Our Most Irrational Fears

We all have those fears we know don’t really make sense but haunt us anyway. Here are ours…

Lisa Q. Mathews

CotC Word balloons

My biggest fear is entirely rational: snakes. I don’t care if they’re venomous or not, if it’s “yellow-be-mellow-but-red-you’re-dead.” I will die anyway if I see one, of a heart attack. I don’t like the way they whip through the grass or lurk on warm sidewalks in the dark. I cannot stand them, Sam-I-Am. When I lived down South, I wouldn’t go near a pond, lake or ditch and I wouldn’t hike through the woods lest one drop down on my head after pretending to be a piece of hanging moss. Before we moved to NH I (literally) looked up poisonous snakes. Zero (well, except for a few endangered timber rattlers they’re trying to reintroduce (???!!) to the wild.) To get back at these evil, slimy (yes, to me they are slimy; I don’t care what Ranger Rick says), fang-faced, squeezing villains, I cast them in my Ladies Smythe & Westin series, which is conveniently set in Florida, on a regular basis. In PERMANENTLY BOOKED, Camo the Intentionally-Released Exotic Python lurks all over town in the bushes, swamps, and beaches and my sleuth Summer throws her cell phone at him. (She later regrets that.) Take THAT, Snakes!!!

 Ellen Byron


My heart races and I hold my breath every time I drive over train tracks. I live in fear that I’ll be halfway across when the red lights suddenly start flashing, I hear that bonk-bonk-bonk warning horn, and there I am, stuck on the train track with a Metrolink or Amtrak train barreling down on me. I know it makes no sense. They give you plenty of warning. But what if they don’t, really? Or what if some sensor is broken? It’s why I’ll always wait if there are other cars ahead of me – enough to keep me on the tracks until we get a green light on the other side of them. I’m not taking any chances, thank you.

BTW, I also suffer from acrophobia. I literally get faint looking out floor-to-ceiling windows, and can’t ride chair lifts or horses. But I don’t consider a fear of heights irrational. Being high up is scary! What if you fall????

Vickie Fee


Mice. I personally don’t think this is an irrational fear, but some people think they’re cute. A mouse isn’t cute unless you’re at Disney World and he’s waving his gloved hand at you! I grew up in the city and had never experienced having a mouse in the house. My family moved to a new house in the country, next to woods and fields, when I was an older teen. A couple of nights after we moved in, my sister and I complained to our dad that we heard noises inside the walls. He said it was probably just a mouse. JUST a mouse! I barely slept until the house was de-verminated. Many years later, I was sharing a house with a roommate and made the horrifying discovery of a mouse in the dishwasher. I thought I might have to move. Fortunately, my less squeamish roomie trapped it the next day.

Kellye Garrett

6Though I wouldn’t call it irrational by any means (!!!), I have a fear of elevators that just wait with their door open. My sister lived in a building like that about 10 years ago. And whenever, I’d come over, I’d walk up to the lobby to find an elevator just waiting there with its door open. I think it was supposed to be inviting. It was not. I’d just patiently wait for the elevator’s door to close, then push the button and wait for the next elevator. Of course, I honestly don’t know what I expect to happen if I did fall for the elevator’s trickery and stepped into this trap, but I sure have no plans to find out.

Cynthia Kuhn


Not to sound like a cliché but: clowns freak me out. It all started when my beloved grandparents gave me a statue they’d brought back from Europe. It was made of thick colored glass, but it wasn’t clear and bright—it was murky and disturbing. The elements of the clown’s face were tacked onto the surface and protruded ominously, especially the bulging eyes that appeared to fix you with a cold glare. Also, the figure was oddly curved in a way that made it seem as though he was bending toward you. Or moving toward you. Many nights, you could find me in bed with the sheets pulled up to my nose, squinting hard through the dark, checking to make sure that he wasn’t coming closer. When I was in elementary school, I started hiding him in a drawer or closet. Then my mom would find him and put him back on my dresser—not her fault because I never could articulate how much he terrified me. Once, I tried to talk my little sister into taking him (“I adore him, of course, but he matches your wallpaper!”), but she was wise beyond her years and didn’t fall for my sales pitch. I don’t know what ever happened to him….but I pray that I won’t open a moving box someday and find him inside!

Readers, what are your irrational – or rational -fears?

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25 thoughts on “Our Most Irrational Fears

  1. My fear has always been that something bad would happen to my kids or the rest of the family. It has happened, auto accidents, etc. Lucky for us we made it through, but who knows what is in the future?

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Ellen, not going on train tracks when you can’t cross because of the cars in front of you is smart. I cross train tracks all the time up here in Santa Clarita, and MetroLink is always coming through town. It amazes me the people who is sit on the tracks.

    I’m not a fan of heights at all. When I come to obstacles where I have to climb something and then switch over to the other side and climb down at my mud runs, it is the least favorite thing I have to do. I’m okay climbing up and down, it’s the transferring to the other side to climb down that gets me every time.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I have the oddest fear of the bunch.
    I’m not afraid of heights per se, because planes don’t bother me. What I fear is plunging to my death from a height. Driving across a bridge? If I turn the wheel just so, splat. A building? How much poundage do I exert if I fall through the window. You get it.
    But no other manner of death scares me. Goodness, I’ve had a gun pointed at me!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hestia, I love when you comment and then reveal some POW thing as a sort of by-the-way before the end. Like…I was following your height story and sympathizing and then bam, you’ve had a WHAT pointed at you? (You have so many experiences that contribute perfectly to your mystery writing…though I’m sorry you had to live them, they are great story fodder…)

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Hestia, that’s exactly what I’ve decided the fear of heights is – not the heights themselves, but falling from them. And I HATE driving across bridges too, for that same reason.

      And someday you HAVE to share that gun story!


  4. I never realized how many fears I have until I read this post. Snakes scare me to death. Whenever there is a FB post of someone finding a snake or showing a snake, I have to hide it. I agree with Lisa, I don’t care if it’s poisonous or not, I’m not getting close enough to find out. I’m also afraid of mice or anything that moves fast, and you can’t predict where they are going. And, lastly, clowns! Clowns are evil and creepy looking.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Eek, sorry, Christi!! We might have gotten just a little too into those detailed descriptions! (Cynthia, I am realt beginning to worry about clowns now.)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I fear bridges. Heights I am not good with, but do not fear them. Bridges are just nasty. No fear of snakes, mice, etc, but terrified of roaches. I do not know what they could do to me, but they scare me. Oh and with bridges, the ones over water are the very worst. And another crazy one, I fear people sneaking up on me. I literally jump in the air and that takes a lot since Frankenstein dont jump. That fear comes from my older sister. Yep her fault completely!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Kay, there is a person who will drive cars over the Mackinac Bridge (suspension bridge)for people who are afraid to, because so many people are scared to drive over a bridge that visibly sways in the wind!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Kay, I literally was riding in a car on a bridge over water as I read your post. Brrr! There is a super-high bridge in FL (maybe near St.Pete’s but I have blacked it out) where you have to go waaaay up and waaaay down like a roller coaster. Oh,
      and it’s a long drive over water before and after it, for further fun.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I hate bridges. See my response to Hestia’s comment.

        Of course, it’s exacerbated by spending years in CA. What if I’m on a bridge when an earthquake strikes?!

        Lisa, I know that bridge! The Tampa-St Pete! I almost fainted when I had to drive over it. Same with Sunshine Bridge in Texas. They’re built so tall ships can pass under. I’ll tell you my story someday.


  6. Hey, Chicks, this list is so interesting–and disconcerting!

    And Ellen, I had to turn right today while a train was just sitting there on the left. The light was green, but because of your post, I didn’t want to go forward, ha! I may have adopted your fear…

    Liked by 3 people

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