Stepping Out of the Shadows
In our study we discovered that as many as one in five British adults admit to being afraid of the dark. So, if you shake at the thought of walking through an unlit room, you’re certainly not alone and you can be reassured by the knowledge that it takes real bravery to confess to having this phobia.
A quarter of people admit that they used to be afraid of the dark but grew out of it. What this shows is that perhaps there is hope for those one in five adults who still have this fear.
Dealing with It
In order to cope with their fear of the dark, 20% of people choose to keep a light on. This might seem like a good idea, but perhaps isn’t the best use of electricity. The next most popular option, leaving the TV on in the background, is no better when it comes to power wastage and is the choice of 14% of respondents. But while these methods of coping may seem wasteful – at least in terms of wattage – they are certainly effective.
Cuddling a pillow (7%) and using a Himalayan salt lamp (3%) are other popular choices to provide comfort, and at least these are more environmentally friendly.
The Shape of Things to Come
When looking into what it is that frightens Brits the most in the dark, we discovered that the answers are all around us. This is because 60% of us have mistaken an inanimate object for something more sinister in the dark.The most common items that give us a start are lampshades, along with suits and dressing gowns on coat hangers. What do we think these items are? Ghosts or people, usually. This proves that when the lights are out, our imaginations take over.
One respondent told us that they thought a toy gun was a real weapon, while another said that they believed a belt to be a snake. A pile of washing was even thought to be a bear by one respondent, creating a real moment of fear.
Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Darkness?
Our study also shone a light on which gender was more afraid when it came to being alone in the dark. It turns out that more than half of the women surveyed (52%) said they are scared to be alone in a dark room compared to less than a quarter of the men (23%).
We also opened a door on which rooms are the most frightening in the home. The garage leapt out as the location that gives people the heebie-jeebies the most. This was followed by hallways and the living room.
What Else Frightens Us?
Other fears that UK adults admit to included aliens, Dr Who, giving blood, the dentist and public speaking. This broad list just goes to show that fear can come from anywhere – even beloved television shows.
Dealing with our Fears
It could be argued that fear is part of what makes us human, providing a natural response to situations we can’t quite control. So, if you are one of those who fear the dark, don’t worry: it’s perfectly normal.
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