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Everyone is scared of something.

Charles St-Georges’ fear goes back to childhood. He remembers a particular day. The sun was setting, it was getting cold, and he didn’t have a jacket. He was a child, alone, surrounded by trees, and separated from his family during a hike in the Arizona wilderness. “It really scared me,” said St-Georges, a modern languages assistant professor who has yet to visit the BioReserve, and who, of course, did eventually catch up to his family.

St-Georges was even “freaked out” while looking at the housing options sent by Denison after he was hired this past winter. The homes were surrounded by trees and far from neighbors. “I live in an apartment building now and know all my neighbors,” he said.

Fear is no foreign concept to St-Georges who wrote his doctoral dissertation on Spanish horror movies. He believes that movies of this genre are so popular because they allow the audience to escape and then return to their “hum-drum” lives.

“We get so comfortable with the idea of everyday life,” he said. “We enjoy those safari-like departures from the norm. But, of course, we don’t want to be left in the African wild to be pounced on by animals.”

Whether inspired by fiction or reality, we’re all jittery about something. Here, students (and another professor) reveal the things that scare them.

Happy Halloween!

“Toasters. I have a fear of suspense.”
— Alison Sheldon ’15, Seville, Ohio

“Mayonnaise and bridges.”
— Celeste Alsina ’15, Chicago, Ill.

“Clowns.”
— Sami Steinkamp ’16, Cincinnati, Ohio

“Failure.”
— Taylor Kessler Faulkner ’16, Chapel Hill, N.C.

“Giant rats.”
— Kayleigh Humphries ’16, Newark, Ohio

“Campus security guards.”
— Jeffrey Kautz ’17, Montclair, N.J.

“Fish.”
— Kathryn Gissiner ’14, Ann Arbor, Mich.

“Snakes.”
— Lars Soderberg ’16, Cherry Hills Village, Colo.

“Birds.”
— Sam Coyle ’16, Dublin, Ohio

“Elevators, stray dogs, ski lifts, and Alzheimer’s.”
— Hannah Topka ’17, Littleton, Colo.

“Roller coasters and broken things.”
— Sara Vincent ’16, Waunakee, Wis.

“The women’s rugby team. I’m on it, but they still scare me.”
— Alana Perez ’16, Pomona, Calif.

“Finals.”
— Kelsey Kober ’16, Barrington, Ill.

“Midterm grades … and my parents.”
— Dennis Zhang ’16, Nanjing, China

“Being outside alone at night.”
— Rachel Laughlin ’14, Winter Park, Fla.

“Muppets.”
— Liz Eagle ’16, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

“Getting stuck in elevators and math with letters in it.”
— Cecilia Salomone ’15, Bainbridge, Ohio

“Germs and tortoises (partly because I can’t pronounce that word)”
— Tarakshya Mehrish ’17, Bangalore, India

“I’m afraid of dying alone, drowning, death in general, and spiders. If spiders flew it would all be over. No one would survive.”
— Drew Lavine ’17, San Francisco, Calif.

“Picking classes for next semester and lightning”
— Ava McNicholas ’16, Chicago, Ill.

“I have a weird fear of the ocean even though I’ve never seen it. I think when I was younger I remember seeing a movie where someone was swallowed by a whale.”
— Chris Perry ’16, Tiffin, Ohio

“Never amounting to anything … and spiders.”
— Jake Mullin ’17, Philadelphia, Pa.

“Running into a deer or falling down the stairs while walking to King.”
— Jessica Donaldson ’15,  Cincinnati, Ohio

“Not getting married”
— Anne Vanasse ’14, Lancaster, Pa.

“Public speaking. I’ve never liked it.”
— Erin Gusty ’14, Bucks County, Pa.

“Letting others down and not succeeding.”
— Kelsey Geppner ’14, Ann Arbor, Mich.

“As a religiously minded philosophy major, I constantly wrestle with immense ontological questions. I think my biggest, most deep-seated fear is that human life bears no purpose. I’m also pretty terrified of spiders.”
— Moriah Ellenbogen ’14, Olney, Md.

“The possibility of non-existence after death.”
— Erin Stevens ’16, Louisville Ky.

“Plane crashes … and I’m disgusted by yogurt because one of my first horror movies was The Stuff.
— Sam Cowling, assistant professor of philosophy

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