We can develop a fear of pretty much anything. But phobias are much more extreme. About 10% of Americans have a specific phobia, and hundreds of different types have been identified. Here are three from the Dictionary of Phobias, all beginning with the letter “C.”

Dictionary of Phobias: 3 Common Fears For Letter C.
Dictionary of Phobias: 3 Common Fears For Letter C.
Graphic by Haydee Vanegas.

Phobias are one of the most fascinating areas in the field of psychology, especially considering how common they are. All humans experience fear. Fear is a natural reaction to situations that represent danger. This can be a perceived threat from any object.

Fears and phobias affect each of us in a unique way. Some of us may define fear based on the symptoms we experience. Or maybe we define fear based on the situation or object that causes the fearful reaction in us. A phobia, however, is in an entirely different realm, one in which the fear itself, as well as the symptoms it causes, are extreme in nature.

This is how experts distinguish between fears and phobias, with the latter being far more intense and abnormal. The fear that those with phobias experience is typically irrational because the danger is not implicit. In other words, the object or situation doesn’t pose an actual threat.

There are so many phobias that to understand them, it’s easiest to organize them in the form of a “dictionary.” As we make our way through the dictionary of phobias, we will now focus on the most common fears beginning with the letter “C.”

1. Claustrophobia

Common Fear For Letter C #1: Claustrophobia
Common Fear For Letter C #1: Claustrophobia.
Original photos from canva.com. Graphic by Haydee Vanegas.

This is probably one of the most commonly recognized phobias. Claustrophobia is an intense and abnormal fear of being in confined spaces and is therefore triggered by specific situations. The most common sources are elevators, closets, or airplanes.

Like many other phobias, the symptoms can vary depending on the individual but often include panic attacks, especially when in close proximity to the source of the phobia. People with claustrophobia will commonly avoid traveling on airplanes or trains because of their fear. They may also avoid using elevators.

2. Coulrophobia

Common Fear For Letter C #2: Coulrophobia
Common Fear For Letter C #2: Coulrophobia.
Original images from canva.com. Graphic by Haydee Vanegas.

Do you have an extreme and irrational fear of clowns? Well, there’s a name for that. It’s called coulrophobia. This phobia is particularly interesting because the fear is triggered by an object that doesn’t represent a danger to anyone. According to researches from Chapman University, about 7.8% of Americans experienced this phobia in 2016.

Coulrophobia is obviously a very specific fear. Symptoms result whether a clown is physically present or not. People with coulrophobia experience this fear even when looking at a drawing or painting of a clown. A factor to consider here is the way in which pop culture has commercialized the idea of evil or even dangerous clowns in the form of characters in movies, for example. This could lead to the subconscious development of this phobia.

3. Chiroptophobia

Common Fear For Letter C #3: Chiroptophobia.
Common Fear For Letter C #3: Chiroptophobia.
Graphic by Haydee Vanegas.

Animals are a common object of fear. The most specific phobias are related to animals. An extreme and irrational fear of bats is known as chiroptophobia. As with many other very specific phobias, people with chiroptophobbia have incredibly unpleasant experiences while in the presence of bats.

There are many factors that can influence and promote chiroptophobia. For example, some people fear bats when they are actually afraid of rabies or blood. As with clowns, bats are usually depicted as frightening creatures in television and film .


These are just three of the most common phobias beginning with the letter “C”. These three phobias represent fear of an object that does not actually pose a danger by themselves. So these phobias are great examples of how irrational fears can be.

Now I invite you to leave me your comments. Do you have one of these common phobias? And as always stay tuned because the Dictionary of Phobias series continues, letter by letter.