My favourite movie genre has got to be horror because I loved the thrill from being scared. But when darkness falls… I turn into a total scaredy-cat. My ears perk up at the tiniest sound; my pulse races and rings in my ears; my stomach churns whilst having wild thoughts. Despite being a young adult, I can never grow out of my fear of darkness.
Perhaps it wasn’t the dark itself that I was terrified about – It’s whatever that might jump at me when I am vulnerably masked in pitch-black darkness.
However, being scared of the dark might not always be a bad thing. Science revealed that those who are afraid of the dark have extraordinary imagination! Evidently, creative people tend to visualise all sorts of fantasy – ranging from grotesque monsters to pale ghostly figures.
This could possibly explain why kids are so afraid of the dark. Kids imagine the impossible. They are afraid of the monster that lives in their closet, the creature under their bed that peeks at them while they sleep. They are also afraid of the boogeyman who might creep across the ceiling and kidnap them.
Decades ago, people associate danger with darkness because predators often attack when dusk falls.
Martin Antony, professor of psychology at Ryerson University in Toronto once said, “In the dark, our visual sense vanishes, and we are unable to detect who or what is around us. We rely on our visual system to help protect us from harm. Being scared of the dark is a prepared fear.”
Gradually, it became a human instinct to fear what we can’t see; or fear the unknown that might harm us. And it doesn’t help that the colour of black – also commonly perceived as a symbol of evil, death and mystery – is the inherent feature of darkness.
Anyway, if you want to learn more about your fears, brave your way down to Science Centre Singapore’s most fearsome exhibition yet, Phobia² : The Science of Fear.
The picture taken below is one of the exhibition highlights – specially catered to those who are afraid of the dark!
I hope you have a great day ahead and I look forward to seeing you!
– All gifs adapted from giphy.com –