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Kinemortophobia…

zombies on robson1 I understand the difference between reality and fantasy. I know that zombies aren’t real and that it’s probably impossible (hopefully) for something like a zombie to exist, but I’m still terrified of them. Before I go any further I should probably define what a zombie is. I’m talking about the Romero zombies, the Dawn of the Dead remake and the 28 Days Later “zombies” (though not truly zombies because they are not dead, but it makes little difference). I don’t know what it is about zombies that scare me, I suppose it’s a number of things.

  1. They are basically an unstoppable force. A blow (bulltet) to the head/brain will kill them but otherwise they’ll just keep coming. An unstoppable tsunami of the dead will wash across the land and devour every last soul until there is nothing left. (Poetic, isn’t it.)
  2. The conformity. I think that this was one of the biggest commentaries that Romero was giving in his original Day of the Dead. All people will conform. They will all be the same and any who try to fight it will eventually be consumed and then they too will become one of the dead.
  3. If you get bit… it’s over. This is the one that scares me the most. Anybody that is bitten will turn into one of the dead. There is no stopping it.

There are a number of other things that scare me (like the insatiable hunger) but those three are really the ones that do it. The funny thing about my fear of zombies is that as much as they freak me out, I love reading books and watching movies about them. I can’t get enough of the zombie genre.

P.S. Kinemortophobie is fear of the moving dead.

  1. zombies on robson by Mister Wind-Up Bird []

38 Comments

  1. Mariah

    I agree. I’m so glad there are more of us. I agree with liz completely; its the fear of being hunted and eaten alive. of it being unstoppable. of watching the people you love die. of seeing people totally lose their shit and the electrical lines going dead and running out of food and not being able to do anything about it! i never give my fear justice on the rare times that i try to explain it to someone.. but i think you guys understand. i am legend really screwed with me, its been what four years? and i still think about it when i try to get to sleep.

    i will never watch dawn of the dead or 28 days later. i will scare myself way too much!

    thank you.

    Posted on 01-Jul-10 at 6:00 am | Permalink
  2. Joe

    I’m 24. I find I’m fine unless I stupidly allow myself to view any sort of zombie film/media…then its the damn nightmares and childish fear of the dark.

    By the way, how many of you were scared of the dark when you were little?

    I really know I had an active imagination when I was little, and in the dark it would go wild and I would never sleep. My parents thought I had night terrors.

    When the fear would build up to too high of a level I would try to scream for one of my parents when I was a kid. Strangely there is such a thing as being to scared to scream! It would often take multiple tries to call out for help.

    How many of you where scared of the dark when you where younger?

    I’m certainly scared of the dark after watching a zombie flick even now.

    Posted on 05-Jul-10 at 9:07 pm | Permalink
  3. Dolly

    Relief in the knowledge that we’re not lonely irrational freaks consoles me. I’m happy to know that I’m not alone in this and I’m sorry for those for who this has become a burdening problem in their daily functioning. As a psych student it’s probably ironic that I would have this form of a phobia, but as one I do recommend that those who do have such an immense fear that they seek professional or reliable methods of coping with this, as each person copes and rehabilitates in different manners, desensitization may not work , and drugs may not be the best choice either.
    Professionalism aside..
    I’m glad that there are some of us who feel the same and the only thing you should really try and desensitize yourself to is the childish teasing of insensitive friends.
    You’re not alone! 🙂

    Posted on 13-Aug-10 at 1:12 pm | Permalink
  4. Zach

    Im Scared too! I thought i was alone on this, but im not!!! Im onley 11, so i am scared to death
    My first (and onley) zombi movie, was zombi land. And my mom has been helping me come overe my fears.

    Posted on 19-Aug-10 at 7:47 pm | Permalink
  5. Fergus

    My system is to watch a zombie film way before 6 oclock and then follow it with the most uplifting comedy that i can find in the hopes that i will forget it.

    However If I watch a zombie film after 6 0clock in the evening I will be terribly sick during the night, actually vomitting and shaking with fear, let alone the only too vivid dreams. Had one last night after watching 1 minute of annoyingly the best echi/anime ever (high school of the dead) , that a friend showed to me. It would be great to be able to enjoy this genre without the fear attributed to it.

    I recently described the fear of zombies as:

    “A latent fear of the unwashed masses”

    As a predominantly socialist upper middle class 23 year old, I think the fear of zombies represents my way of interpreting and reasoning idealogical inconsistencies

    Posted on 02-Sep-10 at 4:05 am | Permalink
  6. Alison

    People always laugh at me when I say I have a phobia of zombies, I didn’t know it was called Kinemortophobia (fear of the living dead). They’re like ‘you know they don’t really exist…etc.’ And I say ‘Yeah, it’s an irrational fear, which is what a phobia is!’.
    Mine started with Michael Jackson’s Thriller video. I still can’t watch it 25 years later. I never seen Night of the Living Dead too scary. I can only watch zombie movies on T.V., so I can change the channel when the zombies appear, the Dawn of the Dead remake kills me. For some reason I can watch comedy zombie movies; Shaun of the Dead & Zombieland. But I will still end up having a zombie nightmare. The nightmares are the worst! Sometimes I lock my bedroom door ‘just in case’ my flatmates turn into zombies during the night. It’s good to know I’m not alone and that it’s not a joke.

    Posted on 19-Sep-10 at 12:04 pm | Permalink
  7. Sara

    OMG I didn’t realize there were so many of us! I’m obsessed with zombie book, comics, movies, tv shows,video games, etc but I’M TERRIFIED of them for as long as I could remember. I’ve got maps of how to get outta my house depending on where the zombies come from and where I would go (north or the prison in Maryland) and what I would take with me. I watched The Walking Dead the other day and slept for an hour before the zombie dreams kicked in. then I sat on my bed in the dark for an hour trying to get myself to get up and hit the light switch and stayed up for the rest of the night, i was too damn scared. Holy Crap I thought I was the only one. I feel so much better now that I know i’m not

    Posted on 05-Nov-10 at 10:10 am | Permalink
  8. tammy

    After 20+ years with this problem, I’m so glad to finally know I’m not alone. I’m the only person I’ve known with this phobia. Just good to know you guys are out there. Even though we are living with this problem. Maybe someone will hear us and find a way to help.

    Posted on 15-Nov-10 at 7:58 pm | Permalink
  9. Michael

    The thing that helped me? I used visualisation techniques. I stopped playing out, in my mind, scenarios in which I was powerless. It is make believe after all. In these scenarios, I turned myself into my idea of the ultimate zombie fighting machine with any amount of weapons and powers needed, I even imagined having one of those lightsabers, the double ended one of course. This might sound odd, but it effects your subconscious mind, to vividly imagine your demise at the hands of zombies, or a movies or book to imagine it for you, this causes the anxiety in the first place. The conscious you knows its not real, the subconscious part of your mind does not and reacts as if it where real, to keep you safe. Making the scenarios in your mind humours and even farcical can also help, imagine you are chasing and eating zombies and they are running for their un- life. Or toothless ones desperately trying to break your skin and getting nowhere. Works for me anyways, hope am making sense. Have to go now, there are at least a thousand outside now, going to finish them of before I have me breakfast, easy. Lol

    Posted on 20-Nov-10 at 4:47 am | Permalink
  10. Megan

    I had no idea there were so many other people with the same fear as me. Ever since I watched Dawn of the Dead with my parents back when I was 7 (I‘m 17 now); I’ve been terrified of being alone home, in completely dark places, in unfamiliar spaces. Hell, I can’t even walk around my house at night because I’m to scared a zombie will just be roaming around inside. My one fear of zombies started a chain reaction of fears. My friends always laugh and joke with me about my Kinemortophobia, but I know they just mean well.
    It’s reassuring to know that I’m not alone with this fear.

    Posted on 25-Nov-10 at 11:04 am | Permalink
  11. Chelsea

    Hi everyone! Listen up, because I totally understand your stories here and there is a way to work through it all.

    First of all, it’s wonderful if there is someone that you can talk to at length about the phobia. For me it was a school Councillor, thank God for free college councilling! Usually all schools have it, so if you have that available take advantage of it.
    I found it extremely helpful to talk to someone who would take things seriously and with councilors, it’s their job to take every issue you have seriously. Yeah it’s unnerving to talk to a stranger sometimes, so just spend the first few sessions getting to know each other, and always follow through with your appointments, you won’t regret it.

    Some techniques I learned, the most effective was breathing. Just start taking deep breaths at any point in the day. When you start to panic, your breathing becomes shallow and other nervous tendancies can take over swiftly, but if you start training yourself to stop and take deep breaths under normal circumstances, then when you start getting freaked out it’s easier to get yourself to breath deeply again. Taking control of this one basic function helps your brain realize that you still have a level control and once you have that inch, you can coax yourself back down to a relative calm.
    Another breathing bonus is that steady breathing will slow your pulse and add oxygen to your blood stream. First of all which makes it easier for body to fight or run if the occasion occurred, and more importantly a slower heart rate means you’re calming down.

    Surprisingly keeping up with this breathing technique has done me wonders. The simple fact that I can once again say and type the word “Zombie” is evident of that. However if you need more i would suggest looking into pressure points. There are certain areas of the body that when you apply pressure to, it helps you calm down immensely.

    Good luck to you all!

    Posted on 12-Dec-10 at 6:48 pm | Permalink
  12. Gee

    Is there any way of getting over this fear? I’m 16 and have been terrified since I watched my first film of them at 10 years old…I don’t even like saying or reading the name!! my friends all think its hilarious to pretend to be one, but I think they’re learning that each time they pretend, I’ll burst out crying and scream for ages! I’m glad that other people have this fear, but does anyone have a surefire way of getting over this fear? I’m sick of it! :/

    Posted on 15-Dec-10 at 3:39 pm | Permalink
  13. Rachel

    Wow so many people have this fear O.o Its nice to know that Im not the only one at last, I have zombie dreams most nights as well. I also get people pretenting to be zombies when I tell them which makes me lash out <:( I even find I have a zombie plan

    Posted on 19-Dec-10 at 4:36 am | Permalink
  14. alyssa

    i woke up alone and its raining really hard….the first thing i do is grab the aluminum bat that i keep by my bed.i go to make sure that my door is locked, then i check the windows and i look under every possible place a zombie can hide. after this i go to my bathroom(,with my clothes,my bat,and ,my cellphone) for a quick shower. after im changed i put the news on to check for anythging weird. this is every morning for me. im almost 15 and i am terrified of zombies. at first i loved to watch all the movies and play all the games but now i NEED to…its the only way to survive. evceryone,all my friends and family, are always making fun of me for my Kinemortophobia and think that im just being dramatic but im not….i know i have problems but thanks to you guys i now know im not alone.

    Posted on 19-Dec-10 at 3:47 pm | Permalink
  15. lisa

    yea, i have an irrational fear too. And the walking dead has upped the anti in the preparedness steps that i am actually taking.i lock my doors at night thro the pure fear of the undead entering and eating me and my baby!! its ridiculous! being in england, i can’t go get a gun and amo from anywhere!!!!!! i need a couple chainsaws and few hatchetts couple machettes loads of body armor( i liked that idea from walking dead…hadn’t even thought of that! how could i have over looked it? ) and my zombie survival coupled with my SAS survival book along with a fully armoured vehicle and water sterilizing tablets should see me through….get to a boat and sit in the middle of the ocean till it all blows over with a nice brew and a few years supply of rich tea biscuits ….. arrrrrgh dont you hate it when its dark out side and you feel the undead eyes on you, but by morning there is no trace and you forget about it until you have to do the washing up by yourself in the kitchen again the next night?!!!

    Posted on 01-Jan-11 at 3:43 pm | Permalink
  16. Krahforst

    People in school are always teasing me and thinking that I’m just goofing around or asking for attention but they don’t seem to relize that THIS IS A REAL FEAR! I hadn’t even relized that this was a real fear eather untill the day I stumbled onto another person who had the same fear as me. YOU ARE NOT ALONE OUT THERE!

    Posted on 21-Jan-11 at 7:43 pm | Permalink
  17. scared1

    i keep thinking the what ifs also and to make it worst im in a small town in the woods so i think the goverment is gunna test zombie survival rate ive been scared since i was 7

    Posted on 28-Jan-11 at 11:05 am | Permalink
  18. scared1

    night is the scariest with zombies but by day im fine im prepared i got the zs hand book (zombie survival handbook) but im afraid about my family getting eaten and im just a kid and that just lowers the chance of survival

    Posted on 28-Jan-11 at 11:09 am | Permalink
  19. scared1

    i felt that i was alone but now i know that there are others and whats bad is that it makes you want to watch all the movies

    Posted on 28-Jan-11 at 11:11 am | Permalink
  20. Fiery Succubus

    I’ve had this phobia all my life. The man I am dating loves anything that involves zombies. And when he wants to watch a zombie movie or play a zombie videogame, I can usually sit through it. But immediately after, I am very anxious and assessing my surroundings constantly.

    I hate houses with windows on the front doors. I hate houses with windows that are close to the ground. I hate houses that have huge backyards that are not fenced in; sometimes I just stare out into the horizon, expecting to see a line of zombies coming my way. It may just be the creation of someone’s imagination, but I think that would be a horrible way to die.

    I was working at the local mall as a janitor, and I accidentally told the prankster of my workplace about my zombie phobia. From that point on, he would stalk me. If I were ever alone, he would hide behind corners, moaning and slowly walking towards me. Told me that eventually he would get everyone that worked with us to dress like zombies and come after me all at once. Luckily no one liked him and he could never afford the costumes.

    If zombies ever did rise, I would most likely barracade myself and my son in a Super Wal-Mart with a set of breeding rabbits or guinea pigs (future food).

    Posted on 30-Jan-11 at 11:21 am | Permalink
  21. Fiery Succubus

    To cope with my fear, I often try rationalizing with myself. In death, the joints become stiff and the muscles shrivel up. If zombies were able to rise, I don’t think the weight of the dirt enclosing them in their coffins would let them push their way out. So at the very moment, zombies could be trapped in their coffins and unable to rise due to lack of strength.

    Posted on 30-Jan-11 at 11:24 am | Permalink
  22. mason

    im 12 years old and i sleep fine but when i wake up in the middle of the night im paranoid and i sleep in a bunk bed above my sister and im afraid to get out incase shes gonna bite my leg or something….im so glad im not the only one but i cant stop playing nazi zombies and watching zombie movies even though im freaked out i wish there was some sort of medicine to get rid of this!!!

    Posted on 01-Feb-11 at 9:55 pm | Permalink
  23. Amelia

    What scares me is that if you’re bitten when you die you are no longer in control of yourself. Like vampires till have minds and werewolves are human most of the time, but zombies there’s no controlling yourself, you die and you want to eat people. I watched part of a comedy zombie film and that scared me because I then when went walking in the dark with my friend. I thought if I finished the film I would feel better, but I didn’t. I’m 15 now and was 12 at the time so I haven’t had the fear long, but for over 6months I slept every night with the light on and the door closed. People call me names sometimes for being scared, but it’s not like any of us can help it. I’ve heard of zombie crawls in America and wish we had them in England too because I think it would help.

    Posted on 26-Feb-11 at 9:52 am | Permalink
  24. tammy

    I’m so glad that I’m not alone.

    Posted on 15-Mar-11 at 8:55 pm | Permalink
  25. Jeremy

    I am very similar… I shake at the very imitation of a zombie moan, yet i can not stop playing Nazi Zombies!!!

    Posted on 22-Mar-11 at 12:35 pm | Permalink
  26. rachael b

    i have this phobia aswell i wake up crying from this….its wrecked my life and im only 21

    Posted on 04-Apr-11 at 2:46 pm | Permalink
  27. Glori B

    I’m 16 and I have kinemortophobia… I’m not sure when it started, but I have a hard time sleeping at places that aren’t my home. For example, I go to my aunt’s house and I have a paralyzing fear that zombies are going to come. My main fear deals with my family, namely my sisters who are 9 and 7. I always imagine what would happen if the zombies came and I had to protect them. My worst fear is of them being bitten…

    I hate sleeping next to windows and whenever I sleep over at soneone’s house, I sleep next to a window. I always imagine them stepping into the light of a streetlamp and where I go to sleep over, they live on the corner. I always have visions of the zombies coming and I somehow manage to get my sisters up on a roof, but someone, be it one of my aunts or grandmother, gets caught and eaten. I can always imagine the screams…

    I’ve recently started imagining zombies attacking during school. My sisters’ school is right next to mine and I imagine running over, grabbing them, and finding my way back to my school. Yet, I always lose one. In my dreams, and in my school…fantasy I guess you could call it, I always imagine my youngest sister getting bitten, or eaten first. I always lose my grip on her hand or she trips…something. I’m going away to college next year and I always am scared to imagine what would happen if zombies did become real while I was away.

    I suppose this fear stems from my fear of losing my sisters and my fierce protection of them. My worst fear is to lose one of them, especially if I am the one who has to kill them before they turn or hear them as they are being eaten.

    I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one. My family knows, but I think they don’t believe it’s that much of a deal. Thank you everyone for letting me know that I am not the only one.

    Glori~<3

    Posted on 22-Jul-11 at 2:41 am | Permalink
  28. Kaeli

    My fear feels like it grows everyday. I make survival plans in my head and have designed my house so that when/if zombies ever do become a problem, I can self sustain for a good amount of time. I plan out how I am going to have to rotate land for crops, I am teaching myself how to become a jack of all trades for any occassion that I might be needed to help. I map out certain areas of the US and what my statistics are for certain places that I might be and what my rate of survival is. I watch zombie movies, read zombie books (fast forwarding through the zombie parts), and try to learn from their mistakes. I make itimized lists of supplies I will need to have on hand and am considering building a bomb shelter. I am considering learning how to make my own bullets. Survival has become an obsession of mine.

    Posted on 26-Jul-11 at 5:39 pm | Permalink
  29. Malcolm

    It is good to find others out there. I feel ridonculous for this fear as it is so out there, but it is ruining my sleep. I spent the night in a hotel room last night because I am on a work trip, and I kept having panic attacks while trying to fall asleep. In my sleep deprived and addled brain, I kept thinking that the door was very secure but the window was easy access to zombies, and I kept worrying that I did not have anything decent with which to barricade the window.

    I have nightmares and night terrors frequently, and it is all so odd to be because I LOVE zombie stuff. Shaun of the Dead is in my top 3 favorite movies, and I’ve even written a term paper about it. I have played almost every zombie video game out there and have seen almost every film. I never seem to get scared when I am watching them, but when trying to sleep, I panic or have horrific nightmares, even when it has been a long time since seeing one. It’s getting out of control.

    Posted on 02-Aug-11 at 12:45 am | Permalink
  30. Melissa

    I’m so glad it’s not uncommon.

    When i was smaller, as soon as the clock hits very late at night or midnight – and everyone is asleep, I get scared because I used to think everyone in the whole world is lifeless and that stranded feeling took over.

    When my brothers watched resident evil, brought home zombie comics, and played zombie games – that fear was times two plus taken to a whole new level.

    Over the years, I’ve been daring to overcome it. Now, my fear of zombies is not so bad. In watching zombie movies and games, I get scared – but after awhile, it’s okay. I also tried to make good use of it: studied it in depth in an exam topic, and i even won a prize for it.

    I’ve managed to calm it down, but the feeling still comes to me as the most alarming and haunting than any other. Besides the adrenaline rush is cool.

    Posted on 12-Aug-11 at 3:47 pm | Permalink
  31. Keelan

    Reading all your comments make me feel more safer I’ll begin on how I started out my kinemortophobia.
    It all started when I was 4 this might be funny but it was a Simpsons episode that started chewing at my bravery.
    I remember on how I dreamt of skeletons and zombies in my backyard but that was just one quarter of my phobia coming into place. I was okay until the age of 10. I saw walkthroughs of Dead Rising but until i saw one of those undead flesh eaters eating someone my fear boosted up to 90%. I kept saying it’s just a game but nothing worked. Next when I was 11 my mum rented a film and i saw a start of a trailer and it had the earth on it so I thought it was about science but until I saw a zombie tackle her husband I was changing the movie straight away and that boosted my fear into overdrive! I’m liking cod zombies,dead rising 2,the left 4 dead series and the new dead island but I can Play the games. With out shittin myself but im still scared in a way…

    Posted on 11-Sep-11 at 6:57 am | Permalink
  32. Ciera

    I love zombies, but at the same time I, too, have kinemortophobia. At funerals I WILL NOT approach the coffin alone. I hardly will at all. I’m always afraid they’ll get up! I’m also probably the biggest zombies theorist my friends and family know. They think I’m joking.

    Posted on 07-Oct-11 at 5:09 pm | Permalink
  33. Kelli

    When Im at home the doors are always locked and shades at night shut because of this fear of mine. Its been forever since ive watched my brother play video games and was tortured with the movie, the mummy. When I would hear the name of that movie I would get chills and if I saw it I would go into hysterics. Now I have nightmares and lie awake at night just thinking of the so called apocalypse. Everywhere I go my imagination terrifies me because I picture one in every corner of the earth. Its a horrible phobia to live with especially with the new found popularity.

    Posted on 03-Nov-11 at 11:12 pm | Permalink
  34. Tessa

    I can’t believe this is a real fear!! I thought it was just me being paranoid and so glad im not the only one!! I have panic attacks when my “friends” make zombie noises behind me and although i dont want to be scared and i know they aren’t real when I read a book or play a video game i spend the rest of the night expecting the noises and waiting for the face and shuffling noise of zombie.
    Yes.. im having a panic attack atm, My friend was showing me their Zombie survival guide book. it was illustrated

    Posted on 13-Nov-11 at 7:50 pm | Permalink
  35. Jale

    Zombies…. are they real, or not? Who knows. All I know is that I am terrified, too. I try to poke fun at it and laugh it off, even calling them “Zoombies” (a term my brother coined after seeing the ‘quick’ running/moving zombie flicks). But deep down, I am just plain scared. The whole undead, re-animated, stinking corpse with a hunger for flesh just creeps me out and keeps me up at night. I check the house before I go to bed, every night, doors and windows locked, and I still can’t sleep. I just keep thinking they will sneak up on me and I will be caught unprepared. It’s horrible. What’s worse? I am sitting in a secure room right now and I am still looking over my shoulder! Hey, I am fifty years old, I know it is irrational. But I just can’t help it! I wouldn’t wish this fear on anyone!

    Posted on 15-Nov-11 at 4:57 am | Permalink
  36. Robert

    I’m the 82nd person to admit on this site this fear. I play Elder Scroll Skyrim, and in the game, there aren’t any zombies but they have these living skeleton warriors called Draugr that scare the heck out of me. It’s apart of the main quest and there in this cave/dungeon so its that much worse, I hate them that I literally just stopped halfway through the dungeon and just did other things.

    It’s GREAT to know that I’m not the only person with this fear. Maybe I’ll try to listen to AC/DC and then play it to add a “bad*ss” theme into killing them.

    Posted on 30-Nov-11 at 9:52 pm | Permalink
  37. Josh

    OMG Thank god that I am not the only one. I used to have a light fear of them after playing Dead Rising 2 and reading about 28 Days Later but It really took off after I finished the Highschool of the Dead anime series. I still have kinemortophobia, yes, but I am slowly getting over it. I don’t sleep near windows anymore, go down the street at night or stay in a dark room alone. I have an overactive imagination and constantly think of the “what if’s” but I just ignore it. I know that an apocalypse won’t happen (i hope to high heaven) but I have been practicing my sword and bow skills on the Wii and my gun skills with my grandfather on the farm just in case…

    Posted on 29-Dec-11 at 5:41 am | Permalink
  38. Bailey Hall

    I am seriously glad that I am not the only one.

    Posted on 06-Feb-12 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

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