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16 Childhood Fears Ranked By How Little I Think About Them In Adulthood

If I perish in a quicksand related incident, please disregard this post.

16. Shots

A medical practitioner prepares a vaccine
Sebastian Condrea / Getty Images

When I was little, it was only the promise of receiving a post-vaccine sticker that kept me from making a run for it. Needless to say, I've become a big fan, particularly since the pandemic (even though I didn't get any Dora the Explorer merch this time).

  1. Do needles still make you nervous?

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Do needles still make you nervous?
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    Nope!
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    Yup!

15. Quicksand

John Mulaney does a stand-up bit about how overblown the threat of quicksand was
Netflix / Via netflix.com

John Mulaney said it best in his 2012 stand-up special, New in Town. Quicksand is real, but it is "basically impossible" to be killed by it. As long as you don't take that as a challenge, you should be fine.

  1. Does the thought of quicksand give you goosebumps?

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Does the thought of quicksand give you goosebumps?
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    Absolutely not.
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    Of course!

14. Taking tests

Students taking a test
Klaus Vedfelt / Getty Images

I recovered from this fear right around the time I graduated from college. (I went to art school, so it's not like it was a major concern there, either.) Don't worry though, my general fear of failure is still going strong!

  1. Do you still have nightmares about taking tests?

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Do you still have nightmares about taking tests?
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    Nope!
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    Yup!

13. The Bermuda Triangle

The triangle on a map
Lightguard / Getty Images

Still not entirely sure what it is, but I've never been scared of flying and I'm not looking to start now. So I'm going to skip this Wikipedia entry and continue to live in blissful ignorance.

  1. Are you scared of The Bermuda Triangle?

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Are you scared of The Bermuda Triangle?
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    Not at all!
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    Absolutely!

12. My "permanent record"

A manila envelope labelled TOP SECRET
Subjug / Getty Images

To be honest, I always thought permanent records were a myth, until I was handed mine on my last day of high school. Then, their mystique was damaged a second time when I realized it contained nothing but my report cards and school pictures. I threw it away and five years later, I haven't suffered legal repercussions for it.

  1. Do you fear your permanent record?

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Do you fear your permanent record?
  1.  
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    No way.
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    Yes, yes I do.

11. Ghosts

A sheet ghost
Kan Taengnuanjan / Getty Images

I've since decided I don't believe in ghosts, but when I was 7, I was still on the fence. For the record, I want to believe in them, because I want my own spooky story to tell at parties, but unfortunately, I remain un-haunted.

  1. Ghosts — goofy Halloween staples or spooky specters?

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Ghosts — goofy Halloween staples or spooky specters?
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    Goofy!
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    Spooky!

10. The Hash-Slinging Slasher

Nickelodeon / Via youtube.com

"Graveyard Shift" is one of the best SpongeBob episodes of all time, and how could I be afraid of good content? That being said, something about that grinning Nosferatu is still unsettling...

  1. Would you hide if you heard the knock of the Hash-Slinging Slasher?

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Would you hide if you heard the knock of the Hash-Slinging Slasher?
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    The what-slinging who?
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    Of course!

9. Gym class

An empty school gym
Stella / Getty Images

Literally the only reason this isn't higher on the ranking is because the likelihood of me having to take another gym class is microscopically low. That being said, if anyone ever tries to force me to play volleyball at 7:45 a.m. in a freezing gym again, I'm going off the grid.

  1. Does the thought of gym class give you chills?

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Does the thought of gym class give you chills?
  1.  
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    Absolutely not.
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    It sure does.

8. Cursive

"Dear," written with a fountain pen in cursive
Jayk7 / Getty Images

Until high school, I attended a very old-fashioned Catholic school, and one of its many quirks was that you were required to use cursive at all times, no exceptions. Learning it felt incredibly high stakes, especially since I'd just learned to write, and suddenly I had to make every word 100% curlier. I'm glad I know cursive, and I still use it if I happen to be writing with a cartoonishly large feather quill, but in all other cases, I default to print.

  1. Do you fear cursive?

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Do you fear cursive?
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    Nope!
  2.  
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    Yup!

7. Clowns

A clown pops a balloon with a needle.
Sven Hagolani / Getty Images

I want all the clowns reading this to know that it's not your fault. I know you got into the business to make people laugh, and I want you to continue your essential work, very, very, very far away from me.

  1. Do clowns make you nervous?

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Do clowns make you nervous?
  1.  
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    Of course not!
  2.  
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    Absolutely!

6. Coraline's Other Mother

The "other mother" with her creepy button eyes
Laika / Via youtube.com

The real horror here is the amount of time it takes to make stop motion animation... No, I'm kidding, it's the terrifying demon who steals the souls of children by sewing buttons over their eyes. How were any of us allowed to watch this?

  1. Did Coraline scar you for life?

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Did Coraline scar you for life?
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    Nope!
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    Absolutely!

5. Someone grabbing your ankle while you're swimming

The bottom of a swimming pool
Alex Tihonov / Getty Images

I don't know why people do this! If I think that a sea demon is attempting to drag me to the depths of hell from a suburban swimming pool, I'm going to kick, and if it's your face and not a sea demon's that I make contact with, I fail to see how that's my fault.

  1. Do you dread pool parties for this very reason?

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Do you dread pool parties for this very reason?
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    Not at all.
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    Totally.

4. The pie machine scene in Chicken Run

Two chickens trapped in an oven in a chicken pot pie machine
DreamWorks Animation / Via youtube.com

Maybe I'm just afraid of stop motion animation? Or maybe it's the idea of being turned into a pie by a cold, unfeeling machine. Yeah, it might be that.

  1. Do you consider Chicken Run a horror film?

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Do you consider Chicken Run a horror film?
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    I don't.
  2.  
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    I do!

3. Bugs

A vintage chart of insects.
Mikroman6 / Getty Images

I hate 'em! I've sat through the "insects are an essential component of the ecosystem" lecture multiple times, so don't come at me with that. No matter what you say, no matter what studies you cite, just know that your efforts will be for naught, because bugs freak me out on a molecular level. (I do like bees, though.)

  1. Do you also suffer from entomophobia (fear of insects)?

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Do you also suffer from entomophobia (fear of insects)?
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    I love bugs!
  2.  
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    Bugs freak me out!

2. The dark

A stairway leading into darkness
Zf L / Getty Images

The dark is literally just as scary now as it was when I was 5, both because of the possibility of demons and the increased likelihood I'll stub my toe on a rogue piece of furniture in the middle of the night.

  1. Do you fear the dark?

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Do you fear the dark?
  1.  
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    No way.
  2.  
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    Of course!

1. Those Emergency Alert System tests

An emergency alert system test on a TV
Associated Press / Via youtube.com

Picture this — you're relaxing, watching some TV, maybe you've just popped yourself some popcorn, then an ear-piercing screech interrupts your bliss. There is something particularly frustrating about a mechanical voice telling you it's just a test after you've already spilled all your popcorn in your race to the panic room. It might be the noise itself, or it might be all the conditioning from the apocalypse movies I've watched, but even listening to a clip of this sound in broad daylight gave me chills.

  1. Is "phobia of the Emergency Alert sound" just a me thing, or do you know where I'm coming from?

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Is "phobia of the Emergency Alert sound" just a me thing, or do you know where I'm coming from?
  1.  
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    It is definitely just a you thing.
  2.  
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    I know exactly what you mean!

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