Afraid of What!? Strange Fears of Things that Don’t Even Exist

Sure, we’ve all heard of the common phobias such as claustrophobia, the fear of closed-in places, or acrophobia, the fear of heights. In fact, we all have fears; some people have more fears than others and some are severe while others are mild.

Some fears are completely unjustified,but if you say you don’t have any fears, then perhaps one thing you’re afraid of is telling the truth!

So, we’ve established that fears are normal; however, there are some individuals that are afraid of some not-so-normal things. Sure, there are some strange phobias out there, but none stranger than that of things that don’t exist.


1. Spectrophobia: Fear of ghosts (Boo!)

It’s true that some people truly believe in ghosts and some don’t so this is certainly up to your interpretation. However, with the help of Hollywood with movies such as the Poltergeist movie series, the perception of ghost, whether you believe in them or not, is highly magnified; not only on the big screen, but to the public. Movies certainly help to let our imaginations go to new heights when it comes to creepy things such as ghosts.

Most people that have spectrophobia (the fear of ghosts) realize that this is an irrational fear and that there’s truly nothing to be afraid of. These people may be afraid to be in old, empty houses, dark places, or quiet woods, especially at night; even though the logical side of them says that nothing will happen.


2. Ambulothanatophobia: Fear of zombies

Ambulothanatophobia is fear of the walking dead, or zombies. It’s a long name for something so irrational, but if you break it down, it makes sense. Ambulo is Latin for “walking”, thanato is Latin for “death”, and of course phobia means “fear”.

This is a genuine fear in which it can be argued that Hollywood is somewhat responsible for with movies such as the Resident Evil movies and Dawn of the Dead. Though most people realize that zombies aren’t real, individuals with this fear let their imaginations get the best of them.


3. Demonophobia (also called Daemonophobia): Fear of demons

Demons are said to be evil spiritual beings. Now, again we might run into an issue where some people think that demons are real while others feel that it’s nonsense. Either is fine, but individuals with this fear take the fear to the extreme and often realize that it’s irrational. Like people with spectrophobia (mentioned above), people suffering from demonophobia would most likely be afraid to go into an old, dark house, or be alone in the woods.


4. Pneumatiphobia: Fear of spirits

Pneumatiphobia, the fear of spirits, is very similar to spectrophobia and demonophobia. This fear however is more broad and open to all supposed forms of spirit life. Because some people believe that there are spirits all around us, this can be a truly dehabilitating, though the individuals who suffer from it do realize how silly it is.


5. Wiccaphobia: Fear of witches

Though there are individuals that still have a fear of witches and witchcraft, it was a lot more prominent in the days of the Salem Witch Trials.

These days, we have people who openly practice witchcraft and it’s perfectly lawful in the United States for them to do so. However, if you have wiccaphobia, this could be very disturbing.


6. Sanguivoriphobia: Fear of vampires

The literal translation of sanguivoriphobia is “the fear of blood eaters”, or quite simply put, the fear of vampires. Again, with all of the vampire movies out, some individuals are bound to go a little overboard and take things a bit too literally.


7. Teratophobia: Fear of monsters

Though not a very common fear in people over the age of ten years old, teratophobia (the fear of monsters) does indeed exist. Though for the most part, we all suffered from it as a child for at least a short amount of time.


8. Phagophobia: Fear of eating, or being eaten

Perhaps phagophobia should be a fear in farm animals or wild game animals, but it’s definitely an unreasonable fear for a human to have. Though there have been some gruesome real stories over the years of true cannibalism, the chances of you really getting eaten aren’t very good.


9. Spakafobia: Fear of aliens

Now, here’s one that can truly be controversial. Do you believe in aliens? Maybe, maybe not. Do you believe that people on Earth have ever been abducted by aliens? If you’re a believer in the movie Fire in the Sky (1993), then you certainly are. Whether you believe in aliens or alien abductions or not, most of us can agree that the chances of you getting abducted are slim to none. However, some people suffer from this fear so badly that they may even be afraid to leave their house.


10. Capgras Syndrome: Fear of an individual being replaced by an imposter

Capgras Syndrome is actually a condition, but the condition is a fear. Individuals with this condition fear that a person or people normally a spouse or immediate family member, has been abducted and replaced by an imposter that looks exactly the same.

Can you imagine trying to convince someone that you really are you? If they truly believe that you’re not, they will only get more paranoid and defensive against you for trying to convince them otherwise.


11. Ornithoscelidaphobia: Fear of dinosaurs

Individuals who suffer from ornithoscelidaphobia perhaps watched the Jurassic Park movies a little too much. As any rational person can see, the fear of dinosaurs is a truly illegitimate fear since these animals have been extinct for a long time. It’s quite possible that people suffering from this fear also realize that it’s irrational, but they can’t help it.


12. Automatonophobia: Fear of wax statues, ventriloquist dummies

The fear of wax statues and ventriloquist dummies, or automatonophobia, is caused by people thinking that these inanimate objects will come alive. While it’s true that the items these people are afraid of exist, the fear of what they believe may happen isn’t real. Of course movies such as Child’s Play harbor that fear in people. Remember Chuckie?


13. Gnomophobia: Fear of gnomes

Gnomophobia is the fear of garden gnomes. Of course no one is afraid of a garden gnome if they realize that it’s an inanimate object. However, some people are afraid that the gnome may come to life and attack them. Perhaps this is a childhood fear that some people never grew out of.


14. Santaphobia: Fear of Santa Clause

When you were a child, you may have suffered from Santaphobia, the fear of Santa Clause. Why not? Your parents try to teach you not to talk to strangers and then they put you on some fat guy’s lap. The guy is covered in hair and red clothing. What are you supposed to feel? Seriously, there are some children that have the fear for longer than a season or two and it can put a slight crimp in the holiday festivities.


15. Bogyphobia: Fear of the boogieman

Seriously, this is a true phobia. Sure, you may have feared the boogieman when you were a child, but some people don’t outgrow it. Some individuals have been known to have full blown anxiety attacks from fearing that the boogieman will get them.

Leave a Comment

  1. mgabrys says:

    Santa clause. that's a movie – santa CLAUS – that's a person. Proof read fail – have another drink! mmmm yummy booooooze. You can't spell good writing without B.O.O.Z.E.

  2. Josh says:

    Most of the words in phobia names are Greek, not Latin. "Ambulo" may be Latin for walking, but "thanatos" is Greek, and so is "phobia".

  3. WaKluk says:

    wait… Santa doesnt exist?

  4. Alexandros says:

    The word before -phobia is almost always Greek, just like phobia itself. "Thanato" comes for the greek word "thanatos".

  5. Guffy says:

    wax statues and ventriloquist dummies dont exist? hmmm

  6. All you would have to do is read the very first line of that fear to see that it is the fear they will come to life…

  7. jdoey says:

    Any of those two twins can replace my girlfriend…aint no fear in that!

  8. Dan says:

    I discovered my fear of dinosaurs when seeing Jurassic Park for the first time. Apparently, going to AMNH as a toddler and collecting plastic dinosaurs before you are past the typical age for night terrors can have a lasting impact.

  9. healthmog says:

    Yes of course, Santa Clause the movie infected my brain as a child. His elf friend was real scary, even more so then John Lithgow.

  10. wisecracker says:

    Fear of being trapped in Santa Claus' sack of toys is…santaclaustrophobia.

  11. jmxz says:

    Fear of God?

  12. Guffy says:

    Point taken, but it (along with the garden gnome one) is a fear of something that exists for invalid reasons.

  13. Wakkadude21 says:

    For a second, I thought the Jurassic Park 3 pic was for Capgras Syndrome, because the T-Rex was replaced by that douchey spine guy.

  14. strix says:

    candlejack, candlejack, cand…

  15. Matthew says:

    Zeusophobia – Fear of God or gods. God doesn't exist, so this should be included in the list.

  16. yes says:

    wow you're fucking stupid

  17. tom_mandory says:

    fear of GOD. another perfect example of a fictional character that does not exist.

  18. Jaci says:

    I actually am scared of aliens, grays specifically. movies like Signs with mel gibson freak me out. I actually am a little glad I have that fear rather than a normal one because I know I never really have to face it in real life (at least I really hope I never have to face it…).

  19. Matthew says:

    Jaci — here's a couple of movie suggestions for you if you haven't seen them already: Fire in the Sky and Communion.

  20. Ken says:

    I find the explanations for 1,3, and 4 particularly offensive. Not because I myself believe in ghosts, demons or spirits, but because the writer assumes that most people who fear these things admit that it is a silly fear and that there is no real basis for that fear. The belief of spirits and demons has been around for longer than the written word, and to chalk the fears of them as 'silly' is offensive. There are people, especially religious people, who truly believe in demons and spirits and would never consider the fear of those things 'silly'.

  21. Mariam67 says:

    Great article! I am pretty scared of zombies myself- I have nightmares about them, especially after watching Dawn of the Dead. My brother is so afraid of Chuckie from Child's Play he doesn't like to go into movie stores for fear of seeing the box. So either these fears are more common than you'd think, or we're just weird.

  22. Laurus says:

    I am afraid of shopping 🙂 Does anybody knows what is the official title for that type of fear?

  23. WHATEVER says:

    Well…to tell you the truth…DINOSAURS ARE NOT EXTINCT *well still what you think are dinosaurs are extinct* BiRdS aRe DiNoSaUrS. *ok i did not mean to make everyone thats afraid of dinosaurs chicken of chicken!*

  24. Max says:

    Some more awesome phobias here:

  25. the people who their heads were stuck on to do anyways.

  26. Oh god that was really fearful photos. I couldn't see those photos.

  27. Gruhn says:

    I'm afraid of mailboxes but here is a cartoon for people who are afraid of heights.

  28. lah says:

    god is real

  29. lah says:

    thats why it wasnt on their

  30. chantel says:

    ok now i am scared 🙁

  31. Danielle says:

    i fear cathy comerford of ayer massachusetts. i have cathyophobia.

  32. Amelia says:

    i am claustrophobic, acrophobic, and gnomophobic. They just sit there thinking about how you will die, what will bring you death! I mean, think about it! if all the nursery rhymes were made by gnomes, then they MUST be evil! I mean, almost every nursery rhyme is about death; rock a bye baby, on the tree top, when the wind blows the craddle will DROP!!!!! Jack and Jill ran up the hill to fetch a pail of water, JACK FELL DOWN AND BROKE HIS CROWN AND JILL CAME TUMBLING AFTER!! Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, humpty dumpy HAD A GREAT FALL!!!! Ring around the rosies, pocket full of posies, ashes, ashes, WE ALL FALL DOWN!!!!! Come on people!! This is wut we r teaching our kids!!!!!!

  33. Amelia says:

    sorrry. I had a spaz attack… 😉

  34. Duane says:

    What about "being religious?"

  35. Angel . says:

    I have a fear f aliens :S

  36. kate says:

    how do you know that ghosts and spirits arnt real??

  37. Bryce says:

    I have ornithoscelidaphobia and it sorta made me laugh at how they defined it on this site. For one, I got my fear when I was little and my dad practically forced me to watch Jurassic Park. Second, I know that dinosuars are extinct, I know that they are not here, but I still am terrified of them. I always lock my doors because then the dinosuars can't get in….

  38. Bernadette says:

    I also have ornithoscelidaphobia. The funny thing is, it set in as I got older, maybe about the 7th grade. To be fair we went on a field trip with life size mechanical dinosaurs at the local science museum and I think that may have done it. I had to scroll past the image on the site pretty fast so as not to panic because it has gotten to the point where I hyperventilate or get down on the ground and curl into a ball. I know it is completely irrational, but it doesn't change my reaction at all.