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Samhainophobia is the morbid fear of Halloween. The origin of the term traces back to the Celtic word Samhuin, meaning All Hallows Eve to Christians, though Samhuin predates the introduction of Christianity to the region it originated in, Ireland, by at least 4000 years. Samfuin (alternate spelling of Samhuin) comes from Old Irish word sam, meaning "summer", and fuin, meaning "end".
Halloween has many scary things associated with it, including ghosts, witches, skeletons, spiders, cats, bats, and vampires which can all be aided to the development of the phobia. The phobia is also caused by religious beliefs surrounding Halloween. Another cause of samhainophobia is watching horror films associated with Halloween, such as Halloween starring Michael Myers.
Many sufferers are unwilling to celebrate Halloween, including not wearing costume, go trick-or-treating, nor visit a haunted attraction.
For child sufferers, they would refuse to go trick-or-treating, but parents forcing them to go trick-or-treating would make them scream and panic unless they had adult supervision. Other symptoms include dizziness, barfing, nausea, increased heartrate, and rapid breathing. Halloween fear sufferers may also suffer symptoms in the form of other phobias, including phasmophobia (fear of ghosts), wiccaphobia (fear of witches and witchcraft), sanguivoriphobia (fear of vampires), chiroptophobia (fear of bats), nyctophobia (fear of darkness), arachnophobia (fear of spiders), skelephobia (fear of skeletons), and placophobia (fear of tombstones), due to the presence of scary associations of Halloween.
For children sufferers, parents must be aware of the fear and should determine the causes of samhainophobia, and then teach children to manage fear. Child should choose to avoid going trick-or-treating at night, and avoid going to stores where a lot of Halloween decorations are displayed.
Samhainophobia sufferers often have nightmares relating to it. To avoid getting nightmares, people should avoid thinking about scary thoughts before going to bed.
For mild sufferers, they should overcome their triggers themselves by gently encountering things that fear. The fear can effectively be treated by discussing with people (friends, family members, and therapists or even writing in a journal) about fear. For severe sufferers, professional therapists or even a religious leader may be required.
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