Monday, August 6, 2012

Welcome Blog Hoppers! Strange Phobias

Welcome to my web site, blog hoppers! I'm E. A. Black, and I write horror. I'm thrilled to participate in this blog hop.

I'm afraid of Barbie dolls. Especially being tickled by Barbie dolls. This is a phobia I've had since I was a kid. Yes, it sounds strange, but not as strange as the guy I read about on the Internet (so it must be true) who is afraid of being drowned by peacocks.

Barbie dolls don't look human (especially the older, fashion model type vintage Barbies). I'm sure you've heard of the Uncanny Valley. These things are deep in it. They can't bend their arms or knees. Imagine one of them running to you, on their tip-toes, hopping on stiff, too-long legs with their feet permanently stuck in the fuck-me pump position.

Gives me the creeps.

It turns out that fear of dolls is called. pediophobia, and fear of being tickled is called pteronophobia. I suppose the fear of being tickled by dolls could be pteronopediophobia. Genus Barbie.

I wanted to briefly discuss phobias and make a list of some of the more interesting ones. Speaking of fear of Barbie dolls, here is an excerpt from my WIP "Subversive Children's Games", in which I describe a jumbled box of discarded Barbie dolls. I hate those creepy little monsters.
Once dressed in fine velvets and shimmering satins, the dolls lay in a jumbled heap atop each other, naked and exposed, plastic corpses in a mass grave. Arms and legs jutted at odd angles. Chopped hair stuck out in clumps on several tiny heads. Magic Marker in purple and green stained the once golden tresses. Revulsion overwhelmed Julia, who turned her nose up at the disgusting creatures. She had always hated Barbie dolls. They didn't look quite human. She shivered, teeth chattering from the attic's chill and the uncanny sight of twig-thin arms and legs. One doll's cheek had a big, gaping hole in it, exposing the hollow interior. Julia swallowed her unease but it caught in her throat.
Everyone has heard of triskaidekaphobia (fear of the number 13) and coulrophobia (fear of clowns). How about these phobias?

Speaking of coulrophobia, don't forget pupaphobia (fear of puppets). Gymnophobics experience anxiety from nudity, even if they realize their fear is irrational. Nomophobia: fear of being out of mobile phone contact. Ailurophobia is the fear of cats. Likewise, fear of dogs is cynophobia. Fear of your teeth falling out is ordontophobia. This one also covers fear of dentists. Fear of bridges or of crossing them is gephyrophobia. Fear of success is Achievemephobia, whilst fear of failure is called Atychiphobia. Fear of wasps is spheksophobia,  and fear of bed bugs is called scabiophobia.

Poe would appreciate this one. It's tailor-made for the horror set: the fear of being buried alive or being in cemeteries is taphephobia or taphophobia.

Sex and Relationship phobias. I had to cover this one since I've written erotic horror.

* Caligynephobia is the fear of beautiful women.

* Erotophobia is the fear of sex.

* Fear of losing an erection is medomalacuphobia.

* Fear of an erect penis is medorthophobia.

* Fear of female genitalia is kolphphobia.

Then there are the really odd ones, like anatidaephobia (the fear that somewhere in the world, there is a duck watching you) and arachibutyrophobia (fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth).

Quite interestingly, there is also phobophobia - the fear of phobias.

So tell me… what are your phobias?


  1. Afraid of being tickled by Barbie dolls!?! Brilliant. I'm only afraid of needles :)

    Really loved your post. Come and comment on mine too if you have time. By the way, my previous post was about what I did with Barbies during my childhood. Hint: I wasn't your typical child.

    Have a creepy day.


  2. Excellent post! Phobias are so strange because so many of them are irrational ... but, then again, there is a logical basis to some. I have a terrible fear of eating ground meat that I have not ground myself, but the basis to it is that whole bovine spongiform encephalitis ("Mad Cow") scare in the '80s. I have a few other, more irrational, fears, but I'll leave it at that. ;-)

  3. I'm afraid of needles too, Vanessa. I never get used to them no matter how often I go to the doctor.

    I'll check out your Barbie post. I can only imagine what you did to them. :)

  4. Lisa, you've made a good point about rational fears turning into phobias. I remember the Mad Cow scare. There are plenty of phobias related to diseases.

    I wouldn't touch Barbie dolls, and I never received one as a child. Good!

  5. I don't like to share my phobia (it could be used against me!) but I'll pass on some others. A coworker was afraid of Oompa-Loompas(sp?)from "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory". Even their songs creeped her out, so of course everyone constantly sang them to her! Also, on a talk show I saw a girl who was terrified of pickles. She didn't just dislike the taste, she was afraid of one even being near her. Fun post.

  6. Glad you liked my post, Paul. Those are some strange phobias. The Oompa-Loompa fear sounds like fear of clowns a little bit. Thanks for commenting. :)

  7. I had a Barbie, Ken and Skipper as a kid, so no fear of them. But those other know the ones...often made of china, who are all dressed up, just sitting on shelves, with big eyes watching you as you walk through the room. I once visited my mom's cousin, who had collected them for years, and had hundreds in display cabinets throughout her home. It was like being in some bizarre carnival fun house, and it totally creeped me out! :( My "real phobias" (terrorists, crashing airplanes, etc.) pale in comparison.

  8. Sorry for the late comment. I've recently returned from my trip to Canada.

    I love, love, love this post! (I'll be sharing it.)

    I have a fear of rats - big time. :(

    Litria - Book One of The M Series

  9. Ah, Vala, I hear you on those creepy China dolls. Their eyes watch you when you walk across the room. And those are some understandable phobias to have.

  10. Thanks, Jolie! Glad you enjoyed my post. I suppose you'd never read Stephen King's story "Graveyard Shift". :)

  11. I don't have phobia...or I probably did but didn't know it. Fantastic post about phobias, btw. Learned several of them. It sorta inspired me to write a series based on phobias. Wouldn't it be cool? ;D

  12. Zach, a friend of mine has a story in an anthology about phobias. There are some very bizarre phobias out there. Thanks for liking my post.