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In our daily lives, it’s practically impossible to avoid fears. Phobias can be bizarre or strange at times, but this does not make the fear any less real.

Celebrities, singers, and other well-known people are not immune to phobias. They may be famed and renowned in their fields, but when confronted with their anxieties and phobias, they react in the same manner that the rest of us do. Everyday objects such as dust, butterflies, and even pruned poolside fingertips can give them the creeps. Whether it’s a fear of flying, small spaces, or a fear of specific animals, phobias can get the better of us at times – especially the unexpected ones.

Here’s an intriguing list of celebs and their fears, some of which are rather common and others which are quite strange.

  1. Keanu Reeves: Scotophobia/Nyctophobia

He has committed some dangerous acts for his films, like Speed and The Matrix, and has not shied away from doing so in the future. He has battled with his girlfriend’s demise in an auto accident 18 months after the birth of his still-born child in his private affairs. With his close observation of homeless people, he has seen the darkness that life may bring. He has a phobia of darkness, which is ironic. When pressed, he describes his phobia as philosophical. He could simply be afraid of dying.

  1. Natalie Wood: Hydrophobia

This lovely actress from the past is still remembered for her roles in films such as 34th Street and West Side Story. The gorgeous lady was afraid of water. She was scared of being in the water, to be more exact. Though it is unknown how she acquired this fear, it is thought that as a little girl, she was duped by her mom into standing on a bridge that had been set up so that she would fall into the lake below. This trick is likely to have left a mark on her psyche. Natalie, unfortunately, drowned after falling off a boat one evening.

  1. Matt Damon: Ophidiophobia

While shooting “We Bought a Zoo,” Matt Damon was compelled to overcome his fear of snakes. Scarlett Johansson, who plays Matt Damon in the film, said that the scariest part was seeing Matt Damon scream like a child and swing back and forth because the snakes were placed all over the set.

The actor later admitted to People magazine that he is frightened of snakes. Scarlett and the kids pushed him into engaging with them.

  1. Johnny Depp: Coulrophobia

Johnny Depp’s fear of clowns is said to stretch back to his boyhood when he had dreams about clowns.

According to The Guardian, the actor has expressed his worry by saying that there always was darkness hiding just beyond the surface, a possibility for true evil. Depp said that he is terrified of them since it’s impossible to tell if they’re joyful or going to bite your head off because of their painted-on smiles.

His proclivity for clownish characters in Tim Burton films is ironic

  1. Nicole Kidman: Lepidopterphobia

Since she was a child, the Oscar winner has been terrified of butterflies. In an encounter with Contact Music, Kidman discussed how she dealt with her worries as a child in Australia.

She recalled that sometimes when she’d go home from school, the largest butterfly or bug you had ever seen would be resting on our front gate. To avoid going through the front gate, she’d climb over the fences, slither across to the side of the house.

  1. Justin Timberlake: Arachnophobia

Justin Timberlake is famous as a singer, a youth idol, and the lovely boyfriend of Jessica Biel. He is scared of spiders. Arachnophobia is a prevalent phobia that this fear reflects. Apart from spiders, Timberlake shies away from snakes and sharks.

  1. Madonna: Astraphobia/Brontophobia

Madonna, an American songwriter, singer, and performer, is one of the most daring musicians to have entered the music industry. She is still capable of creating a frenzy on stage, despite her age, with her seductive act and beauty. But what is it about this fearless individual that makes her fearful? The powerful woman, it appears, has a debilitating fear of thunderstorms. Madonna, who has spent her whole childhood surrounded by massive amounts of sound and light, is terrified of lightning and thunder.

  1. Lyle Lovett: Bovinophobia

Lyle Lovett, a well-known country music star, actor, and songwriter has an aversion to cows. Bovinophobia is a phobia that is associated with this fear. Lovett, who is also the ex-husband of Julia Robert’s, claims that his bovinophobia derives from a terrible leg fracture he sustained after being assaulted by a bull on his uncle’s property. When surrounded by cows, this star feels vulnerable and flees.

  1. Britney Spears: Herpetophobia

Britney Spears, a famous singer, socialite, songwriter, and loving mother of 2 sons has a reptile phobia. Herpetophobia is a widespread phobia characterized by a fear of reptiles. Spears stated that she is only afraid of the Komodo Dragon as well as other lizards.

  1. Woody Allen: Cynophobia

As a playwright, actor, musician, and comedian, Woody Allen is well-known. Not only does this Small Time Crooks star have a phobia of deer, but he also has fears of dogs, small spaces, and cancer. Overall, Allen has the most fears out of all the Hollywood stars and actresses. Cynophobia is a term used to describe a fear of dogs.

  1. David Beckham: Ataxophobia

This ex-captain of the English national football team is one of the most fashionable and well-dressed men you’ll ever meet. In many aspects, he is drool-worthy, and he has built himself a well-established life, job, and family. So, what exactly is it that frightens him? Well, it appears that disarray is his greatest dread. Mess and disorganization terrify David Beckham. Everything in his environment should be well-organized. Furthermore, he has stated that he lives with OCD, and as a result, he prefers things to be organized by size, quantity, and form, with even numbers only.

  1. Eric Berry: Equinophobia

Eric Berry is a hard-hitting Kansas City Chiefs cornerback who is most known amongst non-football fans for his battle with Hodgkin disease. When he’s on the field, though, he’s proved to be an exceptionally talented player. He’s appeared in three Pro Bowls and won First-Team All-Pro honors in his first 6 seasons. His greatest achievement, though, was confronting his greatest fear: horses. Berry has sought to overcome his severe phobia with the support of the NFL.

  1. John Madden: Claustrophobia/Aerophobia

Madden hasn’t boarded a plane since 1979. This one receives a higher rating because of the huge sum of revenue John Madden spent to avoid flying.

He just cruises across the territory in the “Madden Cruiser,” an $800,000 touring bus with all the bells and whistles. What is Madden’s motivation for doing this? Apart from that, it’s fantastic? He despises flying and becomes claustrophobic in confined places.

The Madden Cruiser may appear extravagant, but when matched to Floyd Mayweather’s manner of travel planning, it’s like taking the subway to work.

  1. Damian Lillard: Megalophobia

Damian Lillard, an All-Star point guard, is unafraid to compete against many of the world’s best athletes. The NBA is increasingly ruled by guards, and the Portland Trail Blazers are right up there with the best. Lillard has established himself as one of the game’s most critical players, not hesitant to take the game’s final shot. That’s not a problem for him. What he hasn’t gotten over is his dread of historic statues. You can put this phobia on a poor wax museum encounter.

  1. Rebecca Adlington: Thalassophobia

Rebecca Adlington is a former English freestyle swimmer who is no longer competing. Adlington won 2 gold medals in the 2008 Summer Olympics before deciding to hang up her goggles. It is tough to earn several medals at the Olympics, thus she should be recognized for her achievement. What’s more astounding is that she did all of this while being terrified of the sea and oceans. “I just don’t like not knowing what’s underneath me,” Adlington explained. Because they are guilty of the same crime, she doesn’t even enjoy fish.  If you ask us, that’s quite intense.

  1. Howie Mandel: Mysophobia

Howie Mandel has admitted to having OCD and Mysophobia. He won’t shake hands with anyone unless he’s wearing rubber gloves. He has been famous for fleeing germs at any cost. When NFL tailback Marshall Faulk gripped Howie’s hand and wanted to shake it in 2007, Howie screamed and fled off stage, washing his hands many times. While he was a juror on America’s Got Talent, this happened a couple of times more; once when a competitor tried to cough too closely to him, and another time when a participant dropped a piece of used dental floss very close to Howie.

  1. Emily Dickinson: Agoraphobia

Emily Dickinson’s poetry seems to obsessively focus on death, immortality and illness may have been linked to agoraphobia, and also her unusually reclusive disposition. She was born into a famous family in 1830 and spent the majority of her life as a lonesome spinster.

During her career, Dickinson wrote over 2,000 poems, many of which defied the standards of verse at the time by employing unusual short lines and rhymes. Her inventiveness was only equaled by her deep sense of loneliness. Her strict father prohibited her from having a social life, and she rarely had to leave her parents’ house in Amherst.

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Dickinson became increasingly reclusive in her final years, frequently conversing with visitors from behind closed doors instead of face-to-face. In 1864 and 1865, her only forays into the outer world were to see a doctor for eye problems. She never left her parents’ property again after the late 1860s.

  1. Whoopie Goldberg: Aviophobia

Whoopie Goldberg was not always afraid of taking to the air. However, in 1978, while resting on a hotel balcony in San Diego, she witnessed a horrifying mid-air crash that paralyzed her for the next 30 years. Her trips from New York to Los Angeles would involve a luxury bus, 2 shifts of drivers, and 24 hours of continuous travel. When she was faced with the idea of staging Sister Act outside of the United States in 2009, she had no choice but to face her concerns. Virgin Airlines CEO Richard Branson persuaded Whoopie to take his company’s one-day “Flying Without Fear” course—on live television! Flight simulators could help her spot fear patterns, while Thought Field Therapy, a feely-touchy treatment that involves unpleasant taps on the upper torso and hands, would reduce negativity. Finally, a short test flight, replete with sedative-wielding doctors, would “update” the flying experience.

Goldberg later admitted to having aviophobia, saying, “No, I haven’t gotten over it.” She made it over the Atlantic, but she still desires wheels and roads. She told CNN, “I feel like I shouldn’t be flying.”

  1. Martin Scorsese: Kinemortophobia

Not only did the iconic zombie film Isle of the Dead deliver shivers down Martin Scorsese’s spine as a 10-year-old, but a scene near the end of the film—in which a woman who has been laid to rest alive emerges from her grave, wearing a white shroud and pinned on personal revenge—scared the director-to-be so badly that he ended up running out of the theater screaming. He had nightmares about it for the rest of his life.

When he filmed the scary 2010 thriller Shutter Island, a rather uncharacteristic entry from the Goodfellas maestro, Scorsese claims he was at last able to face this long-festering anxiety. It’s a film in which invisible and awful traumas seem to lurk around in every nook, a tribute to Scorsese’s childhood horror films as much as an exorcism of fears and anxieties of childhood.

  1. Donny Osmond: Agoraphobia

Perhaps it was only a matter of time until Donnie Osmond developed a crippling fear of yet another treasured American institution: the shopping mall. While performing in the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Osmond suffered a panic attack so intense that he really feared he was dying, as he later wrote. It was part of a long-term pattern of social anxiety that had plagued him. One focus point became an intense phobia of shopping malls, where he believed everyone was mocking him.

Osmond met with a cognitive-behavioral therapist, who convinced him that many of his fears were unfounded. Buying a blouse at a shopping center and returning it the next day without disaster was one of his psychological workouts. “I survived,” Osmond once recalled.


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Phobia Insights

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