Death, spiders and clowns: The south east’s biggest fears revealed

PUBLISHED: 10:30 25 June 2015 | UPDATED: 10:30 25 June 2015

Spiders are a phobia for many

Spiders are a phobia for many


A survey was carried out to find out the nation’s greatest phobias - and the results may surprise you...

Many people fear clowns - possibly because of Stephen King's ITMany people fear clowns - possibly because of Stephen King's IT

Death beat rodents, creepy crawlies and clowns to become the number one fear in the south east of England.

New research has discovered the biggest fears held by individuals according to the region of the UK that they live in.

Initially all respondents were asked ‘Do you feel that your particular fear(s) are rational or irrational?’ to which two thirds of respondents (65 per cent) revealed that their fears are ‘rational’; with 35 per cent describing them as ‘irrational’. All respondents were then asked ‘Have you ever opened up to your friends and family to talk about your fears?’ The majority of respondents, 54 per cent, admitted that ‘no’ their friends and family were unaware of their fears, with a further 72 per cent of these individuals revealing it had never come up in conversation.

Following on from this, respondents were asked whether or not they felt their fears had made any sort of negative impact on their everyday lives. The most common responses were either ‘yes, because there is chance I might have to face it anytime, anywhere’ (37 per cent) or ‘no – my fear is not something you come across day-to-day’ (31 per cent).

In order to determine the biggest fears throughout the UK, respondents were provided with a list of possible fears and told to select all that applied to them. Once all of the results were collated and split per region, each regions biggest fear were revealed as follows;

1. East of England – spiders (43%)

2. London – clowns (39%)

3. Wales – thunder and lightning (38%)

4. South East – dying/death (35%)

5. North West – various pets/animals (31%)

6. Yorkshire and the Humberside – heights (30%)

7. Northern Ireland – heights (27%)

8. East Midlands – flying (25%)

9. South West – being overweight (21%)

10. North East – clowns (19%)

11. Scotland – heights (18%)

12. West Midlands – spiders (18%)

According to the poll, 51 per cent of respondents have no idea why they’re scared of the subject of their particular fear(s), whilst a further 28 per cent believe that they had some form of traumatic experience when they were a child which has manifested into a phobia during adulthood.

Matthew Wood, Managing Director of, the company who carried out the research, said:“It’s interesting to see what the biggest fears are around the UK, and how some regions have similar fears whilst some are a little unexpected. It was particularly interesting to see how the biggest fear in the East Midlands is flying when they have their own airport.

“It’s totally normal and actually very healthy to be afraid of something, and whether it’s considered rational or irrational – it’s personal to you and your life experiences. Don’t let anyone pressure you in to facing up to your fears in a bid to get over it, but we’d always recommend trying to overcome your fears at one point or another, purely so it doesn’t have an impact on your enjoyment of life and isn’t passed on to your children.

“Whilst you may not think that you’re showing fear, children pick up on all sorts and always copy those within their immediate group.”

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