The Most Common Phobias.

The 10 most common phobias. Do you think you suffer from any of them?

Classic Friday the 13th goalie Mask on black background.


 (def.) – The fear of Friday the 13th.

“Frigg” – The Norse goddess whom Friday is named after.

“Triskaidekaphobia” – The fear of 13.


Millions of Americans are afraid of Friday the 13th but it still isn’t among the most common phobias. People who suffer from friggatriskaidekaphobia  suffer everything from a little bit of anxiety to a feeling of doom to full-on panic attacks when Friday the 13th approaches. Which are the exact symptoms I show whenever I realize the dishwasher needs to be emptied.

Take a gander at this list of phobias and see how you and your phobias stack up against the 10 most common.

10 Most Common Phobias


1. Arachnophobia:

  • The fear of spiders.
  • This phobia tends to affect women more than men.

2. Ophidiophobia:

  • The fear of snakes.
  • Often attributed to evolutionary causes, personal experiences, or cultural influences.

3. Acrophobia:

  • The fear of heights.
  • This fear can lead to anxiety attacks and avoidance of high places.

4. Agoraphobia:

  • The fear of situations in which escape is difficult.
  • This may include crowded areas, open spaces, or situations that are likely to trigger a panic attack. People will begin avoiding these trigger events, sometimes to the point that they cease leaving their home.

5. Cynophobia:

  • The fear of dogs.
  • This phobia is often associated with specific personal experiences, such as being bitten by a dog during childhood.

6. Astraphobia:

  • The fear of thunder and lightening.
  • Also known as Brontophobia, Tonitrophobia, or Ceraunophobia.

7. Trypanophobia:

  • The fear of injections.
  • Like many phobias, this fear often goes untreated because people avoid the triggering object and situation.

8. Social Phobias:

  • The fear of social situations.
  • In many cases, these phobias can become so severe that people avoid events, places, and people that are likely to trigger an anxiety attack.

9. Pteromerhanophobia:

  • The fear of flying.
  • Often treated using exposure therapy, in which the client is gradually and progressively introduced to flying.

10. Mysophobia:

(list source)


Let’s hear them. Do you have 1, 2, 3 or none of the top 10 phobias?  Or perhaps you have the be all and end all of phobias Phobophobia – the fear of phobias.


  1. Su says:

    Only Americans fear Friday the 13th? How did Canadians manage to avoid this phobia?? Inquiring minds want to know…..

  2. I choked a little on my coffee. haha I have a fear of admitting my fears but I didn’t see that on the list…nor mouseaphobia.

  3. My fear of spiders has no limit. They scare me senseless. Only thing I fear more than the spider itself, is the idea of ever having a spider in my car. When driving on a freeway.
    I use phonebooks to kill them. Throw the book on a spider and wait for someone to come and clean the bodies. If there’s a spider on the wall, I use hairspray. Lots of it.
    I also praise my dog whenever he eats one.

    • gloria says:

      Hairspray is a great idea (I don’t even care if it leaves a stain on the wall). My method to get at spiders which are up too high for me to swat, is to keep a spray bottle of water, the kind with a straight stream squirter, then give em a shot to knock them down off the wall or ceiling (eww hate it when they’re over your head in bed). Then when they hit the floor, flatten them.

  4. karol says:

    Galeophobia… had to look it up as I didn’t know it had a name, but there it is. The fear of sharks. I’m a native Floridian and I spent most of my early years floating in the ocean on a raft with friends whenever we went to the beach. Until the summer of 1975, when Jaws came out. That was a life changing moment for me. Haven’t been in past my ankles since then.

  5. Becca says:

    Heights… oh yeah. I learned how to downhill ski in an attempt to conquer it. Didn’t help at all. However, I did acquire a new one in my efforts. Fear of being mangled by maniacal trees that leap into your path as you careen gracefully down the mountain. And then there’s the fear of being tangled in the rope tow. And chair lifts! You know that contraptions that are supposed to gently lift you up the side of the mountain, providing you with lovely views of the scenery and sexy men skiing below you? Right. I didn’t even think about that danger until it was too late and I was trapped a zillion feet above the ski slope on a scrap of freezing cold metal suspended precariously from an obviously fraying scrap of rusted thread. It only took a couple hours for them to fix the blasted thing which swung wildly every time it lurched another few feet towards the top. It was during this experience that I decided a wineskin full of brandy was a very sensible skiing accessory.

  6. Debbie Bashford says:

    For me it’s spiders and heights and on occassion I have bouts of Offtheracknaphobia

  7. Maureen Locke says:

    I have a paralyzing fear of snakes. When I was about 5 or 6, I stepped in a snakes nest. It seemed like millions of baby snakes were squirming and crawling up my legs. I stood there paralyzed with fear, screaming until my Dad came to my rescue. To this day I shudder and feel sick when I think of it. I can’t even turn a page in a magazine if there’s a snake on it.
    I used to think Friday the 13th was my lucky day. I was married on it 38 years ago. Unfortunately ( or fortunately ) my husband had a midlife crisis after 20 years and walked out on myself and our three kids. Consequently, I have no feelings for Friday the 13th. None
    How about you Karen??

  8. Beckie says:

    snakes ~shudders~

    crowds can cause panic attacks, but I’m not to the point of avoiding them….yet

  9. Dixie says:

    I don’t like spiders but I am not afraid of them, I do hate earwigs…is there a phobia on these??

    I have this extreme fear of drowning in water, like my car will magicly swarm of the bridge and I will drown in the river. I hate driving over a bridge! I never swim in the water above my height, I don’t snorkel or dive at all…but yes I do swim in pools near the edge where I can always be able to hold on to something (just in case).Don’t even get me started on the boats..they are evil!!!!! why would anyone invent a boat?? Stupid.

  10. sue says:

    I am not afraid of heights, in fact, when I am standing somewhere high, I want to jump off, not to hurt myself, but because I feel this urge to fly. I have many items related to birds and a friend once said, perhaps in a former life, I was a bird…which is a lovely thought.
    As a gardener, spiders are useful and I live where there are no poison snakes, so I like snakes and find them beautiful. I HATE,HATE,HATE ticks and no, hate is not too strong a word and all should hate them. I make clear tape sandwiches, with their little disgusting bodies trapped inside. Bawhahahahaha!

  11. Johan says:

    I was born on a 13th and I’m okay…for the most part..! Just ask me.
    Classify spiders…?
    I am not afraid of spiders per se! That is until they are big enough you can hear their footsteps and cause you to seriously question the adequacy of the fly swatter you are brandishing. Can I live in harmony knowing that thing has 8 legs, each bigger than the my arm? (obviously I have not found it yet) My SO at the time asks “how does something that big get in here?”, and I can only surmise that it had it’s own key made…
    I get some comfort in the fact that at that size it can likely just open the fridge when it’s hungry.
    Nope, not really scared of spiders.

  12. Lyn says:

    I can’t believe claustrophobia isn’t in the top 10! I have that and acrophobia. Is there a fear of over-exertion? I think I have that too. Oh, wait. That’s just called laziness…

  13. Jody says:

    Spiders spiders spiders. Yuk! I think the fear started when a ginormous dock spider crawled up my leg when we were out in a small boat in the middle of the lake. Or hearing stories growing up of spiders making nests in ladies’ beehive hair dos or burying under skin to lay their eggs. I’m getting squirmy just writing this. I’m going to go lie down now.

  14. Janet says:

    Not afraid of Friday the 13th except for all the motorcycles on the roads on their way to Port Dover. Number 1,2,& 3 would be my top 3.

  15. Sylvia says:

    No where on any list do I see my phobia……crickets. I know another stupid phobia. I know they won’t hurt me in any way, but let a cricket in my near vicinity and watch the sweat pop out on me, my feet turn to concrete and my eyes bug out! For me it comes from having cave crickets by the butt load in the crawl space of the house I grew up in, and being the smallest person, having to go down there and get the Christmas decorations. Crickets…..yep, hate ’em!

  16. Candice says:

    Love spiders and snakes so I’m good there. I can’t do open work stairs…as in open metal grate-type steps or steps without the backs where you can see straight through so I guess that falls under 3. I almost had to permanently live on the 3rd floor of an Urban Outfitters once – I followed my daughter up their beautiful metal work stairs…but coming down was quite awful!

  17. KimC says:

    Spiders, but I’m slowly tackling that. The thought of one creeping around wherever it may please inside the house gives me the willies more than the act of killing it. Just typing that gave me the shivers! If they are outdoors frollicking in nature that’s okay. Oh, and earwigs, what’s that phobia, I wonder? They are downright gross!
    Happy Friday 13th Karen:-)

  18. Erica says:

    I’m afraid of snakes, falling (not just any fall, but the kind that can break bones our kill you), sharks (thank you Jaws you damn bastard), dark places that might be housing snakes or bugs. Now it’s important that you understand I’m not afraid of bugs, however if you are reaching into a dark space, something crawls across you, you jump hitting your head and get a crappy headache. Then you still have your chores, dinner to cook, etc., but all while you have a headache and are glaring at the dark spot.

  19. RosieW says:

    Claustrophobia is the only one I can relate to. Doesn’t happen often. Crowded stores with narrow aisles and stock up to the rafters gets me.

    Used to love thunderstorms until my city installed “severe storm warning” sirens, which now force me to plop in an inner hall, presumably the safest place, instead of by the window watching in fascination.

    Feed spiders in my gardens – golden orbs. Love them.

    Thanks for this, Karen.


  20. Farquist says:

    I spent 5 days up a ladder painting my son’s house. I offered to help my d-i-l paint the exterior before I knew she was pregnant. I thought she would be the one up the ladder. Nope. Shaky old Grandma was up there hyperventilating, taking deep breaths before climbing. Then it got breezy. I faced my fear, but didn’t overcome it. Now I have to go back tomorrow to do touch-ups and scrape the window where my shaky arm hit the glass. It is OK to drink and paint?

    • Amber says:

      As an ex-contracter and house-painter, I am glad to inform you that it is not only okay to drink and paint, it is REQUIRED by the union!
      Union of House Painters
      “Painting windows shut since, ah, forever”

      • Rhonda Smartypants says:

        Wow, good to know. I’m going to switch careers. This sounds like a lot of fun and I’m up for anything that is fun and you get paid union wages/benefits. Woo-hoo!

      • Farquist says:

        Union of House Painters and Teacher’s Union both involve drinking. I see a life pattern here. Maybe I’ll join the bartender’s union next.

  21. Carolyn says:


    I am TERRIFIED of grasshoppers.

    Theres screaming…tears….shaking…hyperventilating.

    It’s not pretty.

    …I know. Judge away.

  22. JBB says:

    Don’t you know that it’s bad luck to be superstitious?

    P.s. I may have a fear of lightening[sic], as I usually try to avoid dieting and find the idea scary. ;)

  23. Nancy says:

    I am terrified of pit bulls! And I am so afraid that they will know I am so afraid and will attack me or someone around me that I can hardly breath. I do not want to hear of your precious pit bull, repeat, DO NOT. All the other stuff doesn’t bother me. Even alligators. I do have a healthy respect for them cause dang, they are as fast as lightening. Pit bulls are maybe faster. Oh, I am very afraid of walking sticks (an insect) but how often do you see those? That’s a convenient fear.

  24. Judith says:

    I don’t have this phobia, but had to google it when I heard it mentioned a while back. Trypophobia. Go ahead, look it up. In my book it’s the most creeped out you can get without actually having the phobia in question. A fun follow-up google topic along the same lines would be ‘Surinam toad’.

    And THUNDERSNOW?!! That sounds awesomely radical, and a few other 1980s adjectives too. I’ve lived in snowy Sweden for 12 years but have yet to experience that. I think I’ll put in a request.

    • Sarah In Illinois says:

      Ewww Ewww Eww! Why did I have to google that! Yes I have Trypophobia too! EWWWWWWWW!

    • Tigersmom says:

      I am not Tryptophobic, but came extremely close to losing my lunch watching a nature show with a Surinam toad and her brood. I’m having to swallow hard just typing about it. Gag.

      My phobia, which I’ve always said is perfectly rational to me, is cockroaches.

      I’m also not fond of groups of anything in very large numbers or swarms. We have flocks of starlings here in Texas that fly together in groups of hundreds of thousands, if not millions. To me, anything can overpower you if there are enough of them.

    • Leigh says:

      Thanks for that. Now I am about to scratch my skin off! Ewww!

    • Sally A. says:

      OH MY GOD!! That is horrible!! You should warn a person!

  25. Mati says:

    I truly do not like snakes. I can’t even stand to see them on tv or pictures. I also hate worms one by its self is not so bat but when the are all wadded up tangled together my skin begin to crawl.

    • Sarah In Illinois says:

      I am so terrified of snakes and like you, it doesn’t matter if they are real, rubber, in a picture, on tv, I am terrified!

      But salamanders and lizards don’t bother me. I think it has something to do with snakes not having legs!

    • Leigh says:

      Anything worm-ish (worms, maggots, etc.) give me the total willies!! Their squirming squishiness is disgusting and alien and they MUST DIE! Preferably with fire.

  26. Cat says:

    I have some fear of heights and crowded places (numbers 3 and 4). Not enough to have a panic attack though. I wonder what number fear of elevators would have?

  27. Diane says:

    Definitely heights, definitely a height phobia. Especially if it’s something where I am not secured. I’m good on high roller coasters. I can walk across bridges that have a fence railing taller than I am, but if it’s a little waist high rail… I keep walking without looking over, and stay away from that rail! Standing on top of fences gets my fear going, too, and add in how terrible my balance is… lol.

    My germ fears are all based either in total ick (moldy, rotting stuff) or other people being sick with possible communicable diseases. I drop stuff on the floor in my room and eat it often, and the house is a total mess.

    I am very uncomfortable in crowds, but as long as I have room to move without touching people, I don’t mind, but it’s not a fear unless I am crowded in from all sides with a clear chance of someone falling and people possibly getting trampled, but that’s a “I don’t want to die or get hurt” situation.

    And I get anxious in certain social situations, but it’s not a fear, it’s just uncomfortable, and probably something embarrassing.

  28. Angela says:

    I, too, lived in an old house with centipedes…although not to the same degree you have dealt with! Reading through your past posts (with photos!) was frightening! Do you think fear of centipedes falls under arachnophobia? I’d gladly battle a spider over a centipede any day–or night!–’cause that’s when they come up from the basement…

  29. Rhonda Smartypants says:

    Karen – I laugh in the face of all but 2. In fact, #2 is so strong, that I pulled my legs slightly off the floor when I read the description and felt a slight shudder begin where my feet left the floor. Irrational? Not due to the fact that we visited our southwestern relatives almost yearly when I was a child and often stopped at the wondrous roadside snake pits advertised with wild abandon along our annual route coming and going. Swimming pool-sized cement pits were swarming with writhing, crawling, hissing, and dropping from the walls snakes by the hundreds. The specifics of my fear is irrational and did not occur to me that it was irrational until a few years ago: I am terrified that I will be bitten on the rump by a rattlesnake that is hiding inside and underneath the lid of an outhouse. Go figure. Stupid? Yes. Does it matter? Nope.

    #3 follows #2 not just numerically when it comes to my two favorite phobias and it is odd because it seems to have developed as I matured. I don’t recall being afraid of heights as a child, teen or young-er adult; since I turned 50 or so, I can hardly stand on a deck one story high without feeling that ‘whoopsie-doosy’ feeling. I feel it for other people and animals that are up high, too.

    When it comes to the other #’s — call me “Phobia Busters.” I’ll guide, coerce, cajole you through the roughest of experiences with your particular phobia. They seem trivial and inconsequential and very, very stupid to me, but I will let you have them with all the glory you need because my two are very, very realistic to me. Come see, come saw.

    • Deb says:

      OMG Rhonda Smartpants! I too have a terrifying fear of being bitten on the behind by a snake while I’m doing my business. But in my case it’s a snake, swimming through the pipes and then erupting from the water, gasping for breath and sinking its fangs in – black snakes, brown snakes, death adders, taipans, red belly blacks. We have them all here in Australia, hence I always turn on the light… Even though I don’t think a snake could hold its breath that far. It’s irrational.

      Luckily I’m not bothered by spiders, of which the red back has been known to frequent toilets waiting for a tasty and unexpecting bottom to be lowered!

  30. Michelle says:

    #1 for sure! Though one must put on a brave face in front of one’s kids while catching palm sized house spiders (yes more than one!!) at 0130 in the morning and to remove said spider from said kid’s room with the largest glass container available in the kitchen for humane release out the nearest opening to the outside! (kid would not allow squashing…and what a mess it would leave on the carpet) …it took awhile to fall back to sleep. (me not the kid) ack!!

  31. Louise Barr says:

    I didn’t have any phobias until I was in my teens and someone brought in a snake. Next thing I knew, I was wrapped in the drapes, screaming bloody murder. Then I went to the zoo, where they had a 2-headed snake (!) in a sort of aquarium. I had to fight my way to the front of the crowd to see it, but then found myself shrieking and shoving myself backwards through the packed bodies! And this is so unlike me – I have a reputation as one tough cookie, but not with snakes!

  32. Amie Mason says:

    fake-grass-phobia! Blegh!

  33. Julia says:

    As I mature (!), I am increasingly unnerved by flying.
    Where I once laughed in the face of turbulence, I now spend take-off, landing, and the annoying bit in-between with my fingers gripped to the arm rests repeating the mantra ‘if the air stewards are still serving drinks you’re ok’.
    Last flight I went on, they were told to buckle up too. Jeeze.

  34. LuAnn Agustin says:

    There is something terribly wrong with me!!! I have NO phobias that I am aware of! Oh Woe is me…

  35. Susan R says:

    Pteromerhanophobia. Used to fly a lot. Now the thought sends me into a panic. Rather kiss a snake with a spider on my head, standing on a roof during a thunder and lightening storm while giving a speech to germy dogs.

  36. Auntiepatch says:

    3 & 4 – I just don’t go there!

  37. BarBee says:

    The only one I will actively avoid is heights, but do not show me a centepede!

  38. Meg says:

    I’ve heard fear of spiders is a learned response – only learned from other people. To which I say THAT IS BUNK. I have been terrified of spiders since birth. No learning needed. My Dad used to play with them in my *terrifying* basement. I was afraid then. I reaffirmed my fear with things like 5″ long spiders in my face, while running in New Hampshire, when I was a teen. And black widows in L.A. where I live now. NOWHEREISSAFE.

    Everything else, I kind of *like,* which probably makes other people anxious. I LOVE flying. I LOVE lightning. Being up high is spectacular. Dogs and snakes are awesome.

    • Mary Kay says:

      Meg- I am right with ya!!!! If you got eight legs and are IN MY HOUSE your death sentence has been signed. I tend to leave the ones outside alone. That is their space and I am happy to let them have their space until they invade mine.

  39. Melanie says:

    sharks… it’s the one you don’t see that gets you!

    • Kari says:

      Agreed, Melanie! Sharks are terrifying! Omg and dolphins. I got to swim with them last month, it was a dream come true and much to my surprise I almost had a heart attack. :( They’re amazing but they look like sharks and are actually very BIG and that fin. Eeeeek

  40. gloria says:

    Where is vinylhydrophobia on that list? The irrational fear of a wet plastic shower curtain sticking to your legs while taking a shower. That’s mine.

  41. Kari says:

    Haha, I personally love a few of these as well. Dogs (come on!) thunder and lightening, being from the Gulf Coast where we have “hurricane parties”, but only if it’s below a Cat. 2 (Nobody was partying during Katrina), dirt never hurt and I laugh in the face of uncomfortable social situations. The rest of this list I’m freaking terrified of. Spiders, snakes and heights OH MY

  42. Jill says:

    My phobia? Alligators and crocodiles. As far as I’m concerned, this is an entirely rational phobia: you SHOULD be afraid of something with that many teeth that can move that quickly! Especially if you are a poor unsuspecting wildebeest at a watering hole. I am not a wildebeest at a watering hole, but I do have an active imagination, and am therefore afraid of alligators and crocodiles.

    • Karen says:

      Jill – So here’s the thing. According to the great existential philosopher Kierkegaard you may very well be a wildebeest. So … I’d go with that if I were you. ~ karen!

    • Jenny says:

      I’m with you. I have recurring nightmares all the time about alligators/crocodiles (not sure which as in my dreams I’m always too scared to properly assess their nose shape). When we went to Louisiana when I was in high school, I was positive that there were alligators lurking everywhere juuuuust waiting for me to let my guard down so they could eat me.

    • Sara says:

      I’m also with you on the alligator front. Do not like them one single bit.

  43. Shannon says:

    Thirteen is my lucky number so when it falls on a Friday it’s a double whammy of a good day.
    Bees (okay, technically wasps and not our furry bee friends) and fire are tied for panic attack inducing phobias if mine. I’ve made more of a fool of myself due to a curious yellow jacket than I care to admit.

  44. Sarah says:

    #3, but not when I’m climbing *up* something tall (tall being anything over 8 feet). It’s only when I look down and think about how high up I am. I get all weak in the knees and slightly sick to my stomach, which is not a good thing if your at the top a ladder.

    You should have seen me when I went ziplining this summer.

  45. Jen says:

    3 and 4 all the way. I have an anxiety disorder, which makes large crowds, really challenging. But it’s good, because if something happens, I am usually fairly close to a door!

  46. Cathy says:

    Yea, it causes me to have hydradenitis.

  47. Karrie Keehart says:

    I would tell you number 2 and number 7 if my number 8 wasn’t so loud.

  48. Ann says:

    Wonder why glossophobia didn’t make the cut? I thought loads of folks were afraid of public speaking. I don’t happen to be one of them (any more) which is a good thing because I give talks almost every week. Nope, no fearing of public speaking for me. I save all my neuroses for driving, which by my reckoning is one of those rational fears you talked about.

  49. Becky says:

    Where is the fear of centipedes on this list? Or mice?
    A fuzzy mouse will stop me in my tracks and instantly glue my feet to the floor…. as for the rest of this list, I’m good.

  50. Alisha says:

    Fear of heights FOR SURE. I once was trying to prime myself to jump off a 7 foot rock into a deep river. No big deal, did it as a kid. Irrational adult now. Someone behind me yelled “if you don’t jump I’m gonna come over there and push you!” I panicked, turned, slipped and fell off the rock head first into the river.

    I’m also TERRIFIED of scorpions and simply not a fan of spiders. I don’t squeal but I do kill.

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