Friday, October 27, 2006


Let’s say that your business is putting together “haunted houses” for the Halloween season and you need to know what will scare your customers. You’d do research, right?

Although the polling process did not adhere to scientific standards, Haskell, who lives in Brooklyn and is most scared of getting stuck in a cave, and Smithyman, an Englishman, who is afraid of being eaten alive, had ventured to draw a few conclusions. People from the Bronx and Queens, they said, tend to fear things that might actually happen, like being mugged (harpaxophobia), while Manhattanites are frightened of fantastical and unlikely occurrences (flying sharks, riding in an elevator that rockets through the roof of a building). “In Manhattan and Brooklyn, we heard ‘fear of the homeless,’ ” Smithyman said. “Then, in the Bronx, we heard ‘fear of becoming homeless.’ ” Staten Island residents apparently dread chemical spills and gas leaks.

Read the entire article from
The New Yorker here.

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