After watching the three videos featured this week, it is obvious that the prevailing theme is “dolls”. In each story, we see dolls being used as the main horror device, going as far as causing death to some of the characters.
I think what makes these stories scary, is the fact that dolls are used to portray terror and fear. For most people, dolls bring back pleasant memories of childhood, not of horror. It is this theme that makes these stories even more unpleasant and shocking. Furthermore, the otherwise calm beginnings to each video make these stories effective. InTwilight Zone “Living Doll”, for example, the doll at first is portrayed as nothing but a calming item for the daughter Christie to have. There is very little expectation that this same doll would eventually cause the death of a character in the story. As to what doesn’t work, there is an obvious lack of “realism” in these stories, as dolls don’t actually come to life and kill people (I hope?), but it is this unique theme that really sets these stories apart from more typical horror stories.
As for phobias, there are so many out there that it is hard to even know what to look for. Personally, I would say my most common phobia would be acrophobia, or the fear of heights. Even then, sometimes this phobia is more prevalent than other times. The phobia that I have found most interesting is simply called phobiaphobia, or the fear of fear itself.