What are the most common fears that inspire horror movies?

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While there are many notable horror movies that creatively craft their plot sequences from pure imagination, there are also those who take inspiration from the primal instincts of the human brain. Whether it’s an emotional reaction to pure darkness, built up tension leading to a striking moment of terror or a simple, unexpected jump scare, these elemental details are what keeps fans of the genre gripping their seats with fear and suspense. Since filmmakers feed on these emotional reactions to create a powerfully, spooky movies, you can pretty much guarantee that screenwriters and directors are known to recycle the same heightened phobias. Whether it’s a time-honored horror flick or a crummy addition to the dreadful genre, you can rest assured that the following horror hang-ups will continue to find their place into the chilling timeline of future films.

Fear of spiders (arachnophobia)

While arachnophobia can range anywhere from mild to severe depending on the person, psychologists believe that it is a fear that is instilled by the conditioning from a loved one. This means that most people who say that they’re fearful of spiders do not necessarily undergo an experience that instills “spider trauma”, but they have been told by a close friend or relative to be scared of creepy crawlies. So, it’s not the fear of being bitten, but rather the fear of their erratic movements and their abundance of legs and eyeballs that fuels this phobia fire. Needless to say, horror movies like Arachnophobia and The Exorcist have really taken the fear of spiders to a whole new level.

Fear of clowns (coulrophobia)

The concept of a creepy, evil clown is nothing new. In fact, horror movies like Stephen King’s IT and the Killjoy franchise have capitalized on it. While coulrophobia is more common in children, this intense fear is known to build up into adulthood. But why are so many people scared of clowns? Psychologists believe that this familiar fear is usually the result of a traumatic childhood experience and since humans rely on facial expressions to understand each other, the exaggerated, distorted, painted-on faces of clowns are something we become fixated and fearful of. Not to mention, clowns are mischievous, uncertain and in many cases portrayed as tricksters. It’s their appearance and unpredictability that makes you wallow is discomfort at the sight of them in horror movies.  

Fear of puppets (pupaphobia)

Although pupaphobia is not as common as some other fears, there are still many people who’re scared of these uncanny hunks of wood and plastic. Although the fear of puppets is also generally developed through a case of childhood trauma, which makes it such a unique phobia is the fact that puppets are not real. Although they’re human-like and realistic in their appearance, the very notion of them moving or talking in any way has the ability to invoke suspicion and uneasiness in anyone. This is probably why Goosebumps’ Slappy and Saw’s Billy Puppet have become such wildly popular horror icons!

Are there any other fears that you can think of that horror movies utilize? Drop a comment below to share with our readers.

Which iconic puppet heightens your Pupaphobia?

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While there are many thrilling reasons why people watch countless spine-chilling horror films the intoxicating element of fear is probably the most electrifying push. Phobias have a riveting way of making our hearts tremble and whether you’re addicted to that gripping feeling or it leaves you feeling unpleasant, the reality is that the horror genre has the ability to prey on our emotional imperfections. So, while we’re on the topic, how many of you suffer from Pupaphobia?

What is pupaphobia?

This insufferable fear means that you’re deeply terrified of puppets, although it can also be used to refer to the fear of ventriloquist dummies, animatronic creatures, wax statues or simply anything that represents a being that appears to have feelings or perceptions.

What are some of the causes?  

In general, phobias usually arise from a combination of traumatic events and predispositions, like genetics and brain chemistry. They often start at an early age, but can also develop later in life.

So, why puppets?

Childhood trauma: It isn’t unheard of for a child to have a terrible nightmare involving a puppet, whether it’s after watching a scary movie or provoked by a frightening encounter during a puppet performance.
The illusion of life: Many people are fearful of inanimate objects coming to life.
Uncanny representation: Although it’s obvious that puppets aren’t human, they still embellish an uncanny representation of being human.
Intentionally creepy: Puppet horror collectibles, although the perfect representation of memorable characters from horror movies, was created to be creepy for our entertainment.

Which iconic horror puppet is your favorite?

The horror film and TV industry have done a hair-raising job creating the creepiest, most otherworldly puppets. So, regardless if they’re the stars of your nightmares or the horror collectibles sitting on your shelf, you can’t help but applaud their ability to scare fans of the genre. But which puppet heightens your pupaphobia?

Puppet Master: The Puppet Master franchise is definitely one of the horror installments that’s equipped with threatening, anthropomorphic puppets. Whether you prefer the demonic qualities of Blade or the flamethrower, known as Torch, it’s clear that these two puppets can’t be pulled by any mere strings.

The Billy Puppet: Whether you prefer the horror-ific voice of the Saw franchise’s Billy Puppet or you get a kick out of the antagonist version from the film Dead Silence, what both of these horror icons have in common is downright darkness. With their ghostly white faces, demonically possessed eyes and scary, real-life personas these horror puppets are what night terrors of made of.

Goosebumps: No other character quite represents Goosebumps like Slappy the puppet. As one of the series’ most popular villains, he appears to have a fun-loving, family-friendly personality at first, but if you cross him or attempt to ditch him, he becomes an entirely different demonic entity with the supernatural powers to summon great evil.

Which horror puppet is your favorite? Tell us in the comments section below.