1) Alfred Hitchcock was afraid of eggs. “That white round thing without any holes,” he noted to an interviewer. “Have you ever seen anything more revolting than an egg yolk breaking and spilling its yellow liquid?” He also mentioned that he found eggs more menacing than blood.
2) Gustave Eiffel was afraid of heights. So in 1887, he built what was then the tallest structure in the world (984 feet). Makes sense.
3) Judy Garland was afraid of horses. “When I even come near a bunch of horses, they nudge each other and say, ‘This is going to be fun.’ Then they snort and stamp their feet and do everything that’s bad!” the icon said, as quoted in Judy Garland: A Legendary Film Career.
4) Sigmund Freud was afraid of ferns. And the number 62. (And, from what I’ve read, the ladies.)
5) Hans Christian Andersen was afraid of being buried alive. So afraid that he posted a sign next to his bed that read “I only appear to be dead.” Andersen was also an adorable head case who traveled with a length of rope in his suitcase in case he needed to escape quickly from a fire.
6) Benito Mussolini was afraid of cats. Hitler was also an ailurophobe. America should perhaps have rethought our WWII battle strategy to include this guy:
7) Audrey Hepburn was afraid of water. Photographer Terry O’Neill told Elle.com that during the shoot for the film Two for the Road, in which she was thrown into a swimming pool, “there were frogmen standing by to reassure her she wouldn’t drown.”
8) Marcel Proust was afraid of mice. According to biographer Edmund White, he wrote to a friend during the war that he was more fearful of rats than bombs. White also mentions that Proust “had a live rat brought to him in a cage and had it stabbed to death with hat pins as he watched with lust and fear.” Which is amazing and disturbing and, alas, probably not at all true.