The Top 10 weirdest and wackiest phobias

Jessica Seftel

Fear grows in darkness. If you think there’s a boogeyman around, turn on the light! Snakes, spiders and heights are all it takes to send many running for the hills.

Public speaking mi­ght as well be called public sweating. For the majority of these fears, they’re all pretty normal. Then there are the uncommon ones, such as Melanophobia.

As bizarre as it seems, people are truly afraid of things that most would never think of. It is these strange phobias hat have inspired our countdown of the top 10 most unusual fears.

Starting the countdown is our number 10 most unusual fear, Melanophobia, or the fear of the color Black. Black is not a color but rather the absence of color or light. It would seem likely that black would have its roots with darkness and evil, so it is fairly understandable that some people would have such a fear.

Following at number nine is Pteronophobia, the fear of being tickled by feathers. Most people get annoyed simply by being tickled whether it is by a person or by an object, but the people that have this are genuinely scared of being tickled by feathers. The phobia most likely started with a point in their past where being tickled by feathers was linked with a truly emotional experience.

The number eight most unusual is Geliophobia, or the fear of laughter. People that suffer with this will have to stay away from movies, comedy clubs, television sitcoms as well as any public place where someone might laugh.

Coming in at number seven is Coulrophobia, the fear of clowns. Some would wonder what was so scary about a strange juggling man in yellow wigs, funny shoes, and faces caked in inch-thick white makeup. Others have been terrified since childhood, when mommy and daddy accidently let them watch the movie “Halloween.”

The number six fear is Par-askavedekatriaphobia: the fear of Friday the thirteenth. Each year this surprising phobia causes countless people needless distress. To add insult to an already distressing condition, most paraskavedekatriaphobia therapies take months or years and sometimes even require the patient to be exposed repeatedly.

Marking the halfway spot on the countdown at number five is Kathisophobia, the fear of sitting down. This seems to be more commonly known as akathisia, the fear or inability to remain motionless. One reported case was a man for whom sitting had become a symbol of his job as a gold worker. He hated his work so much that sitting brought about a neurotic response causing him to leap into the air all a-quiver.

At number four we have the fear of kissing, or Philematophobia. People find the idea of lips on lips completely intolerable, while others are afraid of having their tongues bitten off. Some are scared about picking up bacteria from someone else’s mouth. At the end of the day, most people just want to crawl into bed for a nice, long sleep.

For the people that suffer from the number three fear, Clinophobia, it isn’t that simple. These people have a fear of going to bed. Some believe that this is associated with a fear of going to sleep and dying. There was most likely a point in a person’s past that linked going to bed with emotional trauma. It is now time for the top two fears.

Making its way to number two (and apparently the longest word in the English Dictionary), is Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia, which translates literally to the fear of the number six-hundred sixty-six. The number 6-6-6 has the meaning of the number of the beast, or of the devil. People with this phobia are usually afraid of the actual numbers as opposed to the numbers adding up to this amount.

With that said comes the number one most unusual, Arachibutyrophobia, involving the irrational fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of one’s mouth.

Just as a bonus: Genuphobia, the fear of knees.

As listed, there are more then a few unheard phobias that are not given as much public attention, and not very known about. Don’t don’t forget to carry this list to Halloween parties! Simply knowing the names of these phobias is great fodder for small talk. Happy Halloween!

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