Below you will find a list of fears and strange phobias related to Halloween. While fear and phobia are often used interchangeably, there is a big difference between having a fear of needles and having a needle phobia.
To qualify as a phobia the person must be impaired in some way by their fear. Using the example hemophobia from our list of fears below, impairment would be refusing to get medical care because of a needle phobia. For more details about other strange phobias related to Halloween, check out the list of phobias below.
List of Fears and Halloween Phobias
Samhainophobia leads our list of fears because it is the fear of Halloween, which gets its named from the historic Festival of Samhain. For people who experience a fear of Halloween, the entire month of October can be very stressful. Samhainophobia is more common in children than adults, but there are many kids who keep the fear of Halloween into adulthood.
These people can experience anxiety, invasive thoughts, unrelenting fear and even terror because we are talking about a phobia and not a simple fear of Halloween. Halloween decorations can be a real nightmare to navigate around for individuals with Samhainophobia.
Focusing on the upcoming Christmas (Hannukah, etc) holiday is a good coping mechanism for individuals with an intense fear of Halloween. Having a fear of Halloween can also lead to other strange phobias, like cucurbitophobia, related to the holiday festivities.
Ailurophobia is an intense fear of cats and made our list of fears because cats are a classic Halloween symbol. This can seem like a strange phobia and be hard to understand for people who don’t have ailurophobia.
After all, what could be scary about those cute, cuddly, furry little balls of heaven. However, if you have ailurophobia, these creatures can elicit terrible anxiety, a rapid heart rate, nausea and even terror.
People with this phobia will avoid being exposed to cats at all costs. They will turn down invitations to parties or just not show up if they find out there are cats wandering around the party.
The fear is so strong that they will change plans, take different routes and do whatever they can to avoid being in the presence of a cat. People with ailurophobia may face a stigma, be laughed at or have their fears dismissed by friends who don’t understand how deep-seated the phobia is.
For these reasons, they may choose to avoid friends with cats rather than come forward and admit their fears. The fear of cats can be so strong that a person may accidentally jump in front of traffic to get away from a cat emerging from bushes.
Movies and tv shows with cat scenes can also cause anxiety and a stress response in people with ailurophobia.
Arachnophobia is the irrational fear of spiders and it may be the most common phobia on our list of fears. Up to 30% of Americans exerience a spider phobia, with women suffering more than men. Like many other phobias the person may be aware that their fear of spiders is irrational, but that doesn’t help calm the anxiety or pervasive thoughts.
Many people have a natural fear of spiders but people with a full blown spider phobia will be uncontrollably alert about a nearby spider and will avoid places known to have spiders. For example, if a spider is in a nearby room, the person will be unable to relax and suspect every movement they see is the spider getting closer.
I suspect that I have a spider phobia. I’ve been known to sleep in a different room for days after spotting a spider on my bedroom ceiling and used to have nightmares with tons of spiders.
People with a spider phobia may also avoid places where a previous incident with a spider has happened, and this can include their own home.
Some people are specifically afraid of being bitten by spiders and many people with arachnophobia will avoid images of spiders, just as they avoid actual spiders. You will notice that King Halloween has a lot of imagery, but very few pictures of spiders even though these arachnids are classic symbols of Halloween.
Spiders definitely top my list of fears. What makes the top of your list?
Chiroptophobia is a severe and overwhelming fear of bats. Bats are a classic symbol of Halloween so chiroptophobia is a great addition to our list of fears. People with chiroptophopia experience many of the same anxiety related symptoms common with other phobias. For example, they may tremble, have an increased heart rate, begin sweating and even run away when a bat is nearby.
Individuals with chiroptophobia have such a strong fear of bats that they will avoid any situation where exposure to bats is possible. Sometimes people with a fear of Halloween will also have a fear of bats because bat decorations are associated with Halloween.
It’s also common for chiroptophobia to be confused with a fear of birds, but they are two differently classified strange phobias.
People with a fear of bats will often be afraid of having bats swarm and fly around their head. This kind of experience feels life threatening and can seem like the end of the world.
Coulrophobia is the name for people with a clown phobia who have an intense fear of clowns. People often ask:
What is the fear of clowns called?
My answer is:
The fear of clowns is normal, or at least it should be.
What’s not to be afraid of!
If you are out walking your dog at night and see a bright white clown face in the distance, moving towards you, the correct response should be fear.
However, coulrophobia is on our list of fears because having a fear of clowns is very different from having a clown phobia.
People with a clown phobia can experience physical symptoms like sweating, rapid heart rate, nausea, trembling and intense anxiety when faced with clowns or even items that are associated with a clown.
The clown phobia is so powerful these individuals will avoid parades, amusement parks or any other event where they are likely to encounter a clown. Having coulrophobia means being afraid of encountering a clown, even when it’s not likely to happen.
The fear of clowns is very different for the average person than it is for someone with a clown phobia. Many people will see a clown and think it’s creepy, but a person with coulrophobia believes the clown poses a danger.
Halloween must be a difficult time for individuals with a clown phobia, especially with the popularity of evil clown party themes and the random clown sightings.
The reboot of Stephen King’s IT has also brought back the love for killer clowns on Halloween. People with a clown phobia can also develop one of the strange phobias called globophobia, a fear of balloons.
Cucurbitophobia is the fear of pumpkins, which can often be triggered around Halloween time. While uncommon, this one is a necessary addition to our list of fears and Halloween phobias. Cucurbitophobia is more frequently found in children and can be outgrown like quite a few other phobias.
A fear of pumpkins can look similar to a fear of Halloween to an outsider because the person will become anxious as Halloween decorations begin filling front yards. Both of these can appear as strange phobias to family and friends, but they cause anxiety and stress symptoms similar to many other phobias.
Demonophobia is the fear of demons, which might sound like one of the more strange phobias. However, if you have seen the Paranormal Activity films and aren’t afraid of demons, then you weren’t paying attention.
Demonophobia is a strong addition to our list of fears. Ghosts are scary enough, but demons are like ghosts on steroids with more focus and determination.
Everyone should have a fear of demons, if you believe demons exist that is. The average person can dismiss this fear of demons with minimal effort. For people with demonphobia, the fear becomes persistent and interferes with life.
The person may focus on daily rituals to protect themselves from being possessed by the demons.
Demonphobia can be rooted in religious believes and it can be difficult to escape because the existence of demons can be reinforced by religion.
Being alone at night can be terrifying for a person with demonophobia and random sounds may be assigned significance and credited to demon phenomena. Eventually demonophobia may lead to the person to develop a serious fear of the dark too.
Hemophobia is the next on our list of fears and is the fear of blood. A person with hemophobia doesn’t just fear their own blood. The sight of other people bleeding, injured animals and even printed images like those seen in the blood bath theme can cause a panic response.
Unlike other phobias, there is not a lot of debate about whether hemophobia is real. It is recognized as an actual fear of blood and a true phobia. One reason for this is because people with hemophobia often have a sudden and dramatic response to the sight of blood.
Unlike other phobias, hemophobia can trigger a vasovagal response when the person sees blood. This causes the blood pressure to drop suddenly and the person will pass out. It’s very hard for professionals to deny the existence of hemophobia when a little blood causes a person to faint in front of them.
Individuals with a fear of blood often add a fear of needles to their list of fears too. This is because of the association with needles, blood and medical procedures.
Another serious issue for people with hemophobia is that they are likely to avoid going to doctors, hospitals and won’t get needed medical care throughout their lifespan because going to these places will expose them to blood. For example, if they go to the doctor they will be asked to get blood drawn for routine lab work.
Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia is fear of the number 666 and most likely originated from the Book of Revelation in the Bible. People with this fear will be focused on making sure the number doesn’t enter their lives in any way.
Fear of 666 is pronounced six-six-six rather than six hundred and sixty six.
Belief that the number signifies the number of the beast, the anti-christ and Satan can fuel hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia.
However, the fear of 666 can also take root in non-religious people. There are many theories and beliefs surrounding the number that have to do barcodes, banking, the government and other topics that don’t center on religion.
Symptoms of hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia are similar to other phobias that cause anxiety. These include rapid breathing, shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, nausea, sweating and trembling.
Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia made the list of fears and strange phobias because it can manifest itself in daily life in the following ways. A person with a fear of the number 666 might:
- Secretly say 777 when confronted with the numbers 666 in life.
- Avoid having a home address or telephone number with these numbers in it.
- Add extra gasoline to the vehicle tank when filling up results in the number 666 on the fuel pump.
- Having general discomfort or a strong sense of anxiety when the number appears.
- Changing driving habits or driving farther than necessary to avoid parking the car with an odometer reading that contains 666.
- Quickly adding or removing groceries if the total bill contains an amount with $6.66.
Many people don’t like the numbers 666, but they don’t have hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia. To have a phobia of 666 it must significantly impact a person’s life.
It may sound crazy that a number can interfere with having a normal life, but the list above is an example of a few ways this phobia can effect daily life for a person with hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia.
Due to the religious and superstitious nature of 666, the numbers are often used in horror movies. This can make thrillers challenging for people with this phobia to watch.
Maskaphobia is next on our list of fears and is defined as the fear of masks, but it can be individualized to one specific type of mask. People with maskaphobia can be afraid of horror masks, fun masks, costume and even mascot masks.
However, individuals can have a fear of masks and only be afraid of a specific type of mask.
Having a fear of masks can be normal during childhood but children will often grow out of it. People who develop maskaphobia may experience intense anxiety when visiting places where they are likely to encounter a masked character.
The fear of masks can be so strong that just seeing someone holding a mask can trigger panic, trembling and sweating in a person with maskaphobia.
Pediophobia is a fear of dolls. It made our list of fears and strange phobias, but pediophobia also falls under the category of an automatonophobia which is the fear of human like figures. Both of these strange phobias involve the feeling that seemingly human objects are actually real.
The fear of dolls can be terrifying and a person with pediophobia can perceive an inanimate doll as being alive.
Usually the fear of dolls begins and ends in childhood, but it can continue into adulthood. Seeing a doll can be very stressful and even terrifying for a person with pediophobia. It’s not uncommon for the fear of dolls to cause children with this phobia to run screaming if they see a doll they are afraid of.
It’s possible for a person with pediophobia to only have an intense fear of only one type of doll.
Phasmophobia is the fear of ghosts, but like most phobias the fear can become invasive and even turn to terror. Many people are afraid of ghosts and would probably pee themselves if confronted with one, but they don’t have phasmophobia. They can watch the Insidious movies, get super scared and it’s all in good fun.
For a person with phasmophobia the fear of ghosts is often persistent and relentless. They may lose sleep due to their phasmophobia and have nightmares.
The fear of ghosts is on our list of fears even though it can be difficult to get treatment for. This is because there is serious debate about whether ghosts even exist.
For this reason, people with phasmophobia have to overcome the stigma of believing in ghosts and may be labeled with having strange phobias and magical thinking by professionals.
Teraphobia is a fear of monsters and is one of the least strange phobias in young children. This fear is very common in children. In fact, being afraid of monsters usually begins as a generalized fear in youth, but can grow into a more specific fear of monsters with age.
Children will be afraid of monsters hiding in the closet or under the bed, but usually don’t specify that the monster is a vampire, werewolf or other specific being.
Kids might have heard a news story about kidnappers or another scary concept that manifests through a fear of a monster getting them while asleep in bed. Parents can help get rid of teraphobia by shining a flashlight on all the spots a monster could be hiding, providing a nightlight, and empowering kids with lavender scented monster spray. Kids can spray it wherever they think a monster might be hiding and it can help them have the courage to face their fears. Another option is story time with the Monster Spray children’s book.
Adults with teraphobia will usually fear a specific type of monster, like a zombie, Michael Myers or some other defined being. Fear of monsters made our list of fears and it can grow worse and worse in adults, eventually leading to a sleeping disorder if left untreated.
Thanatophobia is next on the list of fears and is the fear of death or dying. Obviously having a fear of dying is very common, but for people with thanatophobia it can become overwhelming and affect their lifestyles.
People with thanatophobia have a fear of dying themselves, rather than a fear of friends or loved ones passing away.
In fact, to friends the fear of death will often seem out of proportion to the risks faced by the person with thanatophobia. For example, it may seem to friends like you are overly afraid of dying in a plane crash because you never travel on planes.
A person diagnosed with thanatophobia will have persistent anxiety about dying that interferes with their lifes.
Trypanophobia is a severe fear of needles, injections, blood draws or needle procedures that is often referred to as needle phobia. A serious complication of having trypanophobia is the avoidance of anything medical that may result in an injection or blood test.
A 1995 study found that 25% of children and 10% of adults have a severe fear of needles. Out of these people with needle phobia, 5% of them will have a physiologic response such as passing out in response to a hypodermic needle.
The makers of the Saw film definitely understood needle phobia when they included the Needle Pit Scene in the second movie.
Other symptoms of trypanophobia include hyperventilating, increased heart rate, hostility, anxiety, fear of doctors, lack of preventive healthcare, hospital avoidance, vaccine avoidance and a vasovagal reaction.
A vasovagal reaction causes the blood pressure to drop and can lead someone with a needle phobia to suddenly pass out when confronted with needles. It’s also possible for people with trypanophobia to develop a fear of blood, also known as hemophobia.
Trypanophobia is an important addition to our list of fears because for people with a fear of needles, medical facilities can seem like a hostile place. Medical professionals are trained to give injections and draw blood without receiving much education about needle phobia and how to help these patients get through this difficult procedure. This is true even though trypanophobia has been recognized by the DSM as a valid phobia since the fourth edition of the book in 1994.
In fact, patients with a fear of needles report being told that injections are no big deal and they get an overall sense of a get over it attitude from medical professionals.
This lack of empathy and the fear of needles has driven many people with trypanophobia away from getting any preventative care and even stopped them from seeking treatments for illness and injury.
However, there is a company that recognizes how serious the fear of needles can be. Pharmajet has made needle free vaccinations a priority to help patients with needle phobia.
Wiccaphobia is last on our list of fears and strange phobias. It is the fear of witches and witchcraft. People with wiccaphobia will become distressed when they believe a witch is nearby.
It’s common for individuals who fear witches to believe the witch is evil and they may also have a fear of Halloween. Halloween can be a difficult time due to all the witch hats, brooms and other symbolism which can trigger panic in someone with wiccaphobia.
A person with wiccaphobia may also imagine or believe that a witch is casting spells to harm them even though friends and family don’t see any evidence.
When exposed to witches, witchcraft symbols and other reminders of witchcraft the individual with wiccaphobia can have severe anxiety, sweating, and difficulty breathing. They may even begin to fear becoming a witch themselves.
Historically, wiccaphobia and the fear of witches has been more harmful to the person believed to be a witch than to the person afraid of witches.
The person with wiccaphobia may imagine someone is a witch due to seeing symbols of witchcraft near the person, and then purposefully shun and avoid that person due to their fear of witches.