Phobias Types Getting Help for Daemonophobia By Lisa Fritscher Lisa Fritscher Lisa Fritscher is a freelance writer and editor with a deep interest in phobias and other mental health topics. Learn about our editorial process Updated on October 11, 2021 Medically reviewed Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more. by Steven Gans, MD Medically reviewed by Steven Gans, MD Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital. Learn about our Medical Review Board Print John Elk III/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images Table of Contents View All Table of Contents Demons in Hollywood Legend Tripping Daemonophobia and Children Parapsychology Getting Help Management Daemonophobia, or the fear of demons, is a phobia often rooted in religious beliefs. Some religious denominations believe that demons are real, powerful entities that have the ability to possess humans, causing them to behave in unthinkable ways. Other sects believe that possession is unlikely or even impossible, but that demons are capable of wreaking havoc in other ways. Still, others believe that the spirits capable of possessing us are helpful and beneficent, and ritualized spirit possession is part of regular religious practice. Not all daemonophobia is rooted in religious issues, but if you have this fear, it may be worthwhile to examine both your current belief system and the one with which you were raised. Some people develop a fear of demons while going through a crisis of faith or a major change in religious traditions. Events that cause you to reexamine your childhood can also lead you to question changes you have made as an adult, including changes in religious beliefs. Demons in Hollywood Like ghosts, demons feature prominently in many blockbuster films and best-selling novels. Released in 1973, The Exorcist is perhaps the best-known film depiction of demonic possession, but demons remain a popular theme in the movies of today. Computer-generated imagery techniques allow each film to put its own gruesome spin on the creatures, while Blu-ray players and HDTVs allow us to recreate the movie theater experience at home. It is unlikely that a film would create a brand-new phobia, but those who suffer from daemonophobia might be triggered by such movies. Legend Tripping Legend tripping is a rite of passage for many teens and young adults. Urban legends about haunted locations are prevalent around the world, and many of the stories feature a demonic element. In a legend trip, a group of friends heads out to face down the urban legend. The trips generally take place at night. In effect, the kids set themselves up for a scare. Expectations can influence perceptions, and legend-tripping teens usually expect a frightening experience. Planning the trip, retelling the story over and over and finally making their way to a deserted bridge or highway or cemetery in the middle of the night heighten the anticipation. Under these conditions, it is very easy to convince themselves that strange noises or optical illusions are proof that the legend is true. Although the legend trippers prove their courage by confronting their fears, legend tripping can actually worsen a legitimate phobia. Many people return from a legend trip convinced that they were just moments away from a dismal fate, heightening the belief in the legend and ultimately cementing the phobia. Daemonophobia and Children Fears are exceptionally common in young children, but most kids grow out of them. Like the bogeyman, demons may represent nothing more than a child's attempt to make sense of the unpredictable world around them. Nonetheless, some children do develop legitimate phobias. Check with your child's doctor if the fear seems unusually severe, if they begin refusing to do things they previously enjoyed or if the fear lasts for more than a few months. Children may also be more susceptible to movies, books, TV shows, and video games. Monitor small children's activities and enjoy things that you are not sure about together. Discuss your beliefs and answer their questions honestly and simply. Parapsychology Although parapsychology is not generally recognized by the mainstream scientific community, experiments in parapsychology have produced results that cannot always be fully explained. Some people develop daemonophobia after undergoing an unusual experience with an Ouija board, a séance or a ghost hunt. Getting Help Before seeing a mental health professional for daemonophobia, it is helpful to organize your own thoughts and beliefs. Although the phobia may reflect a disorder, most mental health professionals recognize the importance of taking the client's personal beliefs into account in treatment. In addition, think through your goals of therapy. Do you want to stop believing in demons altogether? Do you simply want to be able to watch horror movies with your friends? Knowing the answers to these questions ahead of time can help you and your therapist plan a course of treatment that is appropriate to your needs. Management Although it is always best to seek professional help for any phobia, many people are able to manage their symptoms. If you belong to a religious organization, you may find solace in talking with your religious leader or trusted peers. Researching demonic possession can help ease your fears, but only if you carefully screen your sources. If you choose to do research, stick to trustworthy websites run by reputable organizations. If you choose to watch horror movies or visit haunted houses, use caution. Take a trusted friend who knows your fear. Use breathing and visualization techniques to manage your symptoms and be prepared to leave if you experience panic attacks. Sources Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th Ed.). Washington, DC: Author. By Lisa Fritscher Lisa Fritscher is a freelance writer and editor with a deep interest in phobias and other mental health topics. See Our Editorial Process Meet Our Review Board Share Feedback Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! What is your feedback? Other Helpful Report an Error Submit Speak to a Therapist for Phobias Advertiser Disclosure × The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Verywell Mind receives compensation.