For many people, Christmas is a time of joy and merriment. However, this is not the case for one British man named Harry Hallidge, who suffers from a “strange” fear of Santa Claus and is afraid to put up Christmas decorations this year.
Interestingly, it wasn’t the real-life Saint Nick who gave Hollidge, 47, nightmares on Christmas Eve, but Santa who made the figurines dance.
“These weird dancing figures freak me out because they’re so scary and the way they move is horrible – I can’t stand it,” the Kent native told Jam Press about his chronic Santaphobia. his anxiety causes him to “ascend” every year before Yuletide.
“When the little Santa started shaking, I started breaking out in a cold sweat, and it’s horrible because it runs down my back, down my neck, and my palms get really wet,” she said. “It’s not nice because they can pop up anywhere and anytime, it’s such a nightmare.”
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At the age of 7, Hallidge discovered his Santa-induced obsessions.
“I remember going to the store with my mom around Christmas and it was impossible,” Santaphobe said. “If I had to go with him, I would sit in the car and wait for him to come back.”
However, Hallidge’s fear of spine problems made his school life difficult, as his friends were always asking him to go to his house for dinner on Christmas Eve.
“I had to find out if they had a dancing Santa, and if they did, I would make up any excuse I could to see them outside instead,” Hollidge said. Fortunately, she “managed to keep the secret safe, so the kids at school never found out, and luckily, they didn’t bully me.”
Research on Santaphobia is scarce, but many health professionals report the existence of Christougenniatikophobia, defined by HealthCentral.com as “the complete fear of Christmas itself.”
“The phobia usually develops in early childhood and may include some of the phobias listed earlier.” they write. “Fear of Father Christmas or Santa Claus (santaphobia), the holidays (symbosiophobia), or other Christmas rituals can trigger a generalized phobia of the Christmas season.”
At one point, Hallidge’s parents reportedly tried to cure his condition by buying a Santa to decorate their home, but it backfired.
“I think they thought it was funny and it would help me get over my fear, but over the years it’s made it 10 times worse,” lamented the fear of Father Christmas.
In order to prevent his present-day Claustrophobia from intensifying, the Grinch reluctantly forbids his family from buying Christmas decorations.
“I think my family understands that the big Santa is welcome, but the little dance is off-limits and always has been,” Holliage said.
An irrational fear of Santa is not the only unusual phobia. In August, a British woman raised eyebrows online by claiming she suffered from a paralyzing bout of Michael Jackson phobia, and even posted a video of the King of Pop giving her cree-hee-ps.