Are you afraid of the dark?
No, I’m not referring to the 90′s TV show. Sorry.
But since it’s Halloween soon I’ve been in a “scary” mood lately and was thinking about something…
I was a very well behaved (read: boring) and independent child, and because of that my (single) mum would let me stay home alone when she occasionally had something she needed to do in the evenings. I didn’t mind at all – I like being alone – but sometimes, mostly if I had watched a scary movie or read a scary book, and if it was in the winter when darkness falls at 2 in the afternoon… then I’d might get a little scared. You know how it goes, imagination kicks in and the house would seem to big and the rooms would seem full of odd shapes and shadows and the hallway would look like a long dark tunnel… And that would be my que to get out of the house.
At 10 years old, whenever I got scared of the dark my natural response was to get out of the house and go for a walk. The fact that outside was a million times bigger and darker than the house didn’t cross me as dangerous at all. For some reason my fear has always been restricted to the inside of buildings.
And now, at almost 30, I still feel the same way. I’m not ashamed to admit that I sometimes will get a little spooked if I watch or read something scary (NoSleep on Reddit is my enemy) and my first instinct is always to go outside.
I don’t know how to explain it, but the idea of being alone in a dark forest or a dark neighbourhood doesn’t seem scary at all – whereas the idea of being alone in a spooky empty house makes my skin crawl. According to my brain, outdoors is always safer than indoors. My dad says it probably have something to do with the fact that outside you can run in any direction and you have a whole world to hide in, but indoors you’re “trapped” within the walls. All I know is brains are weird…
A downside of this behavior is that I don’t really think about what dangers might come with being out alone in the dark. I’m never afraid to walk alone at night.
Of course crime in north Sweden is really low, this is probably one of the safest places on earth, but that doesn’t mean nothing bad can ever happen to you. Things DO happen here. Not very often maybe, but still… I know plenty of women who are afraid to go out alone at night.
I’m not one of them though, and I don’t know how smart that is… Problem is I just can’t seem to remember to be scared.
Guess it also helps that I often have Zaphod with me. Not that he would be much use in a fight (NO guarding instinct whatsoever), but dogs usually have a discouraging effect on potential criminals.
What about you, are you afraid of the dark?