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May 25, 2007


I have a crippling shark phobia as well, it has caused me serious problems for years and years, so it's nice to hear about someone else with the problem! I always wanted to research sharks, since i thought information might help combat the fear. I couldn't do it myself, of course, so my little sister did lots of work compiling a fact sheet and drawing lots of pictures. She found some non-threatening photos of tiny sharks with their mouths closed for me to look at, and made me a sign for my door with 'sharks: keep out' on it! My phobia is still very serious but i think if you can work through these sorts of exercises it might make you see sharks in a different light. The most important thing is to persevere as no phobia is cured overnight, only by gradual exposure in a non-threatening way!

My weird phobia is dolls. It started when I was little. I was eating a ham sandwich and my dolls head fell off. This also meant I didn't eat ham sandwiches for a year. (I don't eat them now anyhow cos I'm a vegan). Anyway I can't stand being near dolls, bleurgh - the thought of going to Madam Tussards also makes me *shudder*. So I hope you can overcome your phobias - but I can understand the Ventriloquist one - uugh a doll talking, whatever next?! x

That's a genuinely wicked drawing Row. Clearly you're wasted as a People's Champion, and need to get in touch with Pixar for their next aquatic animated romp.

On that note, how do you go with animated sharks, a la finding nemo and (the far inferior) a shark's tale?

clowns are quite possibly the creepiest things that have ever walked the planet. i never knew it had a proper name! my biggest fear is balloons. now they are scary, you never know when one will pop. and when they do, it's not exactly a nice surprise. is there a name for the phobia of balloons?

Cooll, I found this website so you can look up the posh names for your phobias. I was disappointed that mine was Snakephobia but then saw another name (Ophidiophobia) so that's OK. I was feeling left out....BTW what's a People's Champion, Row

My sister in law has had a phobia of stickers (yes...stickers!) since she was a baby. She would give money to a collector in the street and then scream when they tried to affix a sticker onto her. Weirdo.

Laura, it's great to find a fellow shark-phobic. I knew there would be others out there. If only my twin had been a little more like your little sister, things could have been so very different.

Conor, glad you liked my picture. Unfortunately I don't fare so well with animated Great Whites either. I was stupid enough to go along to Finding Nemo with my twin, on the condition I was allowed to sit furthest away from the screen. Notably I was the only person in the cinema who held a scarf up to my face (no cushions to hand) when the GW was on screen. Shark Tale would have been a step too far for me, but you're right, I've been told it was the inferior film of the two.

Andy, a People's Champion is a ... erm .. Champion of the People. Along with the lovely Peta and Tansy, we help care for all the innocent drinkers out there.

My phobia, now don't laugh, is not looking down from high up (i.e. vertigo) but the opposite looking up at something high..... mmmm back I go to the loony bin

Good phobias. But I couldn’t help imagining how “gradual exposure in a non-threatening way” would work with sharks. Going to London Aquarium and singing “you can’t catch me” to a baby shark...?
Apparently if you stroke a shark’s nose it turns quite docile. The tricky bit is how to stroke its nose without being bitten first.

Clowns and dummies are creepy anyway. Everybody knows. Even Buffy. There’s an episode where the vampire slayer gets the creeps from a spooky dummy. And another one where a clown takes over someone’s nightmares and scares them senseless. Aaarrgghh!

Oh well.

Since you said you help care for innocent drinkers, I wondered if you’re the person I need to talk to. In the last year, I bought 4 smoothies that were unfortunately off (fizzy and fermented) although they were still within the enjoy before date. The last offender is still in my fridge (should get rid of it soon). I believe fermentation can naturally occur when transporting smoothies on hot days, or when customers take products from supermarket shelves, leave them around and the staff takes a little while to put them back. The only thing is that all the off smoothies came from the same place, Tesco, Tottenham High Road near Seven Sisters tube station. It never happened to any other smoothie I bought in any other place (and I do buy them from everywhere). So I thought there could be something funny about the way they stock them. Maybe it’d be nice if someone checked that before Tesco’s customers develop a fermented smoothie phobia...

Hello Sandra,

Thanks for your post. Just to let you know I've dropped you an e-mail as I'd like to find out some more info.

All the best,


Hey Row!
I have a phobia of jellyfish so I know how it feels to swim and always be looking down to make sure nothing's there.
I found this website called Angry Alien which has all these videos on that re-enact notoriously scary horror films. However, they're done in 30 seconds and acted by cartoon bunnies. They are so funny and they have one of Jaws. Just thought I'd let you know.
ps. The Titanic one is legendary.

Hey, just to say that I have a phobia of sharks too. You're not alone with it being because of Jaws either. When I was five, my brother decided to put Jaws on, and even than I didn't like sharks. He said he'd tell me when a scary bit was coming up but in brotherly fashion, he "forgot". So imagine my terror seeing a head bob onto the tv screen. I'm fifteen now and still can't even listen to the theme tune or i have nightmares. I can only go into the sea up to my ankles, anything past that I panic as i think I wont be able to get out of the water fast enough. There was a picture of a great white jumping put of the water in a newspaper the other day, and i had to put the paper in the bin, as just knowing the picture was there terrified me. Just sharing my experiences :]

I have exactly the same three phobias. But the shark one is definately the worst (and its only Great Whites that seem to trigger the panic attacks). It is really awkward, I mean, I can't go swimming on my own or anything incase they let out a shark into the pool. Or panicking when in the bath that the bottom would suddenly give way and drop me into a shark tank :|. I think I can blame James Bond for that one, I was petrified of lifts for years after seeing is it the Spy who Loved Me? Shudder. People telling you its irrational doesn't help either!

RE: Beat attitude's sister in law...

I've got the same Phobia... Hate stickers. Can't have them near me. Run a mile when someone tries to get one of the blighters near me. Worst nightmare is conferences with "my name is" stickers. Somehow mine manages to fall off...

Am a bit wary of non-fabric plasters too as they're too much like stickers to be safe.

I'm also scared of seaweed. Don't like it, not so fun when I went to Uni by the sea and people found this out!


It's been good hearing from fellow Great White phobics. I recently went to Miami Seaquarium where my family said it would 'good for me' if I went along to watch the reef sharks during feeding time. You couldn't see much, there was just a dead fish being dangled in and out of the water to mimic the sound of a fish in distress which would get the sharks circling. Although I'm no nearer to curing my phobia, at least I now know what sound not to make should I ever find myself in the sea.

Hi Row. I live in Johannesburg far away from our oceans around South Africa. I too have the phobia. I saw JAWS when I was 9 and my mom only realized half way through that i was actually sitting on the floor in the cinema. When she touched me to take me out, i started screaming etc :)anyway my 2 elder sisters used to pin me down and sit on me and force my eyes open to look at pictures of great whites. I can't swim by myself in a pool, I don't swim in dark pools, rivers etc, i refuse to go into the sea. A year ago i decided to allow my boyfriend to take me in the ocean holding my hand and walking SLOWLY. I was about waist height in water when he stepped on a fish and said 'uh hu' and lifted his foot and it swam into my leg. I got such a fright I leapt onto his shoulders in one jump, he thought it was amusing!!! I see sharks coming at me in my head when I am under water. I try to watch documentaries of them but WHY do they ALWAYS show the down the throat shot???? Can’t do cartoons of them either!!! A documentary about a woman with our phobia was amazing, where she went swimming with all different types of sharks after a while, including TIGER sharks armed only with a broom stick handle!!! Wow so it can be done, but i might need a few years yet. I would not voluntarily step off a boat knowing they are swimming around. na, na, na no!!!

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