Afraid of the Dark

Afraid of the Dark

Ratings: 6.56/10 from 36 users.

Afraid of the DarkGo back to a time before the invention of artificial light and experience a world petrified in the pitch of darkness... when fear ruled the night.

Throughout the ages, real and imagined terror existed in the absence of light, and nighttime was anything but relaxing. Our predecessors cowered in caves to keep from being eaten alive.

During the Middle Ages, brutal bandits went on the prowl and roadside ditches became death traps.

Also in years past, the devil, werewolves and vampires were staunchly believed to stalk the night. With no artificial light, the black night sky of Galileo's gaze could illuminate every star without a telescope.

This chilling special explores all the reasons why the dark was so feared throughout the eras. It takes you around the globe to places where real night still exits, and examines our modern-day fear factor when the lights go out during blackouts.

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49 Comments / User Reviews

  1. CB

    Comments here from tough guys who have never been farther than 6 feet away from light switch. Try functioning somewhere like North Vancouver Island during the winter months with up to 16 hour long nights. Try that with a single dying flashlight, and you'll remember from the depths of your DNA why you fear the dark. You'll be scrambling to make tree sap torches before you even know what they are.

  2. Charles Cross

    All the haters are obviously afraid of the dark and probably prefer watching real housewives.....with the lights on

  3. Richard Neva

    This video does not exist and either do I

  4. Black Scholar

    Wow! The video is gone But the comments are gems. You can feel the fear in these comments. lol. What about our grid going out? Peak Oil and the upcoming battles with China and India over it? Darkness everywhere then.

  5. Nick Enchev

    It makes perfect sense for humans to naturally be afraid of the dark. Our sense of vision is probably our most powerful sense and is vital for our survival. I can't imagine removing a sense as vital as that and not expecting humans to naturally feel anxious/afraid. You may be in a place/situation where you're positive that nothing harmful will come to you, in which case you may not feel fear, but complete darkness will always trigger a survival instinct. I believe the culturally taught fears manifest themselves even easier in the dark because we are more vulnerable. I went to a restaurant in Toronto called O'Noir, where you eat in complete darkness. We spent 2 hours in ABSOLUTE pitch black, first 15 mins made me feel kinda nervous since my eyes weren't picking up anything at all, then you start chatting and feel normal again, btw, check out this restaurant if you're ever in Toronto.

  6. Nyssa Thompson

    "25% of house fires take place between midnight and 6 am." How convenient that that's 25% of the day.

  7. fender24

    Humans can adapt pretty quick. we can train our night vision turn of all light in a room and see how long it takes untill u see youre hands. i think people living at that time had much better sences then we do today cause we have all the technology aiding us. so we forget who we really are and what we are capable of.

  8. Pablo Sánchez

    I got tired of hearing thunders after 5 minutes. I couldn't make it.

    I mean, thunder/slam noise after each paragraph??! c'mon...

  9. Vladislav Valentinov

    I don't get it... how is our fear of darkness is "primitive" instinct if no animal (as far as I know) afraid of the darkness (or ever was in supposed evolutionary past)? Isn't our fear of darkness a new evolutionary trace, just like language, totally distinct from animals, which would make humans totally distinct from animals (at least in this regard)? And if we don't have any transitional evidences of our fear development, why are we still talking about evolutionary ancestry?

    1. Jannelle

      It's because we're diurnal. We're built to thrive during the day so we have a natural fear of the unknown and what we can't see, the darkness.

    2. NullusEgo

      dude there are plenty of examples of animals who only move by day and remain utterly motionless (whether sleeping or not) by night to avoid predators.

  10. L0LAW0NKA

    Have you guys ever been in a place so dark, so dark that you can actually feel the Darkness around you? It's really creepy.

    1. Guest

      Ya, in a tunnel under Saksayhuaman Peru. After 10 minutes, i still could not see my hand inches from my face.

  11. adilrye

    Wow, what a tough crowd. People seem to hate everything about this doc, I didn't think it was bad at all. Yes, maybe some of it is common sense, why we hate the dark is primitive and cultural, but a solid doc nonetheless.

  12. iesika

    There have been two times in my life I experienced absolute darkness - turning off lamps while spelunking, and after hurricane Katrina. Both times were severely eerie.

  13. John Cury

    Totally agree! But you forgot the part of his slow speech and over pronouncing every word. What a jackass that guy is! 1 year in the dark is like a walk in the park not to here his voice ever again.

  14. SaskiaLawrence

    I couldn't even finish this. One of the guys they kept interviewing (older guy with glasses) has the weirdest, most annoying voice I've ever heard. Everything is coming from way in the back of his throat so it's all kind smothered and weird but it's like... really growly at the same time? I dunno, but it's very unsettling. It's even worse when you can see him speaking -- he opens his mouth so wide I swear his jaw nearly unhinges. I'd rather sit in a pitch black room all by myself for a year than listen to that dude talk.

  15. Ryan Evans

    I like the dark. I find it relaxing. I lived in the city and hated it. I have since moved to a place pretty much right in the middle of nowhere and it is much nicer :) One of those documentaries that History channel just pulled out of their butts.

    1. zaphodity

      I prefer the darkness as well, feels more comfortable.

    2. adilrye

      Well, just because YOU like it, doesn't mean MOST people do...Ryan Evans may not represent all of humanity lol

  16. toggilito

    not worth watching!

  17. Sistar & Friend

    I begg to differ that people of the past before artificial light EVERYTHING>>. They coveted the dark and did much of there "work, worship and daily living in the dark" the sun going down was not a time of rest and sleep for all many as this docu would have you to believe. Light came out of dark but all things are created in the darkest parts of the world and out bodies. Stop trying to Insteal folk with this Hogwash Fear Bating mess History Network.....

  18. Elmo Putz

    SHEESH!! They talk as if 'fear' is something 'new' and 'unique' to the human species.. But we've been afraid of the dark ever since we sprouted consciousness, some three billion years prior to the amoebal stage!

  19. KsDevil

    A good show to watch on Halloween to entertain guests. Too bad the last few minutes hung up. A tribute to our silly primate fears

  20. Charlotte86

    Melodramatic. Over the top.

  21. Miles Lord

    Black man is the original man.

  22. His Forever

    I want to visit a Bortle Dark Sky #1 some day! Or at least a nunber 2 just to see what I'm missing in the night sky.

    1. Guest

      Best sky I ever saw was Australia, seems much bigger there for some reason and more full of stars. France a close second. Its not just more stars, its the depth of view. Somehow more 3d :)

    2. His Forever

      Fifty4fourty: The reason the sky was so "3d" is that the Australian Outback and the high desert of Peru are the ONLY Bortle Dark Sky #1 areas left on planet earth! France might be a 3, but probably not a 2 as that's not very common either nowadays. Even far out to sea is only a 2 now. Manila is utterly crappy = gotta be 6 or 7 at best.

    3. Guest

      The biggest 'room' I've ever been in was an airship hanger, Huge enclosed spaces can feel much bigger than the outdoors, maybe because you have something to measure yourself against. That made me feel tiny, not nearly so small as I did looking up at that sky though, very unsettling knowing how insignificant you are. It will all get along perfectly well without us and wont even notice if we're gone. You really do get a sense that your clinging to a lump of rock, hurtling through space. Lovely :)

    4. Freaked Out Now Thx

      Try Hawaii sometime - near equator and less city light etc. That's why all the best observatories in the world are on top of Mauna Kea

  23. the555hit

    The voiceover.. ha. Is that a homer simpson swallowed a varispeed or one bottle of Duff beer too many? Oh and while you're answering me, whoever made this great steaming product of a bull's anus (a fairly obscure place to come out of) just let on if you would who gave you the money and would he pay me as much to splice a bunch of stock footage to a script written by an earthworm in a PV State .. or to squat in a (dimly lit) corner and crap? So it's like is it, hey.. mankind just arrived on the planet in some kind of ark from sunny space and discovered the dark dark of Earth-night say 3000,000 years into his evolution from the catfish? Like fish never had any night time with all its sabre-fanged denizens to contend with, ha, nor amoeba nor did chimpanzees ---- so the dark was invented by some thing to torture poor little humanity with was it Homer? It's not your crass stupidity and happy Hollywood voiceover pushbutton ignorance that's offensive 'History' Channel ---- it's the fact you get so much fkkn cash promoting it while half the world has not even a cent for a candle to light a hut. American supremely can't-see-out-of-ourselves blind hopeless let's-be-afraid egotism a-fkkn-gain. Jeez can't you run out of it like you're going to run out of gasoline one time? Sick!

    1. Fishsticks421

      Did it really make you that mad?

    2. the555hit

      i wouldn't confuse conviction with madness. hysterialised polemic posed as truth is what gets a nation up to its knees in blood and guts in Vietnam..Iraq.. and on. 'Docs' like these pretending to the educational just depress, not madden.

  24. Truthseeker420

    During the FIRE portion I kept hearing Beavis. "FIRE, heh, heh, FIRE!!!" I know, I'm a twelve year old.

  25. AlmostAlwaysAwake

    The darkness is with our conditioned minds. Lights will not "cure' that illusion.

  26. knowledgeizpower

    This scared the living daylights out of me Literally :-0

  27. Fishsticks421

    I thought it did a good job of letting you imagine what it would be like at different times and places. It would make sense to me that humans would develop an instinctual fear of the dark based on the things presented.

    All I know is I watch most of my documentaries high and I've seen much worse.

  28. Wayne Marsh

    LOl, this is surely a parody of a documentary? Factual information is rarely present in History Channel broadcasts, but wow, The History Channel is both funny and infuriating. better luck with the BBC. Highlight of this one is the claim that Satan existed before Christianity, would be funny if Americans didn't have a massive army.

  29. Guest

    i find the idea of examining our Fear of the Dark in a medium so dependent on light, slightly amusing.As an 'experiment' i tried 'watching' with my eyes closed. Didn't last long at all ! . QED ?

  30. Mini MB

    Is it just me or did ALL the reasons have to do with being attacked?

  31. S.E.T.H

    Fear of the dark - A pretty good iron maiden album too :)

  32. geamala

    Ok, Literally 42 sec was enough. Load of ****.

    1. Dan_sir

      I agree, the subject is interesting but the sound track and narration is so amped up. It's like a terrible action film.

    2. Erational

      Ugh, unfortunately American TV is full of this sort of annoying hyper-everything. I wish this was a BBC doc. :-(

  33. Guest

    If you like the spooky may like for me...had enough way way before the end!

  34. John Christopher McDonald

    I'm gonna watch this, but what is "With no artificial light, the black night sky of Galileo’s gaze could illuminate every star without a telescope."

    I can't understand this sentence.

    1. UniversalCypher

      it means that there was no man-made light to block what a person can actually see in the night sky with the naked eye when there is no light at all.

    2. ZarathustraSpeaks

      Dont worry about it it's just hype.