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‘It felt like the buildings were going to eat me’: Famous people and their phobias

Whether it’s bugs, clowns, or even beards, there are a multitude of different fears out there – and no one is immune. Louis Chilton looks at some of the famous faces to have been gripped by irrational phobias, from Margaret Thatcher to Niall Horan

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Everyone’s afraid of something. Whether we’re talking about something as arch as killer clowns, or something as commonplace as intimacy, there’s probably not a person alive without some kind of idiosyncratic phobia nestled deep in their subconscious.

Though the trappings of fame and fortune can insulate a person from some of life’s hardships, many celebrities seem to fall victim to unusual – and sometimes even downright bizarre – phobias. Take US TV personality Tyra Banks, for instance, who admitted to a lifelong fear of dolphins (delfiniphobia), which manifested as a recurring nightmare. Or One Direction star Niall Horan, who has confessed to a crippling fear of pigeons – something corroborated by ex-bandmate Harry Styles. “I think pigeons target me,” Horan confessed, after an incident in which one of the feathered fiends flew in through his bathroom window.


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