Spectrophobia (from Latin: spectrum, n. specio, an appearance, form, image of a thing; an apparition, spectre) or catoptrophobia (from Greek κάτοπτρον kátoptron, "mirror") is a kind of specific phobia involving a morbid fear of mirrors. This phobia is distinct from eisoptrophobia, which is the fear of one's own reflection.
Generally, an individual that deals with spectrophobia has been traumatized in an event where they believe they have seen or heard apparitions or ghosts. The individual could also become traumatized by horror films, television shows, or by nightmares. This fear could be the result of a trauma involving mirrors. It could also be the result of the person's superstitious fear of being watched through the mirror.
Sufferers of catoptrophobia can fear the breaking of a mirror bringing extreme bad luck. They can fear the thought of something frightening jumping out of the mirror or seeing something disturbing inside of it next to their own reflection when looking directly at it. Others fear that it is a link to the preternatural world or a gateway into another world. Some also fear their own reflection in the darkness, as it can appear distorted in strange ways. Some people may also fear being pulled into the mirror by some preternatural force.
As with most phobias this fear could may be cured with therapy. Relaxation techniques or support groups could also be effective.
- Duffey, Tammy (November 2008). "Spectrophobia". Associated Content.
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