‘They’re underrated as predators’ – Meet the wusses with the weirdest phobias

They’re all bloody weird

Scared of the dark? No, I run up the stairs after turning the lights off because I’m about that gym life son.

Scared of spiders? How about clowns? Most people have something that gives them the shivers, but belly buttons, Monkeys and shins?

Henry Walmsley’s nightmares revolve around his shins – and their impending destruction.

’’I think it’s purely the pain of it, it’s quite hard to explain. In my opinion it’s not like a fear of spiders, which is relatively irrational in most cases, because if your shin snapped it would hurt a lot. It’s just so exposed.”

The Northumbria student worries Newcastle might be the end of him.


“My nightmare scenario would be someone getting a baseball bat and just smacking my shin with it. I live in Newcastle – so it could happen.

“Some people say ‘Always do what you’re afraid to do.’ I’m not planning on breaking my shin in order to get over it.

“I think in this case that, as well as hurting a lot and causing a fair amount of inconvenience in my life, it would only make me fear it happening again. Although maybe it’s not as bad as I think it is.”


Heartbreak is a hard thing to recover from, and Jack Louth has a “genuine fear” of being dumped by the one.

The Edinburgh student said: “Why is it even funny? Imagine this – you’re completely infatuated with a lady and you absolutely idolise her.

“You’re thinking about the big M and suddenly, gone, she leaves you.

“I’m just a man. I do have feelings. Or imagine if she used you in order to infiltrate your social group and all along just wanted your best mate, leaving me alone and devastated.’’

When Jack isn’t watching rom coms, he spends his time steering clear of meaningful relationships.

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‘’I’m just saying that this fear is very real. I’m scared that when it happens I’ll never be able to trust girls again.

“I think I’ll try avoid meaningful relationships to be honest, even if  it means ending up alone or with someone that’s really grim. I’m scared of veins too.”

His endemic fear doesn’t end there. It isn’t gore that’s the issue, but having to watch someone bleed out of carelessness.

“I don’t mind arteries spaffing blood all up the wall, I can handle that. It’s the visible veins when they’re bulging out of someones arm.

This doesn't scare him, but veins do

This doesn’t scare him, but veins do

“I just think they’re gonna catch that on something e.g. a sharp corner and then blood is going to slowly seep out everywhere.

“One of my lecturer’s is a veiny bastard and I can’t concentrate because I try and avoid looking at them, so if i fail its his fault.”

Monkeys, chimps and all creatures simian freak out broadcast journalism student Jess Lloyd, especially the babies.

“It’s their intelligence and similarities to us, and the noises they make and their creepy faces. They’re also underrated as predators.”

The Nottingham Trent third year is petrified of being attacked by them, and so will probably never go to Gibraltar.


Jess (right) in a monkey free environment

“I’ve watched all these nightmare documentaries about pet chimps attacking humans and not even being stopped by guns and baboons stealing babies from African villages.

“The possibility of being attacked or surrounded by them terrifies me.

“A fear of monkeys probably is a bit ridiculous, but so is a fear of tiny spiders.

“I watched the new Hunger Games. There’s a scene where they’re being attacked by giant baboons and it’s so scary. I didn’t know it would going to happen and I cried.”



Omphalophobia is the fear of belly buttons, the strange cavern on your stomach where the umbilical cord was cut. Steph Gabbatt, an English Lit student, can’t touch hers, or even think about anyone else’s.

‘’They’re like the end of a sausage but like inside out and when i touch mine it hurts. When other people touch theirs it freaks me out because i think about touching mine.

“I’ve had this fear ever since I can remember. My parents used to tell me I had to get over it so I could wash it, otherwise mushrooms would grow out. I don’t think that helped.”

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Summer is a huge issue for the York second year. “I’d hate accidentally getting suncream in it and having to shower to get it out.

“A girl at school got it pierced and it got infected and she used to squeeze the green puss out to entertain everyone.’’

Elliot Janks is a professional actor, and a professional fraidy cat.

‘’My fear of trees began when i was younger, and I saw the whomping willow in Harry Potter. Ever since then I have this irrational fear that if I walk past a tree it is going to swing round and hook me to the gabber with its wild and tumultuous branches.

“This is not to say I cannot walk past big trees, i just have to close my eyes.”

Christmas isn’t too normal in the Janks household – Elliot won’t let his mum buy a real tree.

“My nightmare scenario is that one day my mum put  a real christmas tree in the living room. I can get by with a fake tree because I can touch the branches and feel it’s plastic and so it won’t move.

Definitely not Elliot

Definitely not Elliot

“I don’t think I would be able to go inside until it was removed.

“The willow tree set off my fear. It has such wildly twisted and muscular branches. The oak simply for the reason of its size, it’s very overbearing. I also hate its ‘Ooh look at me attitude’ – it makes me claustrophobic.”

You won’t find Daniel Middleton freezing any old meals. The Aberystwyth    can’t stand tupperware, because plastic is unclean.

“Mainly it’s the feel of it and how food tastes in it. I just hate the texture of the plastic – it’s unclean. It’s just horrible. I can’t drink from plastic glasses either.”

Daniel’s fear has spoiled his love life in the past. “I remember a girlfriend once did a surprise picnic for me and I had to explain to her why I couldn’t eat it, which was difficult.

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“That’s my nightmare to be honest, picnics and packed lunches are obviously something I try to avoid. Also, I have to check if certain Chinese and Indian takeaway restaurants wrap food in foil, can’t be dealing with quantity of Tupperware. I’d probably rate my phobia about an eight or nine, so pretty high.

“I’ve had it since I was a child, which caused a lot of problems at school particularly at birthday parties. I’d like to think I’ll improve but I’ll never be comfortable with it.”