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Season 4:

Ep: 16

Top fears and phobias!

"The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."

--Nelson Mandela

Today on the Midnight Train we're going to get personal with some of you out there. We're going to talk about things that will hit close to home for some. Things that will make some of you uneasy and maybe squirm a bit. Some of you may get triggered. Some may just turn us off, completely. We're discussing the top fears and phobias around the world. We've found the top ten fears around the globe and added a couple more fun ones and weird ones for you and a special one Moody added at the end, just for me. So sit back, grab your emotional support animal, your weighted blankets...perhaps a barf bag, and let's see what makes you fuckers tick while listening to me ruin words! Thanks moody!

10. First up we have trypophobia. Biological revulsion and culturally learned fears are the primary causes of Trypophobia, which is the extreme and irrational fear of holes. While this fear might seem irrational to ‘normal’ people, the mere sight or thought of holes can set off a panic attack in the Trypophobe.

Common things that can trigger trypophobia include:

Holes or pebbles in concrete

Air holes in a slice of bread

Patterns in the frosting of a cake or pie

The head of a lotus flower

The holes in an old hockey mask

Skin problems like sores, scars, and spots

Spotted animals

Shower heads

LEDs in traffic lights

Holes seem disgusting and gross to the sufferer and s/he goes to all lengths to avoid it. Recently American horror story used this phobia to market one of their upcoming seasons and it worked wonderfully by getting people discussing the poster/ads all over the internet. It's seems like a strange phobia but it's is actually very prevalent in society. Celebs such as Kendell jenner and Sarah paulson ( who's phobia actually inspired the American horror story usage of the phobia) have admitted to having this fear. And it seems around 16% of people admit to having this phobia. But, some scientists are now saying, maybe it's not a phobia after all.

That's because, well, it might be rational - and rooted in disgust rather than fear.

Trypophobia is poorly understood, and not recognised by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). So researchers at Emory University set out to study the fear response in relation to clusters of holes.

But they found that the pupillary response - the involuntary movement of the pupils in the eye - was closer to disgust than the pupillary response to fear.

"Some people are so intensely bothered by the sight of these objects that they can't stand to be around them," explained Stella Lourenco, the Emory University psychologist whose lab conducted the study.

"The phenomenon, which likely has an evolutionary basis, may be more common than we realise."

Previous research conducted in 2013 concluded that the response may be related to the speckled patterns of dangerous animals, such as snakes. But in January 2017, a different explanation was put forward.

Researchers at the University of Kent proposed that a pattern of holes, like those that can be found in a lotus pod or honeycomb, arouse our aversion because they resemble parasite infestations, infectious diseases, and decomposition.

"We're an incredibly visual species," said lead author of this latest study, Vladislav Ayzenberg. "Low-level visual properties can convey a lot of meaningful information. These visual cues allow us to make immediate inferences - whether we see part of a snake in the grass or a whole snake - and react quickly to potential danger."

Phobia or not… Many people seem to be affected by this… Are you?

9: Picture the following: you're sitting back settling in for the next few hours. You have a drink, adult or otherwise, a little snack, a good book. A few minutes later you look out the window to see you're 30,000 feet in the air above the countryside cruising along at 500 miles per hour. Crammed into a big metal tube with a hundred or two other people, babies crying, fat guy next to you, crabby flight attendant, drunk pilot…. Sorry I digress. If this is a less than appealing situation for you, the actual flying part anyways, you may have the next phobia on our list. We're talking aerophobia here! Aerophobia is the fear of flying which affects nearly 6.5% of the world’s population. The phobia is usually associated with other fears including Agoraphobia (fear of being unable to escape) and Claustrophobia (fear of small and restricted spaces). Naturally, the fear affects the person’s professional and personal life as air travel is nearly impossible for him/her. The mere thought of an upcoming flight can cause intense distress in the sufferer including nausea, panic attacks, etc. The alcohol and Xanax industry love this phobia. Aerophobia can also mean an irrational fear of fresh air or drafts of air. Again this is a very common fear, the 6.5% seems a bit low to us. Many celebrities are afraid of flying which sucks cus they fly...a fucking lot. Some include Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, R. “pee on young girls” Kelly, Sandra bullock, Colin Farrell, among others. Long time Monday night football announcer and video game namesake John Madden hated flying so much that he had his own personal bus that he would take to his Monday night gigs and wherever else he needed to travel. Breaking Benjamin frontman Benjamin Burnley had to sail from the US to the UK due to his fear of flying. He stated, “It’s just something I’m really not comfortable with. I’d rather die some other way.” Movies and tv shows often play on this fear to cause unease in the audience. Twilight Zone and Final destination are a couple of the more known examples! For comedy you have the classic Airplane and the classic Airport disaster movie series from the 70s. Also...Alive… Don't watch that before a flight!

So what do you guys think… Flying...go or no go?

8: Are you a clean freak? Everything must be clean, sanitized, washed out whatever else, constantly? Constantly using baby wipes and hand sanitizer. Don't think the 5 second rule is a real thing? You may suffer from number 8 on the list. Mysophobia is the irrational fear of germs! If you're like Moody and lick doorknobs to keep your immune system up to snuff you'll be fine, if not… Well sucks for you cus there are germs literally every fucking where. Mysophobia is often closely related to obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Many people suffer from both OCD as well as Mysophobia, as a result of which they might indulge in excessive bathing or hand washing. The unhealthy fear of germs causes the phobics to also fear contamination of food or exposure to bodily fluids from those around them. Mysophobia might lead to many complications since the person goes to extreme lengths to avoid all kinds of social situations. Contrary to popular belief, Jeff didn't have mysophobia, he just hates people. Isolation is a common symptom of this phobia. The condition might also give rise to other phobias such as Agoraphobia as well as various anxiety disorders. Howie Mandel, Cameron Diaz, Donald Trump, and Howard Hughes are a few of a bunch of celebrities that suffer from this condition. If you're a mysophobic, we recommend staying away from movies like Cabin Fever, Outbreak, and 12 Monkeys! Not to mention Germ Z from 2013, 28 Days Later, Contagion, The Stand, and if you wanna get crazy you can combine germs and aliens and you have The Andromeda Strain.

So listeners… Do you get down and dirty or do you prefer a nice sanitized life?

7: Ever got stuck in an elevator? Did you freak the fuck out? Ever had an mri and have a panic attack? You may be experiencing claustrophobia number 7 on our list of things to fuck with your head. 5-7% of the world population are said to suffer from this phobia. Claustrophobia is a situational phobia triggered by an irrational and intense fear of tight or crowded spaces. It can be triggered by things like being locked in a windowless room, being stuck in a crowded elevator, or driving on a congested highway.

Claustrophobia is one of the most common phobias. If you experience claustrophobia, you may feel like you’re having a panic attack, although claustrophobia isn’t a panic disorder. For some people, claustrophobia may disappear on its own. Others may need therapy to manage and cope with their symptoms.

Symptoms of claustrophobia appear following a trigger for the phobia, such as being in a closed room or a crowded space. What you consider a small space can vary depending on the severity of your phobia.

When experiencing symptoms of claustrophobia, you may feel like you’re having a panic attack. Symptoms of claustrophobia can include:



hot flashes

feeling intense fear or panic

becoming anxious

shortness of breath


rapid heartbeat

chest tightness or pain


feeling faint or lightheaded

feeling confused or disorientated

These symptoms can be mild or severe.

Little is known about what causes claustrophobia. Environmental factors may play a big part. People typically develop claustrophobia during childhood or in their teenage years.

Claustrophobia could be related to dysfunction of the amygdala (/əˈmɪɡdələ) which is the part of the brain that controls how we process fear. The phobia can also be caused by a traumatic event. Dave Grohl plays in arenas, good thing as he has claustrophobia. Uma Thurman, Woody Allen, Deadpool’s Ryan Reynolds, The Beebs( Justin bieber), and rocker Liam Gallagher are all claustrophobic as well. I bet Uma Thurman loved the coffin scene in Kill Bill. Speaking of movies to avoid if you're a claustrophobic… You may want to steer clear of The Descent (amazing movie), Buried (with Ryan Reynolds of all people), Devil, Phone Booth, and anything involving bunkers like 10 Cloverfield Lane. Then you have the likes of Panic Room, Green Room, the hole, and the cube.

How many of you guys like being stuck in small spaces? Moody gets stuck in small spaces all the time… But that's cus he's… Well… You know.

6: Do you find yourself inexplicably afraid of Thor? If so you may be like the 2-5% of the world population that suffers from astraphobia or alternately brontophobia. This is the fear of thunder and lightning. It can affect people of all ages, though it may be more common in children than adults. It’s also seen in animals.

Many children who have this fear will eventually outgrow it, but others will continue to experience the phobia into adulthood. Astraphobia can also manifest in adults who didn’t have it as children.

Being caught in a thunderstorm or preparing for extreme weather conditions can create reasonable levels of anxiety or fear. In people with astraphobia, thunderstorms cause an extreme reaction that can be debilitating. For people with this phobia, these feelings may be overwhelming and feel insurmountable.

Astraphobia is also called:





Astraphobia is a treatable anxiety disorder. Like many other phobias, it’s not officially recognized by the American Psychiatric Association as a specific psychiatric diagnosis.

In people without this phobia, news of an impending storm may lead you to cancel or relocate outdoor plans. Or if you find yourself in a lightning storm, you may seek shelter or move away from tall trees. Even though the chances of getting hit by lightning are slim, these actions represent an appropriate response to a potentially dangerous situation.

A person with astraphobia will have a reaction that goes beyond these seemingly appropriate acts. They may have feelings of panic, both before and during a storm. These feelings can escalate into a full-blown panic attack, and include symptoms such as:

all-over body shaking

chest pain



heart palpitations

trouble breathing

Other symptoms of astraphobia may include:

sweaty palms

racing pulse

obsessive desire to monitor the storm

the need to hide away from the storm, such as in a closet, bathroom, or under the bed

clinging to others for protection

uncontrollable crying, particularly in children

The person may also understand that these feelings are overblown and irrational without the ability to curtail them. The only two celebrities we could find with this phobia are the human skeleton herself, Madonna and Rafael nadal. She's afraid of thunderstorms, and food maybe. She's a nut job. And he… Well… He plays tennis. At any rate if you suffer from this you may want to avoid movies like Twister, the day after tomorrow, any of the Thor movies, and The Perfect Storm. Also skip these bangers: super cyclone, weather wars, polar storm, final storm and airspeed.

5: Dogs or cats? It's the age old debate! If you you say dogs… Well done. If you say cats… Well you're wrong… and you may have cynophobia. The fear of dogs is another popular fear. Cynophobia comes from the Greek words that mean “dog” (cyno) and “fear” (phobia). A person who has cynophobia experiences a fear of dogs that’s both irrational and persistent. It’s more than just feeling uncomfortable with barking or being around dogs. Instead, this fear may interfere with daily life and trigger a number of symptoms, like trouble breathing or dizziness. Cynophobia affects some 7 to 9 percent of the population. It is formally recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). Cynophobia falls under the “animal” specifier. Around a third of people who seek treatment for specific phobias have an irrational fear of either dogs or cats.

Researchers estimate there are more than 62,400,000 dogs living in the United States. So your chances of running into a dog are relatively high. With cynophobia, you may experience symptoms when you’re around dogs or even when you’re just thinking about dogs.

Symptoms associated with specific phobias are highly individual. No two people may experience the fear or certain triggers in the same way. Your symptoms may be physical, emotional, or both.

Physical symptoms include:

trouble breathing

rapid heart rate

pain or tightness in your chest

shaking or trembling

dizziness or lightheadedness

upset stomach

hot or cold flashes