According to the internet's fast growing encyclopedic phenomenon Wikipedia, fear is a basic emotional sensation and response system initiated by an aversion to some perceived risk or threat. That's rather academic so we decided to do the footwork and and asked Europeans about what they fear the most...
Not sure I have any real phobias, though being a city girl, I'm not keen on total darkness. I prefer to see a bit of light peeping through my curtains and the total darkness of the countryside at night makes me twitchy or a bit of a nyctophobic. I'm also not over-enamoured of earwigs and slugs - but there's no word for that. I once had a boyfriend who was fiercely arachnophobic. First sign of a spider or even a daddy long legs in our living room and he was up the stairs and hiding with the neighbours, while I was picking the little blighter up and dropping it in the back garden. We did however make the perfect phobic couple on a camping trip once. I picked up a tea towel inside our tent, found it crawling with earwigs, screamed, he took the offending tea towel outside and shook it clear of its visitors. He then went back into the tent, found a spider in residence, yelled, I picked it up in cupped hands and deposited it outside. As it was a damp night, there were several of these little incidents in the next half hour.
Fear is now a market, and protecting a frightened corporate sector is a profit making activity. Companies are afraid of the unknown, that’s why they increasingly resort to risk assessment agencies. These are in charge of imagining worse case scenarios, they provide operational assistance and crisis management when a major incident emerges. They have hundreds of specialists all over the world, to collect information on the ground. Their staff often includes former members of intelligence services, in other words former spies.
One automatic response from people about what they fear is often ghosts. And what is Europe without its haunted castles? Now while we at Network Europe aren't setting out to prove or disprove the existence of the supernatural, this being the festival of halloween in many parts of the world, we thought it might be a good idea to indulge the idea and so sent two of our reporters to spend the night at what is considered to be Sweden's most haunted castle just outside the Stockholm.
At the beginning of October we asked you to write in with the name of the Islamic Calander. The correct answer was of course - the HIJRI. We made a draw from all the correct answers - and our winner is Behzad Payadeh of Tehran, Iran - congratulations!
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