Thriller lived up to its name when it caused an 18-year phobia for one UK woman.
Poppy Johnson was 5 years old when she first saw Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Upon seeing MJ’s transformation into a werewolf, Poppy became traumatised and carried the fear with her. Seeing or hearing Michael Jackson would cause serious symptoms including sweaty palms and shaking. Worse still, her parents are big MJ fans so there were lots of memorabilia around the house growing up.
Poppy decided to turn to hypnotherapy to curb her reactions to the King of Pop.
“It’s hard to explain the actual hypnotherapy side of things, but I just feel I’m in such a calm place. I can definitely see it getting to the point where I can go out without feeling on edge.”
It was especially tough when the Finding Neverland documentary was aired and she had to avoid social media as much as possible. But it’s good that she’s in a better place now. While nowhere near the same, I still have the memory of seeing David Naughton’s character transform into a werewolf in American Werewolf in London etched in my mind (both Thriller and American Werewolf in London were directed by John Landis and Winston Baker was responsible for the makeup and effects on both. It was the reason Jackson contacted Landis to do the music video).
PTSD is a serious anxiety disorder. If you think you have suffered from something similar to Poppy, there are forms of treatment to help. Check out the links below.