Michael Jackson phobia

Student who went viral for phobia of Michael Jackson opens up about her lifelong terror

‘When his music plays, I have a rush of fear through me’


Ruby Marriott, the 18-year-old who has found herself going insanely viral after her sister Macey shared a video on TikTok of Ruby’s all-encompassing fear of Michael Jackson, has opened up about her phobia of the King of Pop and how, try as she might, she can’t Beat It.

The video has gone hugely viral on Twitter and TikTok, with the latter currently getting the video over 11 MILLION views. It all reached Thriller levels of terror when Ruby was on holiday with her family in Ayia Napa and they went into a bar – where a tribute act was due to sing some Michael Jackson hits.

Ruby is a student from Rotherham in South Yorkshire, and has said this phobia is certainly no new thing. “I have a genuine fear of Michael Jackson,” she said. “It all started when I was 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 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.”

Ruby Marriott, in happier, non-Michael Jackson plagued times (Via SWNS)

Ruby says a lot of her fear comes from people showing her spooky, photoshopped edits of Michael Jackson which made her phobia even worse. “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 got any better.”

Ruby then explained further about how the now iconic TikTok footage came about, and the story behind the reason why we all now know her Michael Jackson phobia. “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!”

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Quotes via SWNS