the corner it’s gone; it’s over.

MissAnthrope's avatar

For the first time in my life, a few nights ago, I heard an owl go ‘hoo-hoo’. I’d seen it in cartoons and stuff, but I don’t know that I actually believed owls went ‘hoo-hoo’ any more than pigs go ‘oink’. There were a couple of them and they were on our roof. They came back the night before last, too.

lillycoyote's avatar

@MissAnthrope Oh! That’s another thing that scared the pants off of me, at first, one night when I was out smoking. Amazing thing though. I’ve seen a lot of birds and bird related things when I’m out in my little “smoking lounge” but usually not at night. But a few months ago, for the first time ever, a Great Horned Owl came out of the sky and perched on the top of my next door neighbor’s tree, one of the tallest on that end of the street and a favorite of birds. But it just came out of nowhere. Huge thing, incredible wing span, very startling at first. Awesome though. Very glad I was out there just at that moment. No hoo-hoing though. Usually the only things around here that come close to hoo-hoing are the mourning doves.

faye's avatar

I used to have to make myself get meat out of the freezer at the foot of the stairs of creepy-town basement if it was dark. the switch to turn off the basement light was halfway up the stairs- stairs with no back and there was just space under them. Gaaah!

ucme's avatar

Oh yeah! If I hear a mouse trod on a twig in the garden at night i’m a jibbering wreck. Why it’s gotten so bad that I can’t fall asleep without suckling on the wife’s teats. Soothes all the scary bad shit away. Except if she’s asleep before me. Then I have a demented demon right there in bed beside me. A hefty blow from her elbow in my gob can just as easily send me to sleep :¬)

lillycoyote's avatar

@ucme You really, seriously need either professional help or more than one wife. She absolutely has to be drained and exhausted by this point. don’t you think? :- ) She may be soldiering on but maybe she needs just little break by now? The very least you can do is take her to the Bahamas maybe? Or… maybe she just sleeps through the whole thing and couldn’t be bothered at all, or wakes up for just a second and thinks: “Oh, that’s just @ucme” and goes back to sleep and dreams of better things. Now that I think of it, none of my business; never mind. Sorry. :-)

ucme's avatar

@lillycoyote Wow that was so exhilarating. Whoosh, stop the world I wanna get off. You know it’s uncanny what you just said. I mean, it’s as if you’re actually right there in my home watching every move. So tangible, not to say deeply moving :¬)

NaturallyMe's avatar

I’m still afraid of being alone in the dark. And even if i’m not alone in the room in the dark, i preferably have to have my feet on the couch and i can’t have them dangling on the floor or over the edge of the couch. I’m not sure why, but i’m thinking my over-active imagination combined with my love of horror movies has something to do with it.
It’s a scary time for me if i have to switch off the lights for the night on the way to bed – once i switch off a light behind me, i have to sprint to the next room where there’s light, this gets my heart racing. Hehe.
I think i’m scared of what might be in the dark, i just imagine scary hissing growling noises from some demon thing that’s behind me in the dark. I can’t watch scary movies alone in the dark at all, if something scary comes up on TV, i have to close my eyes and block my ears because i don’t want to hear scary noises.

lillycoyote's avatar

@ucme Glad you think so because in the cold light of day I’m no longer sure I fully understand either your post or my own, for that matter, to be honest. I’ve been reading about something called “Lucid Fluthering” and I’m going to try that tonight though I have a feeling it’s just a lot of pop psych hogwash. :-)

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