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Samhainophobia: Fear of Halloween

Samhainophobia: Fear of Halloween

Updated on May 27, 2022

Reviewed by Dr. Nereida Gonzalez-Berrios, MD , Certified Psychiatrist

Samhainophobia (fear of Halloween) - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Samhainophobia can create intolerable fear in some people whenever they think or experience something related to Halloween. Halloween is a playful event for most people, especially children.

Halloween involves lots of candies, costumes, games, and most importantly fun. People with a fear of Halloween generally dislike this event and they even can not tolerate the thought of it. 

For some people, Halloween can be associated with several scary things like blood, vampires, ghosts, witches, spiders, bats, and many other spooky and scary things that can be the reason behind certain fear of Halloween or Samhainophobia.

Samhainophobia Infographic

Samhainophobia - Fear of Halloween
Samhainophobia – Fear of Halloween

What is Samhainophobia?

Samhainophobia is the fear of Halloween which can cause severe anxiety in some people.  It can cause extreme nervousness and or extreme fear even with the thoughts or visuals of Halloween in some people.

Samhainophobia is an abnormal, persistent fear of Halloween that can result in extreme anxiety or panic in some people even with the thought of this event.

This fear can never be resolved eleven if it is proven or reassured that there is no threat present on Halloween.

This is not just a normal fear or dislike of Halloween. This is a clinical condition that deteriorates and causes several side effects in your health and your life. 

If you have this condition the thought of Halloween can increase your heart rate and your body may start trembling with fear. You can also experience nausea or some choking sensation in this situation. 

You will find it very hard to pay attention to your work or do something productive during Halloween even if you are inside your house and doing nothing related to it. 

Origin of Samhainophobia

The term Samhainophobia actually originated from the word ‘Samhuin’ which means the end of the summer. This originated with an ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. 

In that festival, people used to light bonfires and wear several costumes and they believed it would ward off every ghost around.

According to their beliefs on this day the wall between the world of the dead and the living became blurred.

They believed that in that particular eve all the dead people could make their presence known and everyone should be present there and should remember everyone who died in their family.

Otherwise the dead would get angry and cause so much trouble in their town. 

The word ‘Samhui’ actually means all Hallows eve and later people named this Halloween and made it more fun. 

The celebration of Halloween involves several creepy things like insects or supernatural entities which may affect some people too.

Here we are going to point out some other phobias that are related to Halloween and can be the reason behind causing your fear of Halloween. 

1. Fear of blood

Fear of blood is called hemophobia that can be related to the fear of Halloween. This condition is very common as with blood comes death. 

If you have fear of blood or hemophobia you will never be able to experience Halloween because no Halloween costume is generally complete without a little quantity of fake blood and in your condition, the difference between fake blood or real blood is not much different, both are equally scary. 

2. Fear of spiders

If you have the fear of spiders or arachnophobia the thought of spiders is enough to make your heart race and cause anxiety but on Halloween fake spiders are used for decoration and this can induce extreme fear in certain people can cause fear of Halloween. 

3. Fear of death

As Halloween involves cemeteries, bones, coffins, or dead people costumes, the individuals with the fear of death or necrophobia may develop certain fear of Halloween and will maintain their distance from anything related to this event. 

4. Fear of costumes

Fear of costumes or masks can also be called mask phobia. This particular phobia came from the fear of the unknown as you are unable to see the real person behind those masks and costumes. 

Halloween is all about costumes and masks so the people who have this particular phobia will prefer to stay away from anything related to Halloween and can also develop an extreme fear of Halloween. 

5. Fear of witches ghosts or zombies

Ghosts, zombies, or witches are normally scary for anyone especially for kids but Halloween involves these creatures in a fun way with costumes that helps the children to eliminate the fear and enjoy their fullest.

The people who have certain phobias like Phasmophobia, Kinemortophobia or Wiccaphobia, will never be able to reduce their fear and enjoy the event.

They get terrified of the thoughts of certain supernatural creatures and they will never be able to dress up like one. 

6. Fear of vegetables

The vegetable pumpkin is an important symbol of Halloween. People decorate their homes with a smiley face on a pumpkin.

If you have fear of vegetables or Lachanophobia this can be the reason behind your fear of Halloween. 

7. Fear of the full moon

Halloween is not directly related to the full moon but according to legends or fiction, the full moon is related to a supernatural creature called a werewolf. 

Several children love to wear werewolf costumes during Halloween and if you have the fear of full moon or selenophobia, this may influence your fear of Halloween indirectly. 

8. Fear of dark

Every child is really afraid of the dark and everyone including adults generally avoid darkness. This is because no one can predict what you may experience next in the dark.

You will never be able to prepare yourself for anything as you are unable to see anything around you.

Darkness is an important part of Halloween decoration. This makes Halloween more spooky and fun.

The people who normally are afraid of the dark can cope up with Halloween as they already know that three is nothing to worry about. 

The people with extreme fear of dark or Nyctophobia will never be able to overcome their fear to experience Halloween.

The probable reasons that can cause Samhainophobia or the fear of Halloween

There are certain factors that can be responsible for inducing a certain fear about Halloween in your mind.

These factors may be the reason behind your condition which is affecting your personal life and holding you back from having fun with your friends and your family.

In this section, we are going to point out certain factors that can be responsible for the fear of Halloween or Samhainophobia.

1. Family history 

Family history is an important factor in case of any psychological condition in someone. Genetic factors play an important role sometimes in the case of any phobia.  

If someone from your family had a condition of any kind of phobia genetically this increases your chance of developing Samhainophobia.

If anyone in your family has a history of any condition of anxiety that can also make you more vulnerable to developing any kind of phobia. 

Children have a tendency to develop certain behavior by observing their family members. 

If someone in your family has a fear of Halloween and you have witnessed it from your childhood that can be the reason behind your condition.

Here if you have seen someone suffering from this condition it is very possible that you have adopted this fear from them and with time and with your environmental effect this condition has become worse.

2. Environmental factors 

Environmental factors can play an important role in our development and help us to adopt new behaviors in our life. 

If you have grown up in a certain environment where you have observed people think of Halloween as a  scary event that can be really dangerous you will adopt this behavior and develop a certain fear about Halloween. 

If the people around you portrayed Halloween as something negative and terrifying which can cause you harm during your childhood, even if that was just to scare you, this can affect your mind.

You have observed several negative thoughts and negative impressions about this particular event from your childhood and you learned to believe in those concepts and developed fear even while thinking about them. 

If you have any kind of phobia that can be related to Halloween and create a negative impression about Halloween in your mind you may have a chance of developing Samhainophobia too. 

Halloween is all about costumes, spooks, and fun. The costumes of several supernatural creatures like vampires, ghosts, witches, or zombies add more fun to this evening.

People use decorations like fake blood, spider nets, bones to make it more spooky and creepier. 

The people with certain phobias like nyctophobia (fear of the dark), arachnophobia (fear of spiders), or wiccaphobia (fear of witches or witchcraft), etc will be terrified of Halloween as this involves everything creepy and weird. 

If you have any kind of phobia related to them you may already have fear and a negative impression of Halloween from the beginning.

It is possible that with time your fear level has increased and you have developed a new phobia called Samhainophobia.

4. Past experience

Your past experiences are really important to understand the reason behind your condition. If you have ever enjoyed Halloween in your life it is possible that something may have happened in your past which has induced this extreme fear in your mind. 

You may have experienced something really terrible in your past that caused severe pain or sadness in your life.

You never want to experience those same feelings again in your life and this incident is very much responsible for you to develop such fear in your life.

5. Emotional trauma

If you have experienced something terrifying during Halloween in your past which has caused you an excessive amount of fear in your life (like experiencing excessive fear in a haunted house at a very early age etc) you may develop this condition.  

It is also possible that you have heard some scary stories about Halloween from someone who had a huge effect on your mind and you never got over it. 

Or you witnessed something happen to someone else during one Halloween which was scary enough to eliminate yourself from that event for your whole life. 

Any certain experience that has caused severe trauma during your childhood or after growing up can be the reason that created this uncontrollable fear about Halloween in your mind which we can clinically call Samhainophobia.

6. Memories 

Certain memories can also be responsible for your condition. If you have watched any scary movies about Halloween which made you terrified and scared it is possible that you started hating Halloween from that moment of your life.

You never wanted to experience something scary like that in your own life. That was scary enough for you to develop this uncontrollable fear in your mind.

Now even the thought of Halloween can create severe anxiety and cause panic attacks. 

7. Exposure to any toxin

Any exposure to any kind of toxin can increase your chances of developing any kind of anxiety disorder or psychological condition.

If you were ever exposed to any kind of toxin that may have an effect on your brain which can be responsible for your condition. 

Any kind of severe infection can also affect your brain in a certain way. If you ever had any severe infections this can also make you more vulnerable to having an anxiety disorder like Samhainophobia.

8. Brain activity

Several brain imaging studies have stated that people with any anxiety disorder or phobia represent some abnormal activities in several regions of their brains. 

9. Traumatic brain injury (TBI)  

If you had an accident during your childhood like falling from the stairs, falling from a bike, that had some effect on your brain or caused any injury in your brain can be responsible for your condition. 

According to several studies, people who experience any brain injuries during their childhood have a tendency to develop certain psychological conditions like anxiety or phobias later in their life. 

These were the probable causes of your fear of Halloween. If you think you have Samhainophobia you need to dig deeper in your mind and think carefully about all your past memories and experiences to find out the possible reason behind your condition. 

If you want to improve your condition and take proper measures to recover from your fear you need to find the probable reason behind your condition and start working on it.

You need to change your thoughts in order to modify your reaction or your behavior. 

Clinical symptoms of Samhainophobia or the fear of Halloween 

The fear of Halloween is not that uncommon in people all around the world. People with Samhainophobia will express severe outbursts of anxiety whenever they are exposed to something related to Halloween. 

Halloween includes several creepy things and supernatural entities like ghosts or witchcraft. It is normal for people, especially children, to be afraid of it but this fear or nervous state of mind can not be diagnosed as a problem or as Samhainophobia. 

Their fear can be reduced or eliminated once they are convinced that there is no threat present there.

Children can get involved too when Halloween involves fun and candies but the people with Samhainophobia will still be afraid of Halloween.

If someone is suffering from Samhainophobia any sign of Halloween or any thoughts of Halloween can cause severe anxiety outbursts or can be extremely stressful for them.

Here are some important clinical symptoms that can help you to diagnose if you have them.

  • Avoiding any discussion or thoughts that involve something related to Halloween. 
  • Frequent anxiety episodes if someone is talking about Halloween in front of them.
  • Depressive feelings and excessive mental pressure.
  • Panic attacks
  • Avoid any Halloween decorations in front of them. 

If someone has Samhainophobia and they are exposed to anything related to Halloween several physical symptoms may appear. 

  • Increase in heart rate
  • Seating
  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness
  • Panic
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness in breath
  • Headache
  • Stomach pain
  • Shaking 
  • Dry mouth
  • Butterflies in stomach
  • Muscle tension
  • Choking 
  • Inability to speak
  • Numb sensation 
  • Disorientation 

These are the physical symptoms that may appear whenever you are experiencing something related to your threat that is targeting your mind. 

In the case of children, a few more symptoms can be present as they are able to complain about their condition to their parents and they feel more secure when they are with their parents or someone older. 

  • Crying
  • Screaming
  • Running
  • Hiding
  • Irritable mood

These are the common symptoms that can help you to diagnose if someone has Samhainophobia or the fear of Halloween around you. 

These physical symptoms are an outburst of anxiety and excessive stress. When someone feels too threatened to control their emotional state and unable to express their condition through verbal communication these symptoms may appear. 

Signs that can help you to understand if the person next to you have any fear of Halloween 

There are no tests available to understand if someone around you has Samhainophobia or any fear of Halloween.

There are some signs that you can follow and try to find out if you or anyone around you may have Samhainophobia.

For some people, it is normal to be nervous and anxious during Halloween if they are able to control their fear and move on but if the thought of it is causing severe stress in someone’s life then there may be a problem.  

Here are some signs that you may notice to understand if someone is experiencing extreme fear of Halloween. 

People with Samhainophobia or the fear of Halloween will generally avoid anything related to Halloween in their life.

If you are in a store with that person where they are selling several Halloween decorations these people will never go inside that store. 

Whenever someone is talking about Halloween or planning this year’s party in front of someone with Samhainophobia he/ she will try to change the topic or take off by making some excuses. 

If that person is forced to experience something related to Halloween they may have certain physical symptoms and a sudden outburst of anxiety. 

They may have experienced something terrible related to Halloween somewhere in their past and that trauma has caused this extreme fear about Halloween in their mind. They are not at all ready to experience the same pain once again in their life. 

2. Never decorate their house during Halloween

The people with Samhainophobia will never decorate their house during Halloween as they are never ready to witness something related to Halloween.

They will generally avoid walking by the houses that are decorated for Halloween. 

These people will get anxious every time they see any display of Halloween decorations at any store or any house. They will never go back to that place at this time of the year no matter how urgent or important it gets. 

3. Never go to a Halloween party

People with Samhainophobia will get anxious whenever they hear something related to Halloween.

You will never find these people at any Halloween party. Every time they will avoid the party by making some excuses. 

If you are planning your party in front of someone who has Samhainophobia they may experience certain anxiety outbursts even with the thought of Halloween. 

No matter how much they love partying they will never go to a Halloween party even if their crush asks them to be their date. 

4. Avoid scary movies 

People with Samhainophobia will generally avoid watching any scary movies that involve something related to Halloween.

If you are planning to go to a certain movie with someone who has Samhainophobia they will never agree to accompany you.

5. Stay away from Halloween costumes

Someone with Samhainophobia will always avoid something related to Halloween costumes no matter what time of the year it is.

They will avoid the stores that display any of these costumes and you can never make them wear one. 

6. Stay inside during Halloween

Someone who has Samhainophobia will always stay inside their house during this time of the year.

They will be terrified to go out no matter who is willing to accompany them. They will refuse to go to school during this time even if it is something really important. 

People with Samhainophobia will be terrified of the dark. They can love eating candies normally but they will never agree to go trick or treat during Halloween. 

They can complain about sleeping alone at night and they will ask for some company to sleep peacefully. 

Their stress level and anxiety level will be highest during this time even if they are at their home and any trigger can cause a severe outburst of anxiety or panic attack.

Treatment of Samhainophobia

Once your Samhainophobia is being diagnosed and you are ready to have control over your condition you should start your clinical treatment instantly. 

Sometimes you can start working all by yourself with your understanding and great willpower and you may achieve your goal with a rough time but you need proper guidance to help you with your situation to overcome your fear sooner. 

There are some treatment processes that can be followed to help you with your condition. 

Individual therapy 

Individual therapy is a great process to identify the reason behind your condition and to understand the factors that are responsible for it.

You will be able to share anything you want with your therapist and they will listen to you empathetically and without any judgment.

In a therapy session, you will be able to understand the reason and with the help of your therapist, you will be able to find out a way to resolve all the factors that are responsible for your condition.

Any past trauma, your childhood environment, your upbringing, or your past memories can be the reason behind your fear.

In a therapeutic session, the therapist will help you to speak all about yourself and will help you to find out the responsible factor.

If you are experiencing some different psychological conditions as a side effect of your Samhainophobia, individual therapy can help you to deal with those problems too. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help you to understand your thoughts, your beliefs, and how they can affect your behavior.

This therapeutic process will help you to identify your negative thoughts about Halloween that can have an important role in your actions. 

You will be able to understand the reasons behind all your behaviors and your actions with the help of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).

If you can find out the actual reasons behind your fear of Halloween it will be easier for you to overcome your fear. 

This therapy process will help you to work on your memories or thoughts and understand them. With professional help, you will be able to modify all the negative thoughts that can cause this excessive fear. 

Once you learn to change or modify your negative thoughts it will be easier to modify your behavior and the thoughts that are responsible for your fear.

By changing your reaction you will be able to learn new behavioral patterns and overcome your fear of Halloween in your life.

You will be able to update all your negative beliefs and negative reactions which will help you to find the fun and enjoyment of Halloween. This can help you to overcome your fear and let you enjoy yourself to the fullest.

Behavioral therapy

Behavioral therapy is another important therapeutic process that can help you to improve your condition and your well-being.

This therapy generally helps you to modify your negative behaviors into positive ones. 

In this particular therapy, the therapist will help you to identify your negative behaviors which hold you back from something good. 

Psychodynamic therapy

Psychodynamic therapy or psychotherapy can play an important role in improving your condition. This therapy can help you to reveal all your internal conflicts and thoughts that can be responsible for your fear. 

In this therapy, the therapist will help you to reveal all your dark thoughts or deep memories that are suppressed in your mind.

The thing you were trying to avoid because you were afraid to face them or remember them can also be revealed with the help of this therapy. 

Once all your hidden complexities are out you will be able to understand the factors that are causing your fear about Halloween in your life.

Psychodynamic therapy will help you to work on all unresolved issues you have in life.

You will be able to revolve all your complexities and your suppressed thoughts that can affect your well-being and your behavior.

Once you are able to cope with your situation and solve all your issues your condition will improve and you will be able to achieve happiness in life. 


Medication is not necessary if you are continuing your therapy sessions and your condition is getting in control. 

If you are unable to control your condition and that is getting really harmful for yourself and for everyone around you medication can help you have control over your condition. 

You need to consult with a doctor if you are experiencing certain complicated situations in your life.

If your doctor feels that there is a need for some medication in your case they will prescribe you something that can help.

If someone is experiencing an uncontrollable and extreme level of anxiety, panic attack or depression some anti-depression drugs or some drugs for treating anxiety can be used to treat your depression or anxiety. 

Breathing exercise

Several breathing exercises can help you to calm yourself down and relax your mind. These exercises are well used in case of anxiety to provide relaxation and peace. 

This will help you to continue the oxygen supply in your brain and maintain the blood flow. You will be able to control your anxiety and control any panic attack with regular practice. 

How can you deal with Samhainophobia

You will need extreme willpower and patience to work on your issues to gain control over your fear of Halloween or Samhainophobia.

There are some methods which can help you to improve your condition all by yourself with a little time and effort. 

1. Start taking a gradual approach 

Halloween is a very popular event for everyone where people visit every home and children come for tricks or treats. 

You may need to open the door for some reason during this time of the year and you will see some children with their Halloween costumes which can trigger your anxiety and create an outburst. 

To avoid certain situations you need to take small steps to work on your fear.

1. Do not participate at first. Take your time and prepare yourself.

2. Limit your time to get involved. Select a small period when you will open the door and give candies to the children. 

3. Increase your responsibilities every year a little bit and with time you will be able to overcome all your fear about Halloween. 

2. Conversation 

Try to initiate a conversation with the children who are coming to your home for having candies. Talk about anything other than Halloween if you want.

It will help you to improve your social skills and open up a little bit during this time of the year. 

3. Relaxation 

Giving your body and your mind some time to relax is very much important to work on some issues.

You need to calm your mind down to avoid any anxiety breakdown. Take some time for yourself, practice some breathing exercises or meditation, whatever helps you to relax and enjoy. 

4. Analyze your thoughts 

If you want to overcome your fear, start analyzing all your thoughts. This will help you to find out the reason behind your fear and with your efforts and your skills, you will be able to find a solution to resolve your issues and improve your condition.  

5. Maintain a journal

Journaling is an amazing way to express yourself and your thoughts. You should start maintaining a journal and this will make your work easier.

This habit can help you to remember every thought and feeling at any moment in your life.

While maintaining a journal on a daily basis can work like free association in your life. Your hidden or suppressed thoughts can come out through your writing at some point. This will help you to reveal your inner mind.

You may find the reasons you are looking for a very long time through journaling. This will also help you to release your thoughts and can reduce your anxiety level a little. 

Once you start to understand your thoughts that may lead you to certain behavior you can start working on them too and try to resolve your issues. 

6. Talking about it

Sometimes talking about your problems can help you to find a solution to all your issues.

If you really want to improve yourself and lead a healthy life you should start talking about your thoughts and your fear to someone you can really trust.

 7. Start relying on yourself

If you really want to improve yourself, stop relying on other people in your life and start working with yourself. You need to look deeper into yourself and understand all your thoughts and feelings about different things. 

Start believing in yourself and work on your issues to resolve all of them. Stop depending on other people to make you feel good and stop blaming them for anything bad or negative in your life. 

Start taking responsibility for your own actions and think of the ways that can make you happy and give you satisfaction in life.

Work on your emotions and find ways to make yourself feel good about everything around you in your life. 


Fear of Halloween or Samhainophobia is a condition that can create severe anxiety whenever you are exposed to anything related to Halloween at any point in your life. It can hold you back from enjoying Halloween with your friends.  

Several factors like your memories and trauma or your childhood environment can be responsible for your condition.

You need to find out the reason behind it and start working on them to overcome your fear and lead a healthy life.

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