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25 Fears You Never Knew Existed

September 1, 2009
19 Comments

We’ve all seen the episodes of Maury, where the people with phobias come onstage and freak out about spiders and snakes. While the fear of snakes (ophiophobia) and spiders (arachnophobia) are fairly common and understandable, there are all kinds of weird phobias out there that defy explanation. Below are 25 of the strangest that we have ever come across:

1. Paraskavedekatraphobia – Derived from the Greek words for Friday and thirteen, paraskavedekatraphobia is the fear of Friday the 13th. The first known reference to Friday the 13th as unlucky was in 1307, when the Catholic Pope officially ordered that the Knights Templar be disbanded. The group’s members were arrested, brought up on false charges and tortured, while the King of France took their money, land and belongings. Today, many skyscrapers are built “without” a 13th floor – their elevators skipping from 12 to 14.

2. Ideophobia – The morbid fear of thought, new or different ideas, ideophobics never stray from the norm. Do they eat the same thing for dinner every night? Do they ever watch the news? We’ve never met one in real life, so we can’t say for sure.

3. Alliumphobia – Apparently, vampires aren’t the only ones who hate garlic! Alliumphobics don’t just find garlic to be unpalatable; they’re downright terrified of the stuff.

4. Politicophobia – Given some of the men and women currently sitting in office, it’s no wonder that some people are afraid of politicians.

5. Somniphobia – It must be tough to have a fear of sleeping, especially when you have to do it at least every couple of days. Somniphobics are scared that once they fall asleep they will never wake up again (and you thought bedtime with your kids was a challenge!)

6. Chionophobia – At least people who are afraid of snow can choose to live in warm climates, right?

7. Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia – It’s ironic that the word for “fear of long words” is one of the longest we’ve ever seen. Sort of like the word “lisp”, which cruelly has an S in it.

8. Pentheraphobia – This one isn’t so weird, actually. Pentheraphobics live in constant fear of their mothers-in-law, which is something that almost every married person can identify with.

9. Chrometophobia – A recent study proved that around 90 percent of American paper money has traces of cocaine on it, so it’s easy to understand why some people would be afraid of touching it.

10. Nomatophobia – The next time you forget your husband’s coworker’s name, just tell him that you have nomatophobia, and are afraid to say it.

11. Automatonophobia – This is another phobia that we’re willing to give people a pass on, because ventriloquist’s dummies are pretty creepy.

12. Peladophobia – Imagine going through life being scared of bald people. How would you get through school, church or even go grocery shopping without encountering anyone with a receding hairline?

13. Ablutophobia – Ablutophobes are afraid to bathe, wash or clean and the condition is far more common with women than men. Icky.

14. Decidophobia – As you may be able to tell by the name, decidophobes are scared to make decisions. From choosing laundry detergents to picking a house to live in, the process is agonizing.

15. Phagophobia – This can be described one of two ways: either the person is afraid of eating and digesting something, or the person is afraid of being eaten. Not chewed up and eaten, mind you, but swallowed whole. Phagophobes take the story of Jonah and the Giant Whale really, really seriously.

16. Apeirophobia – It’s easy to understand why some people might think that the idea of infinity is a little creepy. It can be difficult to wrap your mind around something that has no end and no beginning!

17. Philophobia – Is the fear of falling in love, and the plot of many romantic comedy movies.

18. Aphenphosmophobia – Known as the fear of touching or being touched, aphenphosmophobes like to have a lot of personal space. In most cases, this fear is triggered by past abuse.

19. Cacophobia – It would be interesting to see how a cacophobe, who is scared of ugly things, would cope with having a less-than-adorable child.

20. Arithmophobia/Numerophobia – Two different words to describe a fear of the same thing: numbers.

21. Linonophobia – One of the more odd phobias, this one is centered on string. String of all colors and fibers, including yarn, thread and sometimes rope.

22. Arachibutyrophobia – This is an abnormal, persistent and unwarranted fear of peanut butter (we’re assuming the creamy kind?) sticking to the roof of the mouth. It should be noted that it’s not just any kind of thick and sticky food substance being lodged up there, but specifically peanut butter. Yeah, we can’t figure it out, either.

23. Epistaxiophobia – Nosebleeds are the star of this particular phobia. This one is almost understandable, especially considering that a nosebleed killed Attila the Hun and around 800 people in America face the same fate every year.

24. Phobophobia – Phobophobics have a morbid fear of developing a phobia (we suppose they don’t count the one that they already have).

25. Counterphobia – Very similar to phobophobics, counterphobics take things a step further by tackling their fears of developing fears head on. By surrounding themselves by the things that they’re scared of, counterphobics seek to eradicate their irrational phobias.

So, which one is your favorite? Did I leave one of the weirdest ones off of the list? Feel free to share it in the Comments section!

19 Comments

Good post. I am definitely a Paraskavedekatraphobia (fear of Friday the 13th) and Philophobia(fear of falling in love)

Alliumphobia and Arachibutyrophobia- how can you be afraid of garlic and peanut butter? I love them both- just not together.

I'd hoped you'd touch on my fear of wet paper - but alas, perhaps I am just too weird!

I'm definitely aphenphosmophobic in a sense, but arachibutyrophobia? Man that's more than eccentric!

I have a friend who is afraid of wet hair that is no longer attached to the body... no idea what that is called.

me again, i'm scared of spiders (though jumping ones seem cute?) and big boats. the bigger the worster (as it were).

Arachibutyrophobia is extremely odd...
I think one that should've been included on this list is Zemmiphobia - Fear of the coming of the great mole rat. I mean, what!?

I am a definite arachnaphobic...any kind of spider, small, large, hairy..black or brown...I hate them all and wish every spider in the wide world would drop dead....

I Like Phobatriviaphobia or the fear of trivia about phobias

You left out ouranophobia, a fear of heaven.

Anatideaphobia: the fear that you are being watched by a duck.

My boyfriend is an ablutophobic. It's a real pain to get him in the shower. Haha. I have a fear of seeds. I have yet to find a name for that one. I read that if you discover a new phobia you can name it. Great list.

I can't remember what it's called, but there's a certain phobia where people are terrified of seran wrap. I guess suffocation comes into play, but still strange.

My sister is weird, she isn't scared of these but has a strong adversion towards large cups. Like the ones you get when you order the large value meal at fast food resturaunts hahaha.

i think i have 2 phobias not listed here, and wonder if any body can tell me the name of them since i dont know what their called. one is a fear of tight spaces i often have terrible thoughts of being stuck in a very small phone booth and for some reason there are like 100 ohter people in there w/me?! the other is a fear of drowning(i cant swim a lick)anybody got any thoughts?

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