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This page is about the trope. For the film starring Richard Gere and Edward Norton, click here. For the band "Primal Fear", click here.

A baby rabbit, even one that has never encountered a bird before, will still cower at the sight of a hawk's shadow.

Some fears are nearly-universal, or just quite wide-spread. The dark, heights, blood, enclosed spaces, fire, snakes, spiders, psychopaths, loud sounds, pain, death, monsters, humiliation, loneliness, complete emptiness, existential dread, gore, giants, being eaten alive, humiliation; these fears have always been with us. They are the dangers our early ancestors faced, and their shadows still haunt our nightmares. Most people are a little nervous about such things — not many people could walk on a glass bridge over the Grand Canyon without any railings, and not feel a little anxious — and full-blown phobias are easily enough induced.

Naturally, writers of Horror fiction like to exploit these.

See also: Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?, Snakes Are Sinister, Scaled Up, Spiders Are Scary, Scary Scorpions, Creepy Cockroach, Creepy Centipedes, Bears Are Bad News, Fangs Are Evil, Eye Scream, And I Must Scream, Jump Scare , Enclosed Space (which isn't necessarily this trope), Dark Is Evil (primal fears of darkness are the reason this trope is so prevalent), and a fair number of Horror Tropes.


Examples:

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     Advertising  

  • Viacom's dramatic "V of Doom" Vanity Plate from the 70s and 80s, with a rather eerie presence, was the cause of many a nightmare among kids of the time.
  • Across the pond, Yorkshire Television also had a "V of Doom" ident that terrified generations of children across Britain. Must be something about chevrons.
  • Nothing wets the pants quite like the old Paramount logo. Musician Dominic Frontiere deliberately intended the theme music for this vanity plate to be frightening, even giving it the nickname "Closet Killer." Yes, that's exactly what you want to hear after your favorite television show fades to black... some good 'ol stabbin' music!

     Anime and Manga  

  • AKIRA manages to be pretty freaky in many ways. The example that comes most readily to mind encompasses several of the above when, in the anime, Kaori gets trapped inside Tetsuo as he grows into a horrific, giant, mutated... thing. The larger he gets, the tighter Kaori's disgusting prison becomes around her, until it becomes so small, she bursts into a pool of blood. And then you're expected to pay attention to the rest of the ending, instead of staring blankly in horror. Good luck with that.
  • In the anime version of Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky, when riding on the balloon, Linca is heard telling herself repeatedly "Don't look down, don't look down, don't look down..."
  • Attack on Titan: The entire series just breathes this trope. The Titans are huge and powerful abominations that rip apart, stomp to death or eat alive any human they find, and the remnants of humanity must fight them if they are to have any hope of survival. Since the manga focuses on the Redshirt Army responsible for defending humanity, characters are constantly getting eaten by the Titans, and the series does not shy from showing us the gory details.
  • Berserk, while it has its beautiful moments, is nightmare central due to Kentaro Miura's use of pretty much every damned Primal Fear in the book. The Eclipse in particular is a very nasty combination of Monsters and Evil Beings, Being Eaten Alive, Blood and Guts, and quite a lot more, particularly toward the end when Casca is raped by a demonic god who used to be her former commander Griffith, while Guts, the man who loves her, who has just chiseled off his own arm to try to save her, is held down by a mess of monsters and forced to watch it happen without being able to do a thing about it, which utterly exemplifies Sadism and Squick.
  • Bleach:
    • The Espada all represent various aspects of death. When Baraggan releases his blade, he takes a Grim Reaper-like form wearing an elaborate crown. He then goes on to explain that his aspect is "old age", the only kind of death that is utterly unavoidable: no matter how powerful you are, one day you will die and crumble to dust. True to his nature, he is in no hurry to destroy his enemies, moving slowly forward as his entropic powers disintegrate everything around him. Hachi theorizes that Baraggan is no exception to this rule and uses his own power against him in order to destroy him.
    • Äs Nödt's power isn't about explicable fear, it's about fear that goes to the very core of what it means to be alive. It's the kind of fear that runs solely on instinct; it cannot be rationalised and cannot be fought. In short, he weaponises fear into an Emotion Bomb that instantly "nukes" the victim. The form the fear takes can be absolutely anything - from what a person can expect to fear to what they never believed could ever bother them. There is no defence, even Byakuya succumbed. It manifested for Byakuya as a hallucination of Rukia's face rotting to pieces.
  • Black Paradox
    • The series has a particularly terrifying variation of this. In the story, the protagonists discover mysterious stones that give off massive amounts of energy. The stones are actually the souls of people from the past, and using them up is going to ensure mankind's extinction.
    • One chapter titled "The Strange Tale Of The Pylorus" centers around one character's (a man named "Piitan" (his name is really "Mr. Houdou") stomach becoming a portal to the afterlife (the Japanese word for "Pylorus" also translates into "Spirit Door"). This results in him barfing up the aforementioned stones. Eventually, the stones fill up his stomach faster than he can vomit them out and he ends up exploding.
  • After her elderly father's death, six-year old Rin from Bunny Drop becomes fearful of her own demise and her new guardian's death. Daikichi soothes her worries by telling her he won't die until she is an adult.
  • The titular Castle in the Sky plays on the audience's acrophobia, as there are many places where the characters could easily fall off and plummet to their death. This is especially emphasized in Pazu's Le Parkour moments, as he makes daring leaps and hangs onto tight ledges for dear life.
  • Chainsaw Man:
    • All Devils are personifications of Human Fear. These include objects, animals, concepts, and everything in between — Chainsaw, Shark, Blood, Violence, and Angel are among the many encountered in the series. The more people are afraid of a specific Devil, the more powerful it becomes. After the Gun Devil caused a worldwide event that killed millions, governments actively sought to censor depictions of Gun Violence in an effort to weaken the Devil. The series also name-drops this trope with the Primal Fears, Eldritch Abominations born from the most primordial of horrors. The two that have appeared thus far, Darkness and Falling, are suitably disturbing beings that are so powerful, they have maintained their original identities throughout history, having never, ever died.
    • The Darkness Devil represents the fear of the dark and is a Primal Fear Devil. Fittingly, it is the most powerful devil seen in the story, noted to have never died in its incalculable lifespan when devils as powerful as the Gun Devil regularly go through a Resurrection/Death Loop. The heroes don't even try to beat it, they try to get out of Hell (literally) as soon as possible.
    • Part 2 introduces the Falling Devil. Like the Darkness Devil, it is a Primal Fear Devil, which makes her an ancient, immensely powerful entity. Her powers connected to heights and the fear of falling includes coercing people into jumping to their deaths, reverting gravity and throwing people in Hell, and even the more abstract concept of "falling" into despair by making people relive terrible memories.
    • While the Death Devil has yet to make an appearance, she's set up to be the main antagonist of Part 2, and is outright stated to be the most powerful Devil in existence, surpassing even the previously revealed Primal Fear Devils like Darkness and Falling. The reason for this being that almost all fears stem from the threat of being harmed and potentially dying in the process, meaning they end up feeding into Death's power.
  • Senshi from Delicious in Dungeon reacts this way towards griffons. As Laios begins explaining what they are, as Senshi had no idea what they were, he immediately tries to find a way to hold the group back from looking into whether or not the silhouette that had been seen was one or Falin. The actual thing showing up sends him into a complete panic, running away just repeatedly screaming no, which in turn just serves to make the beast grab him and fly off.
  • Dragon Ball Z
    • Cell 'eats' people by stabbing them with his tail and sucking them until nothing remains except their clothes. All the while the people being eaten are fully conscious and screaming in agony. Androids 17 and 18 arguably had it worse since they were swallowed whole by Cell.
    • Buu turns people into living candy or chocolate before eating them. Given what happened with Vegeto, the people transformed are fully aware of what is happening, but can't move and prevent themselves from being eating alive.
  • Several of the villains of Fist of the North Star are violent, gigantic men who pillage what's left of the world and are completely deaf to reason. One of the biggest and most frightening is Devil Rebirth, a monstrous man who is as tall as a building, has murdered over 700 people, and was sealed off in prison after 13 failed execution attempts.
  • Franken Fran deals mostly in Body Horror, but the creator is trying desperately to cover ALL the bases, already dealing with at least half this list.
  • Gregory Horror Show: Each of the guests represents a different primal fear. for instance, Hell's Chef represents fear of criticism, and Judgement Boy represents fear of consequences.
  • Gyo. Zombie fish that are able to walk on land thanks to strange walking machines that were clearly not made by human hands (it's strongly implied they were built by either ghosts or by super-intelligent bacteria). Said walking machines are powered by a foul-smelling gas produced by the bacteria that infects said fish. It's already scary enough with the zombified sharks walking around. And then humans become infected by the disease.
  • Hellsing: Seras tells Anderson that she fears no one anymore after having become a real vampire. Then she meets the Captain. They share a few blows and then the Captain starts to show off his real powers for the first time in the series. Seras freezes in fear when she reveals that he is an animalistic Eldritch Abomination werewolf, and is struck by realisation that she has met the real big bad wolf.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
    • The Grand Finale involves Asuka and Unit 02 (Asuka's mother) being torn apart and eaten by SEELE's Mass Production Evas. And of course, Shinji just has to be the one to find the body...
    • And Zeruel gets eaten alive by Shinji (well, actually a beserk Unit 01) earlier, in an effort to obtain infinite energy instead of battery power. The action makes several of the secondary characters vomit.
    • And in the doujinshi RE-TAKE, Shinji eats Kaworu for the same reason, just it doesn't work that way this time...
    • Giant insectoid space alien abominations come to Earth to merge with the mother of creation and turn everyone into Tang using the thing they love the most to get them to take down their AT field (which stands for absolute terror), which is the only thing holding us together. The backstory is complete with the deaths of loved ones by various methods including suicide and a global catastrophe. There is also gore, ludicrous gibs, mind rape, and the saviors of Earth are child soldiers undergoing existential crises who have no choice but to pilot giant humanoid cyborgs because the souls of their dead mothers reside in them. Yeah...
  • Parasyte
  • Pokémon: The Original Series: "Carrots, peppers, and bugs": Defused in this case as the bug Misty is angry at is an adorable, big-eyed little caterpillar. Or maybe not so averted for some people. Cute or not, Caterpie is almost as big as Ash's head.
    Misty: Bugs are one of the three most disgusting things in the world!
  • For such an innocent-looking show, Pretty Cure has this page pretty well covered... and then some. For instance, do you like the idea that, at a crucial moment, someone who was about to give you the ability to save your friends will suddenly decide you don't deserve it, leaving you to watch helplessly as said friends only barely pull through and the bad guys get away with the MacGuffin? Yeah, neither did Karen.
  • What happens to Mami at the hands of a monstered-out Witch in the Wham Episode of Puella Magi Madoka Magica.
  • In Shiki the fears of sadism and squick (the truly horrifying ways the vampires are killed), ferocious animals (Seishirou's dogs), blood and guts, enclosed spaces (the scenes of vampires waking up in their coffins), the dark, and possibly being eaten alive (since the vampires feed on their victims for several days before the victims die, and the audience has to watch them get weaker and weaker) are all well accounted for.
  • The Anti-Spiral in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. You're thinking this of all shows wouldn't count, but the scene where he deconstructs poor Nia Teppelin, which already carries heavy rape-like undertones in the show and is seriously nightmarish, gets even worse in The Movie. "I want to get into that body of yours," indeed. (NSFW)
  • The titular character in Tomie. Sure, she looks human, but she has the supernatural ability to cause anyone to fall madly in love with her (or become insanely jealous of her). This eventually causes people to either kill each other for her or simply attempt to kill her themselves in an attempt to break free from her spell. Too bad she can simply regenerate from nearly any injury. This can sometimes result in multiple Tomies, and each one will gladly tear the other (or make whoever is under their spell do so) to pieces. She's strongly implied to be the physical embodiment of lust and all the terrible things that go with it.
  • The Japan-only Transformers Binaltech Kiss Play sub-line is exceedingly disturbing, what with the constant little girl on Transforming Mecha subtext and mindless, cannibalistic Megatron clones with enormously phallic tongues.
  • The second volume of Trigun Maximum, of all things, hits on claustrophobia in the very first chapter. A group of about 40 officers have their bodies taken control of, and are forced to all squeeze into a box on the back of a truck made to hold one (very large) man. The result of them all squishing themselves together is pretty implied when you see the blood pouring out of the bottom of the truck.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX:
    • The series combines this with Ho Yay Stalker with a Crush: Yubel's profession of love to Judai via mass murder and bloodshed while possessing his almost-love interest Johan gets into an entirely new area of Slash Fic BDSM weird, especially when the possession gives Johan and his monsters a new Fashionable Evil look. And the fact that Yubel is a demonic hermaphrodite... Oh, and did we mention that the dub version has a little girl's voice? Or the fact that, until it got resurrected, it was a disembodied hand that attached itself to its hosts? And this card was supposed to be Judai's favorite card as a kid? Let's face it: Yubel as a whole is the stuff that nightmares are made of.
    • Oh, and as of the end of Season 3, she's part of Judai's soul. If Judai ever starts dating, the results may be far from pretty.

     Comic Books  

  • Played for laughs in the Donald Duck story "Incident at McDuck Tower" by Don Rosa. Donald is hired as a window washer of the top floor of a skyscraper, but through various circumstances he proceeds to fall off the building several stories at a time. Despite miraculously surviving his fall, by the end he's so terrified that he has a panic attack upon seeing the 2-inch height difference between the sidewalk and the street.

     Comic Strips  

  • A lot of The Far Side comics were inspired by experiences with primal fears that Gary Larson had during his childhood, especially the fear of monsters in the dark and the fear of being chased by a dangerous animal. A few examples:
    • A man in a sleeping bag wakes up and sees a scorpion standing on him. The scorpion politely asks him to not move around because of all the other scorpions in the bag.
    • A scorpion is telling another scorpion about his terrifying encounter with five-head monster that almost crushed him, which was actually the foot of a human who was just trying to put on their shoe, giving the fear of bugs a Perspective Flip.
    • A bird of prey seen though the perspective of a pair of binoculars is staring right at the viewer and about to take off. The contents of the bird's nest imply that it has killed a lot of other birdwatchers.
    • Multiple comics feature Things That Go "Bump" in the Night.
    • A passenger in an airplane is about to accidentally hit a switch that makes the plane's wings fall off.
    • A psychiatrist's controversial technique of simultaneously confronting fear of heights, snakes, and the dark. A small dark box suspended in the air, full of snakes. His test subject was not enjoying it.
    • A man and his pet lion are getting into an elevator with some other people. The man assures the other passengers that his pet is completely harmless as long as it isn't startled. The elevator door is about to close on the lion's tail.

     Fan Works  

  • It's mentioned in Clair de Lune that pegasi frequently have nightmares that their wings fail mid-flight.
  • Tercio suffers from this in Just Before the Dawn. Perhaps understandably, given that as a human he lacks both wings and magic.
  • In Live a Hero (MHA), Izuku is deathly afraid of the dark after the League of Villains locked him in a pitch-black room for hours by himself as child. He has five nightlights in his room at all times, wears almost nothing but brightly colored hoodies, has sneakers that light up when he stomps on the floor and brings a flashlight wherever he goes. Later on, he has glow-in-the-dark star stickers strewn about his room.
  • According to One More Time, One More Chance, Ryuko is afraid of the dark and can't sleep without a nightlight. This is due to her experiences with her previous placements or her experiences at a school, where she was locked in a dark room as punishment.
  • In Sonic the Continuation, Tikal has been transported 8000 years into the future. She has a chance to go back to her rightful time and either save her tribe from extinction or die alongside them, but she's too afraid of dying to do so.
  • Various Vytal Ventures: The short story" Hide and Seek" has Team RWBY, Team JNPR, Velvet Scarlatina, Sun Wukong, and Penny Polendina trapped by a Nightmare Grimm's bad dream-inducing powers, each of which display their worst fears.
    • Sadism: Ruby Rose is Forced to Watch her friends suffer from their darkest nightmares and is initially powerless to do anything. Weiss gets taunted and mocked for her insecurities by her reflections in a hall of mirrors, Velvet is picked on by Team CRDL and gang-raped, Penny Polendina is forcefully disassembled alive and conscious.
    • Bugs: An injured and powerless Yang finds herself being attacked by a swarm of rapier wasps, some of which even get into her hair.
    • Snakes and Being Eaten Alive: Pyrhha finds herself attacked by snakes and is about to be eaten by a giant serpentine Taijitu Grimm.
    • Humiliation: Sun becomes a clown performing at the circus, only to be jeered, mocked, and pelted by produce.
    • Existential Dread: Nora becomes invisible, inaudible, and intangible to her friends, with everyone forgetting her.
    • Abandonment and/or disownment from family and friends: Jaune turns into a baby as he is abandoned and cruelly taunted by the now adult versions of his friends Pyrhha, Ruby, and Weiss, while Ren's mother disowns him, claiming he brought shame upon his family and forces him commit Seppuku.
    • Personal Horrors: Blake ends up turning into a panther that attacks and feeds on her friends, all the while she can't do anything but watch in horror in her mind.
  • You Cant Escape Spooky Month: When Lila first returns from the alternate dimension she was stuck in, she's unable to sleep in the dark because it was always the most dangerous at night there. Garcello offers to be a makeshift nightlight until she's comfortable enough to sleep on her own again.

     Film - Animated  

  • The Claymation film The Adventures of Mark Twain featured a series of vignettes based on Mark Twain stories. In the most notorious sequence, Twain's young wards are whisked to a dimension populated only by "The Mysterious Stranger" from the Mark Twain story of the same name — a horrible Devil-being with a comedy/tragedy mask for a face who creates a society of little clay people, watches them bicker amongst one another, and then wipes them out with an earthquake. Enjoy.
    • It's even worse in the book, largely due to Mood Whiplash; it's the last story in a book that, up to that point, had been fairly lighthearted. The Existential Dread does not help.
  • Disney's version of Aladdin:
    • Jafar uses a cobra-headed cane to hypnotize the Sultan.
    • Jafar turning into a giant cobra.
    • Not to mention the Body Horror variant that Mirage visited upon Jasmine by slowly turning her into a Naga in the series.
  • From The Brave Little Toaster, "Worthless" is a blues song about cars remembering their glory days just before their feeding to a trash compactor. The titular refrain implies that no matter what they did, they ultimately are, no matter who they were, "worthless". A good example about how a Tear Jerker moment can still be scary in a distant sense.
  • FernGully: The Last Rainforest has a very creepy musical number by the villain Hexxus entitled "Toxic Love". It even has some sexually provocative aspects to it...
  • In Disney's Hercules:
    • Pain and Panic as snakes.
    • The Hydra frightens Hercules, Phil, and the citizens of Thebes. Its great size, the roar, and how it swallowed the hero whole. Herc himself appears afraid when the monster grew a dozen heads.
    • The Cyclops looks for Hercules in Thebes, striking terror into its citizens.
  • What the mob did to Quasimodo in Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame. After crowning him "the ugliest face in Paris" and carrying him about the city, they then tie him to a revolving platform and spin it at high speed while throwing garbage at him. What makes this so utterly horrible is that up until this point, Quasimodo had been so happy that he was crying with joy at being finally accepted.
  • Several examples occurs in Disney's The Jungle Book (1967). Kaa, the enormous hypnotic python who can put you to sleep just by looking you in the eyes. He does this to Mowgli twice and nearly devours him both times. The horror is rather muted, but it's there all the same. When Shere Khan the tiger first attacks Mowgli, he frightens the boy.
  • In Tangled, Rapunzel and Flynn are trapped in a small enclosed mine with no exit — and it's flooding, shrinking all the time. For once, Flynn has no quips.
  • Toy Story: Existential dread is a common recurring theme throughout the series, specifically because the characters fear what will happen to them if they do not get played with or are outgrown. This ends up deconstructed quite heavily, showcasing how this ends up hurting the characters more than it helps them.
    • In Toy Story, Woody experiences this (along with a bout of severe jealousy) when Buzz Lightyear shows up and apparently replaces him as Andy's favorite toy. This leaves the cowboy fearful of losing Andy's love, leading him to try and "misplace" Buzz, only to knock him out the window instead, causing most of the other toys to turn on him. The subsequent journey allows him and Buzz to become inseparable friends, as Woody understands that Andy's happiness comes from allowing him to share his status as the favorite with the space toy, and he still has a place in the boy's heart.
    • In Toy Story 2, Woody's arm is damaged, and he fears that Andy will never want to play with him again, not to mention that, even if Andy did keep him around, he will eventually grow up and move on, leaving the cowboy seriously considering to leave everything behind and stay in a toy museum in Japan. When Buzz calls him out on this, Woody realizes that he can't stop Andy from growing up, but it's his responsibility to be there for him until he does.
    • In Toy Story 3, all of Andy's toys, having spent years in the toy box without being played with as Andy got older, fear their owner no longer needs them. A misunderstanding that lands them on the curb leads them to leave Andy and donate themselves to Sunnyside Daycare, in spite of Woody's protests that Andy never meant to leave them out on the curb. The toys quickly regret their decision when they see just how roughly the kids play with them, not to mention it's a prison camp run by a sadistic teddy bear. They are able to return home eventually, but thanks to Woody, they get a new home with Bonnie, allowing them to enjoy being played with once again.
    • In Toy Story 4, Woody experiences this again when Bonnie stops playing with him, leaving him fearful that he's become utterly useless, and starts going to any lengths to keep his owner happy. This ends up putting a severe strain on his relationships with his friends, who are concerned his desire to prove himself may expose them, even if they understand where he's coming from. This bites Woody hard when his dread of being useless prevents him and Bo Peep from rescuing Forky from Gabby Gabby, leading Bo to call him out on his seeming disregard of everyone else and leaves him. Fortunately, Woody realizes Bo has a point, and when she does come back to help him, he decides to stay with her so he can live his life without being tied down to any kid.
  • In Turning Red, Ming severely humiliates Mei in front of her peers twice. The director, Domee Shi, has said those scenes were inspired by her own life and represent what it would look like if what she feared most at that age came true.

     Film - Live-Action  

  • At one point in 1408, in order to escape the titular room, Mike Enslin attempts to climb out a window 13 stories up, stand on a ledge maybe six inches wide, and shimmy twenty feet across to the next room, with plenty of camera angles to show just how high. Twenty-five feet later, he realizes the room is still tormenting him when he doesn't encounter a window. The camera zooms out reveal a massive wall completely devoid of anything but the ledge and 1408's windows. While going back, a ghost jumping out the window shocks him, and he only manages to avoid falling to his death by clinging tightly to the ledge. He barely manages to get back in before the window shuts on him.
  • The Xenomorph from Alien. It's faceless (save for a grinning maw of fangs), tall, unnaturally slender, looks insectoid and skeletal at the same time, has a misshapen and elongated head, long spidery fingers, a tail which is something that a humanoid shouldn't have (which harkens to the idea of atavism which makes it all the more animalistic), it's jet black in colour, is highly intelligent, and the fact that people give birth to them. It's basically the personification of rape.
  • Anaconda, or any film with oversized snakes aside from Snakes on a Plane, which was just plain Rule of Cool. Things you hate are always worse micronized or supersized!
  • In Beetlejuice, the titular character turns into a giant snake at one point. It's made even scarier by the fact that his head stays exactly the same. The Sandworms could count too, since they're so huge they pretty much look like snakes.
  • The Brothers Grimm, the scene where the little girl plays with a horse that was fed spiders by the woodsman. It sucks her in with a spidery cocoon and sucks her down. You see its shadow swallow her... and the the horse tramples around outside, and you get a very good look into its mouth, to see the little girl sliding down its gullet into darkness.
  • Buried is about a man buried alive and he spends the entire film trapped in the wooden coffin waiting for rescue.
  • The Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Just his name should be enough.
  • Creepshow:
    • The Crate. And, more accurately, the thing in it.
    • The segment "They're Creeping Up On You" features a lot of cockroaches, used to utterly horrific extent, which is made all the more jarring by the goofy, camp tone of the rest of the film.
  • The Descent begins with a group of young women exploring a cave. Pretty soon there's a cave-in behind them, trapping them inside. Things get worse from there.
  • Fall: Fear of heights, specifically. The reason why is right there in the title, with the two main characters climbing an abandoned TV tower and ending up stranded on a small platform at 2000 feet.
  • The Final Destination film series is built around the fear of being hunted down by the Grim Reaper until he catches up to those who have escaped it and kills them in elaborate, agonizing ways. The inevitability of death is really emphasized because in this series, Death always wins and the protagonists' efforts to cheat it are entirely pointless in the end.
  • Godzilla:
    • Godzilla himself. A giant dinosaur mutated by radiation. Even worse is that he's not just some random wild animal that just happens to be smashing buildings out of fear and confusion. Instead, he's deliberately trying to destroy all of humanity as an act of vengeance for creating the nuclear bombs that mutated him in the first place.
    • Destroyah, one of Godzilla's most notorious foes, falls under this. He starts off as a few billion microscopic crab-like creatures before merging together into several human-sized monsters that look like a mix between a crab and a scorpion, which then merges into a giant version of said crab-scorpion mix creature, and then his final form looks like a Kaiju version of Satan. To make matters worse, Destroyah is completely and utterly sadistic, taking utter glee in torturing his foes before brutally murdering them.
    • The HALO jump scene from Godzilla (2014) has Ford Brody and the other soldiers jumping out of a plane at such a high altitude that they're practically in space. The jump requires them to dive through a massive, thundering storm cloud all the way down into a ruined San Francisco that the eponymous creature is still marauding through. Some of the soldiers even drop right past Godzilla as they get closer to the ground.
  • The Grey. It's about people stranded in Alaska with the possibility of freezing, starving, etc. There's a horrifying scene involving heights and of course, the wolves.
  • Honey, I Shrunk the Kids:
    • The scene where poor Nick is about to get eaten with his dad's cereal becomes doubly creepy when you consider that the dad in question (up until Quark bites his leg Just in Time) is completely oblivious to this due to Nick being only a quarter of an inch tall.
    • In the third movie, "Honey We Shrunk Ourselves", Wayne and his brother were almost eaten several times by oblivious teenage girls.
  • The Human Centipede — people being sewn together and forced to eat each other's poop forever is not an experience any sane person wants to be involved in.
  • Indiana Jones. Why Did It Have to Be Snakes??
  • The Robin Williams film Jack. No real creepy visuals, but the concept that this boy is physically aging rapidly is quite disconcerting. Particularly at the end, when he's graduating high school and he is physically in his 70s.
  • The scene in King Kong (2005) with the giant leech coming up and swallowing one of the characters whole. No wonder that scene was cut from the 1930's version.
  • Most scenes involving the scarabs in The Mummy and The Mummy Returns. Also, the Plague of Flies scene is pretty effed-up.
  • My Favorite Martian, after Lizzie takes the "Veenox 7" nerplex gum she turns into a hideous monster and swallows a man whole. Then turns back to normal. Never watching that again.
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street:
    • The whole idea behind it was to make a film and boogeyman who is a compendium of all the primal fears that are known to be the subject of nightmares for people in every single part of the world (drowning, falling, being chased and finding yourself unable to run away, being eaten alive, being forced to watch helplessly as a friend or loved one is victimized, etc.), and actually uses those nightmares to get to them. The only universal nightmare that seems left out is end of the world dreams. That might be because, as Freddy is tied to the dream world itself, its ending is his primal fear.
    • According to Word of God (namely, Wes Craven), this is also the reason for Freddy wielding his iconic bladed glove. He picked that weapon for the villain because it physically evokes the killer claw of a great cat, one of mankind's oldest fears since the savanna days.
  • Nightwish: A professor uses four graduate students to experience their worst fears, then recording their nightmares. Some of the fears covered include being alone in the dark at night, cannibalism, hallucinations, dismemberment, and parasites. However, what the professor really wants to see is the fear of death.
  • Before Andrew Lloyd Webber found him, The Phantom of the Opera was one nasty bastard. Some of the first few scenes of the Lon Chaney version are particularly surreal, and therefore, infinitely more messed-up. Of course, by the end, he's having way too much fun to be scary.
  • The boy-eating tree from Poltergeist.
  • In Prometheus, the sight of a room filled with dead Engineers is surprisingly powerful. Not only is all of humanity reduced to a genetic experiment by a race of alien creator-gods (which would be bad enough on its own), and not only is it likely that such an experiment happened for no better reason than because the Engineers could do it, but those same creators, previously worshiped as deities, are shown to be, after all, still flesh-and-blood animals like the rest of us, who all died in terror and ignominy when yet another experiment simply got out of hand. A bleakly pointless answer to all of human history.
  • The elevator sequence at the beginning of Resident Evil (2002). The whole thing. Bonus points because the elevators are actively being used to kill people.
  • Star Wars: The Sarlacc from Return of the Jedi, which takes it one step further and digests you alive.
  • Gorn, particularly in the Saw franchise, which is a double whammy of this. Gory death traps in which you inflict self-mutilation of various types? Check. Extra-disturbing items and substances like a pit full of dirty needles and a vat of liquefied pig guts? Check.
  • The protagonist of Vertigo suffers from a fear of heights after being subjected to a traumatic Take My Hand! incident, where the rescuer fell to his death.
  • Willow Creek: The movie follows a couple camping in woods where, supposedly, there are multiple sightings of bigfoot, at night, the duo huddles together as they hear multiple, terrifying sounds coming from outside their tent, including knocking, vocalization, walking, and a woman wailing.
  • Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. "There's no earthly way of knowing / which direction we are going" — this sequence of the boat ride frightens even adults. This was probably intentional; the author of the original book and this version's screenplay, Roald Dahl, was good at intentional Nightmare Fuel.
  • The Wizard of Oz has the sequence where the Wicked Witch shows Dorothy an hourglass, proclaiming "This is how long you have left to be alive!" It doesn't help matters that the Witch never specifies why that hourglass marks what's left of Dorothy's life...

     Literature  

  • What is in Room 101 in Nineteen Eighty-Four is always the victim's worst fear, whatever that happens to be. The Party do their research on their victims quite thoroughly.
  • In The Adventures of Caterpillar Jones, C.J.'s greatest fear is being alone, and late in the book all his friends complete their Life Watches, leaving him the last caterpillar in the meadow.
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: After Alice drinks the potion and begins to shrink, she worries that: "It might end, you know, in my going out like a candle." In Through the Looking Glass, Alice is shown the sleeping Red King, and has the following conversation with Tweedledee:
    Tweedledee: He's dreaming now. And what do you think he's dreaming about?
    Alice: Nobody can guess that!
    Tweedledee: Why, about you! And if he left off dreaming about you, where do you suppose you'd be?
    Alice: Where I am now, of course.
    Tweedledee: Not you! You'd be nowhere. Why, you're only a sort of thing in his dream.
    Tweedledum: If that King there was to wake, you'd go out - bang! - like a candle!
  • In Another Note, we are told why Beyond Birthday is so fucked up. It's because he can see other people's lifespans, due to somehow being born with "Shinigami Eyes." He knows when everyone will die, just by looking at them. He exploits this ability: his victims were all at the end of their natural lifespans anyway. As Mello puts it, he was constantly surrounded by death. That, and his best friend A committed suicide due to the pressures of living up to L.
  • The Ten Plagues of Egypt in The Bible. Blood, insects, disease, darkness, wild beasts, and, of course, the death of your firstborn child.
  • In Lois McMaster Bujold's Captain Vorpatril's Alliance, Ivan objects that he does not have claustrophobia; he has an entirely rational dread of being shut in dark enclosed places by people who want to kill him.
  • Suzanne Collins seems to be a fan of these. Her books are filled with deadly bugs (sometimes deadly giant bugs), vicious animals, burning/drowning/disembowelment/horrifically cruel deaths, and being eaten alive (often by bugs or vicious animals).
  • In the Companions Quartet, the main character Connie Lionheart is shown to be afraid of heights.
  • Dreamhunter involves a kind of nightmare that can be forced on you. It involves waking up in a coffin. And it goes on. The dreamer's thrashing, screaming, tearing at their surroundings, their mouth, digging their fingernails in the palms of their hands, mean they wake up hoarse and looking like they've been through a meat grinder. The worst part? After you originally are subjected to the dream, you will relive it in a diluted form every night for the next few. And you can't just wait it out either, generally, especially if you're inflicting the dream. In a kind of built-in Laser-Guided Karma, the dream stays with the inflictors for over a week - the first few nights in all its original gore.
  • Just prior to the climax of The Ear, the Eye and the Arm, the heroes ascend a skyscraper so futuristically huge that it sways massively to avoid being destroyed by physics. Then the heroes need to go up on the roof and peer over the side to locate the villains. The three heroes each have a super-power, and one of them is incredible eyesight — he can see all the way to the ground with perfect vision.
  • The previous Trope Illustrator: A British children's book, Far Flung Adventures: Corby Flood has a scene where a group of criminals tries to kill 8 year old Corby by rigging her mechanized bedroom in such a way that her bed will fly up against the wall and flatten her, pressing her against the wall and unable to move. The book describes how she could barely breathe, and has to tap on the wall to get her parents' attention so they can free her.
  • Similarly to the above "Hunchback" example, in Flowers for Algernon, Charlie Gordon, the mentally challenged protagonist, is repeatedly humiliated by his "friends" without suspecting anything. Until, of course, his intelligence is surgically increased.
  • In Andre Norton's Forerunner Foray, Ziantha is trapped in D'Eyree's mind as she is entombed and killed; only Turan's sacrificing his last strength saves her. Then, as Vintra, she must psychically persuade Zuha to have her buried in a tomb.
  • In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the Acromantula have an inborn terror of Slytherin's Monster, the Basilisk. All spiders have eight eyes and no eyelids, so anyone who knows what The Monster can do should realize that the Acromantula are highly vulnerable, but nobody actually educated them. They simply fear.
  • In Rick Riordan's The Heroes of Olympus novel The Mark of Athena, Percy's memory of being dragged down into a bog has given him a great fear of being engulfed, even though he can breathe underwater and reminds himself of that often.
  • Ivanhoe: Living in a kingdom where you are told from birth you are an inferior race? Having aristocrats being able to do anything they want (including rape you or your loved ones) and being told it is "disrespectful" if you object. And after all this, having this supported by a Corrupt Church which tells you that it is sinful not to have Happiness in Slavery? Those that say that Ivanhoe romanticised the Middle Ages haven't read it right.
  • In Kingdoms of the Wall by Robert Silverberg, one of the female characters (who had gone through sexual abuse at a relatively young age) tells The Hero that she has had several disturbing dreams of a possible afterlife - namely being trapped in her own corpse, being unnoticed by all, while suffocating, being unable to move, and unable to scream.
  • The occasional book version of Little Red Riding Hood can be absolutely terrifying, depending on how it's drawn.
  • In T.A. Barron's The Lost Years of Merlin, we have the Grand Elusa. Legend tells that she is always hungry and 'fiercer than a cornered giant'. When Merlin first encounters her, she is in the form of a tiny white spider the size of a thumbnail. She has the power to change size at will, and often adopts a form twice as big as a horse. Oh, and she is always hungry, to the point that it is wise when speaking with her to bring a meal that she can consume (in miniature form) while you talk. Additionally, she has mastered the power of Leaping, and can chew through stone (both of which she uses to save Merlin from the living stones). To summarize, she is a gigantic spider who can eat anything, who is always hungry enough to consider it, and who can appear anywhere on the island at will. All this, and she is among the helpful, benevolent forces in Merlin's journey in Fincayra.
  • H. P. Lovecraft: Existential dread is pretty much all he wrote about. In his universe, you are nothing and never will be. The entire human race is gonna be gone soon enough, and will be forgotten. In fact, the human race is nothing more than a mistake. The Elder Things just didn't see us as a nuisance. The only reason we exist is because of apathy. Combined with the fact that total reality failure can come at any second due to Azathoth waking up, it's all the more bleak. That being said, Lovecraft was also terrified of sea creatures, so all his monsters have at least a passing resemblance to aquatic animals. Many readers missed the point and didn't understand why we're supposed to be so terrified of squids.
  • In Malediction Trilogy half-blood troll Elise is known for her fear of enclosed spaces. She is killed by being put into an iron-bound box and left to suffocate.
  • Most of the works by Haruki Murakami. Kafka on the Shore and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle in particular. Existential dread + jazz + cat + classical music + pasta + ordinary bored protagonist = essentially every novel of his.
  • My Teacher Is an Alien: Duncan is paralyzed by the alien Kreeblim, who then gently pushes him backwards so that she can levitate him somewhere else. Duncan has a moment of panic at first; given how everything else going on is logically scarier, he concludes that people just have an instinctual terror of falling like that.
  • Neuropath, full stop. You are not what you think you are. You have absolutely no free will and your mind can be manipulated completely.
  • "Nightfall (1990)", by Isaac Asimov: According to Sheerin 501, a psychologist, humans are born with three instinctive fears; loud noises, falling, and Darkness. The upcoming eclipse is assumed dangerous because the entire civilization is about to be exposed to it without preparation. What really happens is seeing the Stars creates an existential crisis where they realize how insignificant they really are.
  • In C. S. Lewis's The Silver Chair, There is a part in the first chapter of the book where Jill has Eustace by the arms, trying to pull him up from a cliff's edge, and notices he looks white as a sheet. She looks down and sees why.
    • She says to imagine the highest cliff you know. Now imagine looking to the bottom. Then, imagine the bottom goes down twenty times as far. And there are things way down there that look small enough to be sheep, but they're clouds. Not foggy ones, big fluffy ones as big as mountains.
    • To make it worse than that, imagine you can see through the clouds to the actual bottom, which is much farther below the clouds than you are above them. It's so far down that you can't tell if the bottom is water, woods, rocks, or grass.
  • The Strain's version of vampires. In their early stages, they act and look like simple and basic, if pale, zombies. In later development, they are completely devoid of hair, nails, genitals, and lips. Their teeth are razor sharp, and their eyes black. They don't feed by biting: they shoot out a scorpion-like stinger as long as they are tall and pierce your blood vessels with surgical precision (deploying the stinger means stretching their mouth into a long, mirthless grin and dislocating their jaw like a snake). Their middle finger develops long and clawed. Their skin is pure white, and the worms that course through their body can be seen wiggling under their face. Mentally, the mature ones are at least as intelligent as humans, but the newly-turned ("Revenants") aren't lucky enough to get a Hive Mind. They are bound, body and soul, to serve the will of the ancient they are descended from. Their instincts drive them to find the ones they loved in life and turn them.
  • Brienne, from A Song of Ice and Fire, has part of her face bitten off at one point. She's too weak to fight back at the moment, so it's left to the reader's imagination how far this might have gone if someone else hadn't intervened.
  • Beatrix Potter's The Tale of the Roly-Poly Pudding involves Tom Kitten getting trapped behind the walls of his own house and being caught by a pair of rats, who proceed to tie him up with string and roll him into a kitten-roly-poly. Terrifying, even though (or perhaps because) the rats were a quarter of Tom's size. Bonus points for being from a series of children's books that are otherwise pretty normal fare. Then comes this Nightmare Fuel story.
  • Those That Wake has everyone forgetting who you are, starting with your parents and friends. The sequel taps into the loss of identity that goes with losing memories, as Laura feels part of her is empty and has no idea why.
  • Tolkien had a whole family of giant spider monsters, or more accurately Eldritch Abominations who had taken the forms of spiders. The first was Ungoliant from The Silmarillion, who emitted an "unlight" that drained the will of those exposed to it, and wanted to devour the world. When she had devoured enough power, she grew powerful enough to challenge and almost kill even Morgoth, Tolkien's equivalent to Satan. In The Lord of the Rings the main characters encountered Ungoliant's daughter, Shelob, and in the earlier book The Hobbit, Bilbo had a nasty run-in with Shelob's spidery spawn. All these spider monsters are said to be based on Tolkien's own fear of spiders and an incident in which he almost died from a spider-bite. Similarly, Gandalf is said to be inspired by the doctor who treated the bite, with a heavy dash of Odin. Peter Jackson, who directed The Lord of the Rings film series, also shares this fear. Naturally, he went out of his way to have Shelob be as scary as possible.
  • In Susan Dexter's The True Knight, Titch has a fear of heights. There are several points at which it comes into play, but the big one was climbing down a cliff.
  • Due to a housefire in his childhood that killed his family and left him wth severe burn scars, Grimsby of The Unorthodox Chronicles is terrified of fire. This is especially bad as the burn scars on his arm and side contribute to his Power Incontinence, and tend to catch fire when he loses control of his magic.
  • The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner has a sequence in which the children are working their way through a long, narrow tunnel deep underground. How narrow? They can just fit with one arm over their head. If it gets any narrower, they'll be stuck. They can't back up because there's two of them and two dwarves (?) all one after the other, and they can't talk to each other, and it's too narrow. They come to a hairpin-bend and have to creep round so they're on their backs. Then they reach a point, shuffling through the pitch black, narrow tunnel on their backs with one arm trapped by their side and one trapped over their head, where they feel the tunnel ahead dip and fill with water...
  • Aeduan of The Witchlands is absolutely terrified of fire.
  • In Worm, Villain Protagonist Taylor, AKA Skitter, has the power to control swarms of arthropods and sense everything they do. The things she does with this power in the first chapter alone are utterly horrific (putting a pyrokinetic brute with a Healing Factor on the brink of death), and she makes her bugs crawl into people's mouths and other, lower places more than once. Eventually, she becomes the most feared villain in the entire city and an accomplished warlord.

     Live Action TV  

  • For one of their appearances on David Letterman's Late Show, Penn & Teller performed a trick that culminated with Dave lifting up a top hat... only to have five hundred live cockroaches pour out of it. Letterman, who was not informed of the reveal beforehand, reacted as one would expect.
  • Doctor Who:
    • In "The Time of Angels", Amy gets infected with the image of a Weeping Angel that's trying to break out of her, which would kill her in the process. And it makes her count down as it gets stronger. Why? For fun.
    • "The Runaway Bride" has the Racnoss, a species of giant, carnivorous spider-things which roam the universe. eating everything they can find.
    • "Turn Left" gives us invisible mind-controlling beetles hitching rides on people.
      "There's something on your back!"
    • "Arachnids in the UK": Giant Spiders that wrap people in cobwebs until they starve or suffocate, while living in cold, dark spaces.
    • "Blink" involves aliens who look like statues. They can't move if someone is looking at them, but travel at amazing speeds as soon as you blink. If they catch you, they will knock you into the past, forcing you to live to death.
      And in "The Time of Angels", the Weeping Angels aren't content to just zap you into the past anymore — now they snap your neck, rip out your cerebral cortex and use it to talk to anyone left alive. And you can't look them in the eyes, either, because you will turn into one of them. Not only that, but torches and any light source within usable radius won't work because the angels will drain the power. Unless you're being chased outside during the day, you're screwed. And even then, daytime doesn't last forever.
    • The Vashta Nerada from "Silence in the Library"/"Forest of the Dead". The dark itself is trying to kill you, and it can even block out sunlight. You sure that shadow near you was there a moment ago?
    • Played with in "Listen". The Doctor postulates that the reason everyone has the same exact dream about "the monster under the bed" grabbing their foot is because there is a creature that has perfected hiding to such an extent that it can't be perceived in any way except by that feeling of someone breathing down your neck. It's also the reason why people talk out loud even though there's nobody around to hear them. Perhaps someone is listening. The ending leaves it ambiguous as to whether such a creature even exists. The Doctor's fear is caused by Clara accidentally ending up in his childhood and creating a Stable Time Loop.
    • In the episode "In the Forest of the Night", upon finding herself lost in the forest, Clara specifically notes that she's having a different type of fear reaction from what the situation logically warrants (and she's been in enough life-or-death situations to know what she's talking about). The Doctor points out that "the forest" is the location of every fairy tale that scares human children, and is essentially humanity's collective nightmare. It seems that the Doctor himself is not completely immune to it. It turns out that the reason for this instinctive terror is a buried and distorted memory of the last time trees saved them from a terrifying global disaster.
  • All of these and more were ruthlessly exploited by the reality Game Show Fear Factor. In one memorable couples episode, each team consisted of a man and a woman. The woman needed to put on a skimpy swimsuit and submerge herself in a tub of water full of hungry leeches. She had to stay in long enough for a good number of leeches to attach themselves to her exposed skin. Then she had to climb out, and the man had to remove twenty leeches with his mouth and drop them in a bucket. Then the woman had to chew and swallow five of the leeches. On top of all that, it was a race to see which couple could do the entire thing fastest. And that was just one of the challenges they faced that episode.
  • Forever: In "Skinny Dipper", when Henry is trapped in a sinking car, he fights just as desperately to get out as anyone who isn't immortal would do, leaving some horrific scratches on the inside of the back passenger area. Henry says he still fears death, and still fights to survive. The Older Immortal Adam, on the other hand, kills himself (or others) casually, sometimes just as a means of travel since both immortals reappear in a nearby large body of water when they die.
  • On Resident Alien, the boy Max is afraid of the alien, Harry Vanderspeigle, described in the title, because of being able to see through his Hugh Mann disguise and Harry's trying to kill him because he knows that Max can see him for what he is. When all of Harry's attempts at killing fail, he instead in his role as a fake doctor convinces Max's parents that Max has face-blindness and teraphobia (fear of monsters) and that he needs to be sent away to a special school in Georgia.
  • Garak in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is claustrophobic, a fear he had to cope with when he and other crew members were jailed in an enemy internment camp and their escape required long periods of work in a crawlspace. Even the Klingons he was imprisoned with were impressed.
  • On Top Gear (UK), the presenters have to face their worst fears to get out of Bolivia: heights, insects, and manual labor. While the last two are Played for Laughs, their efforts to navigate Yungas Road (a terrifying mountain pass nicknamed "Death Road") put them frighteningly close to disaster several times.
  • Possibly a misguided attempt to go Darker and Edgier, the villains on Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego were much more disturbing than their World equivalents, from Dr. Beljar — a half-man, half-robotic Body Horror, whose voice flipped back and forth from an evil-Jerry-Lewis impersonation to an evil-android — to Jacqueline Hyde — a clearly insane teenager in a schoolgirl outfit who repeatedly switches back and forth from a soft-spoken calm voice, to an angry modulated voice, during which the graphics make her seem on fire.
  • The X-Files:
    • There was an episode that opened with agents finding an incredibly disturbing, desiccated corpse in the bathtub of an old dilapidated house. Turns out that there was a man with a parasitic tarantula living in his neck, that would come out and consume people like spiders do.
    • The episode "Field Trip." The agents are slowly being digested by a giant mushroom, which drugged them with a hallucinogen and narcotic so they can't escape on their own, so it ends up as one disturbing Mind Screw, where you don't know who's hallucinating what.

     Music  

  • Barenaked Ladies: The song "When I Fall" is sung from the perspective of a window washer with a crippling fear of heights as he cleans the windows of a skyscraper.
  • You wouldn't expect to see LFO here, but the video for their song "Freak" features a group of dancing Japanese schoolgirls whose playtime shenanigans rapidly devolve into a vicious schoolyard brawl. The fight culminates in one girl being pushed over, hitting her head, and having a fit. The way her violent convulsions are synchronized to the pounding music is particularly unsettling. The creepy animation doesn't help, either. There's also the fact that she looks like she's trying to escape something.
  • The song "Yulia" by Wolf Parade, about a cosmonaut shot into space without any means of getting back home.
    "There's nothing out here nothing out here nothing out here nothing out here nothing out—"

     Mythology and Religion  

  • Norse Mythology:
    • Wolves. At Ragnarök, the children of Fenrir were supposed to eat the sun, the moon, and all of the stars.
    • The giants of Norse mythology look like gigantic humans with strength to match. Then there are the giants of Muspel and Nifel who are elemental Eldritch Abominations.
  • One theory about the origins of dragons is that they're an amalgamation of animals that humans fear on instinct, mainly venomous reptiles, big cats, and birds of prey.

     Pinball  

     Professional Wrestling  

  • Back in the days when Hulkamania was running wild and the WWF was directly marketed to kids, the debut of the Undertaker and Paul Bearer (his mortician manager) was fearsome at first. Of course, the concept of a supernatural death-obsessed being soon proved to be more popular than Hogan himself with the teenage crowd, who quickly made sure he got passed the "invincible hero" torch from Hogan.
  • And then there was Papa Shango, the wrestling voodoo shaman. Especially for some of the things he "did" to the Ultimate Warrior.

     Puppet Shows  

  • On "Super Duper Sleepover" from Donkey Hodie, both Donkey Hodie and Purple Panda have trouble enjoying their sleepover due to what they believe to be a monster that seems to show up every time they turn off the lights. They eventually realize that said "monster" is nothing more than a pile of stuffed animals and have a good laugh about it.

     Roleplay  

     Tabletop Games  

  • In Warhammer 40,000, ANY and ALL of the above can happen to you.
  • Invoking a creature's worst fear is how the Dungeons & Dragons spells Phantasmal Killer and Weird cause their victims to die of terror. Presumably, that means they can manifest as any Primal Fear a target can imagine.
  • In Unknown Armies, there are five different sanity meters, one for each type of psychological stress. Every possible scary thing falls into the category of one of five primal fears: Violence, Isolation, Self, Helplessness, and The Unnatural. Even if a character succeeds in not cracking under the stress, the mere experience of being exposed to enough fears will build up "hard marks" and eventually turn him or her into a sociopath.
  • The player characters in Beast: The Primordial are each an embodiment of humanity's primal fears who act by instilling nightmares into their targets, all for the sake of satisfying their hunger and (allegedly) acting in the good of humanity by ensuring fear is alive and well. The Anakim are represented by giants and the fear of being weak. The Eshmaki are an embodiment of the fear of darkness. The Makara are the fear of what lurks in the ocean and being unable to escape it. The Namtaru are the "Gorgons", who represent a purely visual fear of disgust and terror. The Ugallu are the fear of being out in the open, and often take the form of airborne predators. The newer classes of Talassii cover the fear of being captured and the Inguma are the fear of the "other". And then there are the Insatiables, beings like the Beasts who instead represent primal fears that predate humanity and are completely alien to their victims; no human after all can possibly fathom a fear of the molten world that was the Hadean Eon.

     Theme Parks  

  • "Snow White's Scary Adventures" is a Disney ride that strings all the most horrifying scenes from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs into the space of a few minutes. It used to be named simply "Snow White's Adventures", but the word "Scary" was shoved in after nearly fifteen years to give parents and children a better idea of just what they were in for. They also periodically try to change it so that it isn't as intense. However, given that the Wicked Queen/Witch (who is, by far, the most frightening character in the Disney Animated Canon) still jumps out at you in the dark, screaming and laughing maniacally, it is, to say the least, an appropriately-named Disney ride if ever there was one.
    • There is a Pinocchio version in a similar style. Have fun with Monstro.
    • Then there was the "Alien Encounter" attraction. The audience is strapped down in their seats, apparently just to watch a friendly alien ambassador beamed in from another galaxy. However, the machine malfunctions, bringing in an Alien-like monstrosity... and then the lights go out. Pitch darkness. And then the monster escapes! Cue the air hoses and dribbles of water from the back of the chairs the audience was sitting in (simulating the monster's breath and drool), along with vague flapping sounds to simulate the monstrosity right behind you! And then, when the thing gets wrangled back into the teleporter, it explodes, spraying the audience with its guts. Surprising how terrifying a little water and air can be. S.I.R. in the ride was voiced by Tim Curry. That's just begging for creep factor.
      • It's been retooled and the alien is now Stitch, but it's still damn scary with Stitch, seeing as this is Stitch before he met Lilo and became softened up, so children are expecting it to be fun with Stitch, but relatively few of the scares were actually changed. After bad reception, they softened the very worst of the Nightmare Fuel and made it slightly less dark, annoying the actual audience (ie, horror fans)... and still scaring the crap out of little children who got somehow stuck on the ride. On top of all this, the harnesses that riders are strapped into are apparently uncomfortable enough to cause actual injury. One guidebook summed it up best: "The attraction now has the same minimum height requirement as Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. As one is a rollercoaster and the other is a perfectly stationary "show", this should give you an idea what you're in for."
  • On their first ride, most people would expect the Matterhorn ride at Disneyland to be a normal coaster ride, that is, UNTIL YOU SPEED PAST THAT GODDAMN YETI.
  • While we're on the topic of terrifying Yetis who are particularly jarring the first time around, there's always the SkiFree game for Windows...
  • Speaking of Disney Theme Parks and monsters, the Carnosaur of the "Dinosaur" ride in Florida. You're in the dark, passing by some dinosaurs, when suddenly this blood-red, incredibly loud, demonic, horned death-dragon starts chasing after you. Oh, and the meteor's coming.
  • As long as we're talking dinosaurs, the Jurassic Park rides at Universal Studios Hollywood and Orlando. You're taking a placid raft ride among herbivores when a bump sends you to the staging area... where the raptors have gotten loose, Dilophosauruses pop up to spit at your group, and a Tyrannosaurus Rex wants you for lunch. Then there's the 85-foot-drop in total darkness...
  • The classic Thunder Run roller-coaster at Canada's Wonderland in Ontario runs through the artificial mountain in the centre of the park. The darkness and flashing lights combined with high speed and noise would be scary enough, but they've got a dragon in there!

     Toys  

  • BIONICLE has multiple examples that encompass each and every kind of fear: the chamber that brings one's worst fear to life; Irnakk, a legendary creature whose power is to subject its targets to their own fears; and Karzahni's Mask of Power, which projects horrible visions of alternate futures into the target's head, mind-raping them into obedience. At one point, a Rahkshi with fear-based powers nearly incapacitates Kopaka by showing him visions of all the people he cares about taunting and laughing at him.

     Video Games  

  • Most games? The things in the dark are trying to kill you. Alan Wake? Oh, there's plenty of that. But the darkness itself is also trying to kill you.
  • Alice: Madness Returns has a cutscene at the end of Chapter 4 where it ends with a first-person view of Alice being fed into the grotesque jaws of the Queen Of Hearts.
  • Amnesia: The Dark Descent uses this as a gameplay mechanic. Daniel is lygophobic, so staying in the dark drains his Sanity Meter; even if he has fairly decent night vision after his eyes adapt, it does nothing to settle his nerves. It's a delicate balance when you need to stay in the shadows to hide from a patrolling monstrosity, but with every second he gets more and more panicked...
  • Black Snow (Half-Life 2) takes this trope to literal extremes by having some sort of ambulatory darkness that tries to smother you to death. It's really a fungus that can't survive in light.
  • Borderlands: Scythids. Grotesque alien potato-bug creatures which grow to enormous size.
  • Catherine likes this one. You spend the game desperately pulling and pushing blocks in a mad attempt to outrun your impending demise, as the tower you're standing on falls apart a little at a time. Screw up, and you get to watch the main character scream and flail as he plummets into the inky void. LOVE IS OVER.
  • Chrono Trigger: You and your newly acquired teammates are going to rescue Marle. You're traveling through this big, elaborate cathedral-like structure with this sad, soulful music playing in the background. You run into a pair of innocent-looking nuns, and try to talk to them, only for them to suddenly transform into giant, ferocious, demonic Nagas who go at you at full force.
  • Closure's main gimmick is that everything is completely dark and only illuminated areas are solid. The mechanic (along with the difficulty makes you very reluctant to venture out without a light, despite needing to do so half the time. Then there are lights that go out when you approach them, leaving you to suddenly fall when you least expect it. The backgrounds also have unsettling images hiding just waiting for you to uncover them, in addition to the already-creepy atmosphere of the game. Now, put yourself in the shoes of the characters, and you'll understand why their idle animation is them flinching in fear.
  • The run through Black Lake Lodge in Condemned 2: Bloodshot? Picture an abandoned, decrepit lodge in the middle of winter. You're alone, it's dark, and there's dead bodies, some of them half-gone with their entrails left out. As you explore the lodge, you see through a hole in the wall a bear mauling a guy and biting his face off, after which it moves out of sight. Further on, the bear spots you, and it chases after you. It even follows you up the freaking stairs to the second floor! And all the while, you can hear its rabid panting and the scrabbling of its claws on the wooden floors as it frantically tries to catch you. More than once, it seems as though it's caught you, and you only barely escape through a hole in the wall. At the end of the chase, you're staring down a long hall with this rabid bear charging right at you, ready to tear your freaking face off, and you're holding a shotgun with only one round left in it.
    Downed Man: There's one shot left. Make it count.
  • Most of Condemned: Criminal Origins takes place within enclosed tight places, which are not only claustrophobic, but filthy and crawling with insane vagrants. Special mention goes to Appleseed Orchard House...
  • Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure has a particularly bad version, where the last level of episode 1 (after the Final Boss!) is a big funnel, with a giant mouth at the bottom. All you can do is grab the walls, slowing your descent. You'll still slide down slowly, closer and closer to the waiting jaws. (The beginning of the second episode takes place in the stomach of the monster.)
  • Cubivore is an odd example. Your goal is to survive in a cute little cube-based world, hunting other cube animals for food and mating to produce upgraded offspring. The overarching goal however is to become the apex predator of the area and have the honor of the alpha female selecting you to be eaten alive. You are then reborn as the next species in the evolutionary path.
  • Darkest Dungeon causes the dungeons to get scarier as the light reduces, with enemies moving faster and hitting harder, and the sound mix shifts to emphasise the ambient noises of the terrible pits. It even includes a certain measure of speculation about the origins of the fear of the dark, namely, that the Shambler, an utter bastard of an Optional Boss who will give even the toughest party a hard time and is a Hero Killer in and out of universe, lurks within it...
  • In Dark Souls, the Lord of Sunlight, apropriately enough, has this. Gwyn fought dragons and demons, but nothing frightened him like the dark, and that fear inspired him to cause untold eras of suffering.
  • Darkwood is a smorgasbord of fears, but the one that stands above all is the fear of darkness — or more appropriately the fear of the unknown that is the underlining reason why darkness is terrifying. This is represented in-game by the Protagonist being unable to leave his hideout at night since the Floor Gore, a entity of dark mass that cannot be killed or slowed down, will kill him if he leaves (the gas cooked up from unknown substances being emitted throughout the hideout is the only thing that keeps the Floor Gore at bay). And while daytime isn't safe, it's far safer than nighttime where monsters who couldn't invade the Protagonist's hideout can now do so with impunity. Abominations of eldritch nature as well as other hostile beings will be lurking in the darkness; they won't even attempt to hide themselves and will snarl/howl/etc. in the pitch black while they look for you.
    You must top off the hideout's generator with gasoline to keep the lights on at night since it's pointless to try hiding in darkness — the monsters will find you regardless — which means it comes down to your barricades and traps to keep you safe... but even that won't be enough some nights. Furthermore, the game will also use random “night events” to either hinder the Protagonist, outright try to kill him as “The Shadows” night event attempts to do,note  and even occasional beneficial night events will encourage the Protagonist to travel out in the dark where he can easily be ambushed by a horrifying monster patrolling the area. You'll only be safe once the sun rises, but there's always the next night to worry about and your resources will only last so long...
  • Dead Space: Most of the death animations jump hard on the fear of gore, as every different type of necromorph has a different way of dismembering Isaac in graphic detail.
  • Deep Sleep Trilogy embodies this trope, with lowly-lit areas and the presence of dark, humanoid creatures trying to capture you. They are entirely black, with only two white eyes.
  • Not really an animal, but the first appearance of those shadowcats in Devil May Cry is a real brick-shitter. Phantom would probably qualify for Spider if this wasn't an action game, as well. (Seriously, just imagine the moth boss in Silent Hill replaced by Phantom with low lighting...)
  • The second half of the first act of Diablo II takes place in the dungeons under the Rogue's Monastery, which has now become the stronghold of the demon queen Andariel. Here the player gets to see what exactly happened to all the Rogues who didn't get corrupted into Andariel's minions, as there are plenty of various torture devices with the corpses of naked, dismembered women all over the dungeons and blood smeared accross the walls. The culmination is Andariel's lair, where the first room has a giant pit in the center which is full of blood and corpses, followed by her throne room with the naked bodies of Rogues impaled on spiked pillars as decorations.
  • Muncher Marathon in Donkey Kong Country Returns. Partway through the level, you awaken a whole swarm of creepy black spiders that end up chasing DK and Diddy Kong all the way to the end of the level, and literally eat them alive if they catch them. The sheer quantity of spiders in the level is disturbing.
  • Drakan, and Drakan: Gate of the Ancients. Those goddamn giant spiders, especially how they can sometimes pop into view and fill the entire screen if you're running 'towards' the screen away from a group and one just so happens to start descending from the ceiling and clip right in...
  • The giant spider enemies in Dragon Age.
  • EarthBound (1994): After the events of the first game, the alien Giygas became the embodiment of evil itself and spouts simple, yet bizarre lines, in contrast to his long speeches from the first game. "Ness Ness Ness Ness Ness Ness Ness Ness Ness Ness Ness Ness Ness Ness Ness Ness Ness Ness Ness Ness Ness Ness Ness Ness Ness Ness Ness Ness Ness Ness Ness Ness Ness Ness Ness Ness Ness Ness Ness Ness Ness Ness" indeed.
  • The Bunny Children from Epic Mickey eat Splatters during Mickeyjunk Mountain. They really seem to like their "Uncle Mickey", and you can distract them by turning on the TV's all over the area they're in. It's really cute, actually.
  • Fable:
    • When you kill an undead, a green cloud rises from it accompanied by a tortured scream...
    • Made even creepier by the fact that if you read the headstones in the graveyard, you find that your dead father is buried there, and you could conceivably be destroying him...
  • In Fahrenheit, Carla, one of the detectives on the case of tracking down the main character, is claustrophobic. This comes into play when she has to go down into the dark, cramped basement of the police station to look up an old case file. The player has to manage her breathing while trying to find the file otherwise she will freak out and run outside.
  • F.E.A.R.:
    • Project Origin has the horrifically twisted Abominations, and later, the Remnants, bloated and twisted corpses animated by Alma's hatred that can raise the dead as People Puppets to attack you. And later, you meet the unmasked Replicas and learn why they're all Faceless Goons.
    • Project Origin has this in full force when you step out of the ruined warehouse into post-nuke Fairport, complete with destroyed landscapes, distant fires, crashing jets, and the still standing, burnt-to ash corpses of civilians caught in the fire of the explosion. Most of them in poses of terror or attempting to flee. And it gets worse later on, when, under Alma's psychic influence, you start seeing apparitions of the people killed in the nuclear explosion, starting with a couple, then a dozen, and then hundreds....
    • You get some....rather graphic scenes where Alma and the Replica have gone on rampages, including places where skeletons with the blood and flesh and organs boiled off of them lie in poses of sheer agony, and an elevator shaft piled high with dead bodies. In the sequel, you actually have to crawl through a ventilation shaft where the Abominations have been dragging ATC mercenaries and dismembering them, resulting in errant arms, legs, and hands scattered about.
    • There are a ton of tight, enclosed areas in the games, most of which don't actually have any scares or attacks in them... which makes the moments where Alma does jump you even more startling and terrifying.
    • Alma. Most of the time when she appears, it's just to startle you, but she won't attack you. Until Project Origin, where her sudden appearances involve her trying to rape you to death.
  • Final Fantasy XIV: The setting of the Shadowbringers expansion is an alternate world known as the First which has been locked in Endless Daytime for over a century. Your goal in the main story is to return the night sky to the world. Once you have both done this and completed the crafter sidequests in the main city, the Crystarium, a new quest unlocks which reveals that the children of the Crystarium have had difficulty adjusting to the return of real darkness to the world, seeing monsters and other terrors in the shadows. To help them out you turn to the various crafters you've helped and they create a series of various night lights for the kids to use and enjoy, as well as put on a fireworks show.
  • In Five Nights at Freddy's, Freddy Fazbear himself will appear at your left door to play an Ominous Music Box Tune should you run out of power. Unless you are very close to 6 AM, your Cruel and Unusual Death is inevitable.
  • The part in Half-Life 2 where you go under the bridge. You have to carefully walk across the slanted steel beams on its underside, sometimes hopping to a lower beam, and far, far beneath you is the oceanic abyss. Pure terror.
  • Halo gets in on this in its expanded universe, believe it or not. All sentient life, humanity included, were created by a race of godlike beings driven by some intrinsic need to create new species simply for the sake of it, aptly named Precursors. If a species was deemed unfit (for whatever standard was used to judge such) they were simply erased. In the end, they were hunted down by a "failed" species and became a twisted, vengeful entity bent on making all they'd created suffer: the Flood. The Forerunner Saga deals heavily in the implications: the fleet which hunted down the Precursors inflicted several self-imposed punishments out of extreme guilt, humans who discovered the truth often killed themselves, and Forerunners who discover the truth either employ extreme denial or suffer from extreme existential horror.
  • It's never explained what happened in her Dark and Troubled Past, but Meryl from Harvest Moon: Magical Melody has a fear of death.
  • inFAMOUS:
    • The game uses this when you're climbing Alden's Tower. You've just landed a precarious jump from one girder to another, or you're about to start such a jump, when the whole thing starts to shake slightly with subtle metal grinding sound effects and the like, seeming as though it's all about to come tumbling down. It never does and never will, of course, but it can still be a bit nerve-wracking. Worse is that while normally you don't die from huge falls such as this (and, in fact, you can later jump from the top of the tower with no worries), during the particular mission, the game does count falling as a failure condition, which will make you a bit more paranoid than usual while you're climbing and jumping around.
    • Similarly, when you're climbing around on the outside of the prison. Though not nearly as tall as the tower, the difference here is that when you jump onto a ledge and hear a sudden crumbling sound, that's your cue to get the hell away because the thing you're standing on most definitely is going to fall. And while high falls don't kill Cole, the deep water at the bottom will.
  • In the first Jak and Daxter game, when you swim too far out, you get eaten by the Lurker Shark, accompanied by the most terrifying music this side of Sonic's drowning theme.
  • Joe & Mac is a cartoonish game involving cavemen and dinosaurs, with bright colorful graphics and much silliness, so the last thing players expected was a level which takes place inside the body of a Tyrannosaurus rex. The level features moving villi, large red blood cells visible in the background, and worst of all, a giant beating heart. A realistic beating heart, not a cartoonish one.
  • Katamari Damacy
    • The King of All Cosmos is an unnervingly odd guy to begin with. But failing a stage results in him becoming a giant looming shadow that shoots lasers out of his eyes while the Prince runs around, scared witless. Not pleasant.
    • In Me and my Katamari, he ties you up and repetitively punches you....Where are the child services?
    • In Katamari Forever, this actually becomes a minigame where you dodge the rocks he's shooting out of his head for as long as possible. You can even earn a trophy for doing it long enough.
  • Lamento - beyond the void has an in-universe example. Due to the village of Karou on the brink of starvation, they've begun to resort to cannibalism, and one of the things that pushes Konoe to flee from Karou is being chosen as the next sacrifice.
  • The Last Guardian, which takes place in a crumbling ruin of several dozen skyscraper-tall buildings constructed precariously over a massive abyss, invokes this abundantly. The player (a very young boy, no less) is frequently required to walk across tightropes, sidle across narrow ledges, and make incredibly daring jumps - all usually at heights so great there are several clouds beneath him. Often, the only thing preventing him from falling for several miles is a lucky one-arm grab, or a last-ditch save from his giant companion's tail. Did we mention the whole objective of the game is to climb higher and higher until you reach the top of a tower that's literally taller than the wall of mountains surrounding the place? Or that, during the final sequence, the boy gets thrown off said tower?
  • Legacy of Kain:
    • In Blood Omen 2, one of the enemies you face in the Eternal Prison are huge spiders roughly the size of large dogs, who spend their days eating the crazed, blinded inmates and covering the walls with their webbing. Similar enemies in the game are giant, bug-like demons that spit acid and have razor-like front legs. In the Canyons, it's shown that they too spin webbing, and encase their human victims in there to save for later. Some of the cocoons are actually moving, and if you get close enough, you can hear struggling and gurgling.
    • Though not actual spiders, in Soul Reaver, the spider-like vampire clan of the Zephonim and their master, Zephon, apply. Like the bug demons in Blood Omen 2, the Zephonim encase their victims in webbing too, to the point where the walls of the Silenced Cathedral are covered in cocoons, some moving. Zephon himself isn't much better. He's devolved into a gigantic, spider-like creature whose body has grown onto the wall of the cathedral in which he lives. The first thing he does when he sees you? His face splits apart and he shrieks at you, then threatens to eat you alive. Raziel wasn't lying that Zephon's visage was "an appropriate reflection of [his] soul."
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The "Like Like" monster, which not only swallowed you but also ate your gear. Frequently in environments where that fireproof tunic was all that's keeping Link alive...
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: Lord Jabu-Jabu swallows Link whole while Link screams and runs away in vain.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask: The moon represents fear of the inevitable, fear of the unknown, fear of the sky, fear of the giant face leering down at you... It's this big thing threatening to fall down on top of you. The game plays it up as though if the moon crashes into Termina, it doesn't just get squashed, it disappears.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: Armogohma, the giant giant armored one-eyed spider that strikes from the shadows and the ceiling. It hits quite a few primal fears at once.
    • The Aracha from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword are weak enemies, easily dispatched with a single hit. However, there are several areas in the game where a careless player can rush into an empty room and suddenly trigger dozens of Aracha to fall from the ceiling.
  • That wretched giant spider in the first major act of Limbo. What's worse? You end up using part of its body as a platform, actively TOUCHING the damn thing; afterwards, it gets horrifically mutilated.
  • The Womb Levels in LocoRoco. At least you get defecated out at the end of each one, but the last boss... gah.
  • A lot of things in the The Lost World: Jurassic Park arcade games, but especially the giant crocodile that ambushes you while you're crossing a lake (on a rickety floating bridge!)
  • Picture this: You're playing Luigi's Mansion. You enter a dark, quiet room. You forget briefly that ghosts will appear suddenly with a loud noise behind you. You scream and drop the controller when one does. And then it takes a long time for your heart rate to go back down... Just so that it can happen again later. The loud enough thunder going off at whatever intervals does not exactly help, either.
  • Mass Effect has the Thresher Maws, which are skyscraper-sized giant worm-snake monsters that pop out of the ground and can kill tanks in a single hit.
  • Metal Gear:
    • You're calmly focused, a little bit tense, and all of a sudden - !
    • In Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, when helping Emma walk out of Shell 1, you will encounter hundreds of sea lice, which Emma is afraid and disgusted of. In order to clear a path to the elevator, you have to use your coolant spray to spray them away.
  • Minecraft:
    • The main fear is darkness. Once the sun goes down, the light level is low enough for monsters to spawn in the field and attack you. Caves are worse, since you don't even have moonlight, so not only do you need to worry about monsters day and night, you may not be able to see clearly enough to run away in time. Torches provide some relief, but they'll only make it easier to see and harder for monsters to spawn, whereas sunlight actually harms the undead. And if you think building a shelter will save you, beware: any point of darkness below light level 7 can be a potential monster spawn point, meaning that every dark corner of the room is potentially dangerous.
    • The Demonic Spiders. The big ones are fast enough to chase you and can leap at you, striking repeatedly. They can jump gaps and climb walls. They mostly come out at night, but unlike the undead, sunlight doesn't hurt them, so you can try hiding in a shelter all night, but they'll probably be lurking on your roof, waiting for you to come out in the morning. The smaller cave spiders can fit into small gaps, and their poisonous bite will leave you weak enough that a short fall could kill you.
    • Creepers are infamous for their habit of sneaking up on you silently, hissing loudly, and exploding (which usually kills you or seriously depletes your health).
      sssssssssssssSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS-*BOOM*
    • The game is full of this even in daylight. Climbing or building high will instantly make you paranoid of falling, especially if you are high level or have a lot of valuables in your inventory. Then there are ravines and the Nether. There is also the maxim to never dig straight down, because you just might mine into a wide open, dark cavern and fall to your death. Worse though is if you survive the fall, because then you have to face all the horrors of the dark.
  • Miasmata starts off with just you on an abandoned island research facility, looking for a cure for your plague. A few hours in, you'll start hearing a heartbeat, and then you'll start hearing growls. If you're lucky, you can find a place to hide and eventually the heartbeats will stop. If not, you'll find yourself face to face with a very smart, very cunning cat-like creature that can kill you with two swipes of its claws. How do you defend yourself? You either hide before it sees you, or wait for the right moment to run for your life.
  • The game Mirror's Edge is particularly good at invoking this reaction, perhaps because of the realistic physics, that the super-traceuse protagonist is still acting within human ability, and that you get to watch the whole fifty-foot fall in first person... with a delightful CRUNCH! at the end.
  • Missile Command. THE END. Even more commonly, the distinctive flash and mushroom cloud animation every time a city is lost... and millions of tiny 8-bit innocent lives along with it.
  • The Absolutely Safe Capsule from Mother 3. Nothing can harm what's inside, but what's inside can't ever get out.
  • The Water Dragon. The friggin Water Dragon in Ōkami. Not only does it eat you (but thankfully spits you out) as you escape from the Sunken Ship, but later as you ride on Ocra, it continues to try to do so, leading into some pretty horrifying chases, complete with terrifying music.
  • Although not a living being, the fourth stage boss in that dark dark desert in Omega Boost is downright ominous. Especially the first time you realise he can split apart, and then his huge red cyclops-eyed head starts following you in the darkness illuminating the night with lasers of pure red hate. What's that you say, how can a mech in a shooting game be disconcerting in the least? Just check it out.
  • Outlast and its sequel Whistleblower is essentially an incarnation of the primal fear of gore. The game is practically painted with blood and guts.
  • In Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time, the dinosaurs in Jurassic Marsh have an instinctive fear of meteors despite the extinction-causing one not arriving yet, and all of the non-charmed ones will flee the screen if Meteor Flower uses her Plant Food ability.
  • Pokémon:
    • Psychic-type Pokémon are weak to Bug, Ghost and Dark-type attacks, which are all related to fears. Also, the ability Rattled increases the Speed of the pokémon if it is target by an attack from one of those types.
    • In the Distortion World in Pokémon Platinum, you have to walk around on small platforms trying to solve a puzzle en route to facing Cyrus and Giratina. Underneath the platforms is a bottomless abyss.
  • Can be an initial feeling for first-time players to games like [PROTOTYPE] with all the high falls. Once one gets used to the fact that Mercer can't suffer falling damage ever, it goes away quickly.
  • In Rayman 2: The Great Escape, there is the terrifying chase with Jano attempting to eat you along with scare chords.
  • So you're playing Red Dead Redemption, traveling through the mountains slowly on your horse, when suddenly a Cougar shows up...
  • Resident Evil:
    • The whole series likes the jump scare. In the first game (Gamecube version), there is a hallway lined with windows. The first time you walk through it, you hear a pane of glass crack. Not break, just crack. You make it all the way through and nothing else happens, so you might think it was just creepy ambient noise. The second time through the hallway, you're halfway down when three zombie dogs crash through the windows and maul you with no warning.
    • The third game gives us Nemesis. He's always watching you. Always. He can attack at any moment, any time he pleases. You think you're safe and then... "S.T.A.R.S."
    • Resident Evil 5. As if being chased by zombies wasn't bad enough, Chapter 3 also forces you to wade through waist-deep water that is swarming with nasty crocodiles that will come out of nowhere and kill you in one chomp.
  • The Save The Dinos game in 3D Dinosaur Adventure:
    • If you failed to save all the dinosaurs in time, the comet would hit. Everything would explode, dinosaurs would scream in horror and pain, and a voice-over would tell you that it was all your fault. It was inexplicably terrifying.
    • Not to mention that as the game progressed, you would often find your progress to the the three Mesozoic periods barred by giant arthropods, including mosquitoes, scorpions, fleas, and pill millipedes. If you approached one, an eerie sound that the creepy crawlie's real-world equivalent makes would fill the air. It was very creepy, considering that most people don't like mosquitoes as it is.
  • If you are a builder in Second Life, accidental skydives become rather common. Thankfully, your avatar can fly, and can't die no matter how far they fall.
  • Most monsters in the Shadow Hearts series are either Lovecraftian sin-against-creation terrors, or patchwork abominations of body parts stuck/grafted/growing in places or angles at which there really should not be parts.
  • Shadow of the Colossus. The first time a player encounters a colossus, they may want to hide behind some rocks for several minutes, heart pounding, hands shaking...
  • Shin Megami Tensei:
    • Sector Bootes in Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey. The whole damn place. From the Palace of Pleasure (almost entirely staffed by Mad Scientists who don't have the slightest idea of how a human works — but a lot of guinea pigs and testing subjects just begging to be experimented upon), to the secret labs and the corpses hanging from chains in the upper floors, Bootes revels in this trope.
    • In fact, many demons in the series distinguish themselves for extreme sadism. Bifrons from Devil Survivor 2, Mitra in Strange Journey, and Alice in the series as a whole are just some examples.
    • The Incarnations of Death in Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne. Also applicable to all Fiends in the games they appear.
  • Adventure games like the good old Sierra ones could find ways of invoking this. King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder! for instance was one of the first fully voiced games, and taking a wrong step, then hearing Graham's blood-curdling scream as he fell to his Have a Nice Death was incredibly scary. Also counts as Sudden Sights and Sounds.
  • Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri has the Dream Twister special project, which amplifies the fear-inducing Psychic Powers of your Mind Worms. The cinematic for it presents us a mix of creepiest Stock Footage the developers could find, including snakes, spiders, skulls, and charred human remains, all put together to a creepy tune.
  • Silent Hill:
    • The creatures have been explicitly designed to vaguely remind people of manifestations of a variety of primal fears, while resembling rotten corpses and being covered in blood. As well as being covered in very overtly sexually discomforting symbolism.
    • At one point. you enter a room with nothing but a key needed to progress. As soon as you get it, your flashlight goes out. You replace the battery, and the light comes back on to reveal that the room is now absolutely swarming with bugs.
    • Though it's usually called the Rust World, one of the dimensions is completely covered in something that blends the appearance of both rust and dried blood.
  • Pretty much every area in Slender and its spinoffs (such as Slender: The Arrival) is dark. Very dark. It doesn't help that the single most dangerous thing in the game lurks within the shadows... waiting for you...
  • Dr. M's giant fish from Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves. You fight it as Dimitri and it has an attack where it tried to suck him into his mouth. Thankfully he spits him back out, but when that's the attack your hit with when Dimitri needs one more hit, your treated to black while the screen cuts back to the beginning of the fight.
  • The Galdon boss fight in Star Fox Adventures, which requires you to get eaten several times by Galdon - an Eldritch Abomination-type creature. Upon being swallowed, you get treated to a "wonderful" view of the creature's insides, all whilst you wade around in some sort of stomach-fluid, pummeling a uvula-type appendage, until you're ejected from it's body. See it here.
  • Subnautica: The fate of any player who gets too close to the chompy end of a Reaper Leviathan or the Sea Dragon. Yes, there is a special animation, yes, it is in first-person, and yes, it is pants-wettingly freaky. Below Zero adds the Squidshark, Chelicerate, and Shadow Leviathan, which have even more visceral kill animations.
  • The giant caterpillar in the Gusty Garden Galaxy of Super Mario Galaxy. The way it's almost realistic in appearance in a game with an intensely cartoony art style creates an effect similar to the Uncanny Valley, and it makes some genuinely disconcerting high-pitched noises. The enormous nose and buck teeth do little to diminish this.
  • The Big Bass (No, that's not a typo) in Super Mario Bros. 3 and especially Super Mario 64, which would snatch you right off the surface and swallow you whole in one gulp, is especially disturbing.
  • Super Paper Mario features a Big Bad who wants to destroy all the worlds. It's a standard villain thing, and you usually manage to discover the Plot Coupon in each world before he can destroy it... except one. In the happy ninja world full of honorable men in a cartoony version of medieval Japan, you get delayed... and the world falls apart around you. You re-enter the world and where there was once dozens of people, there's now whiteness. A seemingly infinite expanse of whiteness, with only the occasional pile of dust dotting the landscape. It comes back after you finish the game, though.
  • Toe Jam And Earl has mailboxes that give you the option to buy power-up presents. However, some mailboxes are actually monsters in disguise and will maul you if you come too close.
  • Touhou, and its fandom loves playing with this trope. Normally A World Half Full, the monsters are cheerful and friendly... they just have a taste for human flesh that they try to keep down most of the time. In the supplemental material, Perfect Memento in Strict Sense, however, the youkai are portrayed as the "average" human of Gensokyo sees them: horrors that will kidnap and devour any who they might catch with no warning, and with almost no way to defend yourself. Fan Fic, meanwhile, can be anything from W.A.F.F. to Cosmic Horror.
  • Undertale is essentially a Cosmic Horror Story disguised in a Sugar Bowl setting. The save and load settings are parts of Undertale's universe, and a true reset is the equivalent of throwing everyone into a "Groundhog Day" Loop. The ability to save and load is something only extremely powerful Reality Warpers can use and only you and Flowey can do that—and Flowey can only save and load if he has six human souls. The only three people who are aware of you being able to save and load are Frisk, Flowey, and Sans. The latter actually goes through a Despair Event Horizon because of said saves, loads and resets. On top of all that, characters who didn't make the final cut are essentially Ret Goned, the most infamous example being W.D. Gaster.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • You know that swirling spiral of clouds that you see in the sky in ghost form? That's also on the very bottom of the world. You might get to see it yourself next time Blizzard screws up a patch and teleports you to some random position. Just make sure you have a barf bag handy.
    • You can also just jump off of Outland, or swim too far off a coastline.
  • Yoshi's Island:
    • If Yoshi is hit, Baby Mario is suddenly caught in a flying bubble, wailing desperately, as the player tries to get him back; if they fail to do so in time, a squad of enemies catch him and fly away with him. The wailing alone (which you could even hear if you turned the volume of your TV down) made playing this game a torture.
    • There was a wizard who would enlarge small creatures in the boss battles. The transformations were complete with "Time to die!"-esque music.
    • In the final battle, where Baby Bowser, in an eerily designed toy room, attempts to ride (and therefore injure) Yoshi. After he has been defeated, the aforementioned wizard turns him into Big Bowser. Big, meaning the castle he had occupied is completely destroyed by his transformation, and he could probably crush Yoshi with a single finger/claw. The transformation and battle is accompanied by rather horrifying music, and the battle is pretty much Yoshi trying to hit him with large eggs to push him back, while he is slowly coming towards you. When he is hit, he is indeed pushed back, only to then run at full speed towards Yoshi, who is standing on a small ledge (which is being destroyed by the boulders that fly in the air from Bowser's roars). If Bowser comes close enough, his stomach destroys what's left of the ledge, dooming you to fall to your death. This can be extremely scary when one is desperately trying to get him further back, knowing that he will run at full speed afterwards.
    • One of the boss battles occurs in a Frog's stomach after Yoshi is shrunken and eaten alive. Aside from that, Piranha Plants and Lunge Fish can swallow Yoshi whole. In some areas, Yoshi will be chased by a giant Chomp.
    • In the final level, there is an optional chase where a large spiked indestructible enemy is chasing Yoshi across a rocky, lava filled area, as the screen ever so slowly moves to allow him more more area to move. It doesn't help that before entering this chase, if the player wants to receive helpful information, all they get is RUN AWAY!!! HURRY!!! in dramatically huge font.
    • For a bit of Nightmare Retardant, or extra fuel, try to look at the game from the perspective of a random Shy Guy.
    • And of course Yoshi himself represents the primal fear of being eaten alive in almost all incarnations, as that's his main attack.
    • Yoshi's Story has a similar example: If the player loses a life, they are treated to a cutscene where creepy enemies take a crying baby Yoshi to an ominous dark castle.
  • Zork's "It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue." Note that the game presents it not as a possibility, but as a certainty. Which it is; after a random number of moves in the dark (usually less than 10) you die.

     Webcomics  

  • In The Dragon Doctors, one Serial Killer is a shaman who calls on spirits associated with these.
  • Cautious and sensible Elon of Ears for Elves is afraid of heights (or at least, walking across a log above a river of indeterminate depth and swiftness). Naturally, lively Myari and confident Tanna don't share in this fear.
  • Girl Genius: The Heterodyne's "Doom Bell" sends out a wave of noise that inflicts crippling existential despair on everyone in or near the town. Most people pass out upon hearing it for the first time, but you can build up an immunity, so the old Masters rung it pretty often to make sure the townspeople would be ready when it was needed for an invasion. Also, they thought it was funny.
    The Castle: [rearing back to strike the bell] I love this part.
  • In Impure Blood, going on the Cool Airship reveals that Roan is afraid of heights.
  • In No Rest for the Wicked, November is The Insomniac because the darkness feels like it's smothering her.
  • This strip, "8 Legs of Love", from Oglaf. You're welcome. UTTERLY, TOTALLY NOT SAFE FOR WORK (unless your boss has a giant spider fetish).
  • Durkon Thundershield of The Order of the Stick has a (minor) fear of heights, expressing displeasure whenever he must take on a task that involves floating/flying several feet above the ground. Considering he's a dwarf who has lived most of his life underground, the fear probably comes from him being out of his element.
  • Sleepless Domain:
    • The monster designs featured in the series are all based on various common fears and phobias. Some more prominent monsters are based on the fear of heights (acrophobia), fear of crowds (agoraphobia), fear of extreme cold (cryophobia), fear of bugs (entomophobia), and fear of needles (trypanophobia), among others.
    • A monster that features prominently in Chapter 2 is based on the fear of heights, having the appearance of what looks like a demonic elevator and the power to lift its victims high into the air before letting them fall.

     Web Original  

  • Screamer videos pretty much run on this: you are instructed to find the "secret" of an unremarkable picture, or to solve a puzzle. However, after a certain amount of time (Or when you do solve the puzzle), something will pop up and... Well, scream at you. Possibly the cause of many a small heart attack.
  • Marble Hornets, and such videos like it, often use sudden bursts of static and video distortion, even during normal conversation and unremarkable events.
  • Odd for a comedy show, The Nostalgia Critic's fears about self-worth and wasting his life will hit hard anyone who's also scared that their life is drifting by without them.
  • The Fear Mythos is a Creepypasta franchise dedicated to this. Similarly, its precursor, the terrifying Slender Man Mythos, relies on fear of the unknown, the dark and simple Nothing Is Scarier to make you piss yourself. It works incredibly well. Just don't look behind you.
  • The Creepypasta "Genetic Memory" implies that people instinctively fear features such as sharp teeth, elongated faces, pale skin, and dark sunken eyes because of something that happened long ago that imprinted the fear of beings with these features into the human genome.
  • The horror podcast The Magnus Archives has featured just about everything in this list in one episode or another. It later turns out that this is no mere narrative device, but an overarching Greater-Scope Villain. Each supernatural event recorded is caused by one of 14 Eldritch Abominations that each embody one fear, ranging from the fear of destruction and devastation, to the fear of spiders and being manipulated. There is also a 15th power rising, which embodies the relatively recent fear of mass extinction.
  • Name your fear. The SCP Foundation has something that embodies that fear in a supernatural object for you.

     Western Animation  

  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • The unwavering Stepford Smiler Joo Dee. Add to this that at the end of the episode, after her veneer finally fell, she was replaced with a different woman, who insisted she was the same person.
    • This gets even creepier when they show an entire room full of fixed-smile Joo Dees being brainwashed to repeat cheerful slogans over and over again.
    • Four words: Koh the Face Stealer. Imagine being trapped in the Spirit World, with no eyes, nose, or mouth, for all eternity. As if the notion of a face stealer isn't terrifying enough... Koh also happens to be a giant centipede.
    • There's a scene where Zuko is underwater and has to melt a hole in the ice that's covering it. One of the people on the DVD Commentary notes that it's his nightmare because "You would not have firebending to get out".
  • Balloon Land, an obscure, albeit cult-classic, 1930s cartoon in which a land of balloon people are terrorized by the evil Pincushion Man, who pulls pins from his own pincushion body to pop the hapless denizens of Balloon Land. Some might remember this from the old, pre-Playhouse Pee-Wee Herman HBO special, or from its cameo appearance in (quite appropriately) Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders. Watch. Like the balloon people themselves weren't creepy enough...
  • Batman Beyond:
    • Inque, the shapeshifting saboteur, has a creepy Venom feel to her, to be sure, but then she goes and pours herself down Terry McGinnis' throat, almost drowning him... and then, he ends up vomiting her out of his lungs. If any fan of the show wasn't creeped out by that scene, at the very least when they first saw it, then they are sick, sick little monkeys... or just into that sort of thing.
    • Darkseid. The guy is a Galactic Conqueror whose home-planet would make a good stand-in for Hell, coming to conquer us, and the only one who can stop him is Superman. Whom Darkseid can beat up. A border-line example of the trope, since he was definitely intended to be scary.
  • Beast Wars :
    • Rampage was supposed to be scary, but, especially in his debut episode, he might have proven a bit too scary for some younger audiences, coming across as basically Hannibal Lecter as a Transforming Mecha.
    • Tarantulas, from the same series, was also quite creepy. He's The Mad Hatter without the whimsy, and very much a sadist, which is hinted at with this exchange:
      Cheetor: This is a dumb plan, web-face. I don't have any real blood, just mech fluid.
      Tarantulas: Oh, my filters will adjust. It's the act I enjoy more than the nourishment.
  • Captain N: The Game Master. One episode took place inside Kevin's body, with quite nasty looking views of his internals, with the idea that Kevin would die from some foreign virus if he was not saved from the inside. If that's not bad enough, Kevin's "soul" is shown inside his heart, strapped down to a table and being menaced by the anthropomorphized virus.
  • Sonia/Numbuh 83 from Codename: Kids Next Door is afraid of the dark. Unlike most examples, however, this is not treated as a weakness, instead working as her Berserk Button; threaten to lock her in a dark room and she will destroy you.
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog:
    • Cousin Fred the barber from the episode "Freaky Fred" is a particularly disturbing example, but still manages to be endearing in some bizarre way, mostly through his cheerful rhyming narration throughout the entire episode. He ends every few verses of his poems with a long, exaggerated "na-aaaaughty..." to describe his own behavior. He is locked in the bathroom with Courage and takes their time together as a chance to shave him, while recounting his life story and his obsession with cutting people's hair off. The scene reaches its utmost creepiest when a haunting chorus of "la-las" starts to accompany the already eerie music.
    • Anything featuring Katz. Normally, in cartoons for children or teens, the homicidal maniac is goofy enough to take Refuge in Audacity. Even The Joker came across as plain funny some of the time. But not Katz. He played the homicidal maniac straight, with a sneering Hannibal Lecter voice and viciously Evil Laugh. When his death traps like giant spiders coming out of small holes, or throwing his victim into a taffy machine fail to kill Courage, he decides to simply strangle him.
      Katz: I wish you hadn't done that.
  • On Dinosaur Train, Shiny is badly afraid of the dark and doesn't react well in "Mom Was a Kid?" when Annie asks her to join her in exploring a deep, dark cave. She eventually flies away in terror and returns to the nest, saying she's done playing with Annie for the day, and possibly forever.
  • Ord's fear of the dark on Dragon Tales is a major plot point in at least a couple of installments.
  • An especially horrifying episode of The Fairly OddParents!, Timmy's pet hamster that was not properly cared for comes back as a rotted, violent zombie. And at the end of the episode, all his other dead pets rise from the grave, bones showing through sloughing-off skin.
  • Franklin:
    • The first book, Franklin in the Dark, was about the title character's fear of the dark. This story was also adapted for the first season of the television show.
    • A couple of installments involve Franklin and in one case his friends being afraid of monsters. In the first instance, the problem is solved by Franklin sleeping in the nightlight. In the second instance, Franklin realizes that if he and his friends use their imagination to create monsters, then they can use that same imagination to imagine themselves as heroes to get rid of them.
  • G.I. Joe: The Movie: the Body Horror that the Cobra Commander is forced to go through — which leads to him being turned into a mindless snake just as the audience was developing some sympathy for him.
  • Billy from "The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy" is deathly afraid of insects (including his own spider "son", Jeff).
  • Justice League: In "Only a Dream", Doctor Destiny traps several members of the League in their worst nightmares. Superman loses control of his powers and kills his friends, Green Lantern becomes alienated from his human roots, The Flash becomes trapped in superspeed forever...and Hawkgirl is buried alive in a coffin. Seeing the badass warrior woman pounding on the coffin walls incoherently shrieking in fear was incredibly disturbing. Especially since, thanks to Foreshadowing, she's the only one who's completely beyond her friends' ability to help.
  • Kaeloo: In Episode 143, we find out that Stumpy is afraid of the dark. Kaeloo, Quack Quack and Mr. Cat try to help him get over it. Ursula shows up and helps Stumpy to finally stop being afraid of the dark, but then Mr. Cat ends up making Kaeloo become afraid of the dark.
  • The A Little Curious episode "Light, Dark, and Bubble" relates to this fear. In particular, one of the Shoe Family segments has Lacey and Mary Jane refusing to go to sleep until their room is sufficiently light.
  • Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree: The scene where Pooh gets stuck in the hole has probably inspired more than a bit of claustrophobia in young kids. He's later stuck inside a beehive.
  • From the "That's What Makes a Friend" song in My Little Pony G3.5's Twinkle Wish Adventure: "Once you told me you're a little scared of the dark / I told you I can be afraid of it too."
  • Mike of "Mike, Lu & Og" is afraid of spiders, usually shown when adventuring in the jungles of the island (ex. "Brave Sir Lancelot").
  • Molly of Denali: Jake is revealed to be scared of the dark in "Ladybug Sleepover."
  • On Peter Rabbit, Peter's sister Cottontail and Benjamin are both afraid of the dark. Peter admits to having been afraid of the dark himself when he was younger.
  • Sean from Ready Jet Go! has a fear of heights, one of the reasons why he is apprehensive of going to space.
  • On Sid the Science Kid, Sid and his friends are all a bit afraid of the dark in "Discovering Darkness" and the book I'm Not Afraid of the Dark. They overcome their fear after doing some scientific experimentation and realizing that the things around them don't change simply because it's dark.
  • The SpongeBob SquarePants episode Ghost Host had the Flying Dutchman sleep in SpongeBob's pineapple after his ghost ship was destroyed in an accident. During his stay, the Flying Dutchman tried several mildly scary things in order to disturb SpongeBob, and when it got to the point where SpongeBob stopped being scared, he appeared as a huge snake which vomited out a grotesque, huge baby's head. Intended to be a parody of an over-the-top horror movie, it nevertheless managed to be incredibly horrible.
  • One episode of Tiny Toon Adventures had Elmyra, an animal lover whose affection was always disastrous for the target animal, mourning her late pets (all of whom she accidentally killed)... whereupon they rose from the dead Zombie Apocalypse-style, drawn as hideous zombies, and came after her. Their being zombified didn't prevent her from lavishing her destructive affections on them, however. One truly scarring moment shows her grabbing a zombie dog and washing it in a sink, only to have nothing in her hands afterwards; this implies the dog fell apart in the sink.
  • Taranee from W.I.T.C.H. has had a fear of fire her entire life. Naturally she has the power of fire.
  • Work It Out Wombats!: It's implied that Zeke is afraid of the dark, since he always make sure to keep the closet light on when he's asleep. He's also afraid of heights, since he was scared to go zip-lining in "Brother Day."
  • X-Men: The Animated Series features a two-part episode with a "Spirit-drinker" that Lady Deathstrike accidentally releases from an alien prison ship. It does exactly what the name suggests. What makes it creepy, though, is the way that the energy or gas or whatever that it's made of will occasionally take the form of the face of one of its victims, begging for help in faraway, ghostly voices.

     Real Life  

  • Progeria. Imagine it.
  • Really, being told you have any terminal illness would qualify.
  • Death is one of the few things considered quite widely to be a guarantee in life. Given the statistics of lifespans, people have reason, at least, to tell you it will happen no matter this or that. Immortality, never mind one without serious drawbacks, at least seems to be too much of a long-shot. Think about that.
  • The Disney attraction "It's Tough to be a Bug". The show scares a lot of children. For one thing, it's loud, and for another, you don't really need to be told to be afraid of a giant termite who spits poison at you. At least one guidebook includes the one-line review, "Finally this generation gets its 'Snow White's Scary Adventures.'"
  • 80's kids had the relatively benign Universe of Energy, which nonetheless recreated the dinosaur battle from Fantasia.
  • A variant on enclosed places: Thor Heyerdahl visited Easter Island, and part of his research involved a lake in a volcanic crater. The lake had become covered with a mat of vegetation thick enough that you could walk on it ... most places. If you stepped on a thin spot, you might fall through into the water. And if you didn't come right back up before the hole closed, you might not be able to find it, and you'd be trapped underwater, running out of air...
  • Emergency Alert System (EAS) messages can be unnerving, if not utterly terrifying for some people. You're watching TV, enjoying watching your favorite show, maybe even drifting to sleep, when suddenly you hear a blaring honk and a piercing bleep as your TV screen turns black and a digital voice, not just announces a test, but starts rambling about an emergency in your area. It's even worse if you have a smartphone and gets those alerts at night.
  • Rollercoasters, or anything with a large drop, can be traumatizing even to grown-ups.
    • Of course, rollercoasters play on that primal fear quite intentionally: the draw is that you get to scare yourself silly without actually endangering yourself. The catch is that the fear can be at least somewhat legitimate, since rollercoasters have malfunctioned before, albeit rarely.
  • The aptly named Tower of Terror ride at Hollywood Studios in Florida is, essentially, a ride that drops you from the inside of a very tall building only to suddenly stop and have windows open up for the briefest of moments, allowing you to think "Gee, maybe it's over", or "Oh, Crap! we're really fucking high up" for just a second and then you get dropped again. The decorations that convey a decaying hotel and generally creepy atmosphere do not help.
    • The number, speed, and duration of drops is random every time, so you can't even brace yourself properly on repeat rides. And you're technically not even being dropped, either: the "elevator" is on a giant belt so you can theoretically be hurled downwards faster than the acceleration due to gravity.
  • The slingshot bungee rides or bungee jumping in general, or skydiving. Take your pick.
  • Glass balconies or floors, like the one at the Grand Canyon, the Sears Tower Skydeck, or the CN Tower's glass floor.
  • One of the top ten scariest airports is located in South America in the mountains, on a patch of horizontal real estate too small to accommodate a standard-length runway. How do they get up to takeoff speed? They essentially throw the plane off a cliff.
  • We can't forget "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride", as much as some of us might like to.
    • Depending on which line you get in, the ride ends with you going to Prison or Hell. Yes, that's right. By choosing to stand in the wrong line, Disney damns children to Hell. That's the last time we give you money, Uncle Walt!
  • Panphobia is the fear of everything. How high as percentage of 'us' or everyone really has something that terrifies them is unknown, but since great fear of something is relatable - imagine feeling that fear constantly, from everything.

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