Everyone is afraid of something.
Maybe you freeze up when you see a spider crawling across the wall.
Perhaps public speaking turns your legs into jello.
Or maybe even the thought of a clown keeps you up at night.
Whatever the case, it’d be hard to find a person who doesn’t have at least one thing
that breaks them into a cold sweat.
Just be thankful you don’t have any of the following phobias, or spiders and clowns would
be the least of your worries.
Join us, as we once again enter the exciting world of fear – here’s ten more of the
most bizarre phobias that people actually have.
Chaetophobia Anyone who’s seen a Japanese ghost movie
knows you can make hair scary.
However, if you suffer from Chaetophobia – The Irrational Fear of Hair – you really don’t
need the help.
The name is derived from the Greek word for “loose flowing hair” – khaite.
Sufferers can develop pathological anxiety around anything even remotely related to the
subject – whether it’s hair on people’s heads, loose hair on people’s clothes, or
even going bald.
People with Chaetophobia often experience the belief that hair is dirty, or somehow
has the ability to harm them.
This results in the desire to avoid it at all costs.
Emily White – a teenager from the UK – described her experiences with Chaetophobia as debilitating.
She told British newspaper The Daily Mail that she can only date men with shaved heads,
and that she once cried for a solid hour and a half after seeing a hair floating in the
It’s a condition that puts a huge strain on all social interactions, public and private.
Like most phobias, Chaetophobia is best treated with controlled exposure and cognitive behavioural
Allodoxaphobia If you asked someone with Allodoxaphobia what
they thought of their condition, they’d have no problem telling you.
However, if you told them your thoughts on the matter, they might have a panic attack.
That’s because Allodoxaphobia is the fear of opinions.
The name is derived from the Greek words “allo”, meaning “different”, and the Greek word
“dox”, meaning “opinion.”
It’s a sister phobia to Doxophobia – the fear of expressing your own opinions – except
with Allodoxaphobia, you’re afraid of other people expressing their opinions to you.
While this may seem almost comical at face value, the psychological roots of this phobia
are often tragic.
Children who are verbally abused or overly-criticised by teachers and caregivers are more likely
to develop Allodoxaphobia.
The phobia can also be caused by traumatic events involving the transfer of opinions.
Sadly, the results of this condition are equally tragic.
People with Allodoxaphobia are likely to withdraw from social situations in order to limit their
risk of exposure to other people’s opinions.
The resulting isolation often leads to loneliness and depression.
They’re exciting, mysterious creatures of myth.
But imagine if you had one of the biggest drawbacks of being a vampire, without any
of the cool powers to show for it.
If that’s the case for you, then you may be experiencing Heliophobia: a pathological
fear of the Sun.
The name is derived from the Greek word Helios, meaning – you guessed it – Sun.
This fear often comes from concerns about developing skin cancer, but even more extreme
cases can stem from a fear of photoaging or wrinkling.
Severe instances of sun damage, such as a particularly nasty sunburn, can be one of
the many triggers that sets the condition off.
Single mother Lucy Jeffries gave an interview to a British newspaper appropriately named
In this interview, she claimed that she’s barely left the house in daylight for two
years because of her Heliophobia.
The condition is often comorbid with Nosophobia, the fear of disease.
The cruel irony is that people suffering from Heliophobia are actually more likely to get
sick than people who aren’t.
Abstaining from natural light can cause serious Vitamin D deficiencies.
This can result in numerous health issues such as a weakened immune system.
fatigue, and bone pain.
When you’re suffering from Heliophobia, it’s literally hard to look on the bright
Oikophobia If Xenophobia is the fear of what’s different
– often used in the context of bigotry towards other nationalities – then Oikophobia is
the exact opposite: The fear of the familiar.
Its name is derived from the Greek word “Oikos”, meaning, loosely, one’s family, property,
People suffering from Oikophobia develop a fear of being inside their own home, or even
homes in general.
As well as a general anxiety and suspicion of common household items and appliances – such
as toasters and fridges.
Predictably, one of the chief causes of Oikophobia is experiencing some kind of trauma in the
Much like Xenophobia, the term Oikophobia has also taken on a political connotation.
People experiencing national or political Oikophobia are likely to become suspicious
of their own country and fellow citizens within it.
Unsurprisingly, usage of this term spiked in the US during the divisive 2016 election.
If you suffered from Oikophobia and Agoraphobia – the fear of having a panic attack in wide-open
spaces – there’d be pretty much nowhere you could feel at ease.
Decidophobia We all have to make tricky decisions in life.
For example: Which college we attend, which career path we pursue, and which partner we
Perhaps these decisions leave us feeling stressed, maybe even a little afraid.
But imagine if even minor decisions - like what to have for breakfast or what colour
socks to wear - could bring you to the edge of a panic attack?
That’s Decidophobia – the fear of making decisions.
Decidophobia is derived from the Greek and Latin word “decido”, meaning both “to
decide”, “to fall”, and in some translations, “to cut.”
People with Decidophobia are so clinically terrified of making decisions that some can
get panic attacks from even thinking about it.
Experts speculate that the root of Decidophobia is not the making of the decision itself,
but the possibilities lost to the sufferer when they settle upon that one decision.
In other words, they’re paralysed by the potential regret of the options they don’t
It goes without saying that this phobia can seriously impact your ability to live a productive
Ombrophobia There are thousands of videos on YouTube of
ambient rain noise, meant to help people study, chill, and even fall asleep.
However, for some people out there – namely, sufferers of Ombrophobia – this would be
like watching a horror movie to relax.
Ombrophobia – also known as Pluviophobia - is the irrational fear of rain.
Its name is derived from the Greek word “Ombros”, which means “storm of rain.”
This particular phobia is more common in children than adults, and tends to be comorbid with
a number of other phobias.
These include Antlophobia (the fear of flooding), Astraphobia (the fear of thunder), and Aquaphobia
(the fear of drowning).
Interestingly, Ombrophobia is a biological term as well as a psychological one.
In Botany, Ombrophobia refers to plants that cannot withstand heavy rain.
Ombrophobia is also more likely to occur in locations where heavy rain and monsoons have,
on occasion, proven to be dangerous, such as India and communities along the Amazon.
Thankfully for sufferers of this phobia still in adolescence, it’s common to simply grow
out of it once you mature.
Adults are recommended to try mild exposure therapy to treat their condition.
Spectrophobia Have you ever averted your eyes while walking
past a mirror?
Maybe it’s because you saw a horror movie where a ghost was watching from behind the
Maybe you suffer from low self-esteem, and just don’t like being reminded of the way
Or maybe you don’t even know why – you just feel this weird sense of dread whenever
you’re near one.
What you might have is a very mild case of Spectrophobia – defined as both a fear of
mirrors, and a fear of what you might see lurking within them.
Spectrophobia is derived from the Greek word “Spectro”, meaning “image” or “to
It covers a wide umbrella of mirror-related anxieties.
The condition’s purview can even extend to the fear of getting seven years bad luck
from smashing a mirror.
Spectrophobia – also referred to as Catoptrophobia – is often developed very early on in life
from traumatic personal experiences.
The fact that there are also countless horror movies that utilise mirrors for their scares
- from the 1979 movie Phantasm to the 2013 movie Oculus – definitely doesn’t hurt
the spooky reputation around this harmless household item.
But for Spectrophobes, the horror around mirrors doesn’t stop when the credits roll.
Linonophobia There’s no shortage of people who will happily
tell you that puppets are creepy.
From the murderous dummies in the popular Goosebumps series, to the more threatening
moments in the Disney classic Pinocchio.
However, imagine if you had no problem with puppets, but were utterly terrified of the
thing keeping them in the air?
If that sounds relatable to you, then you probably have an extremely rare condition
called Linonophobia: An irrational fear of string.
This is an actual phobia, we checked.
Derived from the Greek word “Lino”, meaning simply “String”, people suffering from
Linonophobia can experience extreme anxiety from even thinking about string.
If they ever actually see a piece of string – or, god forbid, a ball – a panic attack
is a possible outcome.
Linonophobes are likely to avoid any location that could possibly expose them to string,
such as fabric or craft stores.
Even seeing a loose string on someone’s clothes can be a traumatic event.
How someone actually gets Linonophobia, beyond the vague idea of “a traumatic incident
involving string”, is largely a mystery.
The phobia is so rare it can be difficult to obtain a decent sample size for scientific
Optophobia It’s likely that everyone watching this
had to get up early at some point in their lives.
As you try to wake, part of you really, really wants to keep your eyes closed, and sleep
for just a little bit longer.
Or, maybe, you’re at the movie theater – watching what critics have called “The scariest movie
of the decade!”
During the first big scare, you clamp your eyes shut, and hope nothing can get through
This is an extremely mild version of everyday life for a person suffering from Optophobia.
That is, the irrational fear of opening your eyes.
The name is derived from the Greek word “Opto”, meaning “eye.”
People suffering from Optophobia experience an immense fear that they’ll be exposed
to frightening stimuli if they open their eyes.
Often comorbid with other phobias and Generalized Anxiety Disorder, the core concept of Optophobia
is shielding yourself from things that might frighten you further.
Optophobes seek to isolate themselves into areas they perceive as safe, and lacking threatening
Suffering from this phobia can prevent you from doing pretty much anything, so it’s
crucial to get it treated with anti-anxiety medication and therapy as soon as possible.
Arachibutyrophobia Hard to spell, hard to pronounce, and even
harder to understand.
For millions of people worldwide suffering from peanut allergies, it’s totally rational
to be frightened of peanut butter.
In mild cases, peanut consumption can result in rashes, and in severe cases, anaphylactic
shock and even death.
Arachibutyrophobia, however, is not just the fear of peanut butter.
Specifically, it’s the irrational fear of getting peanut butter stuck to the roof of
This strange phobia often comes as a package deal with pseudodysphagia, the fear of swallowing
or choking while swallowing.
Its name is derived from the Greek “arachis” (meaning ground nut) and “butyrum” (meaning
The upside of this strange and extremely specific phobia is that it can be avoided by not eating
Reese’s Pieces and turning down PB+J sandwiches.
However, if you’re part of the extremely small demographic of Arachibutyrophobes who
also happen to really love peanut butter, there are other solutions.
Like most phobias, Arachibutyrophobia can be treated by controlled exposure in a clinical
setting and a course of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
If the treatment goes well, rest assured, you’ll be back to eating handfuls of peanut
butter M&Ms in no time.
So, there you have it, folks.
Some of the most bizarre phobias people actually experience.
Maybe the next time you see a spider, or you’re asked to give a presentation at work, or you’re
sleepless with the thought of clowns, you’ll think about this.
At least, once the fear is over, you’ll be able to open your eyes, look at yourself
in the mirror, and enjoy a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
We here at The Infographics Show suffer from Noclickaphobia, which is the fear of working
really hard on fun content and nobody clicking it.
So why not give us a hand by clicking this video over here, or maybe you prefer this
other one here.
Either way, we guarantee you’ll have fun and you’ll help keep our writers from hiding
under their desks!