Medical Definition of Demonophobia

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Demonophobia: An abnormal and persistent fear of evil supernatural beings in persons who believe such beings exist and roam freely to cause harm. Those who suffer from this phobia realize their fear is excessive or irrational. Nevertheless, they become unduly anxious when discussing demons, when venturing alone into woods or a dark house, or when watching films about demonic possession and exorcism.

"Demonophobia" is derived from the Greek "daimon" (deity, evil spirit) and "phobos" (fear). This same Greek word gives us the English word "demonize," a verb widely used today to brand a person, such as a political opponent, as unfit or untrustworthy.

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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