What is it about the dark that brings fear to so many?
|What is it about the dark that brings fear to so many? The mere absence of light can reduce even the boldest of men to their final nerve. An obvious reason is that in darkness, sight is lost. What once is familiar becomes molded into black, disfigured. People fear the unknown; they enjoy what is comfortable and well-known while they dread what lies beyond they cushy comfort zones.
Although predominant among naïve children, at least some fear of the dark dwells within all. The scientific name for being afraid of the dark is Achluophobia, based upon the ancient word “achluo” which means dark, and the obvious “phobia.” Interestingly, it seems as if the mysteries of the “achluo” have been haunting man for most of his existence. God created light, but with it He created the dark. Complete opposite. Right and wrong. Comfort and affliction. I wonder if Adam was afraid of the dark…Did Eden ever fall into darkness? Man seems to be the only creature who fears the dark. Many animals only subsist in the dark. Would they fear the light? There are areas in Scandinavia where it is light for nearly half of a year. That’s probably why there are no vampires in Scandinavia. I’ll bet vampires have very pale skin. If they’re never in the sun, how do they acquire enough vitamin D? Do their satanic undead metabolisms maintain their own blood levels of calcium and phosphorus 3 and 4 unaided? I’m sorry, not even Satan could find a way to do that. I have just proven the non-existence of vampires. Call Oprah.
The loss of a sense raises the others senses abilities. When sight is cut out from a persons capacity, hearing steps in to attempt to pick up the slack, but the job is too much to ask for a meek sense such as hearing. When afraid of the dark, ears become extra-sensitive, making any sound as if it’s a bomb going off right next to the bed. Therefore it is horror show frightening, especially for children who still believe in Frankenstein and the Boogeyman. Sight is also not the most reliable sense. Your eyes play tricks on you in the dark, making what is actually a pile of dirty clothes stacked on a chair look like an elephant. Now I know you’re thinking “What is so scary about an elephant?” The answer? They can crush you. Or spray water out of their trunks. That may look harmless but a trunk is just code for their nose and I know something foreign will follow, which would force a shower. A strong argument for the uselessness of the Flintstones’ dish-washer.
Fearing darkness is an all too real concern among mankind. It is interesting how people can fear the absence of something as straightforward as light. It is also interesting at how easily a discussion of darkness can lead to discussions of God, Satan, Vampires, human anatomy, Oprah, elephants (their size/weight and what comes out of their “trunks,”) and the Flintstones.