The 40 most common childhood fears revealed

Spiders, dogs and the dark are among the top 40 things we fear the most as children, along with beards, boiled eggs and bagels!

Other common phobias include monsters under the bed, clowns, going to the loo and the tooth fairy, with some of the more unique fears experienced by some kids including buttons, gravy and the sound of cutlery rubbing together.

Around seven in ten mums and dads said they had a fear as a child and 68 per cent of them have taken their phobia into adulthood.

The research of 1,582 parents with children age 16 and under was commissioned to celebrate the DVD release of ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’, which is released on Monday 6 February.

Michael Rosen, author of ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ and former British Children’s Laureate said: “When children join in the Bear Hunt, they discover that the thing about today and tomorrow is that you can’t go over it, you can’t go under it, you do have to go through it!

“This is a fantastic opportunity to think and talk about feelings. The film will show children that it’s a good thing to face up to our fears and worries.”


  1. Spiders
  2. The Dark
  3. Monsters under the bed/in the cupboard
  4. Thunder and lightning
  5. Wasps
  6. Being alone
  7. Loud noises
  8. People wearing masks
  9. Dogs
  10. Strangers
  11. Dentists
  12. Clowns
  13. Ghosts
  14. Needles
  15. Snakes
  16. Moths
  17. Death
  18. Costume Characters (eg Football mascots, characters at theme parks)
  19. Heights
  20. Zombies
  21. Doctors
  22. Toilets & Bathrooms
  23. Blood
  24. Sharks
  25. Loneliness
  26. Bears
  27. Cats
  28. Loss
  29. Ants
  30. Santa Claus
  31. Flying
  32. Worms
  33. Dolls
  34. Water
  35. Birds
  36. Cars and other vehicles
  37. Butterflies
  38. Fish
  39. Forests
  40. Tooth Fairy

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