Fear of Ferris Wheels

by DJ



I am a young adult with a crippling fear of Ferris wheels. Even when I just see a picture, I practically move my bowels in utter terror.

Okay, I'm exaggerating a bit, but they do make me quite uneasy. I remember riding one as a youngling and having a moderately serious anxiety attack when my larger friends began purposefully rocking our carriage at the apex of the wheel. A second attempt a while later proved even more harrowing, as our vessel got STUCK at the apex this time during the unloading process.

We were up there for what was at least a minute before I dared a look over the side all the way down to the loading ramp(which is traumatizing enough in and of itself) only to spy a large family of what was apparently 37 people holding up the works...and what did my larger friends do but begin rocking the carriage, again.

Yeah, yeah, I know. It's just a variation or a spin-off effect of agoraphobia, right? It would seem to make sense because I evoke a similar sensation when I walk alongside the railings at multi-level shopping malls.

And yet both of these sensations derive from a kind of fear I have of leaning over or being tipped over something that spells a certain deathward plunge. The rides where you go straight up super high and get dropped?

Piece of cake. Well...not really, because I physically can't handle straight free-fall...but I digress. Mammoth roller coasters? Those are an actual walk in the park. I felt perfectly comfortable about sitting on rock ledges in the Grand Canyon, even those without rails. No issues staring off the edge of the Empire State Building (which is well shielded by high barricades).

I don't know, I guess it's a psychological issue of balance and security. If I'm strapped down, I'm set to go (save the mega-droppers). Give my trust to the machine and not a human error of weight shifting. If I'm behind something I can't lean or be thrust over, we're cool.

Similarly, if it's highly doubtful someone will push me off something (as was the case of the rock ledges which are both sturdy and difficult to be stealthy on; same goes for the fire escape in my apartment building) no worries. Subway platforms? Forget that. The 4th floor at the Palisades mall? I get tipsy like an alky. Fat friends who rock your Ferris wheel carriage? A word I can't write on the Internet.

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