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Our company was pretty diverse but there were really no "white" workers. We had this one guy from CT , who was great at his job btw and myself. Though I am not white, they categorized me as so. He was actually the top rep in our group and I was the second. People always felt weird about him, always saying he was creepy and something wasn't right about him.

He was quiet, never was one for conversation. He always said hi and bye but that was it. People were always talking about him. I did not know why because I was just like him and I didn't see anything "creepy". A lot of people thought he suffered from Asperger's syndrome, I defended him and said no, he just comes to work to work not to socialize. Nobody was treating him well and I was wondering what do they expect from him? He had a rough time. He ended up leaving not so long afterwards, which in my view was a mistake because he was the best at the job.

After he left, I took over the top slot in the group and I also became the "creepy" one. All the sudden I was getting these looks, people went out their way to avoid me and I was also fired not long afterwards. What made us creepy? My idea below may explain why you and your colleague who were white gave the rest of the workers the creep. Those workers must have been conditioned as children to be afraid and suspicious of white people.

I want to offer an alternative explanation to yours for why we feel creepy. This is not built upon any research but simply from reflecting on my own personal experience with creepiness. My alternative explanation is that feeling creepy is to do with old conditioning.

What Is Creepiness?

Even as an adult now, still dark, quiet and abandoned places give me the creep because as a child I was conditioned to believe that those were the places where djinns dwell and appear in different guises to take advantage of one or even kill and eat him. And now, even though I no longer believe in the possibility of being harmed by them or even in their existence, yet I still get the creep from such places! I believe that people feel creepy towards some people and places because of old childhood conditioning to fear such people and places which has lost its rational raison d'etre in adulthood but are still able to spark that old fear.


That is why one may feel undecided about whether a person or a place constitutes danger or not; on one hand the same signs triggered the old childhood fear and yet their rational thinking and adulthood beliefs tell them that it was OK to be with such a person or in such a place. The added advantage of my view is that it explains simply and easily why people become fearful again from being reminded of people and places that made them fearful as children. They all thought it was not possible because what I asked them sounded illogical. But they understood the rationale when I explained to them the kind of upbringing I had as a child.

As a bonus for posing this question I felt being appreciated as they felt grateful to me for not making them afraid of djinns when they were children. It is not just about conditioning. We are programmed genetically via natural selection to be wary of places that were not good for survival. Early experiences may reinforce the predisposition, but early experience alone cannot be enough to explain it.

There is clear evidence from animal studies that such environmental preferences are genetically programmed. My 17 years old son has a friend his age. They tell me of their different reactions when they go exploring old and abandoned places at night. My son does not believe that djinns will appear to him in such a place because we have not brought him up to believe in such beings and does not feel creepy or afraid to explore such places. By contrast, his friend believes in djinns because he was brought up to believe in them and is very much afraid of them and would not venture to go to where he would expect to find them.

These places are old desert dwellings which do not harbor any type of criminals or strange people who may intend to harm them. Both of them feel safe in this regard. As for me who no longer believe in djinns I will still feel creepy because of what I had been made to believe about them as a child. I think that only conditioning can explain what is happening here.


This does not deny that we are also genetically programmed to feel creepy about some dangerous looking places. If what you say is true, then ONLY people who have had a frightening early experience would have fears of such places.

  1. Symbolic Landscapes;
  2. Creepiness;
  3. What makes a person creepy? And what purpose do our creep detectors serve? A psychologist explains?

Perhaps the question that should be asked is why cultures have developed tales and legends to frighten children about specific types of places? Remember that I am not saying we are born with fear, but that we are born with predispositions to quickly learn to fear. Yes, I believe this is a good question Frank; why cultures have developed tales and legends to frighten children about specific types of places?

My ancestors lived in small communities surrounded by vast expanses of desert where sometimes one may come across old and abandoned dwellings. Communities had to move constantly to follow the rain and where water collected and stayed long enough for some desert plants to grow. The desert is mostly active by night when all sorts of wild animals, lizards and insects are active in their search for food.

I think it would be safer for humans not wander in open spaces or be in abandoned dwellings as they could be easily stung by scorpions, bitten by snakes or attacked by wolves, wild dogs and wild desert cats. So, perhaps it made sense to frighten children from going out at night or being in old and abandoned houses. My mother creeps me out. I"m a female. I let her move in with me and she's become so enmeshed with me I'm creeped out by her. She can't see a boundary between us, everything is about "we did this" and "we did that" even if I was miles away or was not involved in whatever activity she is speaking of.

She seems to see me as her significant other and it creeps me out as bad if not worse then when a scary dude stalks me. She won't find her own friends. She tries to eat off my place. It's bugging me to death. Who knew you could be creeped out by family, especially your mom.


I've noticed that there are categories of creepy things, and one category is to combine something that is typically considered to be very cute and appealing with something odd or threatening or disgusting. So, for example, in the film "The Shining" the little boy encounters two little twin girls who invite him to play. There is something so odd and disturbing about the little girls who stand so very still, staring at him with expressionless faces and who are not even supposed to be there. They look like ordinary little girls but they're not behaving like ordinary children of that age.

It's like encountering your beloved pet dog but it is growling at you, staggering towards you and foaming at the mouth instead of greeting you with its normal sweetly affectionate behaviors. Remember "Old Yeller"? The house is rather creepy at night. Old age creeps up on us all. Mentioned in? References in periodicals archive? This series would be enjoyed by fans of Goth Girl and Lemony Snicket as it has a mixture of fun, creepiness and mystery. It's an chilly urban nightmare whose best moments of skin itching creepiness and nasty violence arrive early.

Watch at home. By integrating its Live Context Marketing Engine into media platforms such as AppNexus and MediaMath, Grapeshot seeks to take the creepiness factor out of the audience's online experience. C-suite conversations. In our everyday lives, we try to avoid creepiness at every cost, shunning creepy people and recoiling in horror at the idea that we ourselves might be creeps. And yet when we sit down to watch TV, we are increasingly entranced by creepy characters. In addition to surveying a wide range of contemporary examplesfrom Peep Show to Girls, from Orange is the New Black to Breaking BadKotsko mines the television of his 90s childhood, marveling at the creepiness that seemed to be hiding in plain sight in shows like Full House and Family Matters.

Using Freud as his guide through the treacherous territory of creepiness, Kotsko argues that we are fascinated by the creepy because in our own ways, we are all creeps. Read more Read less. Great Discounts.

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