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Meet the woman who’s afraid of wind turbines

Alison Prior, who had a fear of wind turbines (Andrew Cawley / DC Thomson)
Alison Prior, who had a fear of wind turbines (Andrew Cawley / DC Thomson)

A WOMAN is so terrified of wind farms she feels like lying down or hiding when she sees one.

Alison Prior suffers from an irrational fear of the whirling electricity generators, which she says was started in her childhood by the sight of a large pink, mechanical gorilla.

The condition – the medical name is Anemomenophobia – sees sufferers overcome by crippling panic at the sight of a turbine.

Hairdresser Alison, 33, has the wind put up her so badly, she has almost crashed her car when they’ve loomed over the
horizon unexpectedly.

“I went on holiday up north and they were right at the side of the road. I almost crashed, I was so scared,” she said.

“If I pass a lorry carrying part of a wind turbine I have to stop and come off the road.

“I start to feel my heart beating, the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end and I feel like I want to lie down, hide or run away.”

Alison said she goes into “full-blown panic” when she sees a turbine.

She also has a fear of other large mechanical objects, which she thinks harks back to a large pink, mechanical gorilla that used to scare her at a market when she was a child.

Such is her terror that she underwent hypnotherapy to help with it.

It has worked to an extent, allowing her to control some of her anxiety, which is helpful as there are a number of turbines near her home in West Calder, West Lothian.

Indeed, she can see a turbine in the distance from where she lives.

She says she can “now cope with that” but she still feels scared when she’s close to them.

In fact, she still plans what route she takes when driving to make sure she avoids them.

Scotland is a problematic place for anemomenophobics, given that it is home to more than half of the UK’s wind farms. With a whopping 2683 turbines, and hundreds more planned, experts believe the number of people with the phobia could rise.

Hayley Brazier, 29, from Aviemore, also suffers from the fear. She was once left in terror when she encountered them while driving to Aberdeen.

She said: “They were quite close to the car. I saw one and started screaming. I get an ominous feeling. It’s like dread, like you have an empty stomach and something bad is going to happen.”

Hayley – also a hairdresser – says she tries her best not to look at turbines when driving and will take a detour around them if she can.

However, she admits it’s almost impossible to dodge them altogether given how many there are in Scotland.

“They’re everywhere,” she adds.

Hayley and Alison say they get no sympathy from their friends and family who think their phobia is more amusing than anything else.

Hayley said: “My friends wind me up about it.”

The women also see the strange coincidence in the fact they both work with scissor blades and have the same phobia – despite the fact that they don’t know each other.

Hayley joked: “At least the blades we work with are not that big!”

Psychotherapist Glenn Mason said cognitive behavioural therapy was one method that could be used to help treat people.

“It is what we refer to as a specific phobia, where a particulate thing, in this case wind turbines, causes a fear reaction,” he said

“For others it might be dogs, cats, spiders, height and flying.”


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