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…

dark spooky cobblestone street
Perfectly safe

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 cue to get out of the house.

gloomy forest road
Also perfectly safe

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.

dark bedroom

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 behaviour 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?


  1. 22 October 2012

    Huh, I think this is so interesting. I definitely feel safer indoors than outdoors. I still go for runs at night, but I am constantly aware of my surroundings and periodically looking behind me to see if anyone is following me. I think it’s so cool that it’s the opposite for you! Hey, at least you have your big scary dog to protect you LOL.

  2. 22 October 2012

    Även om jag kan bli mörkrädd inomhus så tycker jag ändå att det är läskigare att vistas utomhus när det är mörkt. Jag är dock lite ologisk där på samma sätt som du är med indoors vs outdoors. Jag är nämligen räddare när jag går längs en mörk väg ute på landsbygden där chansen att möta en annan människa är pytteliten än när jag vistas utomhus i ett bostadsområde. För på landsbygden i skogen kan det ju finnas spöken…. och spöken kan man inte fly ifrån. Människor däremot, hur onda de än är, har man ju ändå en fighting chance att komma undan ifrån. Dock föredrar jag att inte vistas utomhus överhuvudtaget nattetid ifall jag inte måste eftersom jag är rädd för att bli överfallen.

    • 26 October 2012

      Sådär är jag också – det är typ spöken jag är rädd för, inte människor. Kanske det har nåt att göra med att vara mörkrädd inomhus? Jag menar, det är ju i regel hus som är hemsökta… :S

  3. 22 October 2012

    It’s easier to run away from something out in the open than it is cooped up in a house, so I’m with you on this one. Inside is definitely more scary than outside! And I live in a moderately crime-ridden neighbourhood!

    I’m not afraid of the dark. I’m afraid of what could be IN the dark. Heh.

  4. 23 October 2012

    I get pretty spooked if I’m alone in a dark house at night. The worst is if the electricity goes out when I’m by myself. That’s happened to me a couple of times, and it always freaks me out.

    I try not to be outside by myself too much at night because we do have some crime here, and of course as a young female, it’s kind of ingrained in me to be careful. :/ I’m not really afraid of the dark, though, so much as I’m just afraid of scary people, and it is easier to get away when you’re outside.

    Having a big dog with you does help! I feel the same about my dog, although he’s afraid of his own shadow most of the time, so I’m not sure how helpful he’d be. :P He can look and sound vicious when he needs to, though!

  5. 24 October 2012

    i can’t say that i’m one for preferring to be outdoors instead of in when scared. i can understand your feelings though. i’ve never really been much of an outdoor person anyway so maybe that’s part of it… i’ve always been a big homebody and i feel safer in my own home than anywhere in the world.

  6. 25 October 2012

    Yes and no. I actually have a love for when it’s as dark as can be. I often draw the blinds as soon as our sun rises. I’ve had people tell me that we need some light. However, there are certain places and times when yes, the dark does scare me. At night, in our kitchen for example. We also have heard an actual voice in our house, had a ghost in a picture, and have heard odd sounds so it’s not just my mind. Just the other night, around 2 a.m., I was in the dark kitchen and felt a pressure on my back. Ran upstairs to the safety of Jen and our bedroom!

    Over the years, I’ve stopped thinking ghosts and spirits can hurt me. But that doesn’t mean I am not scared. As for being in the dark outside, it’s the same exact thing. Sometimes I am fine, other times I am not. It’s weird!

    • 26 October 2012

      Yikes, how scary to be living in a possibly haunted house o_O I’d love to hear the ghost in a picture story, that sounds creepy!

  7. 28 October 2012

    Interesting! I’m actually jumpy in the dark inside or outside, but outside more.

    When I’m inside, I’m only really jumpy when it’s quiet. I usually keep a fan on.

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