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Catoptrophobia: Fearsome phobias from A to Z

Don’t look now.

Catoptrophobia is the fear of mirrors.

Let’s reflect for a moment how this might look in real life.

It’s not that catoptrophobic people are scary looking or anything. OK, they’re not all scary looking. Most of them look pretty much like the rest of us.

This fear may take multiple forms. Some may be afraid of mirrors, simply because they are unhappy with their own appearances. They just don’t like what they see when they look into a mirror.

Others may be leery of mirrors for superstitious reasons. Throughout human history, legends have abounded of the souls staring back from folks’ own reflections in looking-glasses and bodies of water. Some still fear this idea. Plenty of people still carry superstitions of how breaking a mirror might lead to a long stretch of bad luck.

Illusionists are said to use smoke and mirrors to work many of their wonders.

Looking-glasses have also been used in fortune telling, fiction, and even horror films.

Mirrors may stimulate fantasies and imaginings that prove scary to some. Remember Lewis Carroll’s Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass? The mirror actually represented a gateway to a stranger place.

In Snow White, the well-known fairy tale, the evil queen, questioned a magic mirror.

Alfred Hitchcock, the classic scary moviemaker, used mirrors in all sorts of creepy and mysterious ways in his TV episodes.

All of these ideas (and more) can feed into catoptrophobia, the fear of mirrors.

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1 comment:

  1. I wouldn't call it fear, but I definitely have a strong dislike for mirrors. In fact, here's a line from my B is for Beauty post: "Here's the truth: days go by without me making sustained eye contact with myself in the mirror. "

    Love your theme. And nice to meet a fellow A-Z challenger. :)



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