Screw Halloween, This Stuff Is Actually Scary!

Published On 10/28/2015 Published On 10/28/2015
Shutterstock/Edited Jennifer Bui

Not scary: someone dressed like Twisty the Clown scaring people in a haunted house. Absolutely chilling: the thought that if I lost my job, I might have to take a job wearing a Twisty the Clown mask and make ends meet on $8 an hour.

Yes, I’m scared of everything. But Halloween is not the frightfest it was when I was a kid, because I’ve realized the world is full of profoundly scarier things that are way more commonplace than murderous children’s entertainers. Here are the things I’m truly afraid of.

Flickr/John Ragai

A car accident that’s completely my fault

The worst part isn’t the money I’d have to pay the other guy, it would be admitting I was wrong.

The world becoming a post-apocalyptic nightmare

I will last as long as a $1 TV on Black Friday.

Losing control of my bodily functions on a plane

You know when the fasten seatbelt light lights up when there’s turbulence? My nightmare is that the turbulence will last for the entire flight, and I’ll have to pee myself. I can picture the flight attendants forever repeating the story of how a grown man in coach asked the crew if they had a stack of napkins and an extra pair of Levi’s 511s he could borrow.


Growing older

Part one of a two-part series: “Scary Things That Are Happening That I Am Unable To Stop.” Who the hell’s going to take care of me when I get old? My non-existent children? My Facebook friends?? If self-driving cars and robot nurses aren’t a thing by the time I hit retirement, I’m screwed.


Part two of a two-part series.

Being publicly shamed

If the online community feels like someone did something wrong, they will ruin that person's life both online and off (there's a fantastic Jon Ronson book about this called So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed). Scores of people have been punished forever for doing one stupid thing. I’ve done a lot of stupid things, and I’m afraid it’s only a matter of time until I’m found out. Hell, I basically do dumb things for a living.

Flickr/Shiny Things

Gambling everything away

The Falcons seemed like a lock as 3-point favorites, but we all know what happened when they went into New Orleans on TNF and got punished by the home dogs. Does that sentence not make sense to you? Congrats, you don’t bet on sports and won’t slowly bleed away all your savings on meaningless football games!

Losing my job due to something stupid

The letter from HR explaining why I was fired: “Lee Breslouer attended the Sexual Harassment in the Workplace seminar, but failed to turn in a signed piece of paper confirming he attended said Sexual Harassment in the Workplace seminar.”

Losing my job due to something legitimate

Probably this article.

Flickr/Joe Gallagher

Navigating anywhere without a GPS

I recently almost missed a flight because I lost my sense of direction in an airport terminal. There are signs all over an airport terminal. It is impossible to get lost there. It was impossible. Now it is not.

Losing my hearing

Downside: never being able to hear music again. Upside: never being able to hear that one Justin Bieber song that sounds like spa music where he asks a girl what she means over and over again.

Using one of those old-school urinals

Some men are comfortable being shoulder-to-shoulder with other dudes while they urinate. And certain establishments in this country (old sports stadiums, old dive bars) still think this is the most efficient way for large groups of guys to use the bathroom. I'm uncomfortable going #1 while 14 men shoot sideways glances at my d, so I'm pretty sure my bladder will burst one day.

Flickr/tup wanders

Singing in public

I liked performing as a kid -- I was in drama club in high school and everything. But singing has always scared the crap out of me. Even karaoke scares the crap out of me, what with all that emoting and feeling. The word itself looks like it was a 19th century disease. “Poor Glenda, she contracted karaoke, and was dead but two days later.”

Being the subject of a viral video

I’ll be at a party, dancing exactly like Drake, and someone will shoot it on their phone. That person will upload it to YouTube, and for the rest of my days on this Earth, I will be recognized as That Guy Who Can’t Dance.


It’s like the Earth has a trap door that swallows people at random.


Getting dumped

The worst part is that you never see it coming, even though it makes sense in retrospect.

Having to dump someone

The worst part is that you know it’s about to happen.

That noise that came from somewhere

Jesus, what was that?


Getting mugged at gunpoint

This is scary because I genuinely have no idea how I’d react. Would I be a smartass? Would I crumble to the ground? Would I begin fake crying, like I did to avoid a beatdown in an empty stairwell in middle school? That one probably only works against a middle schooler.

Getting mugged at knifepoint

Guns are glamorized in movies and talked about constantly in the news, but I have little personal experience with them outside of shooting an AR-15 at a target once. Knives though? I see them everyday in my kitchen, and the thought of it being used against me is even more terrifying. Also, I think I’d be super into figuring out what type of knife they're waving in my face. Like, if the criminal thrust a Japanese vegetable knife at me? I’d say something dumb like, “I’m hit! But seriously, that thing chops kale like a beast, right?!”

Getting my ass kicked

If it were socially acceptable to walk around in a suit of armor, I would.

Dan Gentile/Thrillist

Never watching everything in my Netflix queue

And yet I just added Narcos.

Never watching everything on my DVR

I have tons of unwatched HBO documentaries, and yet I never miss an episode of MTV’s Are You The One?.

Paper cuts

“Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.” -- Mel Brooks

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Lee Breslouer is a senior writer for Thrillist, and is just generally afraid. Follow him to phobias at: @LeeBreslouer.



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