Placophobia: Fear of Tombstones

  • Time to read: 6 min.

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to visit a cemetery at night? For some people, the thought of tombstones looming in the darkness is enough to send them running for the hills. This phobia is known as placophobia, and it can be a very debilitating condition.

Placophobia is derived from the Greek word “plakos,” which means “plates”, which could possibly be related to tombstones. The phobia is characterized by a fear of tombstones, cemeteries, and anything related to death. People who suffer from placophobia often have a fear of dying, and they may avoid places where they feel like death is lurking around every corner.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at placophobia, including its symptoms, causes, and treatment options. If you or someone you know suffers from this phobia, then this article is for you.

Signs of Placophobia

There are a number of different signs and symptoms that are associated with the fear of tombstones. These can range from mild to severe, and they may even vary from person to person. Some of the more common symptoms include:

  • Avoidance of cemeteries, funerals, and anything related to death
  • Anxiety or fear when thinking about death
  • Difficulty sleeping due to anxious thoughts
  • Panic attacks when confronted with tombstones or cemeteries
  • Rapid heartbeat, sweating, and shortness of breath when exposed to anything related to death

Not everyone that suffers from this phobia will experience all of these symptoms. But for those that do, these symptoms can be very debilitating.

Causes of the Fear of Tombstones

Causes of Placophobia

There is no one single cause of this phobia. Instead, it is thought to be the result of a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Some people may have a family history of anxiety or phobias, which can make them more susceptible to developing placophobia. Others may have had a traumatic experience involving death, such as witnessing someone die or losing a loved one. This can also lead to the development of the phobia.

It’s also worth noting that some people may be more prone to anxiety in general, which can increase their risk of developing the fear of tombstones.

Treatment for Placophobia

If you suffer from placophobia, there is no need to worry. There are a number of different treatment options available, and with the help of a mental health professional, you can overcome this phobia.

Exposure Therapy

One of the most common treatments for the fear of tombstones is exposure therapy. This involves gradually exposing yourself to the thing that you are afraid of, such as tombstones or cemeteries. This exposure can help you to become more comfortable with death and realize that it is not something to be afraid of.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is another common treatment for this phobia. This type of therapy helps you to change the way that you think about death and tombstones. CBT can also help you to develop healthy coping mechanisms for when you are confronted with your fears.


In some cases, medication may also be prescribed in order to help you manage your anxiety. This is usually only done in severe cases, and it is typically combined with other forms of treatment, such as exposure therapy or CBT.

Living With Placophobia

Living With Placophobia

Unlike other phobias that are more common, placophobia can be a bit more difficult to live with. This is because death is something that we all must face at some point in our lives. And while it may be difficult, there are ways to cope with placophobia so that it doesn’t take over your life.

Here are some tips for living with placophobia:

Talk to someone who understands: it can be helpful to talk to someone who has placophobia or another fear of death. This can help you to feel less alone and may even give you some insight into how they deal with their phobia.

Find a support group: there are many different support groups available for people with placophobia. This can be a great way to meet other people that understand what you are going through.

Talk to a therapist: a therapist can help you to understand your phobia and work through your fears. This is often one of the most effective treatments for placophobia.

Create a support system: it’s important to have a support system in place when you have placophobia. This can include family, friends, or even a therapist. These people can provide you with support and understanding when you are struggling.

Avoid triggers: it’s also important to avoid anything that may trigger your anxiety. This may include certain places, such as cemeteries or funerals. If you know that something is going to trigger your anxiety, it’s best to avoid it.

Manage your anxiety: there are many different ways to manage anxiety. This can include relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation. Exercise can also be helpful in managing anxiety.

Seek professional help: if your placophobia is severe, it’s important to seek professional help. This can be in the form of therapy or medication. In some cases, a combination of both may be necessary.

Phobias Similar to Placophobia

Phobias Similar to Placophobia

While the fear of tombstones is somewhat unique, there are other phobias that are similar. These include:

Necrophobia: the fear of death. This is different from placophobia in that it is not specifically the fear of tombstones, but rather the fear of death itself.

Coimetrophobia: the fear of cemeteries. This phobia is often related to placophobia, as tombstones are typically found in cemeteries.

Thanatophobia: the fear of death or dying. This is similar to necrophobia, but it also includes the fear of dying.

Haplophobia: the fear of being buried alive. This phobia is often related to placophobia, as tombstones are often found in graves.

Hagiophobia: the fear of saints or holy things. This phobia is often related to placophobia, as tombstones are often found in cemeteries near churches.

Samhainophobia: the fear of Halloween. This phobia is often related to placophobia, as tombstones are often used as decorations during this holiday.


Placophobia is a unique and often misunderstood phobia. It can be difficult to live with, but there are ways to manage it. If you think you may have placophobia, it’s important to seek professional help. This can be in the form of therapy or medication. In some cases, a combination of both may be necessary. However, with treatment, placophobia does not have to control your life and you can live a normal, happy life.

FAQ – Placophobia: Fear of Tombstones

Why are people afraid of tombstones?

There are a few different reasons why people might be afraid of tombstones. For some, it may be the association with death that is troubling. Others may find the physical appearance of tombstones – particularly older, weathered ones – to be unsettling. And for others still, it may be the thought of being buried themselves that is the source of their fear.

What are the symptoms of placophobia?

The symptoms of placophobia can vary from person to person, but they typically include feelings of anxiety, dread or terror when faced with tombstones. Some people may avoid places where tombstones are present, such as cemeteries or funeral homes. In severe cases, the fear can lead to panic attacks or a feeling of being paralyzed with fear.

What causes placophobia?

There is no one single cause of placophobia. For some people, it may be due to a traumatic experience, such as losing a loved one who was buried. Others may have developed the fear through watching scary movies or TV shows that feature tombstones. And still others may have a family history of anxiety disorders, which can make them more prone to developing a phobia.

What is the treatment for placophobia?

The good news is that placophobia is treatable. A combination of therapy and medication can help people to overcome their fear and live normal, healthy lives. Cognitive behavioral therapy is often used to help people change the way they think about tombstones and learn to manage their anxiety. Medication may also be prescribed to help reduce the symptoms of anxiety and panic.