Britons Fear Spiders More Than Terrorists
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: October 11, 2004
Filed at 1:21 p.m. ET
LONDON (AP) -- Spiders are more scary than terrorists -- at least according to a survey of a thousand Britons released Monday.
Household creepy crawlies frighten Britons more than terrorist attacks, or even death, the survey found.
Terrorism only came second on the list of respondents' top ten fears, according to the survey conducted by RSGB Omnibus for Universal Pictures UK Ltd. The survey was based on telephone interviews of 1,000 aged 16 to 55 across Britain on Sept. 22-26.
Another crawling phobia -- snakes -- was ranked third, followed by a fear of heights. Death came in a surprising fifth place as the nation's greatest fear.
``It's not surprising that terrorist attacks came only second to creepy crawlies,'' said psychologist Donna Dawson, hired by Universal Pictures to comment the survey. ``This is because fear of small creatures that scuttle about on four or more legs is a much more ancient, primordial fear, going straight back to caveman days.''
A visit to the dentist came in sixth place, followed by needles and injections, and fear of public speaking -- whether professionally or at family events. Fear of debt came in ninth position, beating concerns over flying.
Also listed, other fears such as criminality, failure, ghosts, or even the fear of the future, did not make the top ten list of things that frighten Britons most.
Aileen Coulson, a spokeswoman for Universal Pictures, which commissioned the survey to coincide with the DVD release of Van Helsing, a horror movie featuring Hugh Jackman and Kate Beckinsale, said the findings would provide ``some great ammunition for Halloween,'' adding a prank spider was sure to ``put the 'willies' up a friend, colleague or family member.''