by Kagan “firstname.lastname@example.org” Marks '16
Spirits and Souls, Ghastly Gremlins and Ghoulish Ghouls, Jackie Lanterns and Meat Men, Screaming Skeletons and Horrible Skulls, Sharks, Tumbling Leaves, Space Aliens, Zambies, Web Hackers, Spideys—all of these things are likely to send a shiver down one’s spine or a chatter in one’s teeth during Spookymonth. But this October, as you lie down in the pumpkin patch to pray to the Harvest Spirit, I remind you to keep Bennington’s own Evan Daniel Braun in your Autumn Prayers, for he won’t be joining us this Hallow’s Eve to trick and treat as God intended—his crippling selenophobia will be keeping him inside.
Selenophobia, as ~Edd~ from common-phobias.com puts it, is “the fear of the moon,” originating from the Greek words “seleno” (meaning moon) and “phobia” (meaning fear). In an interview with the BFP, Braun recalled being afraid of the moon “pretty much [his] whole life,” but his first Harvest Moon “sent [him] over the edge.”
What bothers Braun about Hollow’s Eve is not so much the fact that the moon’s powers are exponentially intensified, but the “social implication that you need to be outside on Halloween.” On the rare occasions Braun has left his home to join his friends on Spookynight, his staggering anxiety has always been interpreted as “getting into the act,” or “Halloween spirit.”
“I pray for clouds,” Braun said. “It’s a stressful time of year.”
Braun’s fear of the moon has hampered more than just his Hollow’s Eve experience. Braun’s current roommate, Student Life’s Brandon LaDue, told the BFP in an interview that Braun is “afraid to order pizza” due to its loose resemblance of the moon. LaDue also mentioned that his roommate is “afraid to drive, because he either doesn’t know how to drive very well or is afraid to.” Braun’s never played “The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask” because a main part of the plot involves the moon. “I hate all fiction,” Braun told the BFP, “because it presents the possibility of the world having more than one moon.”
LaDue, when asked if he was afraid of the moon himself, replied, “no…not specifically the moon. I find it exciting. I enjoy the moon as a nighttime presence of light.” When the BFP mentioned both the Super moon and Harvest moon, LaDue commented, “both sound really exciting.” As a final remark, LaDue added, “Evan is a really big baby.”
Alex Gramigna ’16, who works for Braun in the Office of Admissions told the BFP, “I’m not scared of the moon.”