Anything but aliens!

Design by Swiss artist H.R. Giger

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…

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9 thoughts on “Anything but aliens!

    • Ahh! Nooo… this was the first horror scene I remember seeing when I was like 6 that gave me nightmares. Thanks for that.

  1. That’s funny. I have (well, had) a friend who has the exact same phobia. He’d sit there and argue with me about not believing in ghosts while I do, just based on evidence and personal experiences, yet he worries that aliens are going to abduct him in his sleep. I am, however, a major arachnophobic. Screw spiders. Sneaky, creepy little bastards crawling around, biting you when you’re sleeping. They are the work of the devil. I can’t even look at them.

  2. Yeah thanks, Chuey! 😛 Reminds me of the chest-bursting scene from the first ALIEN movie. I almost didn’t click that, but I was compelled. Hrrmmph.

    JerZ I would never…haha

    DT: There’s no reason why I should worry…but sometimes I come across stuff like this: http://aliensandchildren.org/post_abduction_syn.htm
    Creepy! And among the most common fears…spiders YES. I can’t stand them, no matter how small or large. Even if I’m three feet away and one is on the wall in front of me, I’m afraid it’s going to leap at me and sink its little teeth in.

  3. Ahhh…This is a beauty of a post. Fear and phobias. I noticed we track pretty close on a few things. I found that the best way for me to overcome the anxiety of something was to immerse myself in it. An overabundance of exposure made it boring after a while. Or, if it was really gonzo, it became wild hedonistic fun. I’m with you on anal probing. I do go out of my way to avoid it but luckily my doctor is a woman with normal sized woman hands and on those annual checkups to make sure the center of my maleness is healthy, she has to go spelunking. I told her it wasn’t really a favorite of mine and likely will never make my bucket list. She told me it wasn’t her favorite thing to do either and that sort of took the trauma out of it. We both suffer together. Spiders! I’m not proud. I’ll squeal like a five-year-old while wearing out a shoe on a spider. Big spiders call for chemical attack from a safe distance. That’s how I deal with it. Now aliens are different. I was already deeply traumatized by the Road Runner and Wiley Coyote as a kid. Aliens couldn’t take me any deeper in my psychotic well of philandering phobias. I was already bottomed out. But, I really can see where that would totally ruin someone at that age. I think if you still have those dreams try this. Tell yourself you’re going to kick some alien ass and then take them apart with some super anti-alien power moves. Slay them. Slay them good. Make a real mess out of them. Then dream about sitting down and enjoying your favorite beverage while your friends eyeball the leftover alien stuff still clinging to your clothes. Can’t wait to read the results. 😀

    • Alien immersion is sort of what I’ve done! Hehe. Any time an alien-related movie comes out I like to go see it. And I’ve watched Fire in the Sky and Alien so many times now, they’re hardly a big deal. Ha, spelunking! Hope there aren’t any bats hanging out in there. 😉 I do think about those docs sometimes. You just have to have a sense of humor about those things. Easy for you and me.

      Even with my bug tattoos I’m not a fan of spiders and prefer to keep my distance. I’m still finding brown recluse spiders in the traps I set out recently. If I should ever find myself in a position where aliens make me nervous again, I’ll try the imaginary slaying and see if my friends can stomach their lunches.

      • Good for you, Lauren! It is cool to go back into your past (posts) and read what was going on. That alien thing caught me off guard. I would never have guessed. I picture you as an Alien Slayer. Kind of an Eon Flux and Draculauren Van Helsing the Vampire Slayer rolled into one. Immersion seems to have really paid off well. I’m sure your friends will want all the details and any selfies taken during the alien cleansing episode. But still, If I had seen Aliens as a kid, I would never have recovered. I’d still be under my grandmother’s couch with a fly swatter, flashlight, and PBJ sammich. Oh, yes. Humor helps a lot. Dark humor is even better. I have high hopes you run out of spiders soon. Just the other day after I read this post, there was a spider sitting on the toilet cover waiting for their first victim of the day. That was a fatal mistake. My humor is pretty low at 4:00 am. I committed bugicide with extreme prejudice.

      • Even the most seemingly kickass people have fears. 🙂 Eon Flux?! Oo I like that. The other thing that scared me as a child was “Baby Alive,” this doll that could eat, poop, and pee. I loved that doll and would play with her, sleep with her, etc. but one evening my parents took her from my arms while I was sleeping and placed her on the dresser across from my bed. When I woke up, I was terrified and thought the doll was truly alive. I never played with her again. Damn, those spiders love a good juicy bottom.

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