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Top 5 Places that Are Just too Intimidating for Someone with Masklophobia

Updated on February 4, 2011

Phobias go far beyond irrational fears that are linked to something certain people are afraid of.

People who are scared witless of clowns of any type have colourophobia, and they mainly avoid fairs, some parades, and circuses as a result. Those who are so uncomfortable of heights have acrophobia, and they mostly prefer road trips to airline flights. Those with claustrophobia yearn for more than a lot of personal space - but places that are free from enclosed spaces.

Even cultures around the world have their share of phobias. In some parts of Asia, they modify some numbered places (like numbered floors or stables) to reflect their tetraphobia. The reason why they fear the number 4 is because the pronunciation is similar to their languages' translations of "death."

Finally, A Fear of Masks and People Dressed Head to Toe

But what if people are so afraid of masks that they just shut themselves down? What if people are too scared of someone dressed as an anthropomorphic dinosaur wearing ballet shoes that they just run from the event? What if they are scared of both?

Well, there's a phobia for that, and it's called masklophobia.

Also known as prosopeiophobia, it characterizes people's terror towards someone wearing a stick mask despite the fact that she's wearing a fairytale gown worthy of a princess. Worst of all, it can even mean the sheer dread of seeing a five-foot tall bear (I'm talking about a human body, head and all, covered in costume) in a cowboy suit.

But there are places that a masklophoebe (or prosopeiophobe) would avoid because they obviously have people wearing masks or at least one person dressed head to toe as an animal. Here are a few of them.

Mardi Gras Reveler Wearing a Mask

Oh gosh...
Oh gosh... | Source

#5: Mardi Gras in Any Place on the Gulf Coast

Mardi Gras is a pre-Lenten holiday celebrated primarily in the Gulf Coast. There's a lot of parties, king cakes, and wonderful parades that you could wish for.

But how is it intimidating for a masklophobic individual? The important aspects of the Carnival season holiday are the masks, and many people dress in novelty costumes to complement them, You'll see them on suburbs and small towns on the coast, all right. But flock down to New Orleans, Louisiana and you'll see more than a petrifying plethora of them. Masks are virtually everywhere - on parade, on the French Quarter (the ladies' indecent exposures are other things to fear), and even in house parties.

If somebody hasn't been to or never heard of the holiday, have him or her look at pictures, or else he or she would hide in the hotel room the whole trip.

#4: A Masquerade Ball

Masquerade balls are not just for Carnival anymore.

They can be held during any time of the year, whether it's a charity gala in April or a Halloween soiree during October. The definition of such events is so obvious - they are costume parties that involve masks. They range from the raunchy to the historical, and costumes range from barely-there frocks for the ladies to 18th-century breeches for men.

The obviousness of those balls is clear to anyone with that mask-fear. They might decline your invitation or they want to avoid all of them. How scary!

You know what I mean, and some of them, like this one, take place on MARDI GRAS!

Here's a mask, there's a mask, everywhere there are masks!

#3: The Carnival of Venice

Another pre-Lenten holiday, one of the last places in Europe where a masklophoebe would travel during that time is Venice, Italy.

Like Mardi Gras, the Carnival of Venice is centered on masks. But it's more or less serious and more refined in tone. You got the aforementioned masquerade balls, with masks complementing knee breeches and gowns.

But the fun doesn't stop there. Many people would walk around the city wearing those elaborate costumes and those elaborate masks. The worst latter ones to test masklophobes' nerves are the bauta-types. They are gilded masks that cover the entire face, and some designs are a bit creepy to some people.

If you really itch for an Italian getaway and want to immerse yourselves in the fun, that's fine. Just remember to redirect the mask-scared travel partner to an activity without masks.

#2: Certain Sporting Events

Why are sporting events in this list? Well, many high schools, colleges, universities, and professional sports teams have mascots. Many of them involve full-body costumes - every aspect of the portrayers' bodies must be covered head to toe. Mainly, they appear during football, baseball, and soccer games.

Try bugging a person who is afraid of mascots and/or masks to go to your old high school's homecoming game. Even worse, purchase front row tickets - the mascot would likely make contact with him or her.

Lord, Have Mercy!

Games with mascots, like the Swinging Friar of the San Diego Padres, can set a masklophobe's nerves on edge.
Games with mascots, like the Swinging Friar of the San Diego Padres, can set a masklophobe's nerves on edge. | Source

Here's an example of a Fur Character

"I'm scared!" - Eeyore Kid
"I'm scared!" - Eeyore Kid

#1: Anything Under "Disney Parks"

So why are Disney Parks (including the theme parks, cruises, and resorts) on this list? They are destinations and ships owned by the Walt Disney Company. Their focus is entertainment, and their main stars are the Disney Characters.

Speaking of which, they make them collectively the number 1 place where a masklophobe would reconsider taking a vacation. One reason is because they are open 365 days a year and 366 days a leap year.

Most of us were scared of those big mice, ducks, and dogs, when little and some of us outgrew that fear. Many others with the mascot phobia feel that it would stick with them forever and that they would always be scared witless of Mickey and the gang. When it's time for a meet and greet, they would cower, no matter how much you cajole them. Mainly, the types to blame for scaring some adults and kids are Fur Characters, because they are always covered from head to toe to resemble the characters Cast Members act. Gulp!

Pick any Disney Cruise Line ship - it's the worst ship for a masklophobe to go on a cruise vacation. Believe me, it's a pain when it sails on the open ocean, even for select days. You'd think that Disney Characters only appear at certain spots. On one of them, I had seen them even at the fitness center, even though it restricted Guests under 16 from entering! What point is there to jump overboard because of that fear?

Some packages from Adventures by Disney can involve the cruise line and/or a visit to a Disney Park, so masklophobes beware!

I'm really SCARED!

Before going to a place where masks and/or costumed characters are involved, consider planning ahead of the trip date - way ahead. That leaves your travel partner (or child, since children can have masklophobia too) plenty of time to prepare. Noting that some autistic children are technically afraid of them, have them look at pictures and videos of the events or places. For those with the real fear, you may want to consider hypnotherapy or an EFT therapy session.

By planning your outing ahead of time, you'll enjoy it without being held back by someone else's fear of animal suits or men in wigs and tricorn hats wearing masks.


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    • oldiesmusic profile image

      oldiesmusic 4 years ago from United States

      I hate clowns, only them tho. Clowns scare me. But I could tolerate those Mardi Gras events.

      I have yet to find someone who has that kind of fear, lol. Very interesting stuff you've got there :)