I received one of those chain-mails this morning. It wasn’t of the benevolent type that you can safely ignore, the type that implies a direct correlation between n days of good luck and m number of people I forward it to. No, this was of the more threatening variety, the one that promised death, sodomy, supernatural occurrences, or all of the above. The mail read, “This is a picture of a girl who was killed last week. If you don’t forward it to 5 people in 5 minutes, this girl will appear tonight and stab you!”. As I scrolled down the interminable message headers, a photoshopped picture of a zombie girl, with green, rotting skin, yellow eyes, a nasty grimace appeared. I pawed the “Page Up” key frantically.

My first encounter with images of gory women came when I was 13. I watched The Exorcist in an open-air theater. Despite the fact that there were thousand more people around me, I was mortified by the horrifying shrieks emanating from the screen and had to resort to peering through a piece of torn paper, which I pretended I was reading. The green and possibly pus-filled face of Linda Blair, along with a tongue rivalling that of Gene Simmons, haunted my nightmares and daymares. Around the same time, I saw some Tamil horror movies, “My dear Lisa” and “13-aam number veedu”, which only proved to worsen my fear of women with green faces and white saris. My most recent encounter with this irrational fear of demonic women was from the movie The Ring where, once again, my aversion to them was reinforced by the addition of oriental eyes and a bad hairdo.

A simple google search announced that Caligynephobia does exist and, yes, it can be cured by ingesting ample quantities of painkillers and repeated exposure to beautiful women. but what about the irrational fear of ugly women, who are demoniacally possessed? Does science have a cure for my particular fear?