Are you afraid of the dark? And if so, what made you afraid? Did you get the fear from stories and folklore you heard from others, or maybe from the tales you told yourself? Did you have a monster that skulked under your bed ready to snatch at your ankles? Or did the fear stem from something unexplained? Or is the reason simply either brain chemistry, evolution, or exposure to certain stimuli growing up? Or is a dark space is nothing more than a space without light, no fear attached?
I need your help. I’m writing a dissertation for my Masters in Folklore Studies on how folklore impacts our relationship to dark spaces and I’ve created a questionnaire to help research this. The questionnaire is open to anyone 18 years or over, anonymous, and you can withdraw at any time. Scroll to the bottom of this post to start or click this link. You can even take a break half way through and come back and finish it later.
While not a necessary requirement for completing the questionnaire, I’m particularly interested in hearing from people who either work(ed) or conduct(ed) hobbies predominantly in dark spaces e.g. theatres, mines, sewers, tunnels, caves, underwater wrecks etc. So if you know of anyone who this might apply to, please pass on the questionnaire. In fact, please pass on this questionnaire to everyone you know regardless!
There is also a voluntary section where you can upload a photo of any tokens, objects or talismans you might use to help mitigate your fear of the dark. This process is also anonymous.
The questionnaire takes about 15 minutes to complete, so grab yourself a cup of tea (or something stronger) and tell me about your thoughts of crevices and corners; caves, forests and tunnels; shadows and the underneath. And what, if anything, is lurking underneath the bed…
If you have any questions, or would like to see a full copy of the University of Hertfordshire ethics approval for this study, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ps – Don’t forget to share!
Header: Still from Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror, directed by FW Murnau, 1922