#CoffinHop | Something creeps across the floor boards….


the gory details:

1) HAVE A SPOOKY FUN TIME!
2) INVITE YOUR FRIENDS AND SPREAD THE WORD!
3) THIS TOUR STARTS: Monday, October 24, 2011 at Midnight (PST)
THIS TOUR ENDS: Monday, October 31, 2011 at Midnight (PST)
Winners will be drawn and posted November 1, 2011
4) MEET AND MINGLE WITH THE AUTHORS! EXPERIENCE A NEW DESTINATION AT EVERY STOP! PARTICIPATE IN EVERY SITE’S CONTEST AND BE ENTERED FOR CHANCES TO WIN MULTIPLE PRIZES! EVERY BLOG VISITED IS ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY TO WIN!
5) PARTICIPATION AT ALL SITES IS RECOMMENDED, BUT NOT REQUIRED. THE MORE SITES YOU HOP, THE BETTER YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING PRIZES.
6) DID I MENTION TO HAVE A SPOOKY FUN TIME?
***Authors have full discretion to choose an alternate winner in the event any winner fails to claim their prize(s) within 72 hours of their name being posted or after notification of win, whichever comes first. Anyone who participates in this tour is subject to these rules***
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My Contest – Prize Time

My next WIP is a psychological thriller and it involves psychological twists and a cold-blooded killer. This killer curdles my blood. Already the killer haunts my dreams. But the worst thing about this character is that I am struggling to name him. He does have a moniker that he will be known by in the story but he does need a name.

Let me tell you a little bit about him. He is a psychopath. He is exceptionally cruel and sadistic. He is also a perfectionist who never leaves any trace of himself at the crime scene. He is fastidiously clean, almost surgically I would say. He preys on people that he feels are “fallen”. He is incredibly alluring and seductive. He is hard to say “no” to. By the time his victims realise he is the final person they will see, it is too late and they are taken by surprise. This man could be anyone. He might be your friend, your brother, your father, your lover, your husband or your colleague. He stalks you like a silent lioness. Do you know his name?

So…this is where you blog-hoppers come in. I need you to put your creative hats on and spin me a first name and surname for my sadistic killer.

The best name will win three ebooks by three phenomenal authors. (I will be announcing the names of the authors and their books closer to Halloween but believe me you will want these ebooks.) 

The best name will also become the name of my sadistic killer.

You need to be subscribed to this blog to enter (so join up if you are not already) as well as leave your best answer (along with your email address for winner notification) in the comments on any of this week’s posts on this blog. You also need to have visited and commented on at least 5 of the CoffinHop bloggers.

The winner will be announced on this blog on 5th November. Multiple entries are welcome.

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Thursday = Terrifying Fears

Even the bravest of us have strong, irrational fears that are almost instinctive in nature. These are fears that literally petrify us to paralysis. They say facing you fears will conquer them but not these fears. These fears, however irrational, are the exception to that proverb. So I thought this hop was the perfect opportunity to explore those crazy phobias that paralyze us: Why are we scared of them? Is it a common fear? Where does the fear originate from in society? I am going to share my phobias with you – but only if you promise to not use them to paralyze me or cause me to have a heart attack. So this blog post is very much a trust issue. I trust you to go gently with my phobia and you trust me to not hit you with something if you do try to use these phobias against me. I am also going to share some common phobias and some very odd phobias. 

Firstly, here are a couple of my irrational fears:

My #1 Phobia = Scelerophibia

I battle this fear every night of my life. It is the fear of burglars or bad men.

This fear may be rational in some cases but in most cases it is irrational. But this fear can spin out not just from being scared at night but by being scared to be in a house by yourself during the day. I battle with both night and day.

My phobia stems from numerous brushes with armed house burglaries from the age of eight. I grew up in a country where burglary and armed break-ins are commonplace and barely feature as news. But that first attempted armed break-in when I was eight is the one that has stayed with me the longest. This phobia is so scary for me that I will not go into the details of the armed break-in. I am just thankful that nobody in my family was harmed in any of the armed break-ins we have endured. Now I live in a much safer country but I will still obsessively shut all windows and lock/double lock all doors. I will also check on those windows and doors at least three times in a short succession just to make absolutely sure they are locked. It has led me to years of insomnia. I am a very light sleeper and have a very acute sense of hearing so every noise at night makes me jump. I have called family members to drive in the middle of the night to my house because I heard what I thought was someone on the roof. This phobia is paralyzing and yes it is life altering. I never feel 100% safe in a house at night and never feel 100% in a house during the day if I am alone.

My #2 Phobia = Chiroptophobia

No, I am not afraid of Batman. I am terrified of Bats. That is why I put this image up. There are hundreds of images of bats to be found on google but I seriously want to throw up from fear if I see them. It was difficult enough to get this one. Luckily for me it was at the top of the gallery so I only caught glimpses of the horrid creatures….I actually just had all the hairs on the back of my neck raise at that.

The roots of this fear dates back centuries and they are fueled by the Dracula stories, Halloween and Hades. Which brings us of course to the legend of the Vampires. Undead men who are able to change into bats and feed on the blood of humans – usually beautiful young people.

As for my fear. It’s roots are from when I was six years old and my cousin and I were playing in our farm barn. She was a little older than me and a terrible tease. We were playing hide and seek amongst the hay bales. She was hiding and I was the seeker. I had been searching for her for close to half an hour – which for a little kid is like half a day – and was getting a little nervous as it was nearing dusk which made shadows creep across the floor and walls of the barn. I told her I had enough and was giving up. Still no answer. I was a little worried at this point. So I decided to leave the barn and walk back up to my house. As I left, I heard a sound that I could not quite place. Then just as I was hesitating on the threshold of the doorway, pebbles started flying in my direction. I thought it was my cousin until she came up behind me and tapped me on the shoulder. The pebbles now came at both of us. We were tripping over each other to get out of there and I fell. The next thing I knew I heard another sound, turned and it slammed into my face. A bat. It clung to my face. I was looking into its face and I thought it was looking into mine. I could not even scream. I was that petrified. I had never seen anything so horrendous in my worst imaginings at that point. (Nor since then, looking back in hindsight.) My cousin ran back and was screaming and trying to pull this bat off my face. It took her about ten minutes before the creature finally let go. Then she had to drag me up to the house as I was completely incapacitated from fear.

Ever since then I cannot even look at a picture of a bat. I hate going into caves and dark places where they may be resting. But now if I do come across a bat, I run like hell and do not look back until I am safe. That was actually horrible to write about. I can still see that bat. Now, I will probably have nightmares about bats tonight.

My #3 Phobia = Selachophobia

I am afraid of sharks in the dark patches of a swimming pool. This is one of the reasons I do not like aquariums. Strangely enough I am not afraid of sharks in the sea.

The roots of this phobia are psychological and are either linked to a fear of darkness or linked to a buried childhood trauma.

The roots of my fear is that a girl I knew drowned in a swimming pool when we were both three. For years I blocked all memory of her until years later when I was about sixteen I was talking to my parents about phobias. They had always known I was scared of swimming in a pool by myself. Although I loved swimming in the ocean I had never really enjoyed swimming in pools and would never swim by myself. I told them that for some reason my mind told me that sharks were in the dark patches in the pool and if I was swimming underwater, I would fear the same thing that there were sharks behind me just waiting to attack. Then they told me about my little friend and it all made sense where that fear came from.

So those are my top three phobias. I am sure if I went through a list of phobias I would find others but these are the three that I have had for most of my life stemming from roots in childhood.

So what petrifies you to a stand-still? What makes your hairs stand on end and your heart thunder in your chest? What is your irrational fear? What is your phobia and do you know the roots? 

Some fears seem funny to others and some seem downright strange but at the end of the day to the person who suffers from this phobia, there is nothing funny about it. As horror, thriller and suspense writers we often play on common phobias that are our own or those of people we know. But phobias are real fears. Who are we to judge a person’s bravery when we may suffer at least one phobia. Does that make a scared person a coward. To quote the great Mark Twain:

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.  Except a creature be part coward it is not a compliment to say it is brave.  ~ Mark Twain,Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar, 1894

Here is a list of well-known phobias:

Arachnophobia = The fear of spiders.

Achluophobia = Fear of darkness.

Acrophobia- Fear of heights.

Aichmophobia- Fear of needles or pointed objects.

Agoraphobia – Fear of open or crowded spaces and fear of leaving a safe place.

 Aquaphobia – Fear of water or drowning.

Astraphobia or Astrapophobia- Fear of thunder and lightning.(Ceraunophobia, Keraunophobia)

Aviophobia or Aviatophobia- Fear of flying.

Claustrophobia- Fear of confined spaces.

Coulrophobia- Fear of clowns.

Dentophobia- Fear of dentists.

Hemophobia or Hemaphobia or Hematophobia- Fear of blood.

Misophobia or Mysophobia- Fear of being contaminated with dirt or germs.

Ophidiophobia- Fear of snakes.

These are some fears that would make what we as writers do very difficult:

Allodoxaphobia- Fear of opinions.

Atychiphobia- Fear of failure.

Bibliophobia- Fear of books.

Doxophobia- Fear of expressing opinions or of receiving praise.

Epistemophobia- Fear of knowledge.

Graphophobia- Fear of writing or handwriting.

Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia- Fear of long words.

Ideophobia- Fear of ideas.

Logizomechanophobia- Fear of computers.

Logophobia- Fear of words.

Metrophobia- Fear or hatred of poetry.

Mythophobia- Fear of myths or stories or false statements.

Onomatophobia- Fear of hearing a certain word or of names.

Phronemophobia- Fear of thinking.

Verbophobia- Fear of words.

Lastly here are a few odd phobias:

Autodysomophobia- Fear of one that has a vile odor.

Basophobia or Basiphobia- Inability to stand. Fear of walking or falling.

Chromophobia or Chromatophobia- Fear of colors.

Ephebiphobia- Fear of teenagers.

Genuphobia- Fear of knees.

Koinoniphobia- Fear of rooms.

Lachanophobia- Fear of vegetables.

Linonophobia- Fear of string.

Octophobia – Fear of the figure 8.

Omphalophobia- Fear of belly buttons.

Panophobia or Pantophobia- Fear of everything.

For more on phobias, click on the Phobia List

Related posts in my hop

22 Comments

    1. Poor dentists! They do get such a bad rap! Thankfully,although not a phobia, I do not have to see a dentist regularly at all due to a genetic disposition to problem free teeth.
      Thanks for stopping by and taking part.
      Good hopping.

    1. Hi Jessica
      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.
      Heights is something that terrified me for years until about 10 years ago when through a dare I conquered this fear. (if you scroll through my comments on this post, I tell of how I conquered this fear) and clowns I completely get.
      Incredible how many people are scared of clowns. One phobia I could not find on that list was a fear if Santa Claus/Father Christmas: so many kids have that fear.
      Great name suggestion. Good luck with the contest.
      Good hopping.

  1. I have a fear of Airplanes and Rollercoasters. With Airplanes it’s mostly ignorance, I mean how does a several ton hunk of metal fly through the air. Rollercoasters – I just feel that I’m always going to get that one with the screws loose that launches me.

    Psychopath Killer names: Nathan Andrews, Steve Buchanan, Joe Rose

    1. Hi Nicholas
      Nice to have you here.
      Ooh rollercoasters I get! I have been a flight attendant so I know how real your fear is. We used to have at least one phobic person on every flight. Have you tried classes? Most airlines offer classes to help phobics with this fear. For me that would be the worst fear to have (other than all the writing-related fears) because I live to travel and I live flying to the furtherest places from where I am.
      Good name suggestions too.
      Good luck on the contest.
      Good hopping.

      1. I have stacks of Globe Trekker dvds, the travel bug, am Andrew Zimmern’s pal on twitter and even a 45 minute flight from the Bay Area to LA – my fingers dig in the plastic armrests. I’ve read turbulence is the equivalent of spa bubbles (on some silly site) but inside I feel like William Shatner in that famous Twilight Zone episode. My wife shares the passion for traveling but she’s afraid of the ocean. So we get more Globe Trekker dvds lol!

        1. Oh boy Nicholas…well at least you can still travel with your eyes by watching the Globe trekker dvds. Thank goodness for television and dvds!

    1. Yes your email did come up in the system. Usually WordPress users have it included in their profile but if another network blogger comments, it is not always as clear. You are definitely in the contest though.

  2. Clowns! I am definitely coulrophobic. Also coolophobic – scared of hipsters. After reading your list of obscure phobias, I am thinking about writing a story about someone who is afraid of knees. Nice!

    I’m here via the coffin hop. I think your killer should have a bland real-life name, something terribly generic. Psychopaths survive by blending in with regular people. David Miller. I would think he might insist on people calling him “David,” and be bothered if they try to shorten it to Dave. Or something.

    1. Hi Elizabeth.
      Frightfully nice to meet another hopper.
      Great suggestion on the bland name. I like the pedantic sound of it too.Thanks for entering and for stopping by.
      Yeah, what is it about clowns? It is not a phobia for me but I can definitely understand it. Hipsters? That is an interesting one.
      As I was going through this list of phobias it struck me how unique we all are. Human brings are definitely an eccentric species. Problem is with creatives is our imagination takes us to all the possibilities of the dangers of the things we fear and then it is just a vortex that can suck us in.
      Good hopping.

  3. Name suggestion: Daniel Taylor

    My fears: I’m afraid of heights, but keep trying to brave them.

    But my big irrational fear is to be abducted by aliens. I don’t know why, but the very idea can put me in a panic attack. I can’t even watch “Fire in the Sky” all the way through without having hysterics.

    I get laughed at quite often for this fear.

    Really enjoyed reading your blog and have subscribed. The background is stunning.

    1. Hi. Lovely to meet you. Thank you for your compliments on the blog. I am also in love with the background. It inspires me every time I blog.
      Great name suggestion.
      Yes I used to be terrified of heights but I took a daring way to conquer them. I started rapp jumping (which is basically abseiling but face first so facing the ground and standing at a 90degree angle when jumping) from mountains. The first time I was completely paralysed by fear but standing on a tiny ledge 100m down the face of a mountain and being told by your fellow jumpers it will take over 1 hour to rescue you makes the decision for one. I jumped. Of course I was swearing in french all the way down and saw my life flash before me. But once I was on the ground, the rush of accomplishment was so massive and the rush of adrenaline so addictive, I wanted to do it again. I must say I was dared to do it which was the impetus. I do not turn down dares. But now looking back (That was 10 years ago) I am thrilled I conquered this fear. I live rapp jumping and abseiling now and am contemplating a skydive. Good luck with trying to face your fear.
      As for the fear if being abducted…I can understand that. If I think on it long enough, I can fear it too.
      Thanks for stopping by, commenting and taking part in the contest.

      1. I’ve just always thought Daniel was a very sexy name and Taylor as a play on “tailor” since he feels he’s “fixing” things in a way.

        One thing I’ve managed is not to let my fear of heights stop me flying. Attempting to plan a trip to visit some friends in England and even though I find take off frightening I won’t let it stop me 🙂

        I do think skydiving would be fun.

        1. Yes I agree there is definitely something sexy about the name “Daniel” – very clever play on words with the surname too.
          So good to hear you are not letting your fear of heights halt your love for travel. Takes courage to face your fears like that. More power to you 🙂
          Skydiving is definitely on the must do list for next year!

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