As children, we all were afraid of something: the dark, monsters, scary movies… And other unique fears. We asked our readers to share their childhood fears with us, here are their answers.


“A fear that I had as a child was talking to people. I was very antisocial in kindergarten, but I got over that fear when I met my best friend in first grade. After that, I became very social and less introverted.”

“This is cringeworthy. I used to have a fear of the dark. I think everybody had a fear of the dark. Actually, everybody has this, I’m not special for having this. And then whenever I had to be in my room, when I had to turn off the lights and I had to walk to my bed – it’s a three-step walk – I used to always get scared. I also had this thing where when I was in the dark I used to imagine monsters or a clown with a knife that was coming to stab me. Whenever I used to walk up the stairs and it was dark, I used to be really stressed.”

“My childhood fear was the fear of the world ending. Over time there was rainfall and heavy winds I was so sure that the world was ending.”

“When you’re a child, adults are always the authority, always strict. You play in the park, they sit in the corner and watch you, but it’s like all dreams belong to the children. Maybe I was lucky enough to be brought up to think that when you grow up, everything would take shape according to your colors and your character, that there were no limits. It’s nice as a kid to have dreams like “I want to be an astronaut when I grow up” “I want to be a singer” “An actor” “A firefighter” but as people grow up their perspective starts becoming ‘realistic.’ The feedback we get from adults like “be realistic” and “stop dreaming and do your homework” hammers our colors and character, and once we are seniors everyone’s dreams sound like “I want to be an engineer because my parents want me to” and “I’m studying business, maybe I’ll open a store, maybe I’ll go into finance.” Dreams for people with their feet on the ground. This doesn’t have to be bad, but it was my biggest fear, my big dreams being chewed up, made to be more realistic. I was afraid of being an average person. Working in a job I don’t like, 8:30 to 18:30, coming back home to an average Turkish life, a husband, kids… I didn’t want everything to go in a straight line. I had to have my character in there somewhere, I had to experience different colors. As time passed and I started studying, I found myself leaving all books behind saying “ugh, I have to go and live!” I still work hard towards not being average. Even though I try to be more grounded and studious…”

“When we were younger – 5 or 6 I think – my mom used to iron a lot and after she ironed, she hung clothes on door handles. There would be shirts all over the house. These shirts started appearing in my dreams, but those dreams were nightmares. The shirts flew toward me, they flew around the air. They scared me for a long time, those shirts.”

“I was a really brave kid, I would love to play outside, play hide-and-seek, I would love to climb. I was not afraid of insects. I would touch any kind of reptile. I would love to watch horror movies as well. There’s just one thing I feared. Toilet flush. I don’t know why but the sound of it just scared me, it was like something would come out of the toilet. I just felt like if I don’t get out of the bathroom as soon as possible, something will grab me, or chase me. It’s just that sound makes me think that way. And it stayed until I was 13 or 14, I still rush a little bit to get out of the bathroom, I don’t know why, but I get through it now. I guess I know it’s just a sound and there is nothing to be scared of.”

“My childhood fear was eating lunch in front of people. We would have to eat lunch all in the cafeteria at the same time, so I would starve myself because I was embarrassed about how I eat, until my teacher finally convinced me to take I bite of chicken. The chicken tasted very good, and from then on I eat lunch in the cafeteria with everybody else.”

“When I was younger, I was afraid of abandonment, more specifically people I love abandoning me. I was very dependant on and connected to the people close to me. Wherever I went, I wanted them to be by my side. This was the biggest reason I had this fear. I also always wanted to hold hands with the people I love so that they could never leave me. I had this fear forever but it really got amplified when my dad went abroad for work and my mom and I stayed in Istanbul for my education. I was 6 or 7. My dreams also revolved around my fear. The second thing I was really afraid of was witches, and I had this nightmare that repeated itself several times:  we went on a picnic with my family, and there was a witch that only I can see that would take me away from my family.”

“I’ve had elevator phobia since I was around nine years old. It all started when I was in a language camp where I was learning French. It was the first trip I took without my family. I was staying at this huge hotel with my friends and teachers. To go to my room I had to take the elevator because my room was on the 15th floor. One day I was taking the elevator just by myself. It suddenly stopped and I was stuck between two floors. So I was pounding on the doors and pried them apart. I rang the emergency bell and literally, nobody answered… Then I started to scream and cry. Finally, there was this guy who came and he helped me. Well, nothing happened but after that day I always wait in front of the elevator until someone shows up so I don’t have to take it alone, but most likely I take the stairs. I tried to overcome my fear but I was not very successful. I think my elevator phobia comes from my claustrophobia, and I don’t find elevators safe enough to get in them, cause when you think about elevators there’s one cable lifting that elevator up and down. My heart is pounding when I think about it. I’m afraid of taking elevators by myself. And the irony is, I live in Toronto, which is a vertical city. I structure my life so that I don’t take elevators. So let me give you this example: I’ve been living in Toronto for a long, long time, and I’ve never been to the top of the CN Tower just because of elevators, but one day, hopefully, I’ll be able to take the elevator and see the amazing view up there. That’s it.”

That’s really it. I would like to thank everyone who sent me a voice message for this article. Hope you enjoyed the article, related to the people speaking, and I hope it made you think.


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