Phobophobia: the fear of fears

Mia Jacobs

More stories from Mia Jacobs

Angel Beltran

More stories from Angel Beltran


Heights. Darkness. Spiders. Snakes. Clowns. These are all common fears plaguing the student body, but what about the fears no one talks about?

Trypophobia is the fear of clusters made up with irregular holes, bumps or patterns. For example, barnacles on a boat or honeycombs. The patterns can make a person experience extreme distress and a sense of fear. Though many people do not experience this fear, psychology students Tom Kupfer and T.D Le found that Trypophobia originated as an avoidance response to keep the body safe from diseases and infections like chicken pox, measles, and malaria.  

“When I see multiple circles and dots, I get nauseous. I can’t really explain it, but it makes me physically uncomfortable,” Sasha Beltran, sophomore, said.  

Emetophobia,  commonly known as the fear of throwing up, is a fear caused by the overwhelming anxiety over vomiting, and the lack of control involved in the situation. Emetophobia is not always caused by past experiences; it can be caused by stories of trauma and the potential absence of control that is exhibited in television shows and movies. 

“Basically, I’m afraid of being publicly humiliated for throwing up. It’s scary, and it makes me anxious which sometimes makes me feel like I have to throw up even more,” Sydney Tanner, freshman, said.

Masklophopia is the fear of people in masks or costumes such as a mascot or full body costume characters.  This is a common fear among children which may explain why there are so many pictures of crying children with the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. 

“[Mascots] freak me out because you never know who could be under them. It could be a murderer, and no one would know because they look all cute and sweet,” Isabella McCollum, junior, said.

No matter how obscure a fear may be, all of them are still valid. Whether it be that feeling of being watched or the so called “imaginary” monster under your bed, every fear has a name. Now the worst fear is here; the fear of this article ending.