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Scared of something? There’s a phobia for that!


Hey there, we're going to talk about fears — like being scared of cheese, dancing, trees, numbers and even holes. So if you think you might be afraid of reading about or looking at these things, there are photos here that might make you anxious. If not, read on...

Everyone is afraid of something — whether it’s darkness, snakes or clowns, there’s a name for it. This Friday the 13th let’s take a look at some of the more rare fears (or phobias) that people have and what those fears are called!


cupcakes with number 13 as decoration

Someone with triskaidekaphobia would not eat any of the cupcakes with the number 13 on them. (Photo credit: Sugar Daze on Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-ND)

Triskaidekaphobia (say "tri-sky-deck-a-pho-bee-a") is the fear of the number 13. Some people believe the number 13 is unlucky. People who are afraid of the number 13 will avoid the number. Some apartment buildings don’t even have a thirteenth floor but instead the numbers jump from 12 to 14 on the elevator buttons!


Friday the 13th in calligraphy

This is taking the fear of the number 13 to a whole new level! Some superstitious people have a fear of the date Friday the 13th, which is called paraskevidekatriaphobia (say "pa-ras-keh-vee-deck-a-try-a-pho-bee-a").


autumn forest

Hylophobia (say "high-lo-pho-bee-a") is the fear of forests. People with this phobia don’t like to walk through forests or near trees and even the thought of wood can cause them to feel nervous. Some people are just afraid of trees — not the whole forest — and that is called dendrophobia (say "den-dra-pho-bee-a").


grated orange cheese

Photo credit: ShardsOfBlue on / CC BY-SA

Turophobia (say "too-row-pho-bee-a") is the fear of cheese. If you have this fear you probably get uncomfortable when there is cheese around and even if someone says the words cheese or cheesy. You probably don’t like the taste or gooey texture of cheese and will say no when invited to pizza parties!


honeycomb up close

Trypophobia (say "trip-oh-pho-bee-a") is the fear of holes or objects that have small holes in them like honeycomb or a sponge. Some people with this phobia are afraid of falling into holes and will carefully watch the ground they are walking on to avoid holes.


messy kid's room

Photo credit: theloushe on / CC BY-NC-ND

Ataxophobia (say "a-tax-oh-pho-bee-a") is the fear of messes or when things aren’t put away neatly. People with this fear start to get anxious when things are untidy. Think about about that the next time your parents ask you to clean your room.


people dancing on the street

A dance flash mob. (Photo credit: Lieven SOETE on / CC BY-NC-SA)

Chorophobia (say "koh-roh-pho-bee-a") is the fear of dancing. People with this fear might also have a fear of being embarrassed so they will avoid dancing of any kind.


girl with fingers in her ears

Wikimedia/Deutsche Fotothek/CC BY-SA

Kypselidaphobia (say "kip-sa-lid-a-pho-bee-a")  is the fear of earwax. Luckily for those who have a phobia of earwax, they don’t have to see it very often because it’s usually hidden away inside our ears!