Woman with Michael Jackson 'phobia' cries as tribute act performs
A woman who has a chronic fear of Michael Jackson and anything associated with the so-called 'King of Pop' has revealed all about her crippling phobia of the icon.
In the past few days, you may have seen a viral video on social media of a young woman distraught and in tears while a Michael Jackson impersonator performs in a nightclub behind her.
The woman in the clip is 18-year-old Ruby Marriott who was on a family holiday in Ayia Napa, Cyprus earlier this month. The video, which has now spread all over the internet was filmed by her older sister Macey but Ruby has now revealed exactly what it is about Jackson which scares her so much.
The student from Rotherham said: "I have a genuine fear of Michael Jackson. It all started when I was younger at about five years old. My sister and my cousin used to show me creepy edited videos of him that people made and conspiracy theories that he’s alive, like photos of him in the background of photos and in people's windows.
"Even when his music plays, I have a rush of fear through me. 'Thriller' is the main song that scares me, mainly because of watching the music video when I was younger and it is one of his biggest hits so it’s played around me a lot.
"If a family member plays his songs, I have to walk out of the room. The fear started getting worse when we went on a family holiday to LA and stayed in a house we rented for three weeks.
"There was a door with about eight padlocks on it and one of my family members jokingly said ‘what if Michael Jackson is hiding in there?’, knowing my phobia of him. Every night for three weeks, I had the same nightmare of him creeping out of the wardrobe and coming for me while I was asleep. It was awful!
"The photoshopped photos of him have made my phobia worse, people just send them to me or show me and it takes me back to him crawling out of my wardrobe. I’m now 18 and the phobia hasn’t gotten any better!"
Family and friends of Ruby knew about her unusual fear.
Heading out on Monday night to celebrate her uncle and aunt getting married, Ruby was sitting down after dancing at Bedrock Bar when the night turned sour.
Ruby said: "It was my first night in Ayia Napa and funnily enough, the first bar we went to was really quiet so not many people there. We had no idea about any tribute acts so we went in and had a few rounds of drinks.
"I was enjoying it a lot, we were all dancing, taking photos and having a laugh. It wasn’t until half an hour in that I heard the start of Thriller playing and I instantly started panicking. I turned around and saw a Michael Jackson impersonator dancing around on the dance floor next to me.
"I ran over to where my family were sitting and instantly started crying and panicking even more. I couldn’t even look at him! I thought my fear was bad enough until I saw someone who looked exactly like him - it just got worse!
"We left the bar, but I couldn’t get it out of my head all night. It took me a while to get to sleep - I had to FaceTime my boyfriend to fall asleep to!"
After Ruby's traumatic encounter with the King of Pop, her sister Macey posted a clip of her tearful reaction to the impersonator on TikTok - and it quickly went viral. Over nine million people have watched Macey's video with many flooding to the comments to say they were also scared of Michael Jackson.
One wrote: 'ME TOO IT'S MY PHOBIA!'
Another said: 'I love Michael but this phobia is very justifiable'.
One user tagged a friend, saying: 'I actually low key have this fear too'.
Another commented: 'I have the same thing, I can't sleep, he gives me nightmares'.
Shocked by the reaction to the clip, Ruby said: "We didn’t expect the video to go viral at all! Macey thought it was funny to post - but I didn’t! I am finding it funnier now, but it hasn’t changed how I see Michael Jackson. I still find him terrifying - it was traumatising!"
Macey said: "I originally showed my friends the video and they found it hilarious so I posted it on my TikTok, not expecting it to blow up like it did. Ruby has always been a funny and dramatic character so it’s funny to me that she’s blown up for it!"
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