I can’t say I know a single person who isn’t afraid of something. Here’s a list of some of the most common phobias:
Arachnophobia, the fear of spiders. Ophidiophobia, the fear of snakes. Acrophobia, the fear of heights.Claustrophobia, the terror of occupying small, enclosed areas. Astraphobia, the fear of thunder and lightening. Trypanophobia, the fear of injections. Social Phobias, the fear of social situations. Pteromerhanophobia, the fear of flying. Mysophobia, the fear of germs or dirt. Necrophobia, the extreme fear of dead things and death itself.
I do share a few of those listed, but I’m embarrassed to admit that I also have an unusual, irrational fear: Xenophobia. Most commonly known as the fear of strangers and foreigners, but in my case, or in the Sci-fi world, it translates to fear of extraterrestrials. That’s right – when I see an alien, I just about pee my pants. When I go to sleep, they follow me in my dreams. I can take any movie with blood, guts and monsters. Anything but aliens. Let me make something clear – I’m not afraid of being anal-probed. I certainly don’t want to be anal-probed, but this goes beyond probing.
Here’s a couple scenarios that I dread:
Scenario One: I’m in a sewer or some dark, slimy, futuristic tunnel. I’m being hunted by aliens that want to capture, torture and eat me alive.
Scenario Two: I’m abducted from Earth, sucked into a paralyzing beam of light and transported away from my home planet, into deep space. The hideous aliens strap me to a table and perform terrifying, painful medical experiments with sharp tools you can’t even imagine. Tools that don’t exist on Earth. They also implant alien eggs into my body and keep me in a squishy cocoon – my vision is impaired by a slimy substance they keep over my face. The alien babies grow and then eat their way out of my womb.
Origin of my fear: In Kindergarten, I rose out of bed one evening because I couldn’t sleep. I wandered into the living room where my parents were watching the original ALIEN movie, the one with Sigourney Weaver. My Mom told me to go back to bed because the movie would scare me. When you tell a child they shouldn’t watch something, what does the child want to do? Watch. Here’s a collection of scenes from various movies in the ALIEN series.
I hid behind the couch and, with eyes glued to the screen, stared in terror as the hideous aliens hid in the tunnels, preying on members of the crew aboard the Nostromo, ripping them to shreds one by one. I was frozen in terror, I couldn’t stop watching. The oozing set of double jaws, the bony, sharp claw-like hands, the reptilian body and scorpionesque tail… I had nightmares for weeks, and had to sleep with my bedroom door open and a nightlight on.
Eventually I didn’t remember much of it anymore. Later, as a late elementary school-aged to middle school aged child, my Mom showed me Fire in the Sky for Halloween. This is what officially set my phobia in place – I was truly terrorized by the abduction/human experiments scene in this film. In fact, here is the exact scene:
From that point on, any alien movie that came out I was nervous to see – but I didn’t want to be a baby, so I watched them anyway when someone asked me to. What 12-13 year old wants to tell their friends no because they’re afraid of aliens? So, from Fire in the Sky onward, E.T., Independence Day, Signs, and any other movie in the ALIEN series – I could hardly stand to watch the scenes with aliens, and when I did, had nightmares once again.
Present time, 24 years old: I don’t feel bad about sharing this now – others like me exist. I refuse to watch Fire in the Sky ever again but I included the nasty scene in this blog so you can watch it. Somehow, I manage to get through the ALIEN movies and even like to see them because I’m in the mood for a good scare. But any other new movies with aliens that come out, I am apprehensive about seeing. I’m picky about how the aliens look, too. I’m used to the ALIEN design by now and am in awe of Swiss artist H. R. Giger, but I will never, ever get over the aliens in Fire in the Sky. I actually liked the aliens in District 9. Writing this blog entry made me feel uneasy because now I’m thinking about aliens again. I hope they never come for me…