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For Thanatophobia, the fear of dying, see Death anxiety (psychology).

Necrophobia is a specific phobia which is the irrational fear of dead things (e.g., corpses) as well as things associated with death (e.g., coffins, tombstones). Necrophobia is derived from Greek nekros (νεκρός) for "corpse" and -phob- from the Greek phobos (φόβος) for "fear."[1] With all types of emotions, obsession with death becomes evident in both fascination and objectification.[2] In a cultural sense, necrophobia may also be used to mean a fear of the dead by a cultural group, e.g., a belief that the spirits of the dead will return to haunt the living.[3]

Symptoms include: shortness of breath, rapid breathing, irregular heartbeat, sweating, dry mouth and shaking, feeling sick and uneasy, psychological instability, and an altogether feeling of dread and trepidation.[4] The sufferer may feel this phobia all the time. The sufferer may also experience this sensation when something triggers the fear, like a close encounter with a dead animal or the funeral of a loved one or friend.[5] The fear may have developed when a person witnessed a death, or was forced to attend a funeral as a child. Some people experience this after viewing frightening media.[4]

The fear can manifest itself as a serious condition. Treatment options include medication and therapy.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Thomas, Clayton L., M.D., M.P.H. (1993). Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, Edition 18. F.A. Davis. ISBN 0-8036-0194-8. 
  2. ^ Woods, Timothy J. (July 2007). "Death in Contemporary Western Culture". Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations 18 (3): 333–343. doi:10.1080/09596410701396071. 
  3. ^ Tsaliki, Anastasia (2008). "Unusual Burials and Necrophobia: An Insight into the Burial Archaeology of Fear". In Murphy, Eileen M. Deviant Burial in the Archaeological Record. Oxbow Books. ISBN 978-1-84217-338-1. Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Heering, Jan (23 August 2010). "Necrophobia". How To Cure Necrophobia?. Retrieved 2 September 2010. 
  5. ^ "Necrophobia". ThinkQuest. Retrieved 2 September 2010. 

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