As we prepare to enter the movie theater to catch "Shark Night 3D," we should take a moment to think of some of the horror movies that have caused people to gain phobias about certain animals. Animal-based horror movies can easily cause phobias due to the fact that we deal with animals on an everyday basis and know that they can be dangerous at times. While studying abnormal psychology in college, I loved to focus on phobias like these.
If you have ever seen Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds," I am sure that you have caught yourself referencing the movie when seeing an abnormally large flock. Ornithophobia is the irrational fear of birds and can be found in some people that were scared to death by the original movie. Remember that certain type of birds have symbolically been aligned with death like the raven and the crow.
There have always been stories about alligators in the sewers, but in 1980's "Alligator" we saw what a horror that could be. While there is not a set clinical fear of alligators, people with this type of irrational fear might be grouped with people who have batrachophobia (the fear of amphibians) or ophidiophobia (the fear of snakes). Personally, I don't need an irrational fear of alligators to know that I should stay away from them.
Perhaps the most common fear on this list would have to be arachnophobia. The irrational fear of spiders could have been brought out in some people by "Arachnophobia." The spider is a creature that has been connected with Halloween, ancient witches and haunted houses. I just think that these little guys have a bad rep.
I remember after seeing "Cujo" for the first time. For weeks, I would not go by any of the neighborhood dogs because I was worried that they were going to try to kill me. I might have had a temporary case of cynophobia which is the irrational fear of dogs or rabies. Luckily, this is something that I grew out of.
You knew when you stared reading this that "Jaws" was going to be on this list. This movie is a classic example of animal movies that have caused phobias because of the fact that there are so many people that suffer from different types of irrational fears because of it. Everyone knows how tourism at beaches across the country hit an all-time low after this masterpiece.
People that became emotionally involved while watching "Jaws" might have selachophobia which is the irrational fear of sharks. The might have the fear of water which is called hydrophobia. Some might suffer from potamophobia which is the fear of rivers or thalassophobia which is fear of the ocean. Other might just be afraid of swimming in the ocean.
I would suggest taking a moment to check out The Phobia List to see what phobias horror movies might have caused you.
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