The phobiist is a sort of fear-eating vampire. He can move by sort of gliding from place to place as a thin, shadowy mass. He has the ability to draw upon people's fears when he looks them in the eye.
The phobiist's trance is an isolated place, though comments from the phobiist and from people around can be heard. The victim is in a trance for a few hours, at which point they are literally scared to death.
The way out of a phobiist's trance is to get over the fear the phobiist has trapped the victim in.
The only way to defeat a Phobiist is to have someone without any fear fight it. When a phobiist dies it "falls to pieces"—pieces of glass.
- The Rialto Usher's fear is unknown, but he is the first victim in the episode. Because the trances are only supposed to last a few hours until they become fatal, it is possible he could have died, unless he got over his fear.
- Snake girl is a student from Pleasantville High that was in the hallway while she was being haunted by her fear of snakes. This is the first black and white scene of a fear shown, even if just for a couple flashes.
- Becky's biggest fear since she was a kid has been drowning. She thinks she is inside a glass box that is slowly filling with water. The phobiist corners her as she's leaving the Factory.
- The shark guy is a bartender at The Factory. Merton and Lori ask him for milkshakes, and all he can say is "no" and "sharks".
- As his greatest fear, Dean imagines a world without TV, only radio.
- Tommy claims to have no fears, but it turns out his greatest fear is being alone due to his lycanthropy. He gets over this fear with some kind words from Lori.
- Merton has so much fear Lori and Tommy used him as phobiist bait. His biggest fear at the moment the phobiist looked him in the eye was the horror villain, Needlemouth. He bested Needlemouth by knocking him out with the help of a nearby trashcan.
- Lori's biggest fear is heights. She gets over it by jumping off the building in her mind's eye.