Horror Studies

Fear Of Ferris Wheel And Some Scary Ferris Wheel Scenes

A few months ago, we were on a family vacation in Budapest. Like most tourists who come to this stunning city, we went up one evening on the giant wheel. I quickly realized that my wife was afraid, on the verge of a panic attack. “What happened? Since when are you afraid of a giant wheel?” I asked in an understanding, soft and gentle tone because I am not afraid of the Ferris wheel myself, surely not. “I saw a series that started with a Ferris wheel disaster. We’ll talk about that later,” she answered in a whisper. Our children, who do not know these threats and probably are unaware of our height, enjoyed every second. They laughed, sang, stood, danced, and even jumped until we sat them down in a panic because it was unsafe. 

During this entire trip, I sat still. It’s hard to scare me, but I don’t always feel comfortable on a giant wheel. It connects to some of the fears that exist in me to a certain extent. Not to a level that would harm my enjoyment of the facility and the views you see through it, but still to the point where I’m a little afraid when we stop right at the height peak. So when I get off the wheel safe and sound, I say “Thank God” in my heart without anyone noticing.

What’s So Scary In Ferris Wheel? 

Our first step, similar to other types of fears we have addressed on the site (such as fear of dogs), is understanding what we are facing. There is a separate term that indicates a fear of a giant wheel: Ferriphobia. But according to our knowledge, this term is not in everyday use, with the fear also remaining a little under the radar. 

Scary Ferris Wheel

Fear of a Ferris wheel can have a significant impact, as it may combine several separate concerns within it. The first of them, of course, is fear of heights (acrophobia). We must remember that a large part of the popular facilities of this type in the world reach significant heights on any scale. As of today, the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, “Ain Dubai” (Ain Dubai) in the United Arab Emirates, rises to a height of about 250 meters. The problem is that the same giant wheel in Dubai is mainly there to decorate the landscape for a long time.

It is not active for safety reasons, which to the best of our understanding, are related to the subsidence of the land. If we take common examples, the London Eye, London’s giant wheel, reaches a height of about 135 meters. Until 2006 it was the highest in the world, but today it is “only” in seventh place on the list. You will find quite a few giant wheels at heights of about 50-100 meters. In other words: this is a reasonably significant height, which explains why people who fear heights prefer to avoid Ferris wheels. 


Beyond the height element, many of the giant wheels try to play on these fears. You should usually be in the air for a few minutes, including a planned stop at peak altitude. The carriages may move in place, swing or turn, so we don’t get the stability that is so important to many of us. Of course, we are not referring here to facilities that take it to the extreme, like Disneyland scary Ferris wheel that incorporates a swing so that at awe-inspiring heights, it moves in directions expected of it and at different speeds.

Control, Fall, And Everything In Between

Other fears may be expressed in a giant wheel, such as fear of falling (Basophobia), which causes the person to fear losing balance and falling, in the cases of many of the enormous wheels of his death. Although it looks like a scenario taken from the “Final Destination” movies, and Ferris wheels are considered safe facilities in every sense of the word, history has its disasters. In 2011, for example, an 11-year-old girl fell to her death from a giant wheel, which rose to a height of about 52 meters, during a school trip to a fair held in the town of Kate Wildwood. In 2018, there was a similar case in India, where it turned out that the facility’s operator came to work drunk. Cases of this kind are rare but can occur. It is enough for a person with the potential to be afraid of this type to read about them, so he is afraid to get on a Ferris wheel.

Although each Ferris wheel has rules, many involve sitting in closed, stuffy, crowded carriages. The result is that people who fear closed spaces, or claustrophobia, may be terrified of a Ferris wheel. You can add the fear of losing control (Atelophobia) when the person feels he is not controlling his destiny. He is at the height, under the operator’s control, without him being able to do anything.

Ferris Wheel Scenes In (Not Horror) Movies

Fear may develop from our personal experience, for example, a traumatic occasion that happened to us or others: in this case, if a person got stuck for several long minutes in a giant wheel due to a technical problem or suffered excessive swaying of the carriage in which he was sitting as a result of strong winds, for example, the fear may arise.

The media can also mediate our fears. Returning to the same situation from the opening paragraph, my wife reacted to a television series that showed a scene related to the Ferris wheel disaster. We have already seen that cinema and television have the possibility of presenting us with fears or even inducing them, as people will say, for example, that they had the same fear of clowns or at least got more vital due to scary clowns that appeared in movies (not just Pennywise, of course). The obvious step is to rummage through our memory and Google’s search results and see which scenes correspond with this fear of Ferris wheels.

The truth is that a Ferris wheel is associated in cinema, believe it or not, with romance. How often have you seen movies or series where the couple’s first kiss took place in the middle of a Ferris wheel? Probably a little too much. There are also movies and TV series that took it to the edge, like the famous Insecure Ferris wheel scene, involving sex on top in front of a guy.

Sometimes the giant wheels can be used as a test of courage and allow a particular side to show its determination towards the other side, just like Ryan Gosling’s courting efforts after Rachel McAdams in the tear-jerking “The Notebook” (seriously!). Another example is in the movie “Divergent,” where Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) participate in a game of capture the flag. They go up a giant wheel, and Tris discovers that Four can be afraid of something. He overcomes his fear to succeed in the challenge and especially to be with Tris, creating one of the most romantic moments in the book and the movie.


Although this is not a horror film, there is no doubt that one of the most memorable scenes involving a Ferris wheel is in the masterpiece “The Third Man” (1949) by Carol Reed. In the scene, which takes place on the famous Ferris wheel of Vienna, the film’s hero surprisingly meets his friends during a ride on the Ferris wheel. That “friend,” who was supposed to be dead, even threatens the hero in an exquisite way to throw him off the Ferris wheel if he doesn’t cooperate. Here’s a video of The Third Man Ferris wheel scene:

Moving on to the world of comics and the disappointing movie “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer” from 2007. If you don’t remember anything from this movie, which is very reasonable, let’s remember that it’s actually about some alien that travels around the world and creates craters, which cause it to destroy entire areas. At one point, our silver surfer arrives in London and makes a crater in the River Thames, creating a tangible danger to the London Eye, located right next to the river. Fortunately, the Fantastic Four arrived, did their wonders and saved the day.

Remember the loss of control from the beginning of the article? So there is no doubt that one of the biggest nightmares that can happen on a giant wheel is that the wheel will lose control, increase speed and go out of its place. It’s a nightmare for most people but a different story for the Smurfs. In “The Smurfs 2”, the blue guys and Gargamel activate some blue magic and tour the streets of Paris on a giant wheel. At this moment, the people on the famous Ferris wheel of the City of Lights liked the tour less.

Scary Ferris Wheel Scenes In Horror Movies

Death Note Ferris Wheel Scene

After the rare visit into the realms of romance, film noir, and the Smurfs, return to our bread and butter – scarier scenes in horror films. Netflix’s “Death Note” (2017) is a very mediocre movie, to say the least, based on a successful Japanese manga and anime series. In the film, a somewhat nerdy boy (Nat Wolff, who plays a rather nerdy boy in many cases) finds a mysterious notebook with serious power: whoever writes the His name on the notebook will die in many creative ways. He uses the notebook to clean up the streets, along with his classmate (Margaret Qualley ), but things quickly get out of control. There aren’t many good points in the movie, except for the mesmerizing Margaret Qualley and a thriving scene involving a fight for life At the top of the Seattle Ferris wheel.

Zombieland Amusement Park Scene

Horror movies set in theme parks or horror parks are a great pleasure, with endless potential for guilty pleasures that correspond with the rules of the genre. In the excellent Zombieland, we saw a perfect scene in an abandoned amusement park where the heroes used rides to fight the zombie armies. As far as we remember, the Ferris wheel was less significant here when the heroes’ primary” weapons ” were a roller coaster or a drop tower, but it still had a place.

Texas Chainsaw 3D Ferris Wheel Scene

There don’t seem to be many scarier moments than being in an amusement park, and finding out that some murderous creature is chasing you. In “Hell Fest” (2013), the characters arrive at a theme park with a horror concept and discover that the fear is real, as a crazed killer known as “The Other” slaughters them one by one in the various facilities.

In “Texas Chainsaw 3D,” there was a similar chase, where Leatherface arrives at a fun fair. He pursues Heather (Alexandra Daddario, who you don’t have to be a psychopathic killer with a chainsaw and a mask made of human skin to chase her), who discovers that her only way to escape is to hang on a Ferris wheel and wait for something to happen until the moment she is forced to get off it and face the patient murderer. Fortunately for viewers, rescue comes from an unexpected direction, and Heather survives.

Goosebumps Ferris Wheel Scene

As a child, I grew up on the “Goosebumps” books, and I have a warm place in my heart for them. I watched with excitement the various films of “Goosebumps,” starring Jack Black, and I was happy to remember that there are also several scenes involving a Ferris wheel (and yes, also a scene full of romantic clichés between Dylan Mint and Odeya Rush).

In one of the climaxes of the film, the gang sits on a giant wheel and is horrified to discover that the various creatures from the books of R. To. Stein arrives – and they are not looking for paper. As the creatures begin to climb the Ferris wheel, it falls. The group survives, although based on scenes like this, one can understand why one of the characters is surprised that there are no seat belts on the Ferris wheel.

Cloverfield Ferris Wheel Scene

“Cloverfield” is one of the best found footage films ever, combining horror with science fiction. The film revolves around a group of friends terrified to learn that a giant monster, and minor other creatures, are attacking New York. In the film’s last scene, after some characters face a tragic death, we go back to a recording made a month earlier. In this scene, the two lovers (Odette Annable and Michael Stahl-David) are sitting on the Coney Island Ferris wheel, shooting the panoramic view. In this Cloverfield Ferris wheel scene, you can see an explanation of the event that caused the disaster. You can miss it, but thanks, Youtube is always there for us. 

How To Overcome Fear Of Ferris Wheel?

Fear of Ferris wheels, regardless of whether it connects to other fears the person suffers from, is a problem. It can cause a long list of physical and mental symptoms, which explains, for example, experts who refer to it as an “emotional roller coaster.” The symptoms include increased heart rate, sweating, dizziness and vomiting, headaches, tremors – and so on. The fear may cause behavioral changes and a decision to avoid the activity that causes the fear.

Some fears can ultimately affect our daily routine: think, for example, of a person who cannot enter closed places such as an elevator or someone afraid of flying. In the case of giant wheels, the changes should be manageable. The average person does not encounter too many Ferris wheels daily except when visiting amusement parks, fairs, etc. Therefore, even if he decides to give up the facility, he can continue to “get by” in life. In practice, finding out the source of the fear and treating it is often recommended, especially against the background that the fear of giant wheels combines other concerns that may meet us more often.

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