Fear Factors

Halloween has come to be associated with scares, and they’re in no short supply among the NASH student body.


Brady Crow

The costume selection at Spirit Halloween in theWexford flats only begins to hint at the array of phobias that the holiday plays on.

Brady Crow, Staff Writer

It’s that spectacularly spooky season again, the time when cobwebs are being strung up, horror movies are on every night, and young trick-or-treaters are searching for the perfect costume.  Halloween is the only time of year when fear is embraced, and people from all walks of life enjoy a good scare in the company of family and friends. 

Whether we like to admit it or not, everyone is afraid of something.  Fear is a natural instinct in our minds that is designed to keep us from danger.  All humans are born with caution-feelings, such as the fear of loud noises or falling, but the other fears we all grow to possess are obtained through life experience.  The worst fears of NASH students tend to vary across the student body.

The fear of falling is one of the few genetically inherited phobias all humans possess.  So it only makes sense that many of us have a fear of heights.

“I’m afraid of heights,”  junior Michael Fortunato said.  “It’s a natural fear to have, so I don’t feel bad about it.”

A more specific fear is that of creepy clowns, armed with balloons and an eerie smile. Senior McKenna Bush is one of the many individuals of our generation who have grown up with a fear of clowns.

“They have weird makeup on, and they pretend all the time,” she said.  “How can I tell what’s real and what’s fake? Oh, and the clown from It, that thing is terrifying.” 

For many, when it comes to Halloween frights, none may be as prevalent as the scary spider. The eight legged arachnids have been the source of nightmares for generations, despite the fact that most spiders are harmless.

“I don’t like how they look,” junior Callie Droe said. “They remind me of monsters.  They look so creepy, and the thought of them crawling around and biting people scares me.”

I’m not afraid of much, but I am afraid of the Fort Pitt Bridge.

— Brady Mensch, NASH junior

Fears aren’t always focused on eerie monsters like clowns or odd-looking beasts like spiders.  Sometimes, a fear for one is a joy to another.

Take junior Caelin Scott for example.  While most of his friends enjoy the thrill of a roller coaster ride, Scott would rather pass. 

“I’m afraid of roller coasters because I lose my sense of control,” he said. “They go way too fast for me, and I feel like I’m going to fall out or crash.”

Thrill rides don’t always take the form of roller coasters.  Sometimes, a simple commute or drive to a friend’s house can be packed with nerve-racking twists and turns as well.

Brady Mensch, a junior at NASH, said, “I’m not afraid of much, but I am afraid of the Fort Pitt Bridge.  Have you ever driven on it? It’s like four lanes! Ain’t no way I’m merging on that. 300 feet is not enough.”

Few fears can be as intense as the fear of isolation.  Some of the most suspenseful and terrifying scenes in horror movies are when the group of heroes (unwisely) separate.  Without companionship, life often becomes a lot more scary.

“My biggest fear is probably losing a friend,” junior Lydia Haller said. “They help me get through my day, make me happy, and I don’t know what I’d do without them.”

If nothing else, our fears show us that the world we live in can be a scary place.  But perhaps nothing in this life is more commonly terrifying than our economic future in these unstable times.

Junior Tim Bidlack has a fear that most soon-to-be collegians can identify with.

“My biggest fear is debt,” he said. “I’m afraid about how the system, made far before my time, causes me and those who come after me irreparable economic harm.”

Unfortunately there’s no mandated vaccine from the CDC to protect us from our fears. This is all part of the process of becoming adults, worries and all.