SUM OF ALL FEAR - Horror, Phobias & the Brain-logo

SUM OF ALL FEAR - Horror, Phobias & the Brain

Arts & Culture Podcasts

What makes you afraid? Sum Of All Fear lives at the crossroads between our greatest phobias and the horror movies we love to experience. Part pop-culture and part-psychology. It’s time to find out why we’re all scared of the dark. Support this podcast:

What makes you afraid? Sum Of All Fear lives at the crossroads between our greatest phobias and the horror movies we love to experience. Part pop-culture and part-psychology. It’s time to find out why we’re all scared of the dark. Support this podcast:


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What makes you afraid? Sum Of All Fear lives at the crossroads between our greatest phobias and the horror movies we love to experience. Part pop-culture and part-psychology. It’s time to find out why we’re all scared of the dark. Support this podcast:




FEAR OF CULTS: PAGAN - The Ritual, The Wicker Man & Midsommar (Cultophobia) - Episode 30

Let's all drink the Kool-Aid together! We're breaking down the Fear of Cults. This is kicking off a multi-part series on the topic, but this week we're talking Pagan Cults and the movies they inspire. Kris discusses all the psychology involved in cults and how people get involved in these sinister social sects. Then it's on to our favorite pagan/folk cult horror flicks The Ritual, The Wicker Man and Midsommar. This is a long one, so strap in and pray you're not the next...


Top 10 Horror of 2019 (and Their Phobias!) - Episode 29

Kicking off the New Year with a look back at some of our favorite horror movies of the year. Sound quality was not great in this one... we’re working on getting some better equipment. Soon, we promise! --- Send in a voice message: Support this podcast:


FEAR OF SNOWMEN - Anna and the Apocalypse & Jack Frost (Hominochionophobia) - Episode 28

What if Frosty made you frozen with fright? It's that time of year, when hominochionophobics are staying far away from any holiday fun associated with snowmen. Is it the anthropopmorphic characteristics? The uncanny valley effect? Maybe they don't like carrots? Or snow? We plow into the Fear of Snowmen and why someone might not feel very festive around around decorated snow people. So, to avoid Kris having a total hissy fit, we're talking the Scottish, zombie horror, dark comedy, musical,...


FEAR OF HALLOWEEN - Tales of Halloween & Trick ‘r Treat (Samhainophobia) - Episode 27

Halloween is the most wonderful time of the year...for some people. To those suffering from Samhainophobia, the witches, gouls and goblins strike fear in their hearts and cause them to hide away until the holiday is over. We dive into the history of Samhain, the foundation for our modern Halloween festivities. Then our resident expert talks all about how this holiday can be a nightmare for those with a Fear of Halloween. After that it's on to Halloween anthologies! We figured, let's pick...


FEAR OF BOOKS - Evil Dead 2 & In the Mouth of Madness (Bibliophobia) - Episode 26

Do you read Sutter Cane? Probably not a very good idea, especially if you have bibliophobia! We've got book burning, book banning and even some book learning in this week's episode on the Fear of Books. We find out about the roots of this phobia and then go on a little history ride and talk literacy and books through the ages. Then it's on to evil books in movies and c'mon... you know Evil Dead 2 and the Necronomicon Ex Mortis is the best! Our feature presentation is the John Carpenter...


FEAR OF HOLES - The Stuff, The Fly & AHS: CULT (Trypophobia) - Episode 25

Do pictures of honeycombs, tiny holes, or clustered bumps make you feel sick? You might have TRYPOPHOBIA! It’s a lot more common than you think. This episode covers it all. Kris gives us all the reasons why this is a natural, evolutionary fear, which is why it’s so common (and makes so many people cringe). Then, it’s on to the trypophobic body horror of The Stuff & The Fly. The holes and bumps in these movies will have your head between your knees, wishing you hadn't messed with Larry...


FEAR OF CLOWNS (Part 2) - Stephen King’s IT: Book, Miniseries, Chapter 1 & Chapter 2 - Episode 24

Hiya Georgie! We’re bringing Part 2 of Fear of Clowns all the way to Derry, Maine to hang out with the Losers’ Club. We do a little Stephen King Trivia during “What the Fear!?” and talk a little more about this interesting phobia. Then, it’s on to Stephen King’s 1986 novel, the 1990 Miniseries, 2017’s Chapter 1 & the brand new Chapter 2 that just came out last week. We’ll all be floating after we finish this long-ass episode, jam-packed with all things IT! Don't forget to join our FEARDO...


FEAR OF CLOWNS (Part 1) - Killer Klowns from Outer Space & Terrifier (Coulrophobia) - Episode 23

Send in the CLOWNS!! It's Part 1 on the Fear of Clowns and we got a whole big floppy shoe full of great information for you. Somehow between Drew's hangover belches, we learn all about the history of clowns and how the evil clown phenomena developed. So why are people so freaked out by these harbingers of childhood joy? Kris gives us the answer and it might surprise you! Did you know that in 1988, alien clowns came to earth and terrorized a small town? We learn all about that as well (and...


FEAR OF CAVES - As Above So Below & The Descent (Bathophobia) - Episode 22

Deep, dark cavernous holes and tight tunnels. Get your mind out of the gutter! We're talking about the FEAR OF CAVES. Kris explains why we're so afraid of the darkest recesses of the earth from her fancy pants clinical perspective, but don't let it fool you. She can't help herself when those dirty innuendos start flying. Then we're diving down into Dante's 9 Circles of Hell with As Above, So Below (2014), a movie filmed almost entirely in the Catacombs of Paris. Bathophobics beware! This one...


FEAR OF FEAR - Why Horror? & Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (Phobophobia) - Episode 21

What if you were afraid of BEING AFRAID? Well, it's a real phobia and we talk all about it! It's called PHOBOPHOBIA, the FEAR OF FEAR and it takes Drew and Kris to the heart of what the Sum Of All Fear Podcast is all about. Answering the question, "What makes you afraid?" For our Honorable Mention, we talk about the horror documentary that just came out on Shudder last week called Why Horror? that examines the psychology of horror around the world to find out why people love to be scared....


FEAR OF MIRRORS - Oculus & Poltergeist III (Catoptrophobia) - Episode 20

Mirror, mirror on the wall..... why are mirrors so freaking creepy!? That's what we're gonna find out in Episode 20. We catch up a bit on our crazy lives, play a little "What the Fear!?" (including the longest phobia word ever!) and then we dive into catoptrophobia, the fear of mirrors. So, why do we freak out at our own reflections? Kris tells us all about it. Then we talk mirrors in horror movies, a cliche that still gets us every time. We dive into Kiefer Sutherland in Mirrors (2008) and...


FEAR OF SHARKS - Sharknado & JAWS (Selachophobia) - Episode 19

It's SUMMERTIME, so let's talk about the FEAR of SHARKS!! This episode is hilarious and jam-packed full of great stuff. Seriously. You should listen. Kris and Drew saw Ari Aster's Midsommar this past week and give a pretty lengthy review (with no spoilers!). Hike up your big girl pants, cause this movie is all about dealing with grief, codependency and relationships. After a rousing game of "What the Fear!?" we dive into the deep end with a full breakdown of CGI Sharksploitation films!...


FEAR OF SEX - It Follows & Gerald's Game (Genophobia) - Episode 18

LET'S TALK ABOUT SEX! We're getting in the deep end of the therapy pool and chatting about why things like trauma, abuse and body dysmorphia can lead to an unhealthy fear of sex. We also talk about why incels (or involuntary celibates) are mostly narcissistic douchebags, the difference between sex-addiction and paraphilia, and why BDSM might be a healthy coping mechanism for some people. Then it's on to the movies! We list off some honorable mentions, then Drew lays down his "Top 5 Sex Scene...


FEAR OF GERMS - 28 Days Later & Stephen King’s The Stand (Mysophobia) - Episode 17

Forever unclean! Kris and Drew are getting DIRTY with the FEAR OF GERMS. We're talking all about the difference between clinical OCD and genuine mysophobia or the fear of germs and contamination. We find out why your hand sanitizers don't do any good and why Howie Mandel can't touch anyone. Next, we dig into our Honorable Mention, 28 Days Later (2002) and its virus induced, crazy fast zombies. Then, it's on to the Godfather of All Apocalyptic Virus Horror, Stephen King's The Stand (1994). We...


FEAR OF DOLLS - Child’s Play (Pediophobia) - Episode 16

Why are people creeped out by dolls? Find out in this episode!! We're diving deep into the FEAR OF DOLLS (Pediophobia). Kris tells us all about what experts call the "Uncanny Valley," the relationship between the degree of an object's resemblance to a human being and the emotional response to such an object. Heady stuff, but super cool, especially when we try to understand why some dolls are especially terrifying. Then we're onto famous dolls in horror. We talk a little Talky Tina, Trilogy...


FEAR OF FIRE - Stephen King’s Firestarter (Pyrophobia) - Episode 15

Come on baby... light my fire. Or maybe don't. I might have a wicked case of the Pyrophobia! Episode 15 is all about one of the most ancient and primal fears known to man... the FEAR OF FIRE. First, we talk about all the fun stuff we have going on like our weekly horror movie night "Sinister Sundays" at Taste of Chicago in downtown Reno. Also, did you know we're the podcasting worlds newest power couple? Totally true. You heard it here first. Next, we play some "What the Fear!?" and find out...


FEAR OF SPIDERS - 8 Legged Freaks & Arachnophobia (Arachnophobia) - Episode 14

MOST REQUESTED EPISODE! We've finally arrived at Arachnophobia, the Fear of Spiders. We're crawling our way through the web of this phobia and why these little bastards make so many of us wanna go, "nope, nope, f-ing nope!" when we see them. Then it's all about the spider movies. We do mutant freak spiders in "Eight Legged Freaks" (2002) a fun, honorable mention throwback movie to some of the cheesy 1950's flicks. Of course, our Feature Presentation is none other than the movie with the...


FEAR OF SOCIETY - Brian Yuzna's Society (Anthropophobia) - Episode 13

Ever felt like the upper crust of society was some weird, amorphous, alien sex-cult!? Yeah, well us too and our fears have been confirmed in Episode 13 on Anthropophobia, the Fear of Society. Kris breaks down this fun little phobia and tells us why it's different from social anxiety disorder, delusional disorders and agoraphobia. Then we bust into a shunt-fest of a movie, 1989's Brian Yuzna flick, Society. It's a paranoid, incestous journey with probably the greatest final 20 minutes of any...


FEAR OF FLOWERS - Little Shop of Horrors (Anthophobia) - Episode 12

Sufferers of this phobia won’t be tip-toeing through the tulips with Tiny Tim anytime soon! We’re talking “Anthophobia,” the Fear of Flowers. We figured we better pair up the most famous man-eating flowering plant horror flick of all-time, 1986’s “Little Shop of Horrors.” Cant go wrong with Frank Oz directing and Rick Moranis, Steve Martin, Bill Murray, Jim Belushi and Christopher Guest! Crazy cast. Plus, we talk about Joe Bob Brigg’s new “Last Drive-in” show on Shudder. Why C.H.U.D. Is a...


FEAR OF ENGLAND - Shaun of the Dead (Anglophobia) - Episode 11

Does Hugh Grant make you seethe with anger? Does the sight of the Union Jack flag incite fits of rage? You might be Anglophobic. In this episode we talk about the origins of Anglophobia, as well as other ethnocentric phobias and why they are distinct from other types of phobias. We also bust into a bit of the modern political stuff surrounding nationalism and fear of other cultures. Then we break the tension with an Easter egg filled Feature Presentation with “Shaun of the Dead” which could...