25 Weird Phobias That Some People Actually Have

Published September 8, 2018
Updated July 31, 2019

You may think you have some irrational fears, but wait until you read about these weird phobias — which are more common than you probably thought.

Mortuusequusphobia: The fear of ketchup.

Weird Phobias Ketchup
While extremely rare, there are at least a few cases of people who are very uneasy around the famous red condiment. One sufferer said, "I'm more scared of Heinz 57 than I am of death."Pexels

Koumpounophobia: The fear of buttons.

Weird Phobias Buttons
People with this ailment cannot touch buttons, or even bear to look at them.Pixabay

Koro Syndrome: The fear of one’s genitals retracting into their bodies, resulting in death.

Weird Phobias
This is found most prevalently in Chinese, Japanese, and Indian men. Some with this fear will potentially go to extreme measures to pull their penis “back out” of their body, which has caused gruesome injury and death.Pixabay

Pharmacophobia: The fear of medicine.

Weird Phobias
Those with pharmacophobia obsess about all the side effects from prescriptions. These individuals are terrified to take medication because of the effects they may have on their bodies or psyche. They are also plagued by the perceived social stigma of needing medication to live a normal life.Pexels

Pogonophobia: The fear or irrational dislike of beards.

Fear Of Beards
Bearded men have been historically portrayed as untrustworthy — with the exception of Abraham Lincoln. There’s a reason why the majority of male political candidates are clean-shaven: It implies, to many, that they have nothing to hide. Pixabay

Didaskaleinophobia: The fear of going to school.

Fear Of Going To School
Social or performance anxiety is the main reason kids become afraid of school. But with the rise in unsafe school environments — as well as rampant bullying — one has to wonder if this phobia is increasing. With active-shooter drills now a part of a kids’ education, it would be no wonder if didaskaleinophobia was on the rise.Fibonacci Blue/Wikimedia Commons

Allodoxaphobia: The fear of other’s opinions.

Allodoxaphobia
Specifically, other people’s opinions of one's self. Today, for example, social media can trigger one’s fear of others' opinions to an uncomfortable level.Pixabay

Lepidopterophobia: The fear of butterflies.

Fear Of Butterflies
Some people say it’s butterflies' erratic flight patterns that make them uneasy. Pixabay

Nomophobia: The fear of not having access to one’s cell phone.

Fear Of No Cell Phone
It is believed that more than 50 percent of cell phone users are affected by nomophobia. There are four fears at work in nomophobia: The inability to communicate, the loss of connectedness in general, the inability to access information, and the loss of convenience.Pixabay

Robophobia: The fear of robots and other artificial intelligence.

Fear Of Robots
While the likes of Steve Wozniak, Stephen Hawking, and Elon Musk may not actually have full-on robophobia, each has warned humanity about the risks of taking artificial intelligence too far.Pixabay

Deipnophobia: The fear of dinner parties and dinner conversations.

Fear Of Dinner Parties
This phobia can be rooted in some combination of the anxiety associated with small talk and perceived judgment from others as well as a fear of eating in front of people.Pixabay

Phagophobia: The fear of swallowing.

Phagophobia
Individuals with this phobia can sometimes manage to swallow liquids and semi-solid foods after several attempts — which is what keeps them alive. However, they are usually both underweight and riddled with anxiety due to their phobia.Pixabay

Cardiophobia: The fear of your own heart’s functionality.

Cardiophobia
Mainly, this phobia is marked by an obsession over one's heart rate or the constant fear of it stopping. Sufferers may obsessively check their pulse or use monitors to gauge its every beat.Pixabay

Chemophobia: The fear of chemicals and compounds that are perceived to be synthetic.

Fear Of Chemicals
For some, this phobia is so bad that they have a fear of anything with a chemical-sounding name. Pixabay

Triskaidekaphobia: The fear of the number 13.

Fear Of Number 13
Superstition surrounding Friday the 13th is actually rooted in Christianity as the 13th guest at Jesus’ Last Supper, Judas, is a symbol of betrayal. Pixabay

Cherophobia: The fear of being happy.

Fear Of Happiness
Someone who has cherophobia simply avoids activities that could bring happiness. This doesn’t mean that they are continually sad — just anxious about the happiness being too fleeting or pointless. Pixabay

Trypophobia: The fear of clusters of circles or holes.

Fear Of Holes
Does the sight of a lotus pod make your skin crawl or make you nauseated? The medical community has been slow to officially recognize trypophobia, but scientists suggest the reaction of disgust may be evolutionary, and occur because of their resemblance to circles found on poisonous animals.Pixabay

Chiclephobia: The fear of chewing gum.

Fear Of Gum
Oprah Winfrey is perhaps this phobia’s most famous spokesperson. "I hate chewing gum," she told People magazine. "It makes me sick just to think about it." Pexels

Genuphobia: The fear of knees or kneeling.

Fear Of Knees
Trips to the beach are no fun for people who get the heebee-jeebees from knees — either from seeing them, or having theirs touched.Pixabay

Gymnophobia: The fear of being nude or seeing others nude.

Fear Of Nudity
Most people experience this personal anxiety to some degree, but gymnophobes avoid nudity at all costs. Sometimes this stems from excessive bullying or severe body image problems. It can also be linked to anxiety about sexuality in general.Wikimedia Commons

Melophobia: The fear of music.

Fear Of Music
People with melophobia are unusually sensitive to sudden and dramatic changes in tone — the core of what music is. A very small amount of people also experience musicogenic epilepsy: intense seizures brought on by certain songs or types of music.Pixabay

Autodysomophobia: The fear of emitting body odor.

Autodysomophobia
Sure, most of us make sure we’re relatively clean and probably use deodorant before leaving the house, but when you’re truly mortified of putting off any scents whatsoever, you can cross into autodysomophobic territory. This means obsessively checking and camouflaging any odor, imaginary or otherwise, until your anxiety just makes you stay home instead.Pixabay

Chorophobia: The fear of dancing.

Fear Of Dancing
Johnny Depp admitted on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that he "fears [dancing] more than anything in the world" and that he'd rather "swallow a bag of hair" than dance. Apparently he doesn't suffer from the next phobia... Pixabay

Chaetophobia: The fear of hair.

Fear Of Hair
Whether attached or unattached to a person, the sight or feeling of hair can cause extreme anxiety. Some even become obsessed about removing every hair on their body.Pixabay

Chromophobia: The fear of color.

Fear Of Colors
This phobia is mostly a conditioned response to color as a negative stimulus, but it can cause very real hormonal imbalances.Pixabay

There is a shocking array of phobias — weird phobias, especially — that plague the human race. It certainly seems like almost everyone is deathly afraid of something, and often something you might not expect.

According to The Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 19 million adults in the U.S. (8.7 percent of the population) suffer from a specific phobia.

Specific phobias can often be traced back to an explicit source or experience. It is a fear that is brought on by a particular event or trauma and it usually develops in childhood.

Some of these types of fears arise from the invention of new technologies: artificial intelligence, chemicals, and even cell phones. There are also more complex phobias that are a product of conditioning or life experience, genetics, and brain chemistry. And some strange phobias may also be remnants of early human behavior from a time when our ancestors lived in a more tense and threatening world.

Whatever their genesis, the important thing to remember about weird phobias is that various therapies can help people take control of these fears. That's why professionals encourage sufferers to seek help for their phobias, no matter how strange they may seem. Besides, it's virtually certain that someone somewhere probably has an even weirder phobia than yours.

See for yourself in the gallery of weird phobias above.


Next, discover more of the world's strangest phobias. Then, read about these famous people that you never knew had agoraphobia.

Erin Kelly
An All That’s Interesting writer since 2013, Erin Kelly focuses on historic places, natural wonders, environmental issues, and the world of science. Her work has also been featured in Smithsonian and she’s designed several book covers in her career as a graphic artist.