Relationships

What Weird Things Are You Scared Of?

What Are You Afraid Of?

This morning, just like every morning, I took a shower. And just like every other morning, I made sure to keep my eyes open THE ENTIRE TIME…

Sometimes, I’ll see a commercial for shampoo or body wash, where the person is luxuriating in the shower spray, enjoying the scent of Herbal Essences with their eyes closed. And I’ll think to myself, “But how will they see the monster?!”

I suspect it began with that blobby bathtub slime thing that frightens Sigourney Weaver in the original Ghostbusters, and only grew from there.

As a kid, I was afraid of all kinds of things. I saw wolves in the shadows (thank you, children’s books, for always casting a wolf as the villain) and alligators in the drains. I lived in perpetual fear that clowns would pop out of the closets. Why? Who knows. Most of these fears have fallen away, but others remain.

In all moments right up until this one, I am low key terrified of other people’s spit. I never want to share a drink, and if some unknowing person takes a sip of mine, I will very quietly put it down and never pick it up again. I picture the saliva swimming around in there, multiplying. I just… can’t.

But if anyone asks, “Can I try that?” in reference to my beverage, I never say no. I good-naturedly offer it over with a smile that I hope won’t give away the panic rapidly unfurling in my heart.

(“How do you kiss people?!” says everyone. My boyfriend is the only person who is exempt from this rule, which means I must like him.)

For similar reasons, I am afraid of Kombucha. There are organisms doing laps in there! I’m also freaked out by aerial trams (they dangle on cables!); every knife anywhere, other than butter knives; and lighting a match. And back when I had a bed frame that left ample space under the bed, I was known to leap into bed from a few feet away. Because of the ankle-grabbing monsters, obviously.

Anyway! I always think it’s interesting to hear about the random things people find terrifying, so…

Do you have any irrational fears? No judgment — the more ridiculous, the better.

P.S. A trick for whenever you’re freaking out and a comic about irrational fears.

(Photo from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.)

  1. Crystal P says...

    I’m terrified of seaweed. I’m convinced I’ll somehow get tangled in it and pulled down under water. If I’m in a boat, I can’t even look over the side. The sight of the seaweed floating there makes me want to cry. And a more recent fear: driving (or even being a passenger in a car) on the Interstate. I have this terrible fear that we are going to crash because of the high rates of speed, and people suddenly switching lanes without warning. I have such severe anxiety over it, that I’ve been known to cry if we’re going too fast. :(

  2. Sumerset Ellis says...

    I have this same fear, risking burning eyeballs to stay ever vigilant in the shower.
    So last night, when all was quiet, my two boys were in their beds and my husband was out helping a friend, I got into the shower. I got my face lathery, closed my eyes and reveled in the fact that I was doing it! I really went to town, rinsed my face and turned around. And there, through the glass door was my 4 year old in full iron man costume, helmet and all, SILENTLY staring at me.
    Hey, I tried it once! Lesson learned!

  3. Kelly says...

    Much respect for Airplanes, but fear of seeing one crash at take off

  4. katie says...

    Working to overcome my paralyzing fear of the praying mantis. TERRIFYING.

  5. OMG this is hilarious. I agree with some of these as well. And, ever since I was little I have been afraid of a snake in the toilet popping out while I’m doing my business. No idea why, I think I had read that happened (or maybe imaged it) and it just stuck. Sorry to anyone who gets that idea now from me :(

    • Meredith says...

      Elle, I hate to tell you but your fear is TOTALLY valid…just Google “snake in toilet”!!!! There are real news stories (horror stories) of that happening. I live in Texas and this happened to a family in Abilene and it was on CNN. Now if I have to potty in the middle of the night all of the bathroom lights are on just so I can make sure there is no snake in my toilet!

  6. Leigh says...

    Sharks! Not only in the ocean, but also strangely in big pools. As if they could just swim in the drain.

    • Meredith says...

      OMG Leigh, you are not alone!! Growing up I was a competitive swimmer and I made the mistake of watching the movie Jaws on tv when I was about 10 years old. Even though my rational mind told me that there were no sharks in the pool I was constantly scanning to make sure one did not appear. 34 years later I still secretly glance around just to make sure there are no sharks before I jump in the pool!

  7. Lili says...

    Dark mirrors. Left over from some childhood ghost story but I have to avert my eyes every time.
    Also stalled escalators. Like they’re going to start moving unexpectedly and everyone will lurch forward like dominos…

  8. jean says...

    i am, too, afraid of closing my eyes while on the shower. i cant close it for the fear of seeing blood running instead of water from the shower tap. That or seeing something crawling from the drain when i open my eyes. so yeah, both eyes are open while im taking a shower.

  9. This comment section is gold. I still drive across bridges with my windows rolled down. For some insane reason I think, my car will be the last it can hold and it’ll collapse!

  10. Jessica says...

    I don’t just have a fear, but a phobia of dog and cat poop

  11. Katie Rockwood says...

    I’m afraid of ice-plant. Growing up in the Bay Area it was used like ground cover lots of places, including my elementary school. (It looks exactly like weird angular human fingers…and when it’s sick they turn red and when it dies they look like skeleton fingers!) I imagined tripping and falling into it and the fingers closing over me and being digested like a venus fly trap. I’m 40 and it hasn’t gone away. Also alligators. I can’t even look at them in the zoo. They’re confirmed human eaters!

  12. Yulia says...

    I am afraid of hydroplaning and needles (both very possible and realistic scenarios for me). I’m also afraid of someone (or myself) casting a line with a fishing pole and then having the hook catch in my skin and rip it all the way up as the pole is pulled forward.

  13. Emily says...

    Chickens and pigeons!

  14. Jo says...

    Balloons …!!!

    • Lesley S says...

      Yes! So glad someone else shares my irrational fear. I just hate them – they make me a nervous wreck. Even when I was a child. We could only go to restaurants that did not give balloons out to kids. I’ve gotten over it a bit since having a kid, but I still HATE when she brings balloons home from parties.

  15. Other people with umbrellas. I mono-fixate, meaning I see out of one eye at a time, so I don’t have great depth perception. I trust myself holding things near my eyes but don’t trust others, so other people carrying umbrellas freaks me out. I am 5’3, so the spokes of others’ umbrellas are right at my eye level, and I have a huge fear of having my eye poked out. It’s been nearly 36 years, so I don’t think I’m getting rid of that fear anytime soon.

  16. Mia says...

    I am SHOCKED to not see any mention of needles in the comments!

    They’re my only true fear, but certain types of needles don’t bother me at all, like piercing needles (had several piercings as a teen) or tattoo guns. What I’m afraid of is having the needle, no matter how tiny it is, remain under the skin for any longer than that at a time. Getting injections (bad), having blood drawn (very bad), or having an IV (absolute worst) are nightmare scenarios for me.
    Nurses often try to reassure me that it won’t hurt, showing me how small the needle is–I wish that were the problem! It’s made worse that I have very deep veins, and often they have to stick me several times before finding one. Every time I try to insist they do it from my hand where the veins are more accessible.

    I thought that I had been getting better at handling it as I get older, but recently SNUCK OUT of the doctor’s office when they told me I was supposed to have blood drawn–unexpectedly, meaning I hadn’t been able to mentally prepare. Not my proudest moment, but I did call to apologize.

    • I 100% relate to this issue. Also, not really afraid of blood (I mean, I don’t like it, but fine)… it all about the needle!

    • Lauren E. says...

      Even your description made me feel nauseous. It’s 100% that feeling of the needle being under the skin. A friend once told me in intimate detail what an epidural involves and I had to sit down with my head between my legs before she finished.

  17. Meeps says...

    I have a fear of balloons. The fact that they might pop unexpectantly (The sound! Flying debris!) really makes me nervous. There’s nothing worse than seeing a toddler squeezing a balloon or (god forbid) putting their mouth on a shiny, slightly overfilled balloon. It’s a disaster waiting to happen.