Tom Scott Attempts to Conquer His Fear of Rollercoasters With Increasingly Difficult Rides

A nervous Tom Scott visited Alton Towers Theme Park in Staffordshire, England to overcome his incredibly visceral fear of rollercoasters with increasingly difficult rides.

My phobia’s specifically about rollercoasters: the clack-clack of the lift hill, the lack of control, and especially that stomach-drop feeling you get when you crest a hill too fast in a car. No emergency stop button, no pilot, no brake, no way out other than to push through it: that absolutely terrified me.

He started off with a children’s ride and then increased the difficulty level. Before getting on, Scott had the opportunity to examine the physics of each coaster and walk the line with the engineers. The rides he chose were the Runaway Mine Train (low intensity, carriage), Wicker Man (medium intensity, immersive), and Nemesis (high intensity, inverted). By the time he was done with all three, Scott declare himself free of his coaster phobia.

The phobia’s gone. I’m not blas√© about it, I still have nerves if I’m going on a new ride. And if I’m spending the day at a theme park, I’ll have to work up from smaller rides to larger ones, to remind myself that this is now a thing I enjoy. …It’s not an exaggeration to say that this is life-changing for me. …And then, I pushed through the fear. It feels like a fundamental part of my identity has suddenly, drastically, changed for the better. And all I had to do was not be afraid.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.