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People Are Actually Going Out Of Their Way To Avoid "AHS's" New Ads

Warning: This post contains images that may make people with trypophobia incredibly uncomfortable.

American Horror Story: Cult, the seventh season of the popular horror anthology, premieres on Sept. 5, and people are reportedly having visceral reactions to the show's newest ads — specifically, people who experience trypophobia, INCLUDING myself.

Trypophobia is a proposed phobia (intense, irrational fear or anxiety) of irregular patterns or clusters of small holes, circles, or bumps, and it can actually be debilitating.

Leo Reynolds / Via Flickr: lwr

Arnold Wilkins, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Essex, tells BuzzFeed Health that it's theorized that trypophobia — derived from the Greek words trýpa, meaning hole, and phóbos, meaning fear — is actually an evolutionary response that might stem from an instinct to avoid clusters of small holes or bumps because they resemble the symptoms of contagious diseases (measles, chicken pox, leprosy), because they appear on dangerous things (poisonous blue-ringed octopus, snakes, poisonous plants), or because something dangerous might be living in them.

Even though trypophobia isn't an acknowledged phobia yet (more on this later), photos of a lotus seedpod (pictured above) are commonly used to test whether someone is trypophobic or not, since trypophobes will most likely experience extremely visceral reactions upon seeing it. (I can wholeheartedly attest to this.)

Trypophobic reactions range in intensity and can get as bad as throwing up, crying, shaking all over, and intense itching or scratching.

reddit / smuckersgoober / Via

Typophobes experience symptoms both cognitively (disgust, fear, etc.) and physiologically (sweating, increased heart rate, etc.), and can be incapacitated by a reaction for extended periods of time, says Wilkins.

"It's not yet understood exactly why some people experience trypophobia and others don't, or why some people's reactions are far worse than others," he says. "But we theorize that the reaction is worsened by the spacing of the holes/bumps, how far away you are from the stimuli, and how big the stimuli is."

And because of this, some people have said that they'll be avoiding this upcoming season, just like they've been trying to avoid the ads. I concur with these people.

If you have trypophobia you need to avoid the new American Horror Story season 7 imagery at all costs... trust

I feel personally victimised by AHS Cult. Coulrophobia and trypophobia, really?!

they really don't care about anyone's trypophobia lol

To @Ofcom @FOXtvUK have just aired a promo for @AHSFX deliberately designed to trigger trypophobia. Disgusting and irresponsible

And guess what: It might just not be a coincidence that lots of tiny holes and circles have made their way into the AHS ads.


(Through his research, Wilkins has also seen that reactions tend to be more severe when the holes occur on human skin or are photoshopped onto the human body.)

According to Horror Freak News, this is not by accident, since in the upcoming season, Sarah Paulson’s character, Amy, is affected by three phobias: coulrophobia (fear of clowns), hemophobia (fear of blood), and trypophobia.



It even looks like one of the episodes is named "Holes," which some audience members are clearly not excited about.

I already know 'Holes' is gonna fuck with my trypophobia 😩

Even this gathering of clowns in the Season 7 teaser trailer could be triggering for trypophobes.

Twitter: @AHSFX

I literally can't stop scratching, and my skin has permanent goosebumps. Why did I write this post again? 🤔 🤔 🤔

Trypophobia isn't new, Wilkins says. It's just that people couldn't identify why they had these reactions until they started connecting with others on the internet.

"Phobias are usually described as an irrational and persistent fear of certain objects or situations, and causes of such fears can sometimes be difficult to identify," Wilkins says. "Trypophobia is just that, except it's a more complex concept with a cause that's not as simple to pinpoint as something like arachnophobia, where it's very easy to attribute one's fear to spiders or anything to do with spiders."

And because of that, there's been very little research into it, which Wilkins says is why it isn't recognized as a phobia in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

"People will actually go out of their way to avoid anything triggering out of fear of being incapacitated from their reaction, and that's why I think it's worth studying further and hopefully getting into the DSM," he explains.

Bottom line is: If you're trypophobic, you may want to do yourself a favor and avoid this next season of AHS at all costs.


Don't say we didn't warn you.

  1. Was this post triggering for you?

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Was this post triggering for you?
    vote votes
    Yes, I was incredibly disgusted the whole time and now I can't stop itching or thinking about it.
    vote votes
    I mean, it's gross and I didn't enjoy reading it, but I'm not going to lose sleep over it.
    vote votes
    Nah, I didn't have any reaction while reading this.
  1. Have you ever experienced trypophobia before?

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Have you ever experienced trypophobia before?
    vote votes
    Yes, but I always knew I was trypophobic.
    vote votes
    Yes, but I never understood why until now.
    vote votes
    No, I've never experienced it before.

BuzzFeed Health has reached out to FX for comment.

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