Pediophobia: Fear of Dolls
Each Christmas, Santa delivers Raggedy Ann and Barbie dolls to homes across the world. Little girls play mommy to robot babies that cry, eat and wet themselves. For many adults, it’s a recipe for the creeptastic heebie-jeebies. Thanks to Hollywood horror movies, we know those blank-faced baby dolls can turn into haunted and homicidal toys at any moment. Natalee explores the psychological foundations for why their level of resemblance to real children is uncanny and unsettling to our brains. Miranda tells the original story behind the Annabelle doll made famous in several horror films. Pull up a tea party chair for some googly-eyed insight into the oldest toy of all time.
Sources: Smithsonian Magazine, The Cut, The New York Post, PsychTimes, The Scientific American, Wikipedia, psychogenie, Warrens.net
Gephyrophobia: Fear of Crossing Bridges
Love can build a bridge, but you might not be able to cross it if you have gephyrophobia. People who are scared of crossing bridges may be frightened of their car going over the edge, the wind blowing them off it, or the bridge collapsing. Natalee tells you about the tallest, longest, scariest bridges and shares some techniques to get you across them. Miranda takes us back to Florida in the 80s for the tale of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge collapse.
Chiroptophobia: Fear of Bats
Should you be frightened by these furry flying mammals? Do vampire bats want to suck your blood like Dracula? In this episode, Miranda tries to convince you bats are cute and cuddly creatures, while Natalee explains how they might give you rabies or burn down your city. Early vampire lore gave bats a bad rap, but the scariest, battiest part of their history might be World War II’s Project X-ray.
Sources: BBC News; Live Science; NPR; NYPost; Atlas Obscura; Smithsonian magazine; Mental Floss; Wikipedia; The Atlantic;
Nyctophobia: Fear of the Dark
Grab your flashlight! It’s time to finally explore the inky darkness. When the sun sets and the lights go out, are you afraid of the dark? This innate and ancient fear continues to spook children and adults. Come explore the links to crime, lore, evolution and insomnia. Miranda shares case of Daniel LaPlante, a true-life bump in the night turned waking nightmare. Stay tuned for therapeutic options to help you ditch your night light and brave the dark.
Sources: Medical Daily; Quick and Dirty Tips; Scientific American; Parkaman
Astraphobia: Fear of Thunder & Lightning
This episode is electric! When the thunder rolls and the lightning strikes, many people experience extreme fear responses. In fact, astraphobia is America’s third most common phobia. It is clinically diagnosed in both humans and animals. As always, Natalee and Miranda will shock you with the facts and thrilling anecdotes before soothing the sting with therapeutic options for zapping this fear. Grab your weighted blanket, pull the shades and crack into this natural wonder.
Sources: How Stuff Works; The Atlantic; The Post-Gazette; The Morning Call; Vice.com; WikiHow
Natalee’s Astraphobia Playlist
- “Thunder Buddies” Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarlane
- “I’m Afraid of Storms” Jonathan Singleton & The Grove
- “Dreams” Fleetwood Mac
- “Thunder Rolls” Garth Brooks
- “Lightning Crashes” Live
- “Thunderstruck” AC/DC
- “Lightning Bolt” Pearl Jam
- “Riders on the Storm” The Doors
- “Lightning” Whiskey Myers
- “Thunder” Imagine Dragons
- “Thunderclouds” Sia, Diplo, Labrinth, LSD
Coulrophobia: Fear of Clowns
Quit clowning around! Why do these goofy pranksters horrify us so? When did clowns go from harmless harlequins, bringing joy and laughter, to grotesque, sinister goons? Miranda and Natalee explore public relations disaster that is the modern history of clowns: from Killer Clown John Wayne Gacy (whose alter ego Pogo the Clown had a rope trick or two up his sleeve) to the murder of Marlene Warren by her husband’s clown-costume-clad lover Sheila Keen. Grab your red nose and join them for an uncanny episode doused in Hollywood horror.
Sources: ABCnews; WorldClown.com, Clowns.com; the Guardian
Coasterphobia: Fear of Rollercoasters
Are you tall enough to ride this ride? If so, we ask that you please keep your arms and legs inside your seat while this podcast is moving. The girls are joined by lovely guest host Shelby for Coasterphobia: fear of rollercoasters. Mix up an Off the Rails Champagne Cocktail with delicious aromatic bitters, compliments of Blackwater Bitters Co., and join us for a wild ride and a rollercoaster of emotions.
Promos: @3spookedgirls @truecrimedeadline
Bitters by: @blackwater_bitters
Episode sources: VeryWellMind; Psychology Today: Thrills & Chills; Amusement Park Accidents; Texas Giant: Beaumont Enterprise; NBC; Thunder Mountain: LA Times
Liquid Courage Recipe:
Off the Rails Champagne Cocktail
1 sugar cube
3-4 drops aromatic bitters by Blackwater Bitters
Lemon twist to garnish
Ep 11: Disposophobia: Fear of Throwing Things Away
Let’s talk some trash! In our most unhygienic episode yet, we bring you two extreme hoarding cases. Both ended in death and one in a murder charge. While decluttering, organizing and Marie Kondo-ing your home might bring you joy, people with Disposophobia experience debilitating levels of anxiety, sadness, worry and confusion. We take you into a hoarder’s mind to see what neuroimaging and brain chemistry tell us about their compulsion to add to their piles and their inability to part with even the most trivial items. As always, we leave you with tips to help yourself or a loved one climb this trash mountain of a struggle.
FRIGHT BITE: Hereditary
For our first Fright Bite, we watch and discuss the elevated horror film Hereditary! Is it demonic possession or mental illness that is hereditary in this family? Or both? There are myriad frightening things about this movie: cults, demons, gruesome deaths… But the scariest part may lurk in the mysteries in the brain, genetics, and our susceptibility to influence. Listeners beware: there are spoilers galore!
Episode 9 Kinemortophobia: Fear of Zombies
Are you concerned about having your brains eaten by a zombified corpse? Are you terrified of transforming into a mindless, cannibalistic monster? In a zombie apocalypse, humanity decays and civilization crumbles. It’s wise to have your survival skills sharpened and your pack ready. Miranda and Natalee help you prepare for when the gore hits the fan. They also tell you about seemingly healthy humans who mysteriously became zombies.
Sources: CDC Zombie Preparedness; The University of Michigan: Haiti and the Truth About Zombies; Zombiepedia; VeryWellMind: kinemortophobia
Episode 8 Pogonophobia: Fear of Beards
Break out your mustache oil and manscaping shears… Natalee and Miranda are poking around in the dark and curlies to analyze the beard-centric and beard-phobic complexities of our current times. They distinguish genuine anxiety from general prejudice, explore historic beards, and play a little game of Face That Beard. This episode will share some methods for how to approach pogonophobia from the perspective of the bearded and the beardless. We mustache you to join us for this one.
Episode 7 Sedatephobia: Fear of Silence
Shhh… can you hear the silence? Probably not; it’s 2019, and everything is an automated, mechanical noisemaker. Noisy is our new normal, so modern humans have a growing neediness for sounds, entertainment and interaction. For those of us who aren’t babies or Zen meditation pros, silence can make us anxious, nervous and squirmy. Silence speaks a thousand words. Let Miranda and Natalee speak a thousand more to ward it off for another hour.
Sources: Knops: Silence Scared Stillness; MindMap Inspiration: Fear of Silence; The Ladders, USA Today, Keller and Keller Attorneys, IB Times; Hush City app; Noise Free America; Calm app
Episode 6 Fear of Child Abduction: Part II
Miranda and Natalee are back to rescue you from last episode’s cliffhanger! We give you the rest of the Madeleine McCann case. After telling you who is most likely to kidnap your child, we take you through role-playing scenarios and help you pack your If-My-Child-Goes-Missing Kit. The mere thought of this topic is anxiety inducing, but this episode can help you be more of that chill mom or dad you always imagined you’d be. Maybe… Results not guaranteed.
Parent Tips: https://www.kidsmartz.org/ParentTips
Kid Tips: KidSmartz
Your Child is Missing: http://www.missingkids.org/gethelpnow/isyourchildmissing
Help and Get Help: Amber Alerts
Episode 5 Fear of Child Abduction: Part I
It’s every parent’s worst nightmare: kidnapping. Is your kid safe at the park, at school, on public transportation? From AMBER Alerts to helicopter parenting, we tell you how parents and law enforcement around the world cope with the frightening reality of child theft. We tackle the controversial case of Madeleine McCann, who disappeared at age 3 from a Portuguese holiday resort. The two-parter will have you evaluating your travel plans and parenting methods!
International Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Episode 4 BONUS! Special Interview with Dr. Linda Rinaman
In this very special bonus episode, we sit down at the Maple Street Biscuit Company with Dr. Linda Rinaman, professor of psychology and neuroscience at Florida State University. We pick her impressive brain on such topics as: gut reactions, the love triangle between depression, anxiety and fear, and whether any of us should be taking probiotics.
Episode 3 Taphophobia: Fear of Being Buried Alive
Let’s dig into Taphophobia: Fear of Being Buried Alive. Miranda and Natalee tell you how prevent premature burial, saavy ways to rig your coffin, and what happens once you’re six feet under. You’ll hear tales of murders, accidents and controversial therapies. Are you ready to join the Six Feet Under club? It’s dark in here, but your eyes will adjust.
Episode 2 Fear of Sinkholes
¡Feliz Sinkhole de Mayo! Every day is a party when the ground can open its jaws and swallow you whole at any moment. Fall into a rabbit hole of murder, catastrophe, Mayan sacrifices and missing lakes as Natalee and Miranda take you deep into the earth’s crumbly, flaky crust.
Sources: “Twisted Justice” by Rube Waddell; “Sinkhole Cocktail: Ceiba’s ‘Sinkhole De Mayo’ On Menu Until D.C. Sinkhole Fixed” by Erin Ruberry at The Huffington Post; “Body buried in Fla. sinkhole leaves troubling questions” by Rick Jervis at USA Today; USGS.gov; National Geographic. Special thanks to our brave friend, Mr. Lamar English.
Episode 1 Galeophobia: Fear of Sharks
Miranda and Natalee chummed the water! Now let’s dive headfirst into Galeophobia: the fear of sharks. This powerful predator’s toothy grin was too much to resist for our first episode. We discuss the 1916 New Jersey Shark Attacks and the media-fueled panic in the bloody aftermath. A closer examination of shark biology and psychology may dispel some myths for you. We teach you how to speak shark like a pro and fight your natural instincts to survive. Mix up a “Blood in the Water” cocktail for this deep dive, starring the antagonist of Natalee’s reoccurring nightmares.
Sources: “Close to Shore” by Michael Capuzzo; Dr. Erich Ritter at www.sharkschool.org and www.letstalkshark.com; “Blood in the Water: Shark Bite cocktail”www.mixthatdrink.com; https://www.natgeokids.com; www.fisheries.noaa.gov; https://defenders.org/sharks/
Teaser Trailer: A podcast exploring the fascinating and terrifying world of fears & phobias, with a splash of true crime. Coming soon!