Sometimes, phobias can surface in response to images in mass media, books, and films. Often, people who fear demons feel frightened by portrayals of demons in horror films, old religious texts, and other such things…this fear is known as Daemonophobia.
Reasons For This Phobia
Often, religious beliefs can play a role in phobias such as these: for some, the idea of hellfire, with its Devil and resident Demons, can be a potent trigger. If someone believes the Bible is the literal word of God, they may have real trepidation about failing to ascend to Heaven upon their death. Sin, guilt, and bad deeds may play on the phobia person’s mind as they contemplate an eternity of punishment, surrounded by licking flames and grinning demons.
If religious beliefs are a trigger for Daemonophobia, then the panic it causes may require some alternative therapies, such a panic treatments, acupuncture, or hypnosis. In some cases, talking to a priest or pastor through confession (Catholic) or counselling may resolve fears and soothe symptoms. Often, talking about fears centered around these mythical creatures can create a sense of release in an afflicted person.
Is Atheism The Answer?
Some people may turn away from religion entirely if they suffer from the fear of demons. Letting go of religious beliefs that include a tangible hell filled with evil beings may be one way of coping with the problem. Often, atheists use these mythical creatures to underline the unlikelihood of an actual heaven or hell. For the person with Daemonophobia, atheism or even agnosticism can be a way out of fears about paranormal creatures such as demons and devils.
For those who do not trace their phobia back to religion and hellfire, horror movies can be very powerful triggers. Horror movies attempt to bring about a reaction of unease and even terror from filmgoers. Today’s excellent computer-generated special effects can provide unbelievably “realistic” depictions of mythical creatures such as demons. Films like Hellboy and Spawn are two examples of films that highlight these beings, even though Hellboy is ironic, with humorous touches designed to lessen the shock value of the film. Spawn is quite serious in tone, and may be particularly scary for those with this phobia. Films like these can often be avoided, and care should be taken to protect children from images they are not mature enough to process.
Black Magic Can Trigger Daemonophobia
Witchcraft and demonology may also be triggers for Daemonophobia. People who feel prone to magical thinking will be very impressionable, and they will be prime candidates for the phobia when stories of spells, black candles, Satanism, and pentacles are told. Often, today’s crime programs and true crime novels focus on deviant behavior that includes sacrifices and demonology: Criminal Minds is one example of this.
Panic treatment, psychotherapy, and education are the best weapons against “demons” and the fears they cause. Any physical symptoms, such as dizziness or headaches, may be eased by treatment that gets at the root of fears and provides a catharsis.
The fear of demons is also referred to as:
- demon fear
- demon phobia
- afraid of demons