We are all afraid of something. For most people it is understandable things like snakes, or flying, or heights. For others, irrational fears of things like cotton balls (sidonglobophobia), sleep (hypnophobia), or food (cibophobia) can take over their lives and require serious medical intervention to conquer. Imagine being truly afraid to go outside (agoraphobia), or to wear clothes (vestiphobia). And then imagine having to explain to people why you are afraid of those things. People alter their entire way of life to make room for their fears, even when they know they are completely irrational.
Celebrity, like always, are no exception. The most famous people in the world are also afraid of things that make no sense. Woody Allen has suffered from agoraphobia, and Grammy Award winning singer Adele has admitted she has crippling stage fright. But they manage to get past their fears and go on with their lives. Here are 10 more celebrities, and the irrational fears they keep hidden away from the public.
Kelly Osbourne – Fear of being touched
Kelly Osbourne became a reality TV star when MTV began filming The Osbournes, which followed the day-to-day life of her family. Her parents, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne were an eccentric couple, making the show a hit, even with a younger demographic that wasn’t already a fan of Ozzy’s heavy metal band, Black Sabbath. According to an interview her brother, Jack gave, Kelly suffers from haphephobia, or a fear of being touched. He told a reporter, “All you have to do is just touch her collarbone. It’s awesome, she starts dry retching.” Some people are born with haphephobia, while others develop it after a traumatic experience.
Hilary Duff – Fear of dirt
Former teen queen, Hilary Duff, has admitted that she cannot fall asleep until she has cleaned her entire bedroom, top to bottom. She suffers from mysophobia (also known as germophobia) a fear of dirt. Keeping dirt at bay must be a daunting task now that she has a child to raise. Her year 2-year-old son, Luca, is her only child with now-ex, former NHL player, Mike Comrie.
Billy Bob Thornton – Fear of antiques and silver wear
Golden Globe-nominated actor, and notorious ex of Angelina Jolie, Billy Bob Thornton has talked often in interviews about his obsessive compulsive disorder. Anything old or antique is guaranteed to aggravate his OCD, and he has even incorporated some fears into his film characters. His character in Monster’s Ball was afraid of silver wear, and insisted on using a plastic spoon to eat ice cream. In one interview, Thornton said, “It’s just that I won’t use real silver. You know, like the big, old, heavy-ass forks and knives, I can’t do that. It’s the same thing as the antique furniture. I just don’t like old stuff. I’m creeped out by it, and I have no explanation why.”
Madonna – Fear of thunder
Madonna may seem like a fearless, take charge kind of person. She has performed in front of millions of people, and she is never afraid of controversy. But one thing that actually terrifies her, is thunder. Brontophobia is an abnormal and persistent fear of thunder that causes undue anxiety even though sufferers realize that thunder itself poses no threat to them. Brontophobia is one of the ten most common phobias in the world. Madonna has been known to ask for frequent weather reports when she’s on tour, and a storm is on the horizon.
Orlando Bloom – Fear of pigs
Wild animals can be scary because you never know what they might do. But pigs aren’t usually an animal that most people would even think to be afraid of. Unless you are Orlando Bloom. Who would have thought one of the brave stars of Lord of the Rings would actually suffer from swinophobia? While on the set of Kingdom of Heaven, a pig got loose, and Bloom reportedly ran like crazy to get away from it.
Nicole Kidman – Fear of Butterflies
There aren’t many people out there who actually like bugs, but butterflies aren’t usually the bug that will paralyze someone with terror. Nicole Kidman doesn’t have an explanation for her lepidopterophobia, but she has spoken openly about it anyway. “Sometimes when I would come home from school the biggest butterfly or moth you’d ever seen would be just sitting on our front gate. I would climb over the fence, crawl around to the side of the house—anything to avoid having to go through the front gate. I have tried to get over it … I walked into the big butterfly cage at the American Museum of Natural History and had the butterflies on me, but that didn’t work. I jump out of planes, I could be covered in cockroaches, I do all sorts of things, but I just don’t like the feel of butterflies’ bodies,”
Johnny Depp – Fear of clowns
The fear of clowns, or coulrophobia, isn’t as far fetched as you might think. Research has shown that children in particular are adverse to clowns because they have a “familiar body type, with an unfamiliar face”. Adults have creepy clown demon, Pennywise (from Stephen King‘s It), and real-life serial killer clown, John Wayne Gacy, to be scared of when they think of clowns. Even Johnny Depp has admitted to being afraid of clowns, saying, “There always seems to be a darkness lurking just under the surface, a potential for real evil.”
Matt Damon – Fear of snakes
While a fear of snakes (ophidiophobia) isn’t uncommon, you would never think that a guy like Matt Damon would suffer from it. Damon did all his own stunts when he played Jason Bourne in The Bourne Trilogy, so he isn’t afraid of highly dangerous feats that would terrify most people. But his We Bought a Zoo co-star Scarlett Johansson outed his extreme fear of snakes, recalling seeing Damon “cry like a baby and rock back and forth when the snakes were spread all over the set.”
Tyra Banks – Fear of dolphins
Supermodel, Tyra Banks, has encouraged aspiring models on her show, America’s Next Top Model, to face their fears. You never know what you might have to do on a photo shoot, and turning down a job could mean the difference between making a name yourself, and failing completely. Luckily for Banks she is at the point where she never has to do anything she doesn’t want to. For her, that would be anything involving dolphins. She spoke about her delpiniphobia on her talk show saying, “I feel anxiety and I feel panic whenever I’m confronting or even thinking about or talking about a dolphin—it’s happening right now.”
David Beckham – Fear of disorder and chaos
One of the most famous soccer players in the world, David Beckham, surprisingly suffers from ataxophobia, which is a fear of disorder and untidiness. He has explained, “I have to have everything in a straight line or everything has to be in pairs. I’ll put my Pepsi cans in the fridge and if there’s one too many then I’ll put it in another cupboard somewhere.” He also says his closet must always be colour coordinated. Must be difficult to keep everything tidy when you have four kids running around.