This article will not attempt to debate the existence of ghosts, but will discuss a fear that exists in the minds of those who believe an encounter with a ghost has taken place. When the fear is persistent and profound it is known as Phasmophobia.
Several television channels have programs dedicated to ghost hunting and the paranormal. There is also a growing list of online radio stations dedicated to the subject. In some cases it is designed to entertain, but in others there is a profound belief that encounters with ghosts are common. This growing trend can both attract and repel the phasmophobe. On one hand they don’t want anything to do with the ghost, but they are drawn to the programs simply because they discover there are others who are certain they have also had encounters. In the midst of the fear these individuals gain a sense of comfort in knowing they are not alone.
What Causes Phasmophobia
As alluded to earlier this fear is developed most often as a result of a real or perceived encounter with the paranormal. This can be through activities intended to conjure up the dead or by way of an experience that was a complete surprise that challenged the way you think about the paranormal.
Horror stories in book and on screen can also instill a fear that may or may not grow into a phobia. This fear is perhaps harder to deal with because it is based on both personal experience and a profound sense of the unknown. When the fear is based on the unknown it can become even more pronounced because the fear exists in the midst of unanswered questions.
Symptoms of Phasmophobia
Other symptoms include…
- Rapid or elevated heart rates
- Panic attacks
- The belief that something bad will happen
This fear is predicated on a belief system that is often based solely on emotion and personal experience. It can be perpetuated by others who claim similar circumstances.
How to Overcome Phasmophobia
It has been suggested that hypnotherapy may not be as useful for the fear of ghosts than perhaps other fears. The reason for this belief is that sometimes hypnotherapy can cause individuals to blend the truth of a situation with the fiction they have added to the story over time. Following hypnotherapy it may be possible for the phobic personality to be even more certain than ever that an encounter with a ghost has taken place. The end result may be a more profound fear.
You should discuss all options with a therapist who has had experience in dealing with phobic responses.
The fear of ghosts is also referred to as:
- Ghost fear
- Fear of specters