Why are things creepy?



By Kevin Garcia , Staff writer

  Being afraid or fearing the right thing has kept our ancestors alive. It makes sense to be afraid of poisonous spiders, or hungry tigers but, what about fear when there’s no clear and obvious danger? For instance, most people are afraid of human likefigures like clowns or scarecrows. They are just too mysterious and strange even though they pose no obvious threat like a gun or a knife. Yet they still incite fear because they’re creepy. But why? What gives us the “creeps”? What causes things to be creepy? 

What is creepy to you? 

    Not everyone defines the word creepy the same way.  Junior Sofia Gomez says, “It’s that feeling I get when there is someone watching me. Even though there’s no one around me. I’m in an empty room. But I can feel eyes on me, watching every move I make. 

   Junior Ivón Solís believes, “It’s pretty justifiable to find the ocean creepy because of rip currents, sharks, or the possibility of drowning.” 

   Senior Carlos Lopez says,  “Creepiness is about the uncertainty of threat. You’re feeling uneasy because you think there might be something to worry about here, but the signals are not clear enough to warrant your doing some sort of desperate, life-saving kind of thing. 

The creeps  

     While something creepy can be something common, horror is the unnatural, for instance a giant spider or being grabbed in the dark when you thought you were alone. Yet, the definition of creepy is very hazy, but many theories and ideas involve vagueness and ambiguity, for instance masks and clowns because they hide the expressions or intentions of the person wearing the mask or the clown paint.    

    According to the article titled “On The Science of Creepiness by Linda Rodriguez, posted on the website for Smithsonian Magazine <https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/science-creepiness-180957093/>, between the mountain of safety and danger, there is a valley of creepiness where the limit of our knowledge and our trusted security aren’t very clear. Vagueness is creepy when it comes to the human form; this is also know as the uncanny valley . 

The creepiest thing that ever happened to me 

      Students have had some super creepy experiences. For instance, junior Ricardo Del Rio saysA few years ago, I woke up to two text messages from my girlfriend and a friend of mine. Both asked me if I was alright. Apparently, they both had a dream that I had been struck by a red truck at an intersection that I usually take. The two of them weren’t close and I had no reason to suspect that they were playing a prank. 

   Junior Mathew Valdez says, “As a kid, I helped an elderly lady across the street with her yard work. I hadn’t seen her in quite a while, so I went over to check if she needed help. I found her lying dead on her kitchen floor, with her cat crying for food. She had been dead for sometime, apparently. Never having seen a dead person before, that really creeped me out. 

    Junior Sofia Gomez remembers: “I was applying for a job at a supermarket. I had just come from school and was still wearing my uniform. The counter to apply was a little high for me so I had to stand on my toes. Anyways after being there for about 5 minutes a woman taps me on my shoulder and says, ‘Not sure if you noticed, but that man just took a photo under your skirt.’ I looked and there was a dude speed walking to the train entrance. I couldn’t catch up but even if I did, what would I have done? That was creepy. 

Strangely familiar feelings of eeriness and revulsion  

      According to Linda Rodriguez the uncanny valley is a concept first introduced in the 1970s by Masahiro Mori, then a professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. Mori coined the term “uncanny valley” to describe his observation that as robots appear more humanlike, they become more appealing but only up to a certain point. The concept suggests that humanoid objects which imperfectly resemble actual human beings provoke uncanny or strangely familiar feelings of eeriness and revulsion in observers. 

     In this phenomenon, people feel a sense of unease or even revulsion in response to humanoid robots that are highly realistic. You’ve probably experienced the feeling before perhaps while watching a CGI animated movie or while playing a video game. The animated human might look almost real but, that slight change between looking “almost human” and “fully human” leaves you with a feeling of discomfort or even revulsion.  

Creepy people     

     Students have their own ideas about what makes a person creepy. Junior Kevin Antia says, “Too many compliments, one or two is nice, but if you keep going, I’m gonna start backing away. 

    For senior Sofia Cruise, it’s staring. I don’t really ever find it cute. Always makes me uncomfortable,” she said. 

   Mathew Valdez says, “When a person doesn’t respect your space or comfort enough to show self-control and boundaries. If I feel this when I first meet someone, I’m out.” 


Creepy facts about the world

  • Thousands of people die every year due to doctors’ poor handwriting. 
  • Source: https://www.scoopwhoop.com/amp/inothernews/weird-death-facts/ 
  • The chances that someone will die on their birthday is 6.7% which is higher than any other day.
  • Source: https://www.buzzfeed.com/sydrobinson1/creepy-facts 
  • A human head remains conscious for about 20 seconds after being decapitated. 
  • Source: https://brightside.me/wonder-curiosities/13-frightening-facts-about-the-world-that-gave-us-the-shivers-581110/ 
  • Over the course of your life, you can be nearly murdered thousands of times and not even notice it. 
  • Source: https://www.factinate.com/things/scary-facts-nightmares/