A Grave Fear

“It’s the safest place in the world to be.” So often I hear this when it comes to the reference of cemeteries. Why? People always tell me it’s because the dead are not a part of the living any longer and it’s impossible for them to inflict harm to anyone. Then why is there such terror in the hearts of the individuals who suffer from coimetrophobia? Hmm… good question!

Coimetrophobia is the fear of cemeteries. Those who live with this phobia say that when they are in or around cemeteries, they experience shortness of breath, bodily shakes and breaking out in a sweat, just to name a few. More severe cases even experience heart palpitations and a sense of temporary paralyzation, preventing the sufferer to move. In fact, some people are so terrified by cemeteries that they avoid them all together.

Now, this is not a fear that has manifested itself only in recent years. It actually has been around for quite some time. Fear of the dead rising due to superstitious lore has plagued mankind throughout the ages. It has given birth to such creatures like zombies, vampires and other similar beings. And thanks to Hollywood, such frightening legends have been given a form of life across the silver screen. I, myself enjoy a hair-raising tale. I believe it keeps the blood pumping and the senses intact.

I personally do not have a fear of cemeteries. However, one night when I was much younger and while out with some friends, we went to an old church and cemetery that were way out in the middle of the countryside on an old gravelly road. The night was solemn as the moonlight shined on the top of each grave. We all walked among the headstones in search of anything that had the potential to frighten a bunch of teen girls. Nothing out of the ordinary was seen that I can recall, except for a small red glow viewable through the church’s window. Keep in mind that this church was not hooked up to any electricity. It even had an outhouse located at the back of its property. So, how was it possible to see the red light inside an old structure with graves dated back from the late 1800s?

We never investigated it, nor did any research relating to the site. We decided to keep our distance and leave it alone. But to think of that night still ponders me to this day.

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~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter @sheilarparker

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