What freaks you out?

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Are you like me? Do you get the willies about cemeteries, dead bodies, the dark? Do you own tap lights, like I do? Or do you have your own special neuroses?

You're not alone. Tell us about it.

-- Never (never@never.to), July 01, 2000


Stairs. Yes, stairs freak me out, especially long, steep concrete stairs. I'm incredibly clumsy and though I've never really fallen down any, I'll stand at the top of stairs and suddenly see myself falling and imagine the impact as my skull meets the hard concrete. Ack.

Giant sea squids also give me the willies but that's another story.

-- deirdre (swusew@earthlink.net), July 03, 2000.

Heights scare the bejesus out of me.

You will not get me within six feet of those floor-to-ceiling high-rise type windows, because I am dead certain some mysterious phenomenon of nature will yank me right through that window and into freefall. Movies that show people pressed up against said windows - especially if they're doing it voluntarily - staring down at the pavement umpteen stories below make me want to vomit.

Depths get me, too. I cannot swim in a body of water in which I cannot see the bottom, like in lakes or the ocean. Freaks my shit out not to know what's down there, or just to think of all that water between my dangling toes and the earth.

When I was in college, I worked summers at Crater Lake National Park, the focal point of which is an incredibly deep lake formed in the collapsed caldera of an extinct volcano. Mile-high cliffs and half-mile deep lake. Excellent choice, no? Actually, it was beautiful and I loved it, but you wouldn't find me hanging out near the rim, or swimming in that icy water if I did brave the switchback trail leading down to the lake. Two of the three years I was there, someone fell to their deaths because they ignored the warning signs. One time, I had to go down the very unstable rim slope to the point from where a girl had fallen, because she and her hiking partner were German, (hence didn't understand that they shouldn't've been down there because it was fucking dangerous), and I was the only semi-German-speaking person around to whom the surviving hiker could provide details as to where her friend had fallen. Nightmares for weeks, and I can still give myself instant terrors thinking about that girl and envisioning her last moments.

Never, I share your thing about uncovered windows at night, too. No good. Ever see "Salem's Lot"? The kid scratching at the window of his friend's bedroom? That clinched it for me. If my dead friend (or some stalker dude) is hanging out at my window, I don't want to know about it. Period.

I'd be more afraid of the dark and being alone in my house at night if I didn't have a dog whose sense of danger is both active and appropriate (i.e. she doesn't freak at just anything). If she's cool, I'm cool. If she senses trouble, she'll dive in and handle it so I don't have to. What more could I ask?

I think that covers the worst of them. Good to know there's others out there with similar heebie-jeebies!

-- Tracy Rhodes (tracy@zoomer.net), July 04, 2000.

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