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What Are You Afraid Of?


This week we asked listeners and social media followers to tell us about unusual things that may scare them. Not international terrorism or certifiable phobias, but real fears we carry around that some people may not understand. Many people told us that they run from moths and butterflies, or shiver at the thought of glitter and cotton or can't bear to see the little eyes that grow out of old potatoes. Some answers though, were one-of-a-kind.

Mindy Valcarcel from Lubbock, Texas told us she's scared of Jupiter.

MINDY VALCARCEL: The moment I discovered I was afraid of it was when I found out that that great, big red spot that's a big storm that's never-ending, that three Earths could fit inside of, that is just terrifying. The thought of that - I don't even want to think about it.

SIMON: NASA says the great red spot is shrinking. Mindy isn't mollified.

VALCARCEL: Even, you know, if there's only two Earths at some point that fit in it, that's still scary.

SIMON: Sarah Collier of St. Louis says she's afraid of herself.

SARAH COLLIER: I am absolutely terrified that I will be unable to control myself when somebody puts their hand in the garbage disposal and I will turn on the garbage disposal and I'll horribly, horrifically maim that person, even though that has never happened to anyone that I know of, ever.

SIMON: Sarah Collier says when she sees a hand float anywhere near a disposal, you can practically hear the Hitchcock music.


COLLIER: I feel this, like, intense thrill of fear and I have to clench my hands just so that they can, you know, reassure myself that I am in control and I will not horrifically maim this person that I care about.

SIMON: David Saunders from Lancaster, Pennsylvania says that basements spook him. He thinks it comes from growing up in Florida, where houses often don't have them and when he saw them on TV, it was often because some ugliness was being hidden down there. Then when he was a teenager, his family moved north.

DAVID SAUNDERS: And the basement was unfinished and dark, there was no lights we're fairly certain when we moved in there that stuff had died in there. It smelled awful and it was my first experience with them and it was just really unnerving.

SIMON: Mr. Saunders is all grown up now, but still has to live with his fear of the subterranean.

SAUNDERS: You know, I realize it's kind of a weird fear and whenever people hear about it, they always you know, kind of screw up their faces and look at me like it's just alien to them so I just say, I'm Florida. Weird stuff happens down there and we just leave it at that.

SIMON: My own rarely-stated weird fear is mashed potatoes. I could tell you why, but it wouldn't make you happier to know, now would it?

Whatever your little weird fear, we wish you a happy Halloween. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

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