Frightful Phobias


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Alyssa Buchheit, Editor in Chief

For people who experience their effects, phobias are a part of everyday life. They’re ghosts that haunt their subjects, creating a world where the affected go about their lives with a fear nagging at them, however valid or paranoid the phobia is. Our Crusader family has some interesting and unique phobias:

Carnophobia-fear of meat

Junior Olivia Skiljan has carnophobia, or more specifically, the fear of lunch meat. She cringes every time she hears people talking about lunch meat, and anytime her friends bring their sandwiches near her, she physically recoils. However, Skiljan is in denial of her phobia.

“I promise I don’t have a phobia, but the slimy texture of lunch meat definitely grosses me out. I also hate the words ‘salami’ and ‘bologna.’ They just sound disgusting,” Skiljan said.

Traumatophobia-abnormal, pathological fear of having an injury

Senior Kate Nelson has traumatophobia, specifically about getting her Achilles tendon cut by someone hiding under her car.

“My phobia started when I heard about a girl who had her Achilles cut and then couldn’t run away, so she was kidnapped… I feel like my insides are twisting around, and I just want to scream when I think about it,” Nelson said.

The scariest part about this phobia is that it is a valid concern for all, as kidnappers, traffickers and some car thieves have been known to do just what Nelson is afraid of. However, getting her Achilles cut is not Nelson’s only phobia that falls under the label of traumatophobia; she is also terrified of having her eye cut with a pizza cutter.

Cleithrophobia-fear of being trapped

Senior Delaney Wehde has cleithrophobia, specifically about getting chained to the underside of a bed. She is also deathly terrified of a kidnapper taking her and chaining her to a bed in an exact replica of her own room, as she wouldn’t know that she’s been kidnapped.

“My phobia makes me feel really scared. I just panic a little bit thinking about hanging there alone and sad. It’s a legitimate fear,” Wehde said.

Taphephobia-fear of being buried alive & Aquaphobia-fear of drowning

Science teacher Dr. Dan Matusiak has two phobias: taphephobia and aquaphobia. His fear of drowning started after he had a near-drowning experience as a college kid in Cape Girardeau.

“I was an undergraduate at Cape, and I was swimming in the river when it started taking me. A friend of mine was there and he hauled me out. That was a harrowing experience,” Dr. Matusiak said.

His fear of being buried alive has haunted him for decades, and it is always in the back of his mind.

“Whenever I see movies and things of when people are buried alive, I just cringe… I’m not so much afraid of death—that’s going to come—but if I had my choice of how to go, that’s not the way I’d want,” Dr. Matusiak said.

Trypophobia-fear of clusters of small holes

Like a lot of people, senior Natalie Schellert has trypophobia, hating every second when she sees clusters of holes.

“I don’t really know when it [her phobia] started, but I think I’ve just always had it. I get really sick to my stomach when I think about it,” Schellert said.

When the St. Dominic softball team ate dinner on the hole-filled picnic tables under the pavilion, her teammates started poking holes through the plastic tablecloth, and Schellert couldn’t take it.

“I couldn’t even look at it. It was disgusting,” Schellert said.

Phobias are one of the most common mental illnesses in the United States, and the St. Dominic community is no exception to this rule. Luckily, no phobia cannot be managed, and many can be overcome altogether.

Some bonus phobias to make you laugh or feel squirmy inside (or both):

Genuphobia-fear of knees

Philophobia-fear of love

Ablutophobia-persistent fear of cleaning

Sesquipedalophobia-fear of long words (how ironic!)

Samhainophobia-fear of Halloween

Octophobia-fear of the figure 8

Chionophobia-fear of snow

Eisoptrophobia-fear of mirrors

Phobophobia-fear of phobias