What is Fear? Part 2

In the previous article, we looked at types of fear and how childhood fears can shape our creativity as adults.

In this article, Twitter friends of mine describe their fears and I will begin with my ex boyfriend’s (@1uk3) childhood experience of living in a haunted house. It is interesting to note that not everyone who has a terrifying experience as a child goes on to adore horror and/or have a creativity outlet.  This is certainly the case with Luke.

Universal Monster Portrait

Inspired by Universal Horror

First of all I feel I need to talk about the house, before we moved there back in 1981.  It was a very old miner’s cottage in Cornwall which dated back to the 1800’s.  Well in fact it used to be two miners cottages but it had been knocked through to form one larger house probably sometime around 1920.  Around that time it had been turned into a Post Office and used for this purpose until around 1960 I believe.  After the Post Office had closed (for unknown reasons) the house had been condemned as unfit for inhabitants.  It was then used to keep chickens and nothing more.  This is all quite strange as it was a terraced house and the homes at either side where all being lived in.  What had happened there?  I still don’t know to this day.  I think that the house was lived in briefly between it being a chicken coop and me and my family moving in – it didn’t smell of chicken poop!

In 1981 my Grandfather, Grandma, Mother, Auntie, Uncle and me all moved to the property.  I was only 3 years old at the time but remember it vividly!

All of my family, apart from my Mother and me were already there.  They’d travelled down from Cheshire (North West England) to Cornwall (South West England) the day before by car.  I travelled there by train with my mother the next day.  I remember arriving and getting off the train to see a grey small country town and feeling a strangely repressive vibe (for want of a better word).  We were picked up by car by my Grandfather and travelled to our new home which was in a small village about 3 miles away.  The village is called Carharrack.

I remember getting to the house which my Grandfather had bought very cheaply.  It was damp and dark, it had no heating apart from a large open fire in the living room.  The rest of my family were there looking quite down.  They’d all been used to living in a town with plenty to do and mod-cons at hand.  In our new home we had none of that.  We were isolated and living in a house that had recently been used as a chicken coop!

I was probably around 4 years old before I started noticing strange goings on.  I remember at this early age thinking that it must be my imagination.  Perhaps it was, because I was told that it was my imagination by my Mother.

My memories of the haunting (I think I can safely call it that) are a little jumbled – they were terrifying experiences that happened over a number of years.

To start off with, a very mild experience that occurred a few times…  I can remember sitting in the living room with my family and hearing a loud repeating knock at the door that lead into the hallway.  My Grandmother said each time, “Come in Mr Nobody”, the door handle would turn slowly, the door would open and close again.  There was nothing there that was visible but I was terrified.  Looking back, the rest of family must have also felt this way, but I guess they tried to act as though it was nothing untoward happening so I; the young child, wasn’t disturbed.

My family didn’t admit to me that there was anything wrong in our home.  I didn’t really experience any other phenomenon with them, but my personal experiences of the haunting grew.

I can remember questioning my own sanity when I was still only about 4.  I’d be playing with a toy in my bedroom, walk downstairs and then see it there.  I’d get angry with my family and ask who’d moved it.  No-one had!  I’d go back to my bedroom to check and it would be there!  I’d then get upset questioning my family if I had two of the same toy – I didn’t!  My mind would be in pieces trying to work it out – there was nothing to work out though.  Something was playing with me and with my mind.

The worst of all my experiences was ongoing and regular.  Every night, when I went to bed my Mother used to tuck me in and read me a bedtime story – something nice to try and make me feel good and help me fall to sleep.

A hideous rotting smell used to enter the room in an instant and my Mother would leave (I’ve asked her about this since and she feels very badly).  I would make her keep the hallway light on and leave the door open so that I felt safe.  The smell would remain and then I would hear heavy breathing in the corner of the room.  All of a sudden the breathing would be next to my ear and the smell would become unbearable.  The next instant, the breathing would be in the corner of the room again, and then back to my ear.  Sometimes the door would close and then reopen again with no-one being there.  I would have called for my Mother, someone, anyone to help me to make it stop but I was always too terrified – I couldn’t move or even make a sound.  This happened until I was at least 7 years old.

Eventually, I discovered that my other family members had been having similar experiences.

My Grandfather, who was a Pastor of a local church and a long-time dedicated Christian, finally decided that enough was enough and that he had to do something.  He studied exorcism for some time and performed one around our house.  It worked!

I always felt uneasy living in that house until the day I moved out at about age 19, but I never had any experience of haunting there again.

Twitter Friends Fears
BlooferLady from HorrorCrypt.com writes..

My biggest real life fear which scares me are ants. If one comes near me I freak out and either try to get away or, if I have a show handy, I kill it. When I was in high school I woke up to a bed full of them even though I never ate there. I think that they were out to get me and had some sort of evil plan going.

Dark Angel Steeple

Angel and Steeple


My biggest real life fear which excites me is being able to sense ghosts. I have always been a little bit psychic in the sense that I can feel paranormal events happening about me. There have been certain cemeteries that I have gone to in which I have felt such sadness that I had to leave them. This was especially true in Colma in California.

Colma is pretty much a city of the dead. There are over 17 cemeteries located there equalling to almost 2 million people being buried there. San Francico outlawed cemeteries within its borders early in the 20th century due to space constrictions so they exhumed all of the bodies and moved them to the city of Colma. I feel that there is a real sadness there due to the bodies being moved and every time I went there I would get excited by the prospect of being able to feel them about me. I would never stay there for too long because it really was quite overwhelming.

@HorrorExtreme from Horror-extreme.com writes..

My biggest fear is not knowing the way out of a confined area… If I was in “The Descent” I’d just curl up and welcome death! Double that fear if water is involved! I don’t really get scared by movies, occasionally I get disturbed, but I like that!

@MarixaLilith writes..

I’m terrified of butterflies and moths since I was little, like I’d totally panic if they get too close to me… have you seen Clive Barkers Dread? That’s what it’s about, peoples biggest fears…

@cdmetruk writes..

Fear of the unknown-what might happen, but you have nothing to base it on.

If you have any thoughts on fear or would like to add your experiences, please comment below.

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