My Fear of the Dark

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My Fear of the Dark

Postby YakkitySax » April 28th, 2011, 9:01 pm

I can honestly say that I'm afraid of the dark, not just dark places in general, but very specific places. I'm not sure if I have an actual phobia of the dark or what's going on with me, but recently I've been having a hard time sleeping with LIGHTS on while at night.

A little background on myself.

As a child
Spoiler! :
I grew up in the middle of nowhere with farm fields and forests. My house was old and it made, well, old house sounds. Those didn't bother me, but I think I had night terrors, though I was never diagnosed with the problem. I'd often have dreams so realistic, that in my dream I would wake up and everything would be blurry because my glasses were off. I'd be in the exact same room I fell asleep in and something would be holding me down in complete and utter terror to the point where I could hardly breathe. I didn't wake up screaming or bother my parents, which is probably the reason it was never looked into. I'd be falling asleep and swear I heard breathing or growling. As I got older I stopped having those dreams, but I still remember them vividly as if they really happened.


As an adult
Spoiler! :
When I was a teenager until now, I still can't sleep without some sort of bright light on. Not a night light, but an actual light like a lamp. I can't sleep without my back facing a wall and tons of blankets and pillows for me to hide under. Still then, when I'd go to sleep, I'd have this terrible sense of dread that something was THERE and it wasn't right. It doesn't happen all the time. There's quite a few times I don't have any troubles at all.


My experiences with the 'paranormal' and other unexplained things
(I do believe in spirits, like residual hauntings and poltergeists and all those fun things. I also know there are a lot of things that can cause extreme dread in a person, such as electricity and also some sleeping disorders. I don't think everything is a ghost. I KNOW better than that.)

Spoiler! :
YES, I know quite a few of you don't believe in the paranormal, whether they be demonds, ghosts, or whatever else you can come up with. There have been quite a few experiences in my life that I can't explain that I think add to my issues. If you can explain them, I'd probably love you forever.

So, I grew up in an old house. When we bought the place it was well over 100 years old in certain areas of the house, including an old basement from an even older structure that had burnt down when the area was first settled. My mother has always thought of herself and 'sensitive' to energy and that spirits sometimes follow her around. I could do an entire post just on what she's been through in her life, but this is about me, not my mom and what she thinks.

Three years after we moved in, the prior owner (who owned the place for over 50 years and had several businesses run out of the building also on the property) passed away. After that we started smelling pipe smoke outside, in the house, or in the commercial building though no one ever smokes and things started moving around, like our basement door would open and close on its own, things would unlock themselves. Whatever, things like that happen all the time for very explainable reasons. I still ran, even as an adult, in fear past the basement door when it was open, my heart pounding and dreading ever having to go down there, even with the lights completely on. At 15, I saw SOMETHINGS face looking up at me from under a curtain in the window, it was human I'm sure, and I was so terrified that I hid against the cupboards in the kitchen, crying to my dad on the phone for him to walk up to the house and check. (Again, it could be explained by a strange reflection, I know this.) I would try to sleep and feel SOMETHING running from my leg to my side over top of my blankets, which kept me completely still with fear for most of the night.

Then my mom was outside one day, I was about 16 at the time, and she was painting the building on the property. She looked down and an old man was there smiling up at here, which wasn't unusual since they now, too, run a business out of the building. She asked him what he wanted, then he disappeared out of thin air. After freaking out and running to my dad, she described him and my Dad started freaking out (Also note: my dad does NOT believe in ghosts or supernatural), because what she described was the man, Mr. Peck, who had owned the property on the ONLY day he ever visited after we moved in. My mother never met him and my dad never described his exact outfit to her.

At 20 years old, my ex had the same experience, where Mr. Peck had waved at him from the side of the shop as we were getting into the car late at night. He started screaming at me to get into the car because some strange man was wandering around outside in the dark. After he explained what he saw, it was the exact same man, wearing the same thing, my mother saw. She never told him the story of how she saw Mr. Peck, because quite frankly most people think she's insane when she tells them these things.

For the most part I've been fine as I moved from place to place, though some strange things did happen to me, I didn't pay them any mind. In fact, in most of my old apartments, I had no trouble sleeping at night except for on a few occasions. I moved into a house with my ex and that's when interesting things started happening around me again. The cat growling at nothing, strange shadows moving about the house, I was starting to become terrified again. Even with my ex beside me in bed, I would lie awake at night in utter terror that something was very wrong in the house or in my room.

Later, after I left my ex, I drove with a friend up north to see the Paulding Light, which is supposedly unexplained and is a huge tourist attraction. When we came, there were a lot of loud drunk people, so we decided to come back later that night to watch the light in the quiet. We saw the light, laughed, and enjoyed ourselves for about an hour before starting to head back to the car. Then we saw these three, very dim lights a bit further down the dirt road. Feeling adventurous, we decided to see what they were by casually walking down the road. As they slowly sank towards the ground we started getting an odd feeling that something wasn't right. Like, serial killer in the middle of the woods kind of thing. Still, we kept going because we're hot shit and suddenly this orb zig-zags through the bushes and zooms past our face to disappear into the woods. (We first thought it may have been a firefly, but fireflies flicker and don't move like that.) That stopped us in our tracks and sent us running back to the car in panic. The three lights on the road was still there and as we slowly approached with the headlights out, they came closer like you would expect. Flicking the lights on to surprise whatever was there, there was nothing. Nothing that could reflect light on the road, no serial killer, nothing. We decided it would be best to go back to our hotel.

Then I moved into my new apartment in Washington. Everything has been perfectly fine up until about three months ago, when from inside my room I started hearing creaking, like someone opening or closing an old door slowly or walking on old floor boards. My apartment is new, so this shouldn't happen. It also doesn't happen all the time, like you would think if there was something wrong with the foundation or whatever else goes wrong in the house. In fact it doesn't happen at all during the day, even if I'm laying in my bed in my room to try and make it happen again. It only happens at night while I'm trying to go to sleep and I get a terrible feeling.

At first I thought it was my water heater in my closet, it wasn't. I've tried all the doors, the ceiling, everything. I've even sat in my room at night with no intentions of sleeping and it doesn't happen. It's only when I lay down and close my eyes. I KNOW I'm not asleep, because I just layed down and the sounds keep me up for hours. They fade in and out and don't go on all night, but they happen.


In fact, when I get scared, it's only in certain places, like my childhood home where my parents still live, my current apartments, and certain places where I work that have no lighting (it's an old building.) I'm perfectly fine walking outside in the dark alone, going on dark camping trips, and sleeping over at other, unfamiliar, homes in the dark. I can even leave the lights off in hotels or motels, doesn't bother me.

I have no idea WHAT is wrong with me. Is it my fear of the unknown, the dark, or some sort of sleeping disorder that I don't know about? Am I being followed around by ghosts or demons (according to a Priest I once confessed my issues to. My family is very Catholic and I am not, but he seemed like a good man to talk to.)

I'd like some help, be it from just talking to people or from professional help (if you think it's needed). I just need to tell someone. And I'd like to be able to sleep.

Sincerely yours,
Crazy.

TL;DR : I'm afraid of ninjas hiding in the dark.
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Re: My Fear of the Dark

Postby Butterscotch » April 29th, 2011, 12:18 am

I've lived in haunted houses most of my life, so I can sympathize with you. I also think the store I work in is haunted. ._.

If your new apartment is haunted, my guess is one of two things: the land itself is haunted. Or, far more scary, a ghost is being drawn to you. I believe they can tell who can sense them. If the spirits aren't being aggressive and are just scaring you, you can try talking to them. That's worked for me in the past. In fact, just the other day at work I had the heebie jeebies and I said, out loud "I'm leaving the room for five minutes. When I come back, you had better be gone." And I left the room for five minutes and when I came back, the atmosphere of the room was different and I wasn't creeped out anymore.

I've never had to take any professional steps, so I can't really help you there.
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Re: My Fear of the Dark

Postby YakkitySax » April 29th, 2011, 2:50 am

Thanks, I'm glad you think I'm not crazy. D:

I've done that before as well, but I always wonder if something REALLY went away or if I just naturally made myself feel better.

Though I do think whatever experiences I've had in the past also cause me to have this fear, I don't think it's the cause of my current situation and a few others.

I know there are sleeping disorders that when you're falling asleep, sometimes your brain makes you hallucinate auditory and sometimes visually? I'm not saying I have that, but I wonder if that could be part of my problem as well.

Does anyone else remember how they got over their fear of the dark, if they have? I know it's kind of childish and I probably seem completely crazy at this point, but I really would like a little advice to at least calm myself down.
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Re: My Fear of the Dark

Postby Nymine » April 29th, 2011, 5:55 am

I don't think you're crazy or childish at all. I'm an off and on insomniac with a history of having night terrors and paranormal experiences that, quite honestly, made me until the age of 15 sleep with ever light on in my room. Also it doesn't help that my family has a history of dreams that are often prophetic. I won't go into the gory details here(long several stories), and I'll be honest with you, I've never really lost my irrational discomfort of dark places(or thunder *shiver*). I still don't like being alone in it, but I can actually help a little with getting to sleep. My grandad was a psychiatrist and he taught me how to hypnotize myself to sleep which may help. It's a technique I still use and it works, unless there's a storm outside. Basically, when you go to sleep and shut your eyes, visualize yourself at the top of a flight of stairs with ten steps. Then count down from ten to one. With each number, you go down one step. With each step you go down, you relax more and more(he used to walk me through it ie "Nine, all your cares are gone. Your pillow is very comfy. You can't open your eyes any more. Eight your very light. Very very peaceful. Seven. Six. Five your almost there." ect). You keep going until you hit one and your totally asleep(honestly I'm out like a light by five). Ramble ramble, I've also found that just talking about it helps and I'd be happy to do that later if you have the time or what not.
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Re: My Fear of the Dark

Postby Vitotamito » April 29th, 2011, 12:35 pm

Yakkity, I'm hardcore atheist, but I'm afraid of the dark and ghosts and things that go bump in the night. Sometimes I have dreams that are so real that I wake up in a cold sweat and wish I had a spinny top to tell me that I'm not dreaming. But I have an extreme fear of the dark. I'd type more, but I'm on my phone.
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Re: My Fear of the Dark

Postby mossi-mo » April 29th, 2011, 3:25 pm

These fears aren't silly at all. I don't have a fear of the dark but I have an extreme fear of silence. I used to need to play rock or pop music in order to sleep.

I am not able to sleep without music entirely. But it's gotten much better. Before I went to college I had to change so I wouldn't bother my roommate. My radio had a scale of 100, and I usually was comfortable at 50. Every night I'd turn it down one scale from the night before and force myself to go to sleep. By the time I left, I could deal with quieter music, and I no longer woke up in the middle of the night with terror if the music got turned off. I still can't fall asleep without music, but once I'm in REM sleep I don't need it anymore, so it's alright if I wake up and it's not on. I'd suggest getting a portable-plug in dimmer for your lamp and turning it down just a little, perhaps just a small amount every week or two, until you are able to fall asleep in really dim light. By the time you reach the lowest dimness, a night-light or no-light should be sufficient.
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Re: My Fear of the Dark

Postby MacSimon » April 29th, 2011, 5:38 pm

Once i was alone at home as a kid, because my parents went to someone's birthday or something - i was already asleep. I woke up for the bathroom, and when i came back to my room the lights went out. That night i had to deal with my problem alone - Now i have problems when my sister sleeps with her light own. This probably isn't good advice, since everyone has their own ways to struggle with these issues, but it's just my experience. = )

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(I am afraid of trains now.)
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