Fear Of Ketchup


Some fears may seem truly bizarre and incomprehensible. The fear of ketchup could be viewed as comic by most of the population…and yet it exists. If you fear the thick, red sauce that is one of America’s favorite add-ons, you are not alone…

Why Do People Fear Ketchup?

The fear of ketchup can develop for many reasons. Some people associate the bright scarlet color of tomato ketchup with that of fresh blood. They cannot look at a meal covered in the sauce without feeling queasy or disgusted.

Ketchup does resemble blood, and it turns off many people for this reason. People with this phobia find it repulsive and off-putting when ketchup is used around them. It will make them lose their appetite at the dinner table or in a restaurant. It may make them physically ill.

Some people who fear ketchup will avoid fast-food chains and other places where they are sure to encounter the sauce they loathe. At home, they can control their fears by banning ketchup from their own kitchen.

Does An Aversion To Tomatoes Trigger This Fear?

Some people hate tomatoes, and they develop a phobia about ketchup because tomatoes are its principle ingredient. One famous example of a celebrity who has an aversion to tomatoes is Mick Jagger, lead singer of The Rolling Stones. He always has the chefs on his tours prepare food that does not contain tomatoes. Chances are, Mick avoids ketchup as well.

Fear Of Ketchup Has Been Discussed On Popular Message Boards

Phobias are a subject of interest to people who watch Dr. Phil’s program. On his message boards, someone has admitted that their fear of ketchup is a great source of stress in their life. They cannot even open the fridge door if a bottle of ketchup is inside.

This person does not fear other tomato products, only ketchup itself. She has confessed that having ketchup close by makes her feel dizzy, panicky, and upset. She would like to be able to live her life without being affected by the sight of the popular condiment.

Ketchup Used As Blood In Low-Budget Horror Films

While many horror film directors today opt for high-tech compounds that mimic the look and viscosity of real blood, it was different in years gone by. Countless low-budget horror flicks relied on a trusty bottle of Heinz for pivotal “money” shots.

Hitchcock relied on chocolate syrup for his gory scenes in Psycho. Some film buffs claim he also mixed the syrup with ketchup for a better effect. Psycho was filmed in black and white, so the thickness of the substance probably mattered much more than its exact color.

Ketchup As Urban Legend

There were rumors on the Internet about a man who intentionally infected a bottle of restaurant ketchup with his own blood: he was supposedly HIV positive. These warnings about infected ketchup began circulating in hoax emails around 2004. In time, it became obvious that the lack of verifiable details about the incident pointed to a bogus attempt to frighten people.

This urban legend may have contributed to the fear of ketchup in some people.

Will Green Ketchup Still Trigger This Phobia?

In recent years, Heinz experimented with “fun” ketchup colors. Their campaign was aimed at children who might enjoy using unexpected colors of ketchup on their food. Heinz brought out their first bottles of E-Z Squirt Green Ketchup in the year 2000. Children who do not fear ketchup were excited about having the green, gooey sauce for daily use and for fun events such as birthday parties. Parents were known to pay double for bottles of green ketchup during the height of the fad.

Heinz discontinued their bottling of green ketchup in 2006.

Symptoms Of Fear Of Ketchup

Classic symptoms of panic attack are common when this phobia arises. Sweating, nervousness, mental anguish and confusion, and racing heart are some common effects of fear of ketchup. Nausea may be present, and some people will hyperventilate if they are forced to be around the substance.

Treatment Of Fear Of Ketchup

Obviously, staying away from the substance will provide relief. However, in countries like America, where ketchup is in daily use, this can be harder than it sounds.

Cognitive therapy or tapping therapy can help to retrain the brain. Hypnotherapy may help those who are open to suggestion. Traditional psychotherapy can help the phobic person delve into their fears and find solutions.

Anti-depressants may help to ease fears in some people who suffer from this phobia.

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