Fear is tucking your daughter in for the night only to realize once you’ve closed the door that you don’t have a daughter. Fear is laying in bed as a figure walks into your room from the hallway and you can’t move. Fear is being three hours into a hike and hearing a crunch beside you, seeing a mountain lion crouch in preparation to pounce. Fear is the dark, fear is the unknown. Fear is the uncanny, or inhuman. Fear is the alone, and always being watched.

How would you describe fear? Seeing a face dart out of view from the corner of your window in the night? Or an elderly woman entering your personal space to whisper how you die? Fear is a guttural thing. Are you a fan of horror movies like me? It would make sense if you’re not. Fear is our instinctual mind’s response for survival. Avoid that thing, FEAR IT, so that you may live. In ancient times, predator animals and diseased people were the things to fear, and uncomfortable body language from potential killers. Try to imagine how evolution could warn us any other way than to use the uncanny valley and the dark as precursors or triggers. Evolution does not think. It cannot see or hear. It developed its method of fear for survival through trial and error.

Why fear spiders and other creepy crawlys’? Because they could be poisonous! Why fear big things with claws? Duh. Why fear the dark? Because we are at a disadvantage. It all makes sense, but one: Supernatural fear. We have somehow over the generations developed a fear of ghosts, demons, and specters. Should they suck our souls from our bodies? It’s one heck of a unique fear to have. I was raised Catholic, but was never enough of a believer for it to stick, yet every so often I have a fear that grips me, usually in my dreams, related to ghosts. In my dreams they are real. They are an enemy that would take my life and I cannot fight back against them! I can only run away and hide.

Ghosts are kind of like the ultimate fear. They check off the dark box, the unknown box, the uncanny or diseased box, the predator box, and the socially uncomfortable box. Some say dragon were the amalgamation of the ultimate predator to fear, but I say it’s ghosts! And just like dragons, ghosts aren’t real, or are they? Let your own fear response tell you!

This has been another thought piece by Joe Van. Thank you for reading, and I’ll talk to you guys- LOOK OUT BEHIND YOU!

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