The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
 
Prof. Wingard's Death Ray Hoax, 1876
The Crown Prince Regent of Thulia, 1954
Can a bar of soap between your sheets ease muscle cramps?
Tube of liquor hidden in prohibition-era boot, 1920s
Life discovered on the moon, 1835
A black lion: real or fake?
Actress who claimed she was kidnapped by puritans, 1950
Fake Photos of Very Large Animals
The Society for Indecency to Naked Animals, 1959
The Diaphote, a television hoax, 1880
Bizarre Phobias
Tom wrote to ask about the reality of a site called The Phobia Clinic. At first glance, the site definitely looks like it represents a real business that's selling a program to help people overcome their fears. The strangeness comes when you dig into some of the fears that they claim they can cure, and you have to wonder... do such fears or anxieties really exist? For example, they can cure you of Arachibutyrophobia (that's a fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth), Ballistophobia (a fear of bullets... but why would anyone want to overcome their fear of bullets? Isn't that a good thing to be afraid of?), Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia (fear of long words... the name of the anxiety alone probably sends sufferers into convulsions), and the list goes on and on. Despite all the weird anxieties, I think that the Phobia Clinic is real enough, in the sense that they'll take your money and offer some kind of 'cure.' But I'm skeptical about whether their cure actually works.
Categories: Psychology
Posted by The Curator on Fri Nov 21, 2003
Comments (449)
omg me too rihannon-.-!
Posted by kaykaykaykay  in  england  on  Thu Aug 11, 2011  at  06:10 AM
I'm sixteen years old and I, as most people do, have many fears. Fear of the dark, fear of hurting myself, fear of peoples opinions of me but I don't feel as though any of these are actually phobias. There are two main phobias that I think I have. One is spiders which has got to the extent where I can't even look at a picture of a spider without either feeling sick or having to shut my eyes. Let alone actually seeing a spider in real life. I'm afraid of most other insects too but there's something about spiders that just really gets me. My other phobia is a little abnormal and I was wondering if anyone else suffers from the same sort of thing? In a brief explanation, I can't stand anything being dry. Dry skin is the worst, mainly my hands, feet and elbows but my lips are just about bearable being dry. I have to moisturise my feet several times during the day and sometimes even in the night and my hands have to be constantly clammy, which is a pain really! If they dry up slightly and I don't have moisturiser or hand cream near me, it's got to the point where I actually have to lick them to solve the problem. I can't wear socks unless they're a little damp and even then, I have to moisturise my feet before I put them on. My mum often tells me to take the clothes out of the airing cupboard which are usually very dry and include socks and towels and flannels. This usually makes me gag if I touch them and even thinking about it now is making me gag. Maybe I just have a gland problem, I don't know. One other thing that really gets me is drying china with kitchen towels. It's something about the friction between them and the sounds it makes that makes me feel really sick. I actually vomited once from it. So, basically, I suffer from a weird phobia that I genuinely can't seem to control.
Posted by annajay  on  Tue Jan 03, 2012  at  07:14 AM
OHHH MYY GOSHHH,

to the person who is afraid of spines, I have the exact same fear as you and everything you said!! Im glad to know I am not alone.
Posted by Paige Keebler  in  U.S.  on  Tue Feb 07, 2012  at  11:08 PM
I also can't stand to touch cotton balls and chalk! I hate the sound it makes too, I hate having dry feet or hands also,I keep lotion bottles everywhere because if my skin gets dry I freak out. I'm not scared of the chalk and cotton balls I just won't touch them, it makes my skin crawl and i have to chatter my teeth together. Is it still a phobia then? I have felt panicky when I've heard/touched chalk or if my skin is to dry but I'm not scared of it.
Posted by Ashely  in  United States  on  Wed Feb 22, 2012  at  10:38 PM
What would be the phobia of not touching the floor of the pool.because like I like to swim but I walk on the floor and any time I'm not touching the floor I freak. I almost failed gym for this.once my cousin tried teaching me to swim and tried having me float and as soon as my feet left the bottom I have a panic attack. What would the name of the phobia be? If there is one I can't be alone
Posted by Chelsea  in  Chicago  on  Thu Mar 15, 2012  at  07:33 PM
Chelsea -- the scientific name for that is answimmingpoolfloorophobia.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Thu Mar 15, 2012  at  08:03 PM
I've only read some of the pages of comments here, but of those, at least 50% of the things people are calling phobias here are probably related to some type of Sensory Processing Disorder (look up "SPD"). excaim This includes not being able to stand touching certain things because of their texture, the sound they make, etc. When you have SPD, certain types of sensory input (i.e. sounds, textures, sensations) make you feel disgusted and shivery, or like one feels when hearing fingernails scratching on a chalkboard. So if you're one of the ones who posted about fabric/paper/cardboard/styrofoam or wet clothes/hands/feet or certain noises, you should look into SPD. I know about this because I have two types of it called tactile defensiveness and oral defensiveness. I can't stand to touch any type of synthetic fabric, especially if my hands are sweaty. I also can't stand the feeling of toothpaste foam in my mouth. There are others too, but those are my main problems. I hope this info helps at least one person! grin
Posted by They're Not Phobias  on  Wed Mar 21, 2012  at  02:41 AM
I have a fear of straws, does anyone else? It's because I almost died by one almost lodging itself in my throat. If it was just a tiny centimeter or less to the side, it would've went down my throat and killed me. I can use them, but I get super paranoid about being in a car or walking with one in my mouth. It makes my heart speed up and I feel like I'm gonna trip or the car will hit a bump and the straw will hit my throat again. Does anyone else have this phobia? And what's the official term for it?
Posted by Rachel S.  in  USA  on  Sat Apr 14, 2012  at  05:51 PM
Omg i dieee when someone rubbs their hands together
I never rub mine or put any hand lotion or touch the inside of my hands cause i cant take that sound and the feeling kills me!
Its seriously not normal ! My whole body gets goosebumbs and i go crazy
Ppl do it on purpose they think its something funny but they know i hate it ! I might laugh put it pisses me off !
I also cant take it whem someone eats next to me
If i hear someone eating , really i get no control and am about to slap that person !
I cant do nothing when my parents eat next to me
I just leave or put music on
I feel like everyones eating like animals in the jungle tht have never seen any food i literally go crazy !

Another thing is after taking a shower.. I cant touch nothing for atleast 5 min till my fingers get normal again and i cant walk without socks
The feeling of my feet rubbing on catpet or wht ever kind of floor drives me crazy !
Posted by Sara  in  Michigan  on  Thu Apr 19, 2012  at  10:05 PM
I am shocked @ Elizabeth's fear of Tape.

I seriously thought I was the only one. Realizing that it is completely irrational - I usually don't tell a soul, because it spurs on several dozen embarrassing follow up questions.

I have actually lost a job over the fear of any type of tape / adhesive paper sticking to me. I cannot use 'Hello my name is' stickers, and cannot participate in charitable donation days (such as casual day) if I am forced to wear something sticky to announce to the world that I am supporting a cause.

I become physically ill, I begin to gag - and cannot concentrate until the offending item is removed. The threat of tape is enough to send me into a quivering mass, or an angry defender of my person. Completely irrational - I know. I think I would physically harm someone if they stuck something to me on purpose.

My other most prominent fear is Moths (and it has grown to include butterflies). I must leave the house if one enters - I am TERRIFIED of them.

My friends joke that if I don't do what they want, they will TAPE A MOTH TO ME... I pretend that it's funny - but I am horrified by the thought.

I am 37 years old.
Posted by Bonnie  in  New Brunswick, Canada  on  Mon May 21, 2012  at  10:44 PM
I have a fear of spiders rust mold and fruit drinks? Like kool aid gatoraid poweraid all of those freak me out I have to walk away when I see someone drinking it bc of the smell? I'm not anti fruit I love fruit! I guess it's bc its fake/processed? Punch freaks me out too. Help?
Posted by Jojo  in  Arkansas  on  Tue May 29, 2012  at  05:23 PM
I have a fear of people with flawless skin, or almost porcelain like skin. Not porcelain dolls, but REAL people with perfect skin. It freaks me out, and I just get nauseated by it!!! Can someone tell me what this phobia is called?
Posted by Matt M  in  ohio  on  Mon Jun 25, 2012  at  11:22 PM
I really want to know what the name is to my phobia, I'm afraid of spoons, the shape of it really freaks me out, I also had a nightmare about spoon, it had to do with the shape, and it somehow impacted on me... I can't remember the exact details, but it was terrifying, DOES ANYONE KNOW THE NAME OF THIS PHOBIA, because by relatives make fun of me when I say, "I'm afraid of spoons" when I could say, "I'm ______phobic"
Posted by Natasha J  in  Los Angeles  on  Thu Jul 26, 2012  at  05:51 PM
i HATE HATE HATE cardboard more than ANYTHING IN THIS WORLD, the feeling the smell the look the noise it makes, when i say the word cardboard or box my mouth just stops working like i cant explain it but i cant say those words my mouth just starts to shutter and i grind my teeth and my whole body starts to get loose and people think im crazy but i started crying once cuz i just cant stand cardboard and also popsicle sticks ohmygosh when i eat popsicles and the stick goes in my mouth i wanna rip my head off, or when i go to the doctor for a check up the worst thing the doctor can do is stick the cardboard stick in youre mouth i feel like dying when someone puts cardboard near me, its just horrible :/
Posted by Azniv  in  California  on  Wed Sep 19, 2012  at  12:27 AM
I have a really bad phobia of ripped/torn cardboard.
It makes me cringe and grind my teeth.
I can't look at it or touch it or i'll get a weird shock threw my whole body.
I can barely think about it let alone touch.
anybody have any ideas?
Posted by Jesse  on  Sat Oct 20, 2012  at  02:13 AM
Someone touching my solar plexus or even thinking of them being touched .. makes me defensive.. You try to touch them I will punch you!
Posted by Jeba  in  Bangalore, india  on  Tue Nov 27, 2012  at  07:05 AM
I have a phobia of the inside if my arm being touched where it bends like the inside of my elbow? I cannot have blood took from here because of it! It's the same with my legs the back of knee and my groin I'm near sick even talking about it I also can't touch another persons bends lol sooo strange! I get laughed at havnt met another person like it :( therefore cannot find a name for it! Lol
Posted by Shannon  in  Uk  on  Wed Jan 02, 2013  at  10:17 PM
I have a fear of wet plastic. Just the thought of it makes me squirm. I also hate using plastic cutlery and drinking through a straw. I do not know when this started. Anyone else have the same thing?
Posted by Ollie  in  Uk  on  Sat Jan 05, 2013  at  05:10 PM
Can anyone tell me the fear of have bends touched ie the bend of your arm the bend of your leg(back of knee) also of groin being touched? I have the weirdest phobias never met someone with the same thing! Someone wrote about people chewing material! I'm the same with sleeve jumpers etc and especially wooden sticks like Lolly pop sticks and tooth pick absolute turn me! Arghhh lol
Posted by Shannon  in  Northern Ireland  on  Sat Jan 05, 2013  at  10:20 PM
I am not sure if this is an actual phobia, or if it's anxiety issues. However, for as long as I can remember I have had an extreme issue with paper towels. I hate them. I hate the texture, smell, and look of them. I especially hate it when It is rubbed together or torn up. It gives me goose bumps and the need to leave the room. I really want to get over this. If anyone has a similar issue, or some advice it would be very much appreciated.
Posted by Heather  in  Somora  on  Tue Jan 29, 2013  at  01:41 AM
I have a crippling fear of crumpled up bits of paper. It really affects me in school and at restaurants. I can't stand when people roll up little balls of paper, and i start to breath heavily and rub my hand together and up and down my pants. If i touch a crumpled piece of paper, i have to wash my hands right away. Help please! I'm 13, this is a recent thing, last year or so.
Posted by Em  in  USA  on  Sun Feb 03, 2013  at  09:48 AM
Alix from California: Fear of collarbones

I suffer the same thing. It is knowned as Calvicaphobia. I will not let no one touch my collarbones what-so-ever, not even my seatbelt can touch my collarbone without me freaking out.
Posted by Kisha  in  California  on  Thu Feb 28, 2013  at  01:04 AM
what do you call the fear of SEEING OTHER PEOPLE TOUCH THEIR EAR? i know it's funny but it really scares me. i also refuse to let others touch my ears. by the way, i'm 15 and i haven't wear earings ever since my ear was wounded because of it. i was in grade 1 when it happened.
Posted by rian O.  on  Tue Mar 19, 2013  at  11:18 AM
I have a fear of touching wet skin. Like if I'm in a pool and my hands and feet are wet and pruny i can't touch myself or other people without getting completely grossed out. I get shivers just thinking about it. Can someone please find this fear for me? I can't find the name of it anywhere
Posted by maddie  in  united states  on  Thu Apr 11, 2013  at  03:52 AM
Hey.

I just like Hannah on this board (page 9)
Have a fear of scratching paper with my nails.

I have no fear of paper, its just when scratching the paper, it kinda gives me the chills down my bi-lateral sides...
Posted by Zaman  in  London  on  Fri May 03, 2013  at  12:27 PM
I have a crazy intense feeling of anxiety about teeth on fabric that physically affects me with my throat tightening up,teeth grinding, knots in my stomach and ringing ears. It happens when i even think about teeth on fabric, mostly cotton. Its awful!
Posted by Abigail  in  Ohio, USA  on  Wed May 08, 2013  at  02:53 PM
I THUOGHT I WAS THE ONLY ONE WHO HAD PHOBIA FOR WET WOOD! I CANT TOUCH SEE HEAR OR EVEN THINK OF WET WOOD I GET THE GOOSEBUMPS WHEN I GET NEAR IT! CAN SOME ONE GET ME THE SCIENTIFIC NAM FOR THS?
THANX cheese
Posted by BEN  in  RI  on  Sun May 12, 2013  at  07:46 PM
Alright, can you tell me what fear I have? I've heard of the fear of cutting your nails and stuff...but I have a way worse case that's sort of different. I'm scared of ANYTHING happening to my nails. I can't cut them. I can't file them. I'm terrified to death that they will come off or I will lose them. Even thinking about that makes my body shudder. I was outside today and I dropped my folding chair on my toenail and it began to bleed. I then had a panic attack and I started crying and it was hard to breath...but it was only a little speck of blood. I refuse to take the band-aid off now and I don't know what to do because I can't look at it without crying. What is this fear?
Posted by Emily  in  New York  on  Wed Jul 17, 2013  at  12:01 AM
I absolutely hate wet wood. Touching it, or scratching it just gives me chills. My sister hates chewing on dry cotton, like shirts.
Posted by Laura  in  Pierre, South Dakota  on  Mon Oct 28, 2013  at  10:21 PM
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