4 Colors That Represent Fear (A to Z List)

colors that represent fear

The main colors that represent fear include black, great, yellow-green, and purple.

Of those, black is the most dominant color that symbolizes fear. Black represents fear because it makes us think of the absence of light. When it’s “pitch black”, the night closes in around us and we feel like any monsters could be right in front of us, hiding in the darkness.

Often, scenes in movies that are designed to evoke fear are shot in very dark tones, often at night, to make the emotion of fear more salient.

Colors that Represent Fear

1. Black

black color meaning

When discussing negative emotions like fear, one of the first colors that would come to mind is black. It represents the type of fear that is stark and gripping, one that could keep a person imprisoned in his own mind for a very long time.

Black is a strong and powerful color that can also be associated with sorrow, hopelessness, evil, and destruction.

In an online survey conducted with more than 100 respondents, it was discovered that black is the color that is associated with fear the most.

Black is the color of the night. It has the ability to absorb all light waves without bouncing any of it back because it is actually not one color, but the combination of all colors.

It is commonly recognized to signify death, especially in Western cultures, which is why it is a prominent color during funerals.

Black takes away one’s vision as it is difficult to see in the dark, and this causes insecurity because people naturally fear the unknown.

Mystique and power are also associated with this color, which is why it is often used to depict supernatural creatures in tales and folklore:

  • Vampires and witches, for example, are almost always shown wearing black outfits.
  • Black cats symbolize witchcraft.
  • Villains and rebels in movies and literature are also usually dressed in black.

However, black is not purely a negative color. There are some positive connotations to the color, depending on its use and the understanding in certain cultures.

In Feng Shui, black is a peaceful and grounding color, and can be used to invite harmony into the household. In fashion, it is seen as a sophisticated and elegant shade, making it a favorite for evening gowns and formal wear.

2. Gray

gray color meaning

Gray is another color that is usually associated with negative emotions. It is a prohibitive color that gives off a chilly and depressing feeling.

In nature, it is the color of winter, especially at dusk. When used heavily, it indicates insecurity, anxiety, and phobia.

Created through a mix of black and white, gray can also be considered to be an impartial color. It stands between two contrasting worlds, that of lightness and darkness. Gray is sometimes seen as cold-blooded, indifferent, and dispassionate.

According to a recent study, people who are going through depression often choose drab colors like gray when asked to describe their mood.

The reason for this is that they felt that it accurately represents their gloomy and despairing outlook, as well as their apathy towards life and the world in general.

3. Purple

purple color meaning

In some cases, lighter shades of purple have been used to indicate fear, worry, and agitation.

Royalty, power, authority, magic, wealth, and mystery are often associated with the color purple. It is a blend of red and blue and can be considered exotic because it does not often occur in nature. It is a mystical color that often has a polarizing effect, people either love it or hate it, seldom falling in between.

In the film “Inside Out”, the persona of fear is presented with a light purple body. This character represents the natural type of fear which exists to protect an individual by triggering his instincts for self-preservation.

Fear, either the movie character or the emotion itself, makes a person aware of potential dangers and warns him to stay away, or at least make enough preparations to protect himself if he cannot avoid this dangerous path.

4. Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)

chartreuse color meaning

Two bright colors that are often seen in nature, green and yellow are not a top of mind choices when referring to fear. Separately. They are usually used to represent joy, prosperity, rebirth, and hope.

But when combined, certain shades of green and yellow like chartreuse can sometimes stand for fear. These tints can be used to signify cowardice due to fear of rejection or failure.

The perfect combination of green and yellow, chartreuse has equal parts of green and yellow blended together.

As such, it brings with it many of the values and characteristics of both colors. Named after a popular French liquor with a similar shade, chartreuse stands for optimism, happiness, and life, but can also represent jealousy, fear, unease, insecurity, and cowardice.

Chartreuse is a challenging shade to manage as it is an unconventional color, which is why it took a long time for the color to take hold in modern society.

Recently, it has become a popular choice for office decorations as its striking shade is believed to inspire creativity and influence unique choices. In fashion, it can indicate excitement youth, playfulness, and energy.

The use of this shade has to be carefully managed, though. Any slight miscalculation can twist the narrative into a negative one and hint at jealousy, recklessness, or immaturity. A person wearing too much of this color can come off as being anxious, scared, or uncertain.

FAQs: Types of Fear

There are different kinds of fear. Some occur naturally and have no lasting effects on the person.  However, there are other kinds of fear that are serious enough to affect one’s lifestyle and ability to function normally in society.

Each type of fear is represented by different colors, such as black, gray, green, blue, and purple.

Fear is usually recognized as a negative emotion because of the unpleasant effect it can have on the body and mind.

Fear can cause panic, agitation, anxiety, while extreme ones such as phobia can even manifest physically, causing a person to freeze or lose the ability to think rationally.

But fear is actually important to a person’s survival. The natural kind of fear is a result of the human instinct for survival.

A person’s body will intuitively sense if there is something near that could harm him, and it could be physically, mentally, or emotionally.

As a result, he will feel a need to run or to hide in order to protect himself and prevent himself from getting hurt. In this sense, fear functions as a form of self-preservation.

There are other fears, though, that go beyond the survival instinct.

These kinds of fears, called phobia, are either irrational and groundless, or are ore deeply felt than what is warranted based on the actual danger posed by the object being feared.

A phobia is often debilitating, which can be disruptive to an individual and cause him to separate himself from society.


Fear is not an entirely negative emotion because when naturally occurring, it helps keep a person away from danger. It forces one to step aside, move back, or hide when his instincts warn him of something potentially harmful, and he starts feeling scared.

It only becomes a problem when the feeling goes beyond rationality and becomes uncontrollable. This occurs when the fear starts to overwhelm an individual, making him hesitate to do even the mundane things that he needs to do as a normal member of society.

These different types of fear are also represented by an assortment of colors, which adequately reflect their intensity. Since colors usually have more than one meaning, choose each color carefully before deciding to use them and make sure it is being used in the proper context and symbolism.

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