What are you afraid of?


Connor Harris, Staff Writer

You’re alone in an unfamiliar place and suddenly there’s a noise. Your heart starts pounding and your brow begins to sweat. As you anxiously look for the source of the noise, you see nothing and begin to feel as though you’re being watched, your heart picks up its pace. It’s not long before you notice it was just a lone squirrel and you had just been worrying for nothing. Why had you been afraid in the first place? What part of your mind controls your level of fear and why had it been activated?

When presented with an uncomfortable situation such as the potential for harm, the amygdala, the part of the brain responsible for sending alerts throughout your body, begins to take notice. Your eyes begin to scan the area and relay information back to your brain for processing. The amygdala then assesses the threat and reacts accordingly.

The amygdala starts by transporting the information to the hypothalamus which then triggers the natural “flight or fight” response. While simultaneously sending messages to the hypothalamus, your brain also begins to go through a process in which it assesses the information and determines whether or not you are actually in danger. This is why we may experience a split second of fear before actually calming down.

Intense fears can often derive from childhood events. For example, if a child were to be bitten by a dog as an infant, it could make them have a fear of dogs in their adult life. A famous example of a child being conditioned to fear something is the Little Albert Experiment where an infant was given a white rat to play with. Initially, the baby loved the small animal. That was until the scientists began blasting a loud noise every time the child came in contact with it. Little Albert was soon terrified of the rat and even of other objects that were white. This included white fur, white beards, white toys. He was conditioned to fear.

Austrian Krampus Parade

On the evening of December 5th, a parade made up of Krampus’s and his servants hit the streets of Austria to let people know St. Nick might not be the only thing coming to visit you for christmas. Pedestrians line the streets as ferocious looking people in costumes march through the town attempting to frighten all who stay.

Austria’s scary Christmas celebrations

Batman Sets out to Rid the UK of Creepy Clowns

As the town of Cumbria, Whitehaven has begun to overflow with clown sightings and schools began to cancel, a man has decided to swoop in and save the day as Batman. Through the night the man dressed as Batman started scaring away all the clowns, taking them on with only his fists.Whoever he is, he has impacted his town by giving the clowns something to fear and the civilians someone to look up too.

A man dressed up as Batman has been fighting ‘killer clowns’ in Cumbria