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Sciophobia, or sciaphobia, is the fear of shadows. The fear can be generational, meaning the fear passes from person to person, or observed behavior. Shadows can be scary to some people because of the possible presence of harmful things or unwanted visitors within it. Sciophobia is usually caused by a past traumatic event, like a little cartoon mouse casting shadows as big as a monster seen on television.
Sufferers may want to stay in the well-lit room in the house while avoiding sleeping in the dark room. Seeing shadows, even cast by a person itself, can cause them to scream or cry while walking through shadows can cause panic or even faint. Sciaphobes having social gatherings would feel anxious and would have difficult time to do conversation because of their worries about shifting shadows caused by people moving.
Sciaphobia can be treated by experiencing shadows in a safe environment witnessed by therapists. This test can cause symptoms, but it is used to understand that large shadows are usually cast by harmless objects.