Fears and Phobias: Things Famous Celebrities Are Afraid Of


What is your biggest fear? Death? The dark? Spiders? Well, you’re going to feel a whole lot better about your strange fears when you see some of the phobias from which celebrities suffer. When you see these superstars on the red carpet, they appear fearless and totally in control of their lives. But the reality is that they’re just like you and me: subject to irrational fears and phobias. Read on for some of the weirdest celebrity phobias…

Channing Tatum is afraid of porcelain dolls

Pediophobia is the fear of dolls and is actually quite common. It is believed to be a type of automatonophobia, which is the fear of humanoid figures. Some people are afraid of all dolls and stuffed toys, while some only fear a specific type of doll. It turns out that Channing Tatus suffers from it, fearing porcelain dolls in particular. He admitted his fear to Ellen Degeneres, who made him face his fear by giving him dolls to play with. But did it work?


Johnny Depp is scared of clowns

Clowns are theoretically supposed to make us laugh with their crazy antics. Their big, smiley, painted faces, slapstick routines, and bright colors are meant to make us enjoy ourselves, not react with intense fear. But not everyone likes them. Coulrophobia is an intense fear of all clowns and Johnny Depp hates them so much that he is reported to have stopped his wife Amber Heard from watching a film with a clown in it.


Uma Thurman fears confined spaces

Poor Kill Bill star Uma Thurman was forced to face her biggest fear while filming the movie when she was made to lie inside a coffin. Thurman suffers from claustrophobia, which is the fear of confined spaces. She told the Daily Mail that director Quentin Tarantino didn’t care about her phobia, and threw dirt on top of the coffin. She called it “just another day at the office”, but we bet she didn’t enjoy it one bit.


Zach Galifianakis Has a Fear of Heights

Acrophobia, the intense fear of heights, is one of the more common phobias. But for Zach Galifianakis, star of The Hangover, the fear is crippling. He is reported to have missed a press gathering for the third film in the series because of his overwhelming fear of heights. The event took place at Morro da Urca near Sugarloaf mountain in Brazil. The high altitude of the place was enough to put Galifianakis firmly off attending the shindig.


Matt Damon is terrified of snakes

Also fairly common, ophidiophobia is the intense fear of snakes, and it’s something that movie star Matt Damon suffers from really badly. Actress Scarlett Johansson said that during the filming of We Bought a Zoo, Damon absolutely freaked out when the snakes were brought onto the set. Damon has himself admitted to the fear, to the extent that Johansson said he “cried like a baby” when the snakes were around.


Katy Perry is afraid of the dark

Nyctophobia is a terrible fear of the dark, and Katy Perry suffers from it. During a 2010 interview, she admitted to sleeping with the lights on because of her intense fear of darkness. She reportedly said that she fears the dark because a lot of evil things go on in the dark. Well, lots of kids have the same problem, Katy. A bed-side night light is the answer.


Jennifer Love Hewitt is afraid of elevators

Actress Jennifer Love Hewitt says she is scared of elevators, one of society’s more common fears. In fact, elevators commonly trigger two phobias: claustrophobia, the fear of enclosed spaces, and agoraphobia, the fear of being trapped and not being able to escape in the event of a panic attack. The actress won’t enter a lift containing more than 5 people. She also has selachophobia, the fear of sharks.


Sarah Michelle Gellar fears cemeteries

Known for playing a vampire slayer, it’s strange that actress Sarah Michelle Gellar is afraid of cemeteries. Coimetrophobia is the overwhelming fear of cemeteries and can bring on negative physical symptoms such as shortness of breath, dizziness and even a full-on panic attack. The actress also reportedly has a fear of being buried alive, so no wonder she’s afraid of graveyards. She is reported to have been brought to tears when shooting in cemeteries.


Jennifer Lawrence is afraid of annoying people

Aren’t we all? But seriously, the award-winning actress admitted to a whole host of fears, including ghosts, family, and death during an interview for The Hunger Games. She also suffers from arachnophobia, which is the very common fear of spiders. During the same interview, she admitted to a fear of annoying people. There’s no official phobia named for this fear, but it’s one that many people can relate to.


Aretha Franklin has a fear of flying

There are loads of people with a fear of flying. Whoopi Goldberg is one, and so are Katherine Heigl and Bette Midler. But Aretha Franklin’s aviophobia nearly torpedoed her career. Because of her fear of flying, she had to turn down engagements all over the world. Although she has suffered from the phobia for at least 3 decades, she is reported to be trying to conquer it now.


Matthew McConaughey Has a Fear of Revolving Doors

Hollywood main man, Matthew McConaughey, apparently suffers from cleithrophobia, which is the fear of becoming trapped. In his case, he is specifically afraid of getting trapped in a revolving door. Cleithrophobia is often confused with claustrophobia, but they are not the same. The actor also admitted disliking the blind spot when you’re driving through a tunnel. He’s not alone there, is he? No-one likes the blind spot.


Franklin D. Roosevelt was afraid of the number 13

The 32nd President of the United States of America, President Franklin D. Roosevelt suffered from triskaidekaphobia, the fear of the number 13. He was so afraid of it that he never traveled on the 13th day of the month, and never allowed 13 guests at a table. In fact, many buildings skip a 13th floor, going straight from 12th to 14th due to superstition around the number 13. Paraskavedekatriaphobia is the fear of Friday the 13th.


Alfred Hitchcock was scared of eggs

He may have made some of the world’s scariest movies, but legendary director Alfred Hitchcock had a very strange phobia: he was afraid of eggs. Saying of his ovophobia, he once told a reporter: I’m frightened of eggs, worse than frightened, they revolt me… have you ever seen anything more revolting than an egg yolk breaking and spilling its yellow liquid?” He even went on to say that he prefers the sight of blood because  of it’s “jolly, red” color, “but egg yolk is yellow, revolting.”


Howie Mandell really fears germs

Mysophobia, the fear of germs, contamination, and dirt, is one of the most well-known phobias in the world. Mandel is so afraid of germs that he refuses to shake hands with people, choosing the fist bump instead. Known colloquially as germaphobes, others suffering from the same phobia include Donald Trump, Jerry Seinfeld, Howard Hughes and Michael Jackson, who was often seen sporting a mask when out and about. Germaphobes can develop symptoms such as excessive hand washing, avoiding public interactions and refusing to share personal items.


Meryl Streep fears helicopters

Arguably one of the world’s greatest living actresses, Meryl Streep might seem perfect, but she’s just as human as the rest of us. Apparently, the actress has a terror of helicopters, which is known as corcoranophobia. Although we don’t know how or where her fear arose, what we do know is that the multi-award-winning actress just doesn’t ‘do’ helicopters at all. This must make getting to red carpet events pretty difficult, but she seems to cope.


Kyra Sedgwick has a fear of talking food

According to Sedgwick’s husband, Kevin Bacon, the actress has omeliatrophobia, the fear of talking food. That’s right, food that talks. During an interview on The Tonight Show, Bacon revealed that his wife will immediately leave the room if she sees any food that talks on TV, especially those classic California Raisins shorts. Her fear has even impacted on Bacon’s career: he once turned down an M & M commercial because he would have to play a giant peanut M & M. He said his marriage was more important than any commercial.


Adele is afraid of seagulls

Superstar singer Adele is well known for her stage fright, but that’s not the only thing she’s terrified of. She has what is known as laridaphobia, which is the fear of seagulls. Apparently, the singer was attacked by a seagull when she was a child, and has since then been terrified of ‘flying rats’. She was walking along a promenade while eating an ice-cream, and a seagull swooped down to steal it from her. She still has a scar on her shoulder from the incident.


Taylor Swift is scared of sea urchins

It might sound crazy, but Taylor Swift discussed her crippling fear of sea urchins on an episode of The Ellen Show. Although there is no proper term for her fear, Swift suffers from the phobia to such an extent that she won’t go into the water. And that’s not the only phobia she has. She also admitted to a fear of being arrested, specifically of being framed for a crime she didn’t commit.


Diddy fears long second toes

This is a really weird one! Iconic music star Diddy has admitted that he suffers from podophobia, the terrible fear of a long second toe. He made the confession on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, sparking co-guest Kate Beckinsale to whip out her foot and show him her toes. He apparently freaked because the actress does indeed have a second toe that is longer than her first. We bet that sandals aren’t Diddy’s favorite shoes.


Christina Ricci has a fear of indoor plants

Actress Christina Ricci has admitted she has botanophobia, a severe fear of indoor houseplants, and that touching a dirty houseplant is like “torture”. Ricci rose to fame as a child in her role as the creepy Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family and its sequel, Addams Family Values. But that’s not the only thing Ricci fears. She also suffers from natatiophobia, which is the fear of swimming pools and swimming.


Eva Mendes has a fear of water

And she’s not alone! Apparently, quite a few celebrities suffer from aquaphobia, the fear of water. It seems that Snoop Dog, Carmen Electra, Richard Branson, Sandra Bullock and Will Smith also suffer from this phobia. This is probably because, like Mendes herself, they can’t swim. Strangely, back in 2011, the actress bought a massive house with … a swimming pool. Needless to say, she never uses it. In fact, over 60% of Americans are afraid of deep water, and more than 45% are afraid of water over their heads.


Scarlett Johansson is afraid of birds

Well, after laughing at Matt Damon’s fear of snakes, it’s interesting to find out that actress Scarlett Johansson has a phobia of her own. She suffers from ornithophobia, the fear of birds. She says that there’s something about their wings and beaks and the way they flap their wings that terrifies her. She added that she has an uncle who suffers from the same phobia, so we’re wondering if her fear of birds is inherited?


Nicole Kidman is scared of butterflies

Superstar actress Nicole Kidman has admitted to an interesting phobia known as lepidoterophobia, the fear of butterflies. She says she finds them “eerie” and “weird”, and that they cause her significant anxiety. Apparently, lepidopterophobia is closely linked to 2 other phobias, namely entomophobia, which is the fear of insects, and mottephobia, the fear of moths. Perhaps it’s all that flapping of their wings and the way they get in your face that Kidman doesn’t like.


David Beckham is afraid of frogs

Iconic soccer legend, David Beckham, has admitted to suffering from ranidaphobia, which is the fear of frogs. Not to be confused with bufonophobia (the fear of toads), ranidaphobia is not your everyday fear. While lots of people find frogs disgusting and see them as dangerous, sufferers from this phobia have an extreme, irrational fear of frogs that causes severe physical and psychological symptoms. After admitting his fear in an interview, Monty Python star Michael Palin branded Beckham “a wimp”.


Pamela Anderson fears mirrors

For a woman who has benefited from her looks throughout her career, it’s weird that Pamela Anderson suffers from a fear of mirrors. So much so that she can’t stand looking at herself in the mirror. Known as eisotrophobia, her fear of mirrors prevents her from watching herself on TV. She says that if anything with her comes on, she makes people turn off the TV or she leaves the room. It seems that the confident-seeming Anderson is actually very self-conscious.


Britney Spears can’t stand lizards

We’ve all seen the picture of singer Britney Spears with a snake wrapped around her neck, but she would never have agreed to pose with a lizard! Known as herpetophobia, this fear usually extends to all reptiles, including snakes, and also similar vertebrates such as amphibians. It seems that Spears can handle snakes, but has a massive aversion to large lizards, especially Komodo dragons, something she has in common with Billy Bob Thornton.


Billy Bob Thornton fears antique furniture

Now, this is truly weird! Apparently actor Billy Bob Thornton, apart from fearing Komodo dragons, gets totally freaked out around antique furniture. But it’s not all antique furniture that scares him. It’s only French antique furniture. Apparently, he says that furniture made in the era of King Louis XIV freaks him out and suggested that he might have been beaten to death with an antique in a former life. The star also suffers from the fear of cayenne pepper and silver.


Tyra Banks is afraid of dolphins

Dolphins are one of the world’s favorite creatures, and everybody loves them. Or do they? It seems not. Model and Americas Next Top Model host and celebrity Tyra Banks suffers from delfiniphobia, an absolute terror of dolphins. She said she’s been scared of them since childhood, when she had recurring dreams of dolphins surrounding her. On her talk show, she confronted her fear of the creatures, but admits that “The fear is not over.”


Megan Fox is scared of paper

This is another really weird one. During an interview on The Tonight Show, Megan Fox told host Jimmy Fallon that she detests and fears dry paper. She said that when she reads scripts or a newspaper, she keeps a glass of water next to her so that she can dip her fingers in before she turns the page. But it seems that papyrophobia isn’t the only fear from which Fox suffers. She has also admitted to a severe fear of the dark. So much so, that she can’t walk through a dark room for fear of what she can’t see.


Oprah Winfrey has a fear of chewing gum

Strange but true, Oprah Winfrey, one of the toughest celebrities in the business, also has a hangup or two. It seems that she has what is called chiclephobia, which is the intense fear of gum. She once said that she believes this phobia came from her grandmother, who used to line up pieces of chewed gum in a cabinet. Winfrey apparently hates the stuff so much that she reportedly banned it from the offices of Harpo Studios.


Ellen Page is scared of tennis balls

This is another really weird one. It seems that Juno star Ellen Page is absolutely terrified of tennis balls. During an interview with Seth Meyers, she ‘fessed up to her irrational and intense fear of these little balls. Her phobia is so strong, she says, that she has to leave the room if tennis comes on the television. In her role of Kitty Pryde in X-Men: Days of Future Past, it seems that the fear she portrayed on screen was real because tennis balls had been used as props for scenes that relied on computer graphics.


Lance Bass is afraid of things that buzz

Former Nsync star Lance Bass is apparently afraid of all things that buzz. The American pop star, dancer, actor, producer and author from Mississippi rose to fame in the popular boy band, after which he moved into production and music management. Interestingly, Bass was certified by both NASA and the Russian space program after completing several months of cosmonaut training. Unfortunately, his financial sponsors backed out, and Bass was then denied a place on the mission.