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Scary Things? Try Mice, Pop Quizzes, Nuclear War

March 02, 1990

For some, it's a pop quiz.

For others, it's being alone in the dark.

What causes that heart-stopping, breathtaking, spine-tingling feeling we get when we're scared?

Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

Hot Topics wonders, "What scares you?"

"The thought of losing the most important people in my life. I know eventually it will probably happen, and that's scary."

Staci Raughton, 17, senior, Bolsa Grande

"My ex-girlfriend has a violent temper and a cat."

John Lewellen, 14, freshman, Santa Margarita

"Rape, firing squads, nuclear war and Dan Quayle being president in another eight years."

Miriam Rabin, 16, junior, Los Alamitos

"I'm claustrophobic, so anything I can't move my arms in or when I can't breathe."

James Whitley, 14, freshman, Marina

"Two Amazon women, dressed in leather and chains, attacking me and taking me hostage."

Jamie Machado, 18, senior, Southern California Christian

"Being alone."

Vanessa Sanchez, 16, junior, Cypress

"The dark, horror movies, looking in the mirror in the morning, being alone and my report card."

Michelle Stokesbury, 16, junior, Brea-Olinda

"That I'll have a full lifetime of memories and find out the next day that I have Alzheimer's disease."

Jenny Dang, 18, senior, Santa Ana Valley


Anastasia Jones, 14, freshman, Santa Margarita

"I have an abnormal fear of mice. Just thinking about it makes me sick."

Eunice Yi, 17, senior, Marina

"The ruining of the earth as we know it. We are polluting our home more than ever."

Dave Otto, 18, senior, Brea-Olinda

"Tonight's dinner."

Lisa Reyes, 17, senior, Los Alamitos

"I have a fear that one day I'll wake up and not be there."

Greyson Hackett, 18, senior, Southern California Christian

"The possibility that my dreams and goals may not even come close to being true."

Tim Selph, 17, senior, Los Alamitos

"The unknown."

Ismael Robles, 17, senior, Santa Ana Valley

"The thought that one day we won't be asked these questions because we won't have freedom of expression."

Susan Hsueh, 16, senior, Los Alamitos

"Anything with more than two legs that runs."

Sarah Becker, 17, senior, Southern California Christian

"Talking in front of a large group, driving in the rain, murderers, being all alone in my house, nightmares after a scary movie, dentists and dying."

Dana Eskew, 17, senior, Brea-Olinda

"When my toilet gets clogged and it won't flush."

Angelique Rochelle, 14, freshman, Santa Margarita

"Drunk drivers and the gangs that are shooting and causing trouble for no reason at all."

Kelly Rozick, 17, junior, Bolsa Grande

"When someone makes fast movements or screams."

Carrie MacDonald, 15, freshman, Santa Margarita

"Not knowing when the world is going to end. It could end any day, and I still haven't got to do everything I want to."

Kim Waier, 14, freshman, Brea-Olinda

"Big dogs chewing on my toenails."

Bill Peters, 17, senior, Southern California Christian

"Life itself."

Kim Lasamay, 18, senior, Santa Ana Valley

"I fear myself; I hope I won't ever give up. I fear personal failure."

Sarah Dawson, 17, senior, Southern California Christian

"The bogyman under my bed, sleeping with the closet door open, the inside of my closet, shadows outside my window, people sneaking up behind me, being alone, putting gas in the car, policemen, traffic, war and death."

Jenine Bobst, 16, junior, Brea-Olinda

"Burglars, rapists, muggers--all those evil people."

Debbie Gelfand, 17, senior, Marina

"That when I'm riding my bike down a hill, the front tire will roll off."

Michael Maruca, 15, sophomore, Santa Margarita

"I don't like flying in airplanes. People say they are safe, but a relative of mine was killed in a crash over Chicago."

Jason Paling, 14, freshman, Bolsa Grande


Elena Martinez, 15, sophomore, Cypress

"The attitude American people have come to possess about their country and the people in it. People just do not seem to care about other people or the future of America."

Brandie Rodney, 17, senior, Southern California Christian


Victor Madrigal, 18, senior, Santa Ana Valley

"Earthquakes because it's something I can't control."

Trisha Ginsburg, 14, freshman, Los Alamitos

"With everything that's going on in the world today, it makes me wonder about the future."

Matt Cox, 16, junior, Bolsa Grande

"Grades, report cards."

Su Sim, 15, sophomore, Marina

"The future."

Tamir Moustafa, 18, senior, Cypress

"I won't have enough money to live on for my retirement."

Jon Vincent, 54, math teacher, Santa Ana Valley

Next Week's Hot Topic:

What do you feel peer pressure to do or not to do and how do you handle it?

Hot Topic responses gathered by Brandi Winemiller (Bolsa Grande), Jooyoung Lee (Brea-Olinda), Blythe Latimer (Cypress), Jennifer Vineyard (Los Alamitos), Jenny Henderson (Marina), Hang Nguyen (Santa Ana Valley), Suzanne Zamoyski (Santa Margarita) and Stacey Kimsey (Southern California Christian).

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