random, The life

Fear of mirrors: catoptrophobia

One of my weirdest foibles is that I have a real distaste…okay, fear, of mirrors. And I know that is a weird one to have. I will allow mirrors in the bathroom. I will not allow a mirror anywhere else in the house. Not ever. I Do Not Like Them

So I googled fear of mirrors and came up with catoptrophobia or Spectrophobia:

Caused by:

  • Body image issues. But if it is a body image issues they generally do not mind them around… just avoid looking into them
  • Fear of reflections. That it makes things look… slightly unreal.
  • Supernatural fear:

An ancient belief states that a mirror reflects a person’s soul. According to the same belief, the soul regenerates every seven years. Thus, breaking a mirror breaks a piece of the soul, causing seven years of bad luck. Likewise, many cultures cover the mirrors in a newly deceased person’s home to avoid trapping the person’s soul.


The link between a mirror and the soul has led to a wide range of urban legends. Some say that a mirror serves as a portal between this world and the next. Seeing a reflection that should not exist is said to be a bad omen. Likewise, a children’s game called Bloody Mary allegedly summons an evil entity through a bathroom mirror.


So I don’t know. I mean, there is a boatload of urban and supernatural things out there about mirrors that could have fed my creative brain. And influenced it. Maybe.

I mean, I dream of both mirrors and doors often. Doors lead to weird things. Mirrors reflect, well, people… sometimes deceased people. So dreaming of mirrors is often a strange thing for me. And maybe that is why they bother me. In fact, during a very stressful time as a child I had a dream that stuck with me my entire life about a mirror… and it bother me so much because in it there were kittens in the bathroom being litter-box trained and I heard them all crying out so I went to check on them and that is when I saw this thing in the mirror. And to this day I can still hear all those kittens crying out.

Anyway, I thought I would share a creepy study with you so you too can be creeped out for no particular reason.

Why Not to stare into a mirror

“Caputo of the University of Urbino, participants were asked to stare into a mirror in dim lighting for ten minutes. Results demonstrated that 66% of participants experienced huge deformations of their own face, 28% saw an unknown person, and 48% saw fantastical and monstrous beings.”

Psychology Today

Now the article says it is the result of the brain not being able to handle all that data from staring and blurring the edges and information.

This phenomenon is termed the Troxler Effect, discovered long ago in 1804 by a physician and philosopher named Ignaz Troxler. It is this effect that underlies many of the optical illusions you can find on the Internet. Stare at a red dot in the middle of a circle for long enough and suddenly the outside circle fades away and disappears. This is because your brain has deemed the outer edges irrelevant and it has lessened its processing burden by simply fading it out of our perceptual domain.

Psychology Today

Or… mirrors are hell portals. Or… portals to other dimensions. Or… to some sort of ghost realm. Just saying. No way to know.

Completely valid fear.

Better safe than sorry


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