Everyone is afraid of something, right? If you know anyone who claims they are fearless, they’re most likely lying. But simply being afraid of something and having a phobia are actually pretty different. When trying to differentiate the two, a phobia is considered “an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something.” And just like plebes like us, celebrities have phobias too.
While pretty much everyone is familiar with arachnophobia (the fear of spiders), coulrophobia (the fear of clowns), and acrophobia (the fear of heights), some phobias, let’s just say, are a bit more ~unique~. We’re not judging, but some of these irrational fears are just plain bizarre. For example, the fear of doorknobs is called ostiumtractophobia and there’s a celebrity on this list who’s got it! Look no further to see some real phobias that uber-famous stars experience. It just might make you feel better about some of your own quirks!
16. Channing Tatum: porcelain dolls
Poor Channing Tatum had to admit his fear of porcelain dolls on Ellen… because the host scared him with them! This fear is honestly understandable, especially for anyone who has seen The Conjuring or Annabelle. This phobia also has a name, called pediophobia. Channing told Ellen DeGeneres, “I just think they’re freaky! I just think they’re really super freaky. They have, like, real eyes and they look real. I just imagine when I walk by them their heads turn with you the whole time.” We totally agree with Channing! Looks like Everly Tatum won’t be playing with any porcelain dolls while she’s growing up…
15. Johnny Depp: clowns
Now, Johnny Depp has a fairly common phobia, coulrophobia, which is the fear of clowns, but it seems so strange to know that he has this phobia in particular. Given his profession and the characters he plays, it’s totally out of left field to know that he’s afraid of people in costume! Way back when his film Sleepy Hollow premiered, he opened up about his fear and how superstitious he is about it. “I have this fear of clowns. So I think that if I surround myself with them it will ward off all evil. Something about the painted face, the fake smile. There always seemed to be a darkness lurking just under the surface, a potential for real evil.” Coulrophobics found their new celebrity icon!
14. Billy Bob Thornton: antique furniture
We bet you never expected to read a sentence like that! But yes, Billy Bob Thornton, the same man who wore droplets of his GF Angelina Jolie‘s blood in a locket around his neck, has a fear of antique furniture. The fear furniturephobia (yes, really) isn’t specific to just antiques but includes all movables in general – new, old, vintage, antique, etc. Many years ago, Billy Bob got candid about his fear, saying that his friends often poke fun at him because of it. He said “Maybe it’s a past life thing and I got beat to death with an old chair. But I’m totally serious. I can’t eat around antiques.” Never invite him to go antiquing with you!
13. Oprah: chewing gum
Oprah might be the most successful woman on the planet, but she has a pretty quirky phobia. Her fear of chewing gum has a name, called chiclephobia. Apparently, the fear can include both being around someone else chewing gum or doing it yourself. In 2010, Oprah told People magazine, “I hate chewing gum. It makes me sick just to think about it. When people chew loudly or smack it and pull it out of their mouth, that’s the worst.” That’s pretty gross, but having a phobia about it is next-level.
12. Pamela Anderson: mirrors
For a woman who is known for her appearance, it’s extremely surprising to learn that Pamela Anderson is afraid of mirrors. The fear is called spectrophobia and can get super intense for a person who suffers from it. For this actress and model, her fear of mirrors also extends to watching herself on TV. She told U.K.’s Daily Mail, “I have this phobia — I don’t like mirrors. And I don’t watch myself on television. If anything comes on, I make them shut it off or I leave the room.”
11. Sarah Michelle Gellar: cemeteries
Well this one certainly is a shocker considering Sarah Michelle Gellar‘s most popular character, Buffy Summers, spent about 99% of her time in graveyards on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But the actress is, in fact, terrified of cemeteries. The fear is called coimetrophobia, defined as the fear of where bodies are buried. She has admitted that her phobia did impact her work on the famous show. Sarah said, “I have an irrational fear of cemeteries and being buried alive. It’s really hard to be a vampire slayer if you’re scared of cemeteries.” TRUE.
10. Orlando Bloom: pigs
Orlando Bloom must have had a bad run-in with a pig once. He has swinophobia, which is the fear of pigs. We’re not sure if his fear of pigs extends to their meat as well (does he eat bacon?!), but a living pig is no friend of Orlando’s. Apparently, while he was filming Kingdom of Heaven, a pig got loose on set and Orlando bolted out of there. He might be embarrassed by the fear, as he hasn’t really spoken publicly about it since the news broke.
9. Jennifer Love Hewitt: elevators
We all have probably experienced that brief moment of terror when we’re convinced the elevator we’re on has stopped and left us trapped, but if that fear persists irrationally, it’s possible you’ve got something big in common with Ghostwhisper
star, Jennifer Love Hewitt. Being terrified of elevators falls under the realm of claustrophobia, as people are afraid of getting trapped inside of an elevator, which is a small, confined space. She once said, “My biggest fear is claustrophobia and that’s not a good one to have… ‘Let’s fit 90 people in and go up to floor 68’ – not my thing. I can’t do more than five people.” She is also afraid of sharks (galeophobia)! So, don’t expect to see her in the next Sharknado movie boarding an elevator.
8. Tyra Banks: dolphins
She might be America’s Next Top Model, but Tyra Banks will never have a job at a place like SeaWorld. She is terrified of dolphins! Tyra experiences delfiniphobia, which is the fear of dolphins, but for Tyra, it extends to basically all sea mammals. She tried to conquer the fear on TV, but there were many, many tears involved. She has had this fear since she was a child and she admitted, “The fear is not over. I’ve gotten a little past it, but there is something that still lives inside me.”
7. Matthew McConaughey: revolving doors
Matthew McConaughey is not big on revolving doors. He has entamaphobia, which is the general phobia of doors, but Matthew’s fear is specific to revolving doors. Maybe he got trapped inside of one as a child? Matthew said, “I get anxious just being near them.” Entamaphobia is linked to claustrophobia and agoraphobia, which is the fear of places and situations that might cause panic, helplessness, or embarrassment.
6. Taylor Swift: sea urchins
Have you ever stepped on a sea urchin? If you have, you might be able to understand this phobia! Taylor Swift opened up about her fear pretty extensively on The Ellen Show saying, “It has barbs, and it goes into whatever it touches, and then you have to go the emergency room, and it has to be surgically removed. You could lose your foot. You could lose your hand. You could lose your hand trying to get it off of your foot! I don’t like sea urchins.” The fear of shellfish, in general, is called ostraconophobia, but her reasoning sounds pretty legit – so we’re not sure if this really counts as an irrational fear/phobia.
5. Cameron Diaz: doorknobs
We’ve never been to Cameron Diaz’s house, but we imagine that every door must be open in her home. But maybe because it is her own home, she isn’t as afraid. While the fear of doorknobs is ostiumtractophobia, Cameron’s is a combination of that and mysophobia, which is the irrational fear of germs. Cameron’s described that she obsesses over the germs that linger on doorknobs and apparently, she has cleaned the doorknobs in her LA home so many times, the original paint came off of them!
4. Adele: seagulls
Not everyone is a fan of birds and that includes Adele. Her fear of seagulls is called ornithophobia, which is the irrational fear of birds. Adele once told Metro, “I was walking down the promenade in Tenby, eating a 99 when this huge f*cking seagull came down and swiped it off me. I’ve still got a scar from its claw on my shoulder. I thought it was going to take me away with it. I’ve got a phobia of seagulls now.” The Bachelorette’s Kaitlyn Bristowe has the same fear!
3. Nicki Minaj: escalators
Nicki Minaj hasn’t talked about her fear of escalators, but the story broke after she caused a scene at the 2011 National Basketball Players Association Gala in Los Angeles. The story goes that she refused to get on an escalator and no one on her staff was able to persuade her to do so. The fear of escalators is called escalaphobia and can also be linked to bathmophobia, which is the fear of stairs and slopes. Guess she usually opts in for the elevator!
2. Megan Fox: dry paper
This one is probably the most out there of the bunch and furniture and spoons are on this list. Megan Fox is afraid of dry paper (which is just regular paper). The irrational fear of paper is called papyrophobia and it must make going to school really tough. And for Megan, it must be extra tough seeing as an actress he needs to read a script for all her movies! Maybe she can snag a digital copy? She opened up about her fear to Jimmy Fallon, saying, “I just can’t stand it. Scripts, newspaper or anything that’s not laminated, I can’t touch it with my hands!”
1. Liam Payne: spoons
If you weren’t a huge fan of One Direction, chances are you’ve never heard about Liam Payne’s fear of spoons. This fear’s official name is called koutaliaphobia and it has plagued Liam since he was a child. He has spoken about this phobia a few different times and explained that it isn’t all spoons, but spoons that are not his own. He told Capital FM, “It is a bit weird. When I was a kid I was a bit naughty at school and when you were naughty they made you do the washing up. I had to wash all these nasty spoons and then it’s just stuck with me after. I don’t know what people are doing with their spoons, I don’t want to know!” Does this mean that Liam brings his own spoons when going out to restaurants? Sure seems likely!