Like all fears and phobias, phasmophobia is created by the unconscious mind as a protective mechanism. At some point in a person’s past, there was likely an event linking specters or ghosts and emotional trauma, as people are rational beings and are capable of connecting emotions with certain events.
However, many people have traumatic experiences, but few of them develop phobic disorders. Some people’s autonomic nervous systems are particularly reactive to unpleasant environmental stimuli and that this reactivity predisposes them to developing phobias.
A person, for instance, who is believed to have the ability of seeing ghosts, may or may not see this as a curse. He may be able to control and deal with it so that any encounter would cause little or no effect on him at all. On the other hand, he may choose to flee from it and stay scared for the rest of his life. Basically, it is the person’s mind that creates or destroys the phobia. This disorder is totally in his hands, as he is the one who decides to be or not to be afraid.
Whilst the original catalyst may have been a real-life scare of some kind, the condition may also be triggered by myriad, benign events like movies, TV, or perhaps seeing someone else experience trauma.
Fears may emerge during childhood, or whenever this emotion is triggered. Children, for instance, may start becoming afraid of the dark, scary noises, monsters, and ghosts at the age of 3 to 6 years. Since the environment plays a great influence in the emotional and intellectual growth and development of a person, he may acquire phasmophobia from what he sees in horror films, scary stories he might read, or from actual people who, at some point in their lives, have developed the disorder.
Furthermore, a number of individuals do not remember a specific time or event that caused their fear and report a more gradual development. Thus, there are a number of ways to develop a phobia, including “direct conditioning,” where the person is being frightened in the situation or by the object; “vicarious acquisition,” where he sees someone else in the phobic situation; and “informational transmission,” wherein he hears about it from external sources.
There is no definite way of distinguishing which events or stories initiate phasmophobia, since the differences in people cause differences in the grounds of their fears as well. An excessively horrifying scenario for one may only appear as a typical situation for another. Thus, the phobia is triggered depending on the effect that a certain situation has on a person. From these analyses, one can say that there are no specific events, stories or experiences that account to phasmophobia since people acquire the fear in varying instances. Many psychologists believe that the cause lies in a combination of genetic predisposition mixed with environmental and social factors.