- Arachnophobia is commonly listed as the second most common phobia among humans, second only to Fear of Public Speaking.
- Sean Connery. In the scene in Dr. No where a tarantula crawls on James Bond, the leg you see belongs to a stuntman, and when it crawls past his head, there is a glass plate between him and the spider.
- Steve Irwin, who could face down crocodiles and other dangerous animals, had this fear.
- British comedian Phill Jupitus is terrified of spiders — and irate about people who aren't afraid of spiders and use this fact to torment him.
- Stephen King, not surprisingly, given the tendency of his Big Bads to turn into Giant Spiders.
- According to cast interviews, Jacqueline McKenzie from The 4400 is afraid of spiders. Joel Gretsch responded with a series of increasingly unfunny pranks.
- Taylor Swift. She freaked out on the way to film a scene for the "Love Story," music video because there was a spider on her dress.
- Like his best-known character, Ron Weasley, Rupert Grint is terrified of spiders and claimed that he couldn't even watch the scenes with the giant spiders in the Chamber of Secrets.
- Robert Fuller. His Emergency! castmates found lots of ways to playfully torment him with it.
- Fantasy artist Amy Brown. At least two of her paintings were created as attempts to help her get over this fear, to no avail.
- Napoleon was scared of cats. Maybe if his enemies knew that, he would have been defeated after his first battle; the caricaturists that represented him riding a cat◊ (supposed to be his marshal Michel Ney, a.k.a the Red Lion) obviously didn't.
- Other famous historical people who were afraid of or at least disliked cats included Caligula, Nero, Adolf Hitler, and Josef Stalin.
- It wasn't without malice that the Cheshire Cat was made into a scapegoat in Tim Burton's 2010 version of Alice in Wonderland (2010); Burton really hates cats. Whether this is a phobia or not depends on who you believe.
- It's safe to say that people in the medieval age generally were afraid of cats due to the superstition they believed that cats are connected to the devil.
- This is a fairly common phobia in India, Nigeria, and most countries where fewer people keep dogs as pets.
- This might partly be caused by the fact that such countries frequently have a large number of stray and feral dogs roaming about.
- Genghis Khan was afraid of dogs. (And you can't blame him; a lot of breeds of dogs in Mongolia tend to be mean.)
- David Boreanaz has a phobia of chickens. It made the Bones episode "The Tough Man In The Tender Chicken" rather interesting behind the scenes
- Bea Arthur also had a chicken fear. The Golden Girls scene where Rose brings home a live chicken had to be restaged to make things easier on Bea.
- Director Werner Herzog is afraid of chickens.
- During the making of Aladdin when they brought in live parrots as reference for Iago, the crew learned that Jonathan Freeman, who voices Jafar, has a fear of birds.
- Comedy legend Lucille Ball had a lifelong fear of birds, stemming from the day her father died and, as a small child, having no memory of that day except for a bird that flew into the home and scared her.
- Michael Strahan is afraid of snakes.
- From Dusk Till Dawn star Salma Hayek has a real fear of snakes and had always refused to be near them. When she read the script, she knew that her phobia would prevent her from taking the part of Satanico Pandemonium, but Robert Rodriguez conned her into thinking that Madonna was ready to take the part instead, so she spent two months with therapists in order to overcome this fear.
- Rooster Teeth has Geoff Ramsey, a man who's covered in tattoos but is petrified by snakes.
- One thing Bam Margera learned the hard way: If you have a deep-seated fear, never, NEVER share it with your Jackass compadres. If you do, they will surely use it against you. Bam's not above exploiting the weaknesses of others for successful pranks or stunts, but exploiting this fear of his will get more than just a Dude, Not Funny! out of him.
Other animal phobias
- Read anything from the Cthulhu Mythos and remember that H. P. Lovecraft was afraid of fish. (Possibly the fact that he had an anaphylactic allergy to shellfish had something to do with it.)
- Kevin Smith is reportedly deathly afraid of sharks (galeophobia). Ironically, Jaws is one of his favorite movies.
- General Andoche Junot apparently had an irrational fear of toads, to the point that he completely freaked out at the battle of Vimeiro because he had seen one on the road (that, or he was just drunk).
- Special effects legend turned actor Tom Savini is terrified of cockroaches. When he was working on Creepshow, specifically the segment "They're Creeping Up on You", one of the cockroaches touched his ankle. Savini has no memory of actually crossing the room, but he ended up on the other side of it.
- "Soldiers vs Camel Spider", a hilarious Youtube video where a pair of muscular, manly American soldiers are standing on their beds (in their underwear) and hunting down a spider in their room...WITH RIFLES.
- While "camel spiders" (which aren't spiders) are not actually very dangerous, there's a lot of misinformation out there about them, most of which make them sound scarier than they are. Freaking out is predictable if you think something can literally gouge out chunks of your flesh.
- David Attenborough hates rats, though he hides it well on-camera; one episode of his series The Life of Mammals shows him presenting in the middle of an Indian temple devoted to rats.
- During interviews where Ghostbusters is the topic, Rick Moranis, known for his role as Louis Tully in the movies, claims to be afraid of ghosts."Yeah, ghosts. Scare the pants off me. The polyester pants off me."
- People used to think rabies caused this and thus named it hydrophobia. In reality, it simply causes you to choke when you try to drink water. Though since it's a reflex which is incredibly painful, and can be triggered just by thinking about drinking, it's easy to see where the misconception came from.
- Natalie Wood was said to have been terrified of water. She died by drowning.
- Michael Jordan has claimed that his biggest fear is water (because he can't swim).
- Lots of people who watched the mini-series It, where Tim Curry plays a murderous clown, ended up developing a fear of clowns. Especially if they saw it as children or teens.
- Johnny Depp is scared of clowns too.
- Two to one odds that Heath Ledger's interpretation of The Joker in The Dark Knight will be the cause of a lot of clown-based nightmares.
- Any incarnation of the Joker is bound to have caused this reaction at some point or another.
- Lon Chaney, Sr., the "Man of a Thousand Faces" and perhaps the single most iconic horror actor from the silent film era, once made the observation that "Nobody laughs at a clown at midnight."
- John Wayne Gacy certainly doesn't help make clowns any more reassuring, between his former persona as "Pogo" and his artwork.
- Daniel Radcliffe has admitted to being scared of clowns.
- Voice Actor J. Michael Tatum once told a story of him going to a Halloween fun park. Two clowns followed him around the park and in the end, he punched one of them, opting him to get kicked out of the park.
Flying (aviophobia) or Heights (acrophobia)
- Filmmaker Lars von Trier rarely moves far from the border of his native Denmark and has never left Europe due to an intense fear of flying. He even turned down an offer to direct for Steven Spielberg due to this.
- Stanley Kubrick also had a fear of flying, and as a result, spent the last 40 years of his life in England.
- Former soccer player and now sports coach Marcelo "Bichi" Borghi is also infamous by his fear of planes. The very few times he doesn't travel by bus/train/car with his teams, he has to be sedated to the point of almost passing out when on the plane.
- Another soccer example, former Inter Milan and Arsenal striker Dennis Bergkamp; who refused to go to the 2002 World Cup (in South Korea and Japan), because it would require him to fly. He traveled by boat for international/European matches.
- Legendary American Football announcer John Madden was famous for his aviophobia. This gave him his iconic trademark - the Madden Bus.
- General of the Air Force Henry "Hap" Arnold was one of the first military aviators, and would eventually rise through the ranks to become the first (and only - the 5-star ranks were discontinued after World War II) General of the Air Force. He was also afraid of flying, due to being one of the first military aviators to be in a plane crash.
- There was a reason Randolph Mantooth's character John Gage did more high altitude rescues on Emergency!. Kevin Tighe, who played Roy Desoto, is afraid of heights.
- Tom Petty was also afraid of heights. In the video for "Free Fallin'", when he appears to be hovering over the opening scene wearing shades, he was strapped into a crane to achieve the effect. He wasn't wearing the shades to look cool, but to hide how terrified he was.
- Jeremy Dooley of Achievement Hunter is terrified of heights. Of course, this doesn't stop his fellow Hunters from erecting his desk about 20 feet off the ground, forcing him to sit on a crank-powered lift to sit at his desk for a time.
- The famed director Alfred Hitchcock was reported to be deathly afraid of eggs. Yeah, the guy who made Psycho, The Birds, and Vertigo was afraid of eggs.
- Hitchcock also had a lifelong fear of policemen (dating from a childhood Scare 'em Straight incident), which is why so many of his protagonists end up wrongly accused.
- Interestingly, this type of fear is acknowledged in an episode of Full House.Joey: Some people are afraid of the dark. Some people are afraid of heights. Some people are afraid of eggs.
- In a magazine from years ago, Hilary Duff stating her fear (or strong disgust) of eggs.
- Stephen King is afraid of the number 13, a condition known as triskaidekaphobia.
- Composer Arnold Schönberg similarly was afraid of the number. His greatest fear was reportedly dying on an age whose digits added up or multiplied to 13. Which he did, at age 76 (7+6=13) on Friday the 13th - perhaps because he feared it that much.
- French composer Jules Massenet shared their fear as well. Made weirder and arguably funnier by how the letters in his name are... thirteen.
- In fact, triskaidekaphobia is so common that many multi-story buildings skip the thirteenth floor entirely, going straight from twelve to fourteen.
- In China there's a strong dislike and sometimes outright phobia associated with the number four, which happens to sound almost like death in Mandarin. So you can get floor numbers going: 12, 13, 13A, 15... if they do not opt for just leaving out everything containing the terrible digit. And then this troper lived in a building with floor numbers 4, 13, 14 and 24 missing.
- About fifteen years ago some taxi drivers in Shanghai refused to drive their new cars. The reason? The taxi company has got quite a few license plates with 666 with their new cars. They never reported the reason behind this on the one hand the number six is seen as a symbol of wealth and prosperity in the Chinese traditional numerology, but on the other hand, there are quite a few Christians in Eastern China. Or maybe it all was just another weird case of superstitions crossing cultural borders.
- Pamela Anderson probably has the above beaten. She is reportedly a sufferer of eisoptrophobia — in other words, she is freaked out by her own reflection.
- Former James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan is a claustrophobic, or fear of small, confined spaces.
- The British Radio 1 DJ Fearne Cotton is terrified of sponges. As in, the porous things you wash with.
- Germophobic people may also fear sponges - the kitchen sponge is likely one of the most germ-infesting items in any given household.
- It could also be related to trypophobia, which is the fear of small or "irregularly spaced" holes.
- Mathemaphobia, the fear of math.