Why Are We Afraid of the Dark?


Many things scare us. There are so many phobias that it seems new ones are made everyday. But why is the dark so scary? It is the unknown.

Achluophobia: Fear of darkness.

The unknown surrounds us. We don’t know what will happen in the next few minutes much less the next few years. We don’t know what other people are thinking. We don’t know the truth of what is told to us. The unknown is all around us…especially in the dark.

The dark hides things. It keeps so many thing from us. We can’t see what is standing six feet from us. We might not be able to see what is a foot from us. Details are hidden from our eyes. That gives us pause. There is no way to control the world around us in the dark. Danger could be lurking in the dark.

To a degree, I love the dark. It is calming. I can’t see all the other things that stress me. My world is limited. It is as though everything beyond my visual borders doesn’t exist. Oh, so nice and relaxing.

I love to sit out on a porch at night or around a campfire. The world is small, and darkness pushes the rest away. I can breathe easier. But darkness can be scary at times.

When I’m in a place I’m unfamiliar with, the dark can be scary. When I’m in danger, darkness is not a friend. In my writing, these feelings can be put to words to ehance a scene.

How do you feel about darkness?

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