Why is the wedding guest afraid of the mariner?

The wedding guest is afraid of the mariner because he thinks he might be either the spirit of a dead person walking the earth or otherwise associated with the unholy spirits of the dead. In both cases, the mariner reassures him that this is not true.

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As the mariner tells the horrible story of all the crew dying, the wedding guest says,

I fear thee, ancient Mariner!
I fear thy skinny hand!
The wedding guest says this because he fears that the mariner is dead, like his crew, and has come as a ghost or spirit from the otherworld, perhaps to bring death or evil to the guest. However, the mariner reassures him, saying,
Fear not, fear not, thou Wedding-Guest!
This body dropt not down.
When the Mariner says his "body dropt not down," he means that he didn't die. He is not a ghost to be feared.

Later, in part 5, the mariner tells the story of blessing the water snakes. After this, the ship began to move and all the dead sailors groaned and came to life. They became a "ghastly crew," piloting the ship and doing all their other normal tasks. The mariner describes working on the ship beside his dead nephew, both pulling on a rope.

At this point, the wedding guest cries out again that he is afraid, saying,
I fear thee, ancient Mariner!
For the second time, the wedding guest fears the mariner's association with the dead. He fears his connection with unholy corpses whose souls fled their bodies, but the mariner again reassures him, telling him to stay calm and explaining that the men's bodies were occupied by
a troop of spirits blest.
He goes on to describe that he knows this because they began singing a sweet song, like an "angel's song."

The wedding guest's response to the mariner's story shows how wholly engrossed he is in it and that he believes it, despite its many supernatural elements.
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