doraphobia (dōrəˈfōbēə)

Happy Halloween from Coco! (for more pictures of Coco, please visit her Instagram @ladycococuddles)

Happy Halloween! In the past I have explored phobias during the month of October, and I thought I would continue the theme today.

Doraphobia is the fear of touching the fur of an animal. It comes from the Greek roots dora- meaning fur, and -phobia meaning abnormal fear of. Doraphobia is not the fear of the popular Nickelodeon television character who explores the world with her trusty companions, Mr. Map, Mochila, and Boots!

Do any of you have doraphobia or any other phobias?

To explore other Halloween related posts, search my blog with the key words “halloween” and “creature feature.”

guytrash/gytrash (gī‧trash)

The guytrash is a malevolent creature with eyes like burning coals that haunts solitary roads. (image from

A guytrash is a demonic spirit of Northern England that haunts lonely paths, waiting to lead people astray. Guytrashes can appear in the shape of a large black dog, horse, or mule with glowing eyes like burning coals. In some legends, the guytrash was said to be friendly, helping people find their way. In some parts of England, the guytrash is known as the ‘Shagfoal,’ and takes the form of a ghostly mule. In this form, the spirit is purely evil.

This concludes my month-long exploration of malevolent creatures. I hope you all enjoyed this series of posts!

dybbuk (dibək)

Dybbukim are evil spirits that possess and control humans. (image from

In Jewish folklore, dybbukim are evil spirits that possess the bodies of living humans and influence their behaviors. Dybbukim are souls that have committed such terrible crimes that they have been turned away from purgatory, or they escaped from purgatory somehow. A dybbuk is particularly drawn to a spiritually weak person who is having similar life struggles as it did when it was alive. Once a dybbuk possesses a body, it will force its host to take part in dangerous activities. A religious rite is necessary for the exorcism of a dybbuk.

Be sure to visit again next week as I continue my month-long spooky theme with another malicious monster.




wyvern (wīvərn)

Wyverns are evil mythical creatures that closely resemble dragons.

A wyvern is a winged, mythological creature with two legs, a crocodilian head, and a barbed scorpion-like tail that is highly poisonous.

Although wyverns resemble dragons, there are some notable differences. The main differences are that wyverns are smaller and have two legs, while dragons are larger and are usually depicted with four legs. Most wyverns breathe poison, while dragons almost always breathe fire. While dragons can be either good or evil, wyverns are always wicked. Wyverns are also thought to be less intelligent than dragons.

The word “wyvern” was first seen in the 17th century and it comes from the Middle English word wyver, which in turn comes from the French word wivre. Wyvern ultimately originates from the Latin word vipera, meaning viper.

Come back next week to explore another malicious monster during my month-long Creature Feature!

nix (niks)

Nixes are water spirits who lure people to their watery graves. (Painting by Arthur Rackham, image from

Our first monster is a malevolent creature from Germanic folklore. Nixes are water spirits that live in rivers and lakes and lure people into the water to their deaths.

Nixes can take on many forms; males can shapeshift into humans, snakes, or fish, while females are commonly portrayed as beautiful women with the tail of a fish. A famous nix was the beautiful Lorelei, who perched atop a rock on the Rhine River and lured fishermen to their doom with the sound of her voice.

Beware the next time you go swimming in a lake, or else you might end up becoming a victim of a nix.

Coming Soon: Creature Feature


Artwork by my talented friend Lauren Prys

Halloween is almost upon us and I am so excited!

In honor of my favorite holiday, every week this month I will unveil a scary creature guaranteed to make you shriek in fright and lock your doors at night.

The first Creature Feature will be posted on October 8, so be sure to return to explore the morbid monster of the week. In the meantime, feel free to peruse my other Halloween related posts under the category “phobias.”

cucurbitophobia (kyü-ˈkər-bətə-fō-bē-ə)

Happy Halloween! I had a fabulous time trick-or-treating in my spookily decorated neighborhood this evening. Almost every house that we visited had pumpkins decorating their porch. If I had cucurbitophobia, I would not have had a very good time tonight.

Cucurbitophobia is the fear of gourds. Pumpkins, squash, and watermelon are examples of gourds. The word curcubit comes from the Latin word cucurbita,  meaning gourd or cup. Cucurbitophobia comes from the word cucurbit, and phobia- meaning abnormal fear of.


nyctophobia (nik-tuh-foh-bee-uh)

The decorations in my neighborhood are fun to look at and the people handing out candy are very nice.

Happy Halloween! I am excited to go trick-or-treating tonight in my Bellatrix Lestrange costume. For those of you unfamiliar with Bellatrix, she is an evil character in the Harry Potter series. I’m glad I don’t have nyctophobia, otherwise I couldn’t go out tonight or any night!

Nyctophobia comes from the Greek root nyct- meaning night and the suffix –phobia meaning abnormal fear of. Nyctophobia literally means “abnormal fear of the night.”

Are you dressing up this year? If you are, be sure to comment and tell me about your costume!

myrmecophobia (mərmə̇kō fōbia)

Myrmecophobia is the abnormal fear of ants. Image from

Let’s explore another phobia this week! My friend Caroline commented that she is afraid of ants. The fear of ants is called myrmecophobia.

Myrmecophobia comes from the Greek root myrmeco– meaning ant and the suffixphobia meaning abnormal fear of. It literally means “abnormal fear of ants.”

Do you have a phobia? If you do, be sure to leave me a comment!

acrophobia (a-krə-ˈfō-bē-ə)

I had to overcome my acrophobia to ride this Ferris Wheel in Chicago's Navy Pier.

To continue our Halloween theme, let’s explore another phobia this week. I have an extreme fear of heights, also known as acrophobia. I feel dizzy and sick when I am in a tall building looking out the window, or when I am in a car driving on a bridge. Acrophobia comes from the Greek root acro- meaning top most, tip and the suffix -phobia meaning abnormal fear of. Acrophobia is an “abnormal fear of heights.”