Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Fear of Silence

Lately I've started to think it's not just me.

Unscary things become scary when its quiet. When I'm alone I need music or TV or some kind of background noise or the silence becomes terrifyingly loud. Of course it's worst at night. Dark does kind of the same thing as silence, turning everything into something you haven't seen before, and putting them together can create one of the most frightening monsters in the world, all the more frightening because it is the most real.

All I can say is, thank God for Jim Dale and the Harry Potter audiobooks. I know my nighttime commute would be deadly without them.

I think silence (and darkness) is so terrifying because it is the outward symbol of the thing I think human beings try to avoid most of all: aloneness. When we are with someone it is not quiet or dark, and if it is, then it is calm and soothing.

I wish I knew how to make silence not so scary, but I have no clue. There is Jim Dale and Billy Joel and the Discovery channel, but still the silence is sometimes there. One of the most unavoidable phobias. There are monsters you can skirt and shirk forever and be fine, but not silence.

Maybe there is nothing to be done to make it less scary, but maybe there is a way to put that fear on our side. Maybe it can motivate us or inspire us. Maybe it just takes some living with, and then it's not so bad.

Of course, I couldn't write about silence without leaving you with the definitive words on the subject:

Sarah Allen


  1. Yes. Silence can be scary. Especially if we let our imaginations run wild.

  2. I struggle with the sams fears. I quit watching scary movies a few years ago and almost always sleep wiyh a light on. I now frequently revisit great cartoons like Carebears and try to think happy thoughts :) The silence and dark scare me so much that I guess I have found every possible way to avoid them, so I can relate.

  3. Thanks for the reminder of The Silence. I wasn't planning on sleeping tonight, really. Between The Silence and the fear of Weeping Angels coming out of my closet, I think I'll skip sleeping for the next fortnight.

  4. I hear you! (see what I did there? :-p)

    I can't abide silence. Whether it's some music playing or having the tv on even if I'm not watching it, I need noise to feel completely comfortable. If it's quiet, I find myself listening for sounds that aren't there and just a little bit on edge.

  5. I ALWAYS have to have some kind of noise. Silence makes my imagination run wild and the next thing I know, I'm in my living room armed with a spatula.

  6. I think silence does me in sometimes because I have such an active imagination. I also live in the city where's there's ALWAYS some kind of background noise. So if I'm in place where it's still, I tend to think the worst. That's why the "Hush" episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer gave me nightmares!


I absolutely love hearing from you! Thank you so, so much for your thoughts and comments, they really do make my day. Consider yourself awesome. Also, I do my best to respond to every comment within 24 hours, so I invite you to come back and continue the conversation :)

To have weekly posts delivered to your inbox, just sign up here!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...