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16 October 2014

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Gareth Pritchard: Nyctophobia


By Gareth Pritchard
May 2005, Wrexham
A digital story from Yale College

Fear of the dark

"The definition of Nyctophobia is a morbid fear of night or darkness and I have suffered from it since I was very young. For as long as I can remember I have had to sleep with the light on in my room because the dark would make my imagination run wild. When my mum would take me to pick up my sister from school in the afternoon in my buggy, she would have to leave a gap in my rain hood so I could see everything outside. My mum and dad would wake up most mornings to find me out of bed sleeping standing up in the landing where the light was on. My phobia was not helped by my Nan who used to tell me really scary ghost stories when I was little.

I was in Beddgelert one weekend with my mum and dad walking through a series of very long tunnels that run through the mountains. Right in the middle of the tunnel it just became pitch black and I completely froze. My mum and dad had to come back in to find me and carry me out. I used to hate anything with aliens in because they would scare the life out of me. Even "ET" would scare me and to this day I cannot watch that film. I didn't like aliens - they would abduct people at night on films and stories.

Now I am 16 and at Yale College studying Media and when I have to work in the Dark Room I stay near to one of the safe lights whenever I can. Many people suffer from Nyctophobia but I have managed to grow out of my fear and control it, well most of the time."


Gareth Pritchard

Your comments

"Wow, I'm in the same boat. As a child I had to sleep with the bedroom light on and my TV (because I hated the silence). I had an over-actice immagionation so it was little wonder that I had a fear of the dark. Of course sleeping with artificial light disrupted my sleeping patterns so I learned to sleep with the light off, although it always made me uncomfortable. I am now 18 and I thought I had grown out of it but my Nyctophbia has come back. I know it's not uncommon for children but it would be interesting to know statistics for adult suffers. Well done for being able to overcome your fear to use the dark rooms too!" Erin.

"Is the only answer to just grow out of it?" Breanne for Makayla.

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