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Clown Fear Stems From What Their Makeup Conceals
What Makes Us
Fear Clowns Isn't
Past Encounters

What Makes Us Fear Clowns Isn't Past Encounters

Emotional intent hidden under makeup, negative pop culture portrayals cited in new research

(Newser) - You're not alone in your coulrophobia—far from it, in fact. A stunning 53.5% of people are afraid of clowns, a phobia that doesn't generally seem to stem from bad encounters with clowns at all, according to a new study. Researchers at the University of South Wales...

Phobias Kept Some From Looking at Stuck Ship
Canal Story
Lets Loose

Canal Story Lets Loose Phobias

Images of the Ever Given bothered people with certain fears

(Newser) - Many people were concerned or awed when they saw photos of the huge Ever Given stuck in the Suez Canal over the past week. But those with certain phobias were uncomfortable, even overcome with anxiety, the Guardian reports. "I'm genuinely terrified of large objects," said a woman...

Woman's Unwanted Guests: Dozens of Poisonous Spiders

Angela Wright of Brentwood, Tenn., was bitten by brown recluse spiders in her apartment

(Newser) - Arachnophobes beware , this story may not be for you. A Tennessee woman says dozens of poisonous spiders took up residence in her apartment. Angela Wright of Brentwood says she was recently bitten in the night while she slept and awoke to find several bumps on her body, reports WSMV...

Scientists Say They Can Remove Fears From the Brain

They hope to use the technique to treat phobias and PTSD

(Newser) - Why confront your fear in the hopes of overcoming it when scientists could just erase it from your brain? That's exactly what researchers say they may be able to do in a study published Monday in Nature Human Behavior . Currently, most treatments for phobias and PTSD involve drugs, which...

Your Fear May Make This Spider Look Huge

Arachnophobia may boost people's size estimates

(Newser) - When Noga Cohen, a grad student at Israel's Ben-Gurion University, spotted a spider one day, arachnophobe and fellow student Tali Leibovich freaked out about its size. Cohen thought that odd, because the eight-legged arachnid looked tiny to her, reports Live Science . And so a study was born. They set...

Woman Gets First Transplant Necessitated by Needle Phobia

Diabetic patient couldn't handle her daily insulin shots

(Newser) - It's not too strange to hear about a diabetic undergoing a pancreas transplant. What's unusual here is that the transplant was necessitated by the UK patient's extreme fear of needles—the first time that's happened anywhere in the world, the BBC reports. Sue York, 55, has...

13 Celebs With Bizarre Phobias

Including porcelain dolls, indoor houseplants, and seagulls

(Newser) - Halloween has passed, but the 32 celebrities rounded up by Ranker still have to deal with some very strange phobias. A sampling of their fears:
  1. Channing Tatum: pediophobia, fear of porcelain dolls
  2. Jennifer Love Hewitt: selachophobia, fear of sharks; she also has a fear of elevators
  3. Matthew McConaughey: cleithrophobia, fear

Boy's Very Rare Condition: Fear of Aging

Report: When he was 11, the boy ate less to stop growing, and lost 26 pounds

(Newser) - A 14-year-old boy in Mexico is possibly the first reported child in the world to have been diagnosed with gerascophobia, or an extreme fear of aging. His condition, described in Case Reports in Psychiatry in December and spotted by LiveScience , began two and a half years ago. It involves such...

Seizure Surgery Removes Man's Arachnophobia

Operation has a quite unintended consequence

(Newser) - A man's surgery for seizures had an unexpected result: When he woke up, he was no longer scared of spiders. The 44-year-old used to kill spiders with hair spray and a vacuum; now, he's fine with letting them crawl all over him, Medical Daily reports. The reasons aren'...

25 Strange Phobias of the Stars

House plants and butterflies and mirrors, oh my!

(Newser) - Everyone understands arachnophobia. But what about swinophobia—the fear of pigs? It's just one of the 25 strange celebrity fears rounded up by the Huffington Post :
  • Katie Holmes: Scared of raccoons.
  • Tyra Banks: Afraid of dolphins.
  • Orlando Bloom: Yep, he's the swinophobe.
  • Woody Allen: One of his many

Frog-Phobic Man Wins $1.6M Lawsuit

Developer turned his land into frog paradise

(Newser) - An upstate New York man terrified of frogs has won a seven-year legal battle with a developer who flooded his 40-acre property, attracting vast numbers of the amphibians. Paul Marinaccio—who says his fear of frogs began when he was a child in Italy and he was chased by a...

10 Weird Celebrity Phobias
 10 Weird Celebrity Phobias 
no horses!

10 Weird Celebrity Phobias

Dolphins and horses and butterflies, oh my!

(Newser) - Aretha Franklin wants to be an American Idol judge, but there could be a slight problem getting her to audition sites across the country: She's afraid of flying. Celebuzz lists nine other celebrity phobias, from the everyday to the downright bizarre:
  • Kristen Stewart: She's been scared of horses

Fear of Having No Cell Phone On the Rise

Nomophobia: Symptoms include trembling, sweating, and nausea

(Newser) - You cell phone is ... where again? If that question fills you with panic, you may be a nomophobe—someone who fears being without a cell phone, the Los Angeles Times reports. Odd as it may seem, two thirds of 1,000 people polled in a British survey say they feared...

11 Animals Celebs Fear
 11 Animals Celebs Fear 
guess who hates dogs?

11 Animals Celebs Fear

Apparently, MJ loved giraffes...but hated dogs

(Newser) - Sam Greenspan wants you to know that celebrities are, indeed, just like you. “But only if you have peculiarly irrational fears of flightless birds or farm animals,” he writes on , where he offers up 11 strange celebrity animal phobias:
  • Adolf Hitler, et al: He is joined

Scientists Think Injection Could 'Cure' Fear

Maybe some lidocaine in the cerebellum can erase phobias

(Newser) - A team of Japanese researchers say they’ve found evidence that a simple injection could turn off the brain’s ability to become afraid, or even reprogram it to eliminate certain phobias. The scientists say that since fear is a learned reaction, they should be able to find the part...

The Most Common Phobias
 The Most Common Phobias 
happy halloween

The Most Common Phobias

Don't like spiders and snakes? Join the club!

(Newser) - In honor of Halloween, LiveScience reveals the most common phobias. If you still need a costume, you'll scare the most people by playing on their evolutionarily sensible fear of creatures with venomous fangs. The top terrors:
  1. Snakes
  2. Spiders and other "creepy crawlies"
  3. Places that are difficult to escape, such

Girl's Death Hastened by Fear of Dentists

(Newser) - A British girl who died in 2005 from dehydration and starvation suffered from a severe fear of dentists that kept her from eating, the BBC reports. Sophie Waller was in and out of the hospital after she refused to eat when teeth came lose, but medical professionals mislaid her case....

It's Friday the 13th: What Do Celebs Fear?

Some fears normal; others just weird

(Newser) - Friday the 13th is a good time to delve into the scary world of celebrity fears—and they run the gamut from the average (Johnny Depp is afraid of clowns) to the bizarre (Roseanne fears letting anyone touch her toes). More from the list, compiled by New York Post columnist...

Tiny Shocks Win by a Nose
Tiny Shocks
Win by a Nose

Tiny Shocks Win by a Nose

Sense of smell shows electric response; technique could help PTSD patients

(Newser) - Electric shocks can sharpen the sense of smell, a finding that suggests new ways of altering sensory perception, the Chicago Tribune reports. MRIs showed subjects’ brains actually changing after researchers administered tiny shocks, which improved their ability to distinguish between similar smells. Because many psychological conditions relate to the senses,...

Humans Wired to Fear Snakes
Humans Wired to Fear Snakes

Humans Wired to Fear Snakes

Scientists find innate ability to discern slithering critters in the wild

(Newser) - Evolution seems to have given humans a hard-wired ability to recognize snakes and spiders, LiveScience reports. Intrigued by the widespread fear of serpents despite the fact that most humans rarely interact with them, researchers showed groups of adults and 3-year-olds natural scenes containing various hidden animals. Both groups were consistently...

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